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  • Mary Kay

Denise's Easy Make Ahead Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Day 23 of "25 Days of Angels Baking Christmas Memories!"

I just HAVE to introduce this breakfast casserole again this year. It was part of my blog about the "25 Days of Angels Baking Christmas Memories" in 2022. My friend Denise introduced it to us many years ago, so here goes. I LOVE this easy morning meal.

This Breakfast Casserole is easy to prep the day before and refrigerate overnight. Pop it in the oven in the morning and have it ready for breakfast. Just bake it when you make it.

Your family will enjoy this delicious Breakfast Casserole at Christmas or any time of the year...and you’ll enjoy the ease of making it the day ahead. Just pop it in the oven in the morning and it’ll be ready by the time all the Christmas Day presents have been opened. It’s meaty, cheesy and has a lot of veggies in it – just don’t tell the kids about the veggies while they chow down. There's a nice crust on top with a soft mix of cheese and mushrooms and meat underneath.

It's a recipe a friend of mine, Denise, made for us at a special event many years ago. According to the recipe card, it's from 1987. But I’ve adapted it for Christmas Day since it’ so easy to prep and it tastes delish! It's intended as a time-saver so make it the night before. Plus, if you just have a small get together, it's easy enough to cut the recipe in half.

Serves 6-8.

Prep your oven safe pan:

- Lightly butter an oven safe baking dish that's safe to move from the cold fridge to the oven – about 9”x13."

- When I made my half recipe, I used a smaller ceramic oven save dish about 5"x 9." It easily served 4.

Preheat your oven to 300F degrees a few minutes prior to baking.

Christmas Day Casserole Ingredients:

2½ C Herb Seasoned Croutons

2 C Cheddar Cheese, freshly shredded

¼ # Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced to equal 1 ½ C

2 # Pork Sausage (Denise used 1# according to her notes.)

6 Eggs

2 ½ C Milk

1 15oz Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (Today I could only find a 10.5 oz. can which worked just fine. I added a quarter can of water to make up for the missing liquid.)

¾ t Dry mustard

Get your casserole ready:

- Brown the sausage, drain and set aside.

- Beat the eggs, milk, mustard and soup together in a medium bowl and set aside

- Arrange the croutons in a single layer in the bottom of the buttered baking pan. Use whatever flavor croutons you like. I used my own homemade croutons which included Italian seasoning.

- Sprinkle the cheese and mushrooms over the croutons. I must confess - I strayed from the recipe and added some chopped up broccoli that I had in the veggie drawer in my refrigerator. I just couldn't resist.

- Next layer on the browned sausage. The only sausage I had on hand were 5-6" Sweet Italian sausages, so I used one. It was plenty for the half recipe I made.

- Pour the egg mixture over the rest of the layers.

- If you think of it, save a little cheese to sprinkle on the top to help create a nice crust.

- If you plan to refrigerate the casserole overnight before baking, cover it tightly with plastic wrap.

- When you are ready to bake, first preheat the oven to 300F degrees.

- Bake for 1 ½ hours. I checked it at the one hour mark, but it was still very jiggly. You will need the entire hour and a half.

- Place it right on a trivet on the breakfast table and serve right out of the baking dish so it’s hot on everyone’s plates. Toast points are a very good accompaniment.

Options for spices and veggies:

- If you’d like more veggies, rough chopped broccoli or chopped kale gives this casserole more color, vitamins and flavor. Cook them a little so they are not crunchy and add them on top of the sausage layer. That should hide them so the kids don’t know they are there!

- Add a little zing by including a couple of diced jalapenos when you sprinkle the cheese and mushrooms on top of the croutons. Or even onions.

- When I made up the half recipe, I used the full can of the mushroom soup, but added another handful of croutons to make up for the added liquid in the soup. It seems the sizes of the cans have diminished somewhat from 30-some years ago. It came out just fine.

- I also used 1/4 pound of meat for the half recipe. It was plenty of meat, especially when there are eggs in the casserole. That's what I like about casseroles. You can adjust some of the items and still bake up a delicious meal.

Serving options:

- Serve the breakfast casserole alongside pancakes or waffles with bacon or sausages. As long as they are side by side, try a little maple syrup on the casserole to sweeten it up.

- Sliced fruit like bananas, oranges or kiwi add a freshness to any casserole.

- A fruit smoothie adds more vitamins and a sweet coolness to this breakfast.

Enjoy this as an easy make ahead Christmas Breakfast Casserole. It's good enough to repeat at any time of the year. Whenever you enjoy it, "Bake your own Memories!"

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