The smell of melting cheese and browned sausage wakes up the company at our house. Our family has a tradition of enjoying this breakfast whenever we have overnight guests, especially over the holidays, usually on Christmas morning.
I am not an expert in the kitchen, but I do love to entertain. So my goal is to have plenty of food prepared ahead of time, so I can enjoy our guests and not be stuck in the kitchen. In just a few minutes, I can make this simple, delicious breakfast casserole the night before. In the morning, I just pop it in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour. After resting for 10 minutes once it is out of the oven, the casserole is ready to serve. Serve with a pitcher of orange juice and some fresh fruit, and you have a meal for eight. Like lasagna, it heats up very well in the unlikely event that you have leftovers.
Christmas Morning Casserole
One dozen eggs
One pound (seriously) of shredded cheddar cheese
One loaf of sliced Italian or French bread
One and a half cups of milk
One pound of browned, maple sausage (you can use ham or even broccoli in place of sausage)
Salt and pepper (You’ll season to your taste)
Butter half the loaf of bread and place, butter side down, in a 9×13 casserole dish.
Brown the sausage in a cast iron skillet. Place the sausage on the bread, and add half a pound of shredded cheese, covering the sausage and bread.
Beat the eggs and milk and add salt and pepper to taste. Butter the rest of the bread and place it, butter side up, on top of the mixture. Carefully (it tends to spill over the sides) cover with the egg/milk mixture. Smother with remaining cheese.
Cover the baking dish with lid, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. The next morning, bake at 400 degrees for at least one hour. It’s not a low-fat breakfast, but it is filling and delicious, and festive for a special holiday.
TIP: Remove the casserole lid to bake the casserole. For the final 15 minutes of baking, place foil over the casserole dish to avoid burning the layer of cheese on the top.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2016.