Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sausage & Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

This weekend was one for the books.  Mike and I (finally) had our Greek wedding - something we had planned to do all along, but kept postponing.  The first time we got married it was in my church, and since it was important to Mike that we get married in his church as well, we agreed to have two ceremonies. 

My handsome Greek groom! 

What made the weekend interesting was the fact that it was actually a triple Greek wedding.  That's right, we shared the alter not only with Mike's brother Greg and his wife Sharon, but also his cousin Samantha and her husband Hess!  It's very important in the Greek religion to be married in the actual church, so since we were all married previously outside of the church we thought we would all catch up at the same time! 

Us three brides are in pink! 
For our second wedding we kept to immediate family only, so it felt more like a church service.  The priest thought it was just about the funniest thing ever - he was loving it! 

My mom and sisters at our post-wedding family dinner.
With my family in town, I wanted make sure I had something prepared (fuel for the big day if you will) for breakfast, but I have to admit - as much as I love house guests, I do not like getting up early to cook!    I'm always experimenting with make-ahead breakfast items, and this casserole is one i'll be making again in the near future. 

This casserole has all of your hot ticket breakfast items in one dish - sausage, hash browns, eggs, and cheese. What could be bad about that?  I assembled the whole thing a day early and popped it in the oven first thing in the morning.  With the help of some pre-shredded hash browns, this is super simple to put together. 

Ingredients (Serves 6):
*1 lb. mild (or hot if you prefer) Italian sausage
*1 tbsp. olive oil
*1 small onion, chopped
*8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
*1 lb. bag shredded hash browns (I like Simply Potatoes in the refrigerator section)
*5 eggs
*1 1/4 c. milk
*salt, pepper

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Remove the sausage from the casing and add to the pan.  Cook the sausage until it's browned all over, using a wooden spoon or potato masher to break it up as it cooks.  Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside in a large mixing bowl.  Add the onion to the pan and cook until lightly browned; add to the sausage. Stir in potatoes and half of the cheese with the sausage mixture.  Add to a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. 

Whisk together milk and eggs, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour milk mixture over the sausage.  Top with remaining cheese.  If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Cover the casserole in aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove cover, increase the temperature to 400, and continue baking for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Enjoy! 

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