Jan’s Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole Recipe
Are you a fan of sausage breakfast casserole like my family is? I’m always on the lookout for new overnight breakfast casserole recipes, especially those that can be made ahead of time and baked when needed. This Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole is a family favorite.
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Classic Breakfast Casserole with Country Gravy
This recipe was shared with me by my good friend, Jan Blasi, a fabulous Southern cook. This casserole has gotten rave reviews by everyone who has tried it, and I love having a little bit of Jan in my kitchen every time I bake it.
What to Love About This Recipe –
- The base of this breakfast casserole is made of pumpernickel bread – a unique twist.
- Gravy makes everything better.
- A great make-ahead casserole.
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make This Breakfast Casserole?
- Pumpernickel/rye bread
- Whipping cream
- Cheddar cheese
- Country gravy
How to Make Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole in 5 Easy Steps
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile butter the bread, placing into the bottom of the baking dish, top with half of the cooked sausage crumbles.
- Pour the prepared egg mixture over the bread and sausage crumbles; top with the remaining sausage and cheese. Cover the casserole and place into the fridge overnight to rest.
- The next morning, let the casserole rest, uncovered on the cupboard for 40-45 minutes.
- Bake the breakfast casserole, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cut into squares to serve.
Secrets to Success When Making a Breakfast Casserole
Whipping cream is your friend. While it’s not easy on the waistline, it sure brings your pickiest eaters back for more every time. It adds a creamy, moist element to the casserole that won’t dry out when you bake it. And the richness! Oooh… give me all the cream.
Pumpernickel/rye bread with it’s distinct bold flavors. This ingredient has a distinct bold flavor that makes this casserole stand out among all the others.
Beauty rest! Once you mix up the casserole ingredients and place it into the baking dish, let beauty rest work it’s miracles overnight. This is a very important step that makes the texture of this casserole light and tender – so worth it.
Here Are the Easy Steps for Making Smooth, Creamy, Lump-Free Gravy
1. Place a large skillet over medium heat; add the butter or margarine to your pan drippings, such as would come from browning sausage in the skillet. (If you don’t have any pan drippings to begin with, that’s ok. Just start by melting your butter or margarine and proceeding as below.)
2. Melt the butter, stirring it into the sausage drippings; add the flour, stirring constantly until this mixture turns from white in color to more of a tan color, ensuring that your flour is fully cooked.
3. Here’s the BIG SECRET for making lump free gravy: Remove the skillet from the heat before you go any further with the gravy-making process!
4. Now, very slowly whisk in the evaporated milk (or whatever liquid you happen to be using to make a gravy at any other time), a little a time, whisking constantly, never adding more milk until what you’ve added if fully incorporated. Now whisk in the milk in the same way.
5. Now, finally return the skillet of gravy to the burner over medium heat; season the gravy to taste, as desired, whisking until the gravy is simmering and nicely thickened.
More Favorite Breakfast Recipes to Enjoy –
Printable Directions for Making Jan’s Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Jan's Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
- 8 slices rye and pumpernickel bread (this is usually rye bread that has a pumpernickle swirl within each slice) buttered on each side
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 lb. sausage cooked and crumbled, fats drained
- 1/2 lb. sausage cooked, crumbled, and keeping the fats in the skillet with the sausage
- 1/2 cup butter, oil, or margarine
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 2-3 cups milk
- red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste
Make the Breakfast Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper, stirring well to combine.
- Place the buttered bread across bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan; top the bread with half of the cooked sausage crumbles.
- Pour the prepared egg mixture over the sausage layer, then top with the remaining half of the sausage; sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over all.
- Cover the casserole with foil, placing it into fridge to rest overnight, or 8-10 hours. **FYI – This is a very important step, I’ve discovered. Don’t be tempted to skip it if you desire a tender and delicate breakfast casserole.
- When ready to bake, remove the breakfast casserole from the fridge and uncover; let the casserole rest on the counter for 40-45 minutes to remove the chill.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. (If the casserole is still clinging to the knife when you do this test, cook the casserole for an additional few minutes until the knife test is successful.)
- When the casserole is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve topped with warm country gravy.
Make the Country Gravy
- In the skillet with the cooked and crumbled sausage and the pan drippings, over medium heat, add the butter or margarine letting it melt. Add the flour, stirring constantly until this mixture turns from white in color to more of a tan color, cooking it just a minute or two. The mixture will be very thick and lumpy at this point. remove the skillet from the heat. (very important!)Remove the skillet from the heat!
- Remove the skillet from the heat completely. Slowly add the evaporated milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly, never adding more milk until what you’ve added is fully incorporated. Now whisk in the regular milk in the very same way.
- Now, return the skillet of gravy to the burner over medium heat; season the gravy to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, as desired, whisking the gravy until it’s creamy, thickened, and simmering.
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