It was a cold Sunday morning in January. We didn’t have any games. We went to mass the night before, and we were in the mood for a big breakfast, a big Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole. I checked the refrigerator. I had a ton of eggs and some bulk Italian sausage. Next I found some green and red peppers. I always have cheese in the house…always! A bag of hash browns were in the freezer so it was then, the making of the Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole came to fruition.
Growing up, I never cared much for breakfast unless it was pancakes, french toast, or cereal. Of course, I loved the sweeter side of breakfast as a kid. I didn’t eat eggs…any kind of eggs. My Dad loved eggs…any kind. He liked them prepared any way. In fact, everyone in my house liked eggs, but me. Finally in my twenties, I slowly started to try some egg casseroles and omelets. I figured the cheese, veges, and meat must help with the taste. Well, I was right. I liked it. I married my husband, who, by the way, loves eggs…any kind, so I started to cook them. I still do not eat eggs over easy, scrambled, or poached. But, I have definitely grown quite fond of omelets and casseroles. On this particular weekend, I decided to make a casserole without the bread and use the hash browns as a base. It really worked out well. The Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole was a huge hit. Plus it can be a Make Ahead Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole. Check it out!
Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole
- 1 pound of bulk Italian Sausage
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped Onion
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic
- 3-4 cups of Frozen Shredded Hash Browns (country style)
- 3 cups of Shredded Cheese (I use the Kirkland Costco Mexican blend)
- 1 cup of diced Green Pepper
- 1 cup of diced Red Pepper
- 1/2 cup of diced Green Onions (from about 6-8)
- 12 Eggs
- 1 3/4 cup of Nonfat Milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dried Parsley
- 1 teaspoon of Salt
- Add Pepper and Crushed Red Pepper
- Bacon Bits (Kirkland Costco brand – best bacon bits around)
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic. Stir the mixture to break up the sausage into smaller pieces. Cook until sausage is no longer pink about 10-12 minutes. Drain any liquid.
- Coat a 9×13 glass pan with cooking spray. Layer potatoes (unthawed), sausage mixture, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, green/red peppers, and green onions.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole. Season with pepper and crushed red pepper if you like. Sprinkle the top with some of Costco’s bacon bits. If you are planning to make this in the morning, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
- Ready to bake casserole immediately or in the morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake casserole for 70-80 minutes or until egg mixture is set in the middle and the edges are lightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.