Celebrate Spring with a Cheesy Breakfast Casserole

I love family traditions. On Christmas morning, my mom always bakes a delicious, warm and cheesy breakfast casserole which our family always enjoys. This spring, my husband and I are hosting my family for Easter and I am planning to make this same, beloved breakfast casserole. It is the perfect recipe for Easter as you can make it the night before, place it in the refrigerator overnight and then slide it in the oven while the kids are looking for eggs. Preparation leads to less work on Easter morning, less stress and more time for family memories!

While I love our traditional breakfast casserole, I have put my own twist on the recipe to pump up the nutrition even more. First, I have swapped the white baguette for whole-wheat bread/baguette to provide more fiber and keep us full. The eggs, milk, and cheese are great sources of the health benefits of dairy. In fact, one 8-ounce cup of milk provides 8 grams of your recommended daily protein intake, in addition to bone-building calcium and vitamin D!

To boost the nutrition a step more, I will let guests add their favorite antioxidant-rich veggies by having a breakfast casserole bar with a variety of colorful toppings, including chopped spinach, tomatoes, and avocado. Add your own twist and include the toppings your family loves.

To compliment the casserole, simply add a fruit salad and a glass of milk and you have an award-winning meal. This casserole will become a beloved family favorite!

Check out more our other brunch and breakfast recipes for more fun and flavorful ideas.

Breakfast Casserole ingredients

Serves: 6

  • 1/2 pound homemade turkey breakfast sausage (recipe below)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 3 cups cubed whole-wheat bread or baguette
  • 1 cup 2% milk shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 3 whole large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch dried marjoram
  • 1/2 pound 93% lean ground turkey

Directions

  1. For the breakfast sausage, mix the sage, black pepper, red pepper flakes and marjoram together in a small bowl. Cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until cooked thoroughly and browned. Drain. Mix in the spice mixture.
  2. Stir in the green onions and cook 2 minutes more. Set aside.
  3. Place bread cubes in an 8-inch square baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Layer sausage mixture and cheese over bread.
  4. Combine milk and remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour mixture over sausage and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350˚. Bake covered casserole for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with a fresh fruit salad and a glass of low-fat milk.

Make it a Breakfast Casserole Bar and provide toppings such as:

  • Avocado
  • Green pepper
  • Green onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Cut, roasted asparagus
Approximate nutrition information per serving (does not include the toppings, fruit salad or glass of milk): 215 calories, 10g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 15g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 354mg sodium, 148mg cholesterol, 19g protein.
Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com.

Southeast Dairy Association - Janine FaberJanine Faber is a registered dietitian and president of Janine Faber Nutrition, LLC. She enjoys inspiring others through nutritious meals and tips via regular television segments, presentations, cooking demonstrations and written articles.