Farmers’ Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

Ever since we became friends a few years back, Gretchen has laughed a lot.

At me.

Generally while also shaking her head with that expression of wide-eyed disbelief that says “I think you might actually be certifiably nuts, but you’re pretty fun to hang out with, so I’m just gonna humor your latest insane idea/crazy suggestion/I-seriously-don’t-know-where-you-come-up-with-this-stuff comment.”

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

Although, to be fair, I guess I probably spend just as much time giggling and shaking my head right back at her.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s how we ended up with a blog. We have no idea anymore whose you’ve-got-to-be-kidding idea this originally was, but apparently the other one decided to go along with it.

So here we are.

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

And isn’t that just one of the very best things about good friends?

They give you an entirely different perspective on the world, without ever judging your own views and ways of doing things (even if they do think you’re a little bit crazy!). And sometimes you actually learn a lot along the way.

I especially notice this with Gretchen since we spend so much time working together in the very personal spaces of each other’s kitchens (rooting through each other’s cupboards and refrigerators), discussing what flavor combinations taste terrific, and chatting about our families’ food preferences and traditions.

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

For example …

  • She organizes things in her kitchen totally differently than I do (as in, she actually organizes things).
  • While it seems completely clear to me that the fastest way to deal with a clove of garlic is with a chef’s knife, it has always been absolutely obvious to her that the best way to tackle garlic is with a garlic press. Huh. Go figure.
  • Oh – and that amazing little contraption she calls a can opener still remains a mystery to me no matter how many times she shows me how to use it … but I have to admit that it works like a charm (and I kinda covet it). Who knew?
  • Yeah, and she fastidiously pre-rinses every dish before it goes in the dishwasher. I pretty much figure that’s why I bought a dishwasher in the first place, and only worry about any food particle bigger than an entire hamburger. We’re just different that way, ya know?

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

And really, our differences make us – and this blog – so much better. We’re constantly questioning and pushing each other to retest and perfect recipes, or to clarify techniques that might not be clear to anyone else, even though they seem crystal-clear to one of us.

This all leads us to the story of this breakfast casserole.

Because … holiday food traditions? Well, we’ve learned a few things from each other there, too!

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

I mean, in my family, holidays like Easter and Christmas involve gaggles of family members and generally require multiple parties. At least one gathering’s always a brunch (gotta start early if you’re gonna cram in that much partying!). And it’s always just been a no-brainer for all of us that this meant make-ahead breakfast casseroles.

As much as we love cooking, we sure don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn to do it! (We may start our parties early, but we’re for sure not crack-of-dawn people!) And, seriously – who wants to be stuck in the kitchen when there are Easter eggs to hunt and raucous laughter emanating from the next room?

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

Gretchen’s side of the family doesn’t live quite so near, so morning festivities and massive brunch parties aren’t really their thing. And she was a little surprised when I passionately explained how (obviously!?!?!) everyone absolutely needs make-ahead breakfast casseroles for holidays. I mean … it just seemed so clear to me that everyone did!

But, of course, she loves any recipe that’s an easy make-ahead. So, it wasn’t actually all that hard to convince her that if she ever begins hosting brunch bashes, overnight casseroles are the only way to go!

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

And she was totally on board when I said that we’d clearly, therefore, need to do a round-up of make-ahead breakfast ideas for last Christmas! As we were compiling those recipes, I was sure I’d find a recipe Just.Like.This.One. It seemed perfectly obvious – the typical hearty egg casserole made fresher, lighter, healthier, yummier by tons of great veggies. It was the recipe I really wanted to find – surely everyone had a recipe Just.Like.This.One. Right?

Apparently not.

If you check out our THK round-up of make-ahead breakfasts, you won’t see this recipe, or even one just like it.

So, since I didn’t find it, I created my own.

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

And I love it. We all love it!

It’s got all the hearty, fuel-you-up-to-finish-hunting-down-that-last-impossible-egg ingredients you’d expect from an egg casserole, but with leaner sausage and cheese, plus tons of delicious and nutrition-packed veggies.

It’s like a farmers’ market in your baking pan (you know … hence, the name …).

Make-Ahead: Best part of all? You can prep the entire casserole the night before (and much of the work can be done even further ahead than that!), so you don’t miss one second of the action on the morning of your brunch! Perfect! Your oven does all the work while you discover the last, impossible-to-find egg (what was the Easter Bunny thinking on that one????).

Farmers' Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole {Two Healthy Kitchens}

More Make-Ahead Options: Also perfect? Leftovers reheat beautifully for easy breakfasts all week long! I often make this just for my family of four on the weekend, and then enjoy quick, ready-to-reheat breakfasts for days! Honestly, I was truly surprised how well this reheats – it’s just as good warmed up three or four days later! It also freezes beautifully. Just portion out individual servings, wrap them in plastic, and freeze them in a zipper bag. A quick tango with your microwave, and they’ll be scrumptious all over again!

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Grab and Go: And for all those on-the-go mornings, just rewarm some of this breakfast casserole and wrap it inside a whole-grain tortilla. You’re out the door in a flash, with a fantastic, portable breakfast to power you through your busy day.

When it comes to easy, delicious, healthy make-ahead breakfasts (and particularly this fantastic overnight  egg casserole), Gretchen and I definitely agree … fabulous, all around!

But it for sure won’t be long before she finds some other reason to giggle and shake her head at me.

Or until I stare in wide-eyed wonder at her as she organizes something that doesn’t actually need organized, or elaborates on the next crazy scheme that she will somehow eventually talk me into!

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That’s just how friends are.

THK By Shelley

We’d Love to Hear From You!

We’re dying to know … what’s the craziest thing your bestie ever talked you into? Come on now … you can tell us … :D Just hop on down to the bottom of this post to find our comment box and tell us all about it! And while you’re there – let us know what you think about this breakfast casserole … and don’t forget to stop back after you’ve made it to tell us how it went! E-mail addresses are never published (we respect your privacy too much!) and last names are optional! We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Want More Easy, Healthy Breakfast Recipes? We’ve got ‘em!

Farmers’ Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole
Shared By: 
Yield: About 12-20 pieces
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1½ cups diced sweet onion (from about half a large onion)
  • 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (sometimes labeled “country style”)
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup diced green pepper (from about 1 small-medium pepper)
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (to equal about 1 – 1¼ cups)
  • ½ cup chopped green onions (from about 6 onions)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1¾ cup non-fat milk
  • 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Preparation
  1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, onions, mushrooms, and garlic until sausage is no longer pink and mushrooms have given off some of their liquid, about 10 minutes. Throughout cooking, stir to crumble sausage and break up mushrooms. (You can leave the mushrooms in larger slices or break them into almost unnoticeable little pieces as you crumble the sausage.) Drain the liquid.
  2. In a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray, layer potatoes (there is no need to thaw them), sausage mixture, 1 cup cheese, green peppers, tomatoes, and green onions.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, parsley, salt, basil, and pepper. Whisk thoroughly to combine, then add remaining 1 cup of cheese and whisk again. Pour egg mixture evenly over other ingredients in baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Alternately, you can bake this casserole immediately.)
  4. In the morning, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  5. Bake casserole, uncovered, for about 60-70 minutes, or until egg in middle is just set and edges are lightly golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Notes
Make-Ahead Options:
If you need to start on this recipe even earlier than the evening before your brunch, you can cook the sausage, onions, mushrooms, and garlic earlier in the day or a day ahead, and also chop the green peppers and green onions. Refrigerate the sausage mixture and the chopped peppers and onions in separate containers until assembling the casserole.


After the casserole is baked, you can refrigerate leftovers and reheat individual portions in the microwave for quick breakfasts all week.


This also freezes wonderfully. Pre-portion leftovers, wrap each portion individually in plastic, and store in a zipper container in the freezer. Microwave on several layers of paper towel to reheat as needed. After being frozen, the veggies let off water when reheated, but this casserole is still surprisingly terrific, so don’t let that liquid worry you.


For Breakfasts On the Go (Or Snacks and Dinners on Busy Evenings): Nestle re-warmed slices of the casserole into a tortilla for a wrap.


Breakfast for Dinner: You can make this in the morning and refrigerate until baking, or prep it in the afternoon and then cook it immediately, for a fun “breakfast for dinner” option.

 

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Comments

Farmers’ Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole — 25 Comments

  1. Pingback: 10-Minute, No-Cook Overnight Oats with Apples, Cranberries and Cinnamon | Two Healthy Kitchens

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  3. We enjoyed this egg casserole over the weekend and it is definitely my overall favorite of the quick breakfast dishes. Each component occurred in equal amounts with none over whelming the other.
    There was no bread in this recipe which allows for toast on the side and I prefer that approach also.
    Thanks again THK!

    • Oh, we’re just so excited that you got to try this … and that you loved it! We really appreciate that you took the time to pop back and let us know what you thought – that truly means so much! We always appreciate your kind, thoughtful feedback! Have an awesome week! :D ~G&S

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  5. We’ve always made a casserole kind of like this for breakfast on Christmas morning, except with chunks of bread (and my mom would sneak layers of butter and so much cheese all over the place). My sister can’t have gluten, so I’m in love with this swap with potatoes! Can’t wait for a brunchy excuse to make this, yum.

    • Hey, Kelly! Thanks so much for your sweet comments! :D I love the “chunks of bread” type of casseroles, too – believe me, with at least two casseroles (one sweet and one savory) at pretty much every family brunch, and with our love of cooking and trying new things … I think I’ve sampled nearly every reasonable casserole combination know to man (or, ummmm, woman)! You’re so right, though – this is a great alternative for people who are eating gluten free (or don’t want sneaky layers of butter and extra cheese – lol!!)! ~Shelley

  6. I loved reading about your different traditions in the kitchen! My family is all about holiday brunches (brunch might just be one of my favourite parts of the holidays!). I haven’t made a make ahead breakfast egg casserole in a while but this one looks like perfection! I think my favourite part of it might be the fact that you can make “on-the-go” breakfast burritos with the leftovers (if there are any!). I can’t think of the ‘craziest’ thing my bestie has ever talked me into (maybe there are just too many crazy things we’ve gotten into hehe!). Will be keeping this recipe in mind for Easter weekend!

    • Oh, Ceara, thanks so much for the kind words! Yeah – the grab-and-go thing is really kinda swell! We for sure have enacted that little back-up plan before! :D And ummmmm … about you and your bestie … sound like you have some mighty good stories to tell!!!! ~G&S

  7. I grew up in a family that never made casseroles. Crazy! I think both of my parents had one too many of them growing up, so my younger brother and I never knew they existed. (Unless you count stuffing at Thanksgiving.) But we love the idea of relaxing mornings, so we just might rethink that casserole aversion sometime soon! ;)

    • What a hilarious casserole problem! Who ever heard of such a dilemma?!?!? :D Well, rest assured – this breakfast casserole is so darn good that it will be the PERFECT way to end your family’s casserole draught! And once you experience the luxury of relaxed mornings (and easy-peasy leftovers) with this yummy breakfast, you’ll be making casseroles like crazy! Amy’s Healthy Baking blog may have to be changed to Amy’s Healthy Casserole Making – just wanna give you fair warning! :D ~G&S

  8. This looks great! I make an overnight French Toast casserole that I serve at holiday breakfasts, because, everyone needs an overnight holiday breakfast dish! My husband (who is my bestie) used to laugh at me because I alphabetize my spices, and the labels must face out. That just makes so much sense to me. But, to him that was overkill. Oh, he loves it now, and sees the perfect logic in it, but used to laugh at me. But, back to your recipe… yum! And, I love the idea of putting it in a tortilla. Maybe with some spinach! Have a lovely weekend!

    • Debi, you’re so funny! I love that you alphabetize your spices! Actually, although there are many, many other things in my life that are desperately waiting to be organized, I finally tackled my overflowing spice drawer recently. All my (multitude) of spices are now in matching glass jars, in neatly designed rows. And yep – they’re even ALPHABETIZED! My little daughter (who is an organizer extraordinaire) gleefully made tiny labels for the top of each jar. I’ve gotta say – I loooooove this! It saves me tons of time rooting through all my mismatched jars! Now … I just need to organize everything else in my life like this … :D And hey – loving your connection of spinach in the tortilla – high-five on that one, friend! Lol! ~Shelley

  9. What a funny post! I love reading your humorous approach to life! This casserole will be on the next family gathering table. Or maybe I can fix it this weekend and freeze the leftovers! Great suggestion! Thanks Shelley and Gretchen.

    • Hey, Chris! I honestly eat this casserole any time of day! Whenever I make it for just my family, we have so much left over, and I’m thrilled to warm some up for my lunch or even a super-quick dinner later in the week! And seriously … just this week … I should totally have heeded my own advice and done the tortilla thing (instead of balancing a porcelain plate and fork on my lap, trying to eat my dinner while I drove to grab one of my kiddos … duuuuhhhhh!). The tortilla idea is the way to go – trust me! :D ~Shelley

  10. What a perfect healthy breakfast for the summer! I am in love with my farmers market and always looking for fun recipes to use when I buy all of the yummy produce! Saving this for later.

    • Oh, Julia, we’re so excited for you to try this! It really is hearty and satisfying yet so fresh-tasting and light, all at the same time! It’ll be great when you have gorgeous, fresh summer produce, but we specifically chose veggies that most people can typically find at the grocery store year-round (so you can feel like you just popped by the farmers’ market, even in the middle of winter!). Have a fabulous weekend! :D ~G&S

  11. Aww what a fun post my friend! I’m just like you (pre rinsing dishes before going into the diswasher WHAT?? or actually organising sutff like NOPE) and I love make-ahead breakfasts, so this sounds fantastic to me. I’ll have to try it soon!
    Happy Friday! xxx

  12. I love this post! I have a hard time letting anyone else into my kitchen. I have certain ways I do things, certain utensils that I use for each job…bottom line is I am very particular. I can’t begin to tell you how I cringe when someone uses silverware to cook.
    This egg casserole looks so delicious! I love all the veggies you loaded up into this dish. I’ve never used italian sausage in a breakfast dish. Sounds really good. Why didn’t I think of that?! Pinning!!

    • Thanks so much, Cindy! It’s funny about cooking in each other’s kitchens. At first, we were so cautious, really respecting each other’s space and not wanting to open any cupboard or look for a utensil without asking. A little awkward, really. Now, we’re totally over it! We practically know each other’s kitchens as well as our own! And we seriously do constantly pick up on new gadgets or techniques that one of us just thinks is totally obvious but the other has never even seen or considered! We’re always learning new things from each other!

      Thanks a million for the pin! Can’t wait for you to try this! Have an awesome weekend, friend! :D ~G&S

  13. Very fun Post, Shelley! I love egg casseroles and I love the idea of freezing sections of them. I used to make these quite often as the kids got older, because we often had quite a few extra bodies on weekend mornings. Funny how that happened. I miss eating them because they are not as fun to make in smaller amounts. But thanks to you, I can now make then and reheat them! That is great news. Why didn’t I think of that>

    • Thanks so much, Abbe! Yes – definitely try freezing it. I think you’ll be surprised how lovely it still is, even after having been frozen! Just be sure to nestle it on top of some paper towels as we suggested – but even though the veggies do let off quite a bit of water after having been frozen, it still turns out light and fluffy with great texture and fabulous flavor! And hey – having all those extra friends hanging around your house on the weekend must have meant your house was kinda the fun place to be … and somehow I’m not one bit surprised! :D ~Shelley

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