On Thanksgiving, a lot of us have family over for the holidays. In the morning, you want to have breakfast for your family but you don’t want to make it a big ordeal. I have a great idea that will feed everyone, and hold them over until the big meal. This dish is done casseroles-style, it’s my Holiday Breakfast Casserole.
My Holiday Breakfast Casserole can be made the day before so all you need to do is pop it in the oven the morning of.
I’m heading outside to my Organic Hanging Herb Garden to grab some fresh sage and Italian flat-leaf parsley.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 12 hours, overnight to chill
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (9 x 13x 3) casserole dish, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, box grater
2 pounds of hot Italian chicken sausage, casings removed (substitute mild chicken sausage or breakfast sage sausage)
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 Granny Smith apples, 1-inch dice
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
12 large eggs, beaten
2 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted plus extra for greasing the casserole dish
1 loaf of Pepperidge Farm Swirl Pumpkin Cinnamon bread, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On the day before serving, cut the pumpkin bread into 2-inch bite-size cubes. Spread them out in one even layer on each of the 2 rimmed sheet pans. Drizzle olive oil over the bread cubes. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
Note: Keep a close eye on the bread while baking. I’m using fresh bread here so it may take a little longer to become golden brown. If using day-old bread or stale bread, it may brown faster.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the sausage, dried sage, and a very light sprinkling of Kosher salt. Cook until browned through 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.
Without cleaning the pan, still on medium heat add unsalted butter, apples, diced onion, 1 tablespoon of the chopped sage, and a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. Cook until the onions have softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the apple mixture to a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Grease a large casserole dish with the butter. Layer in half the cubed pumpkin bread, half the cooked sausage, half the apple mixture, half the fresh chopped sage, and half the shredded cheese. Repeat the process with the other half of the same ingredients, ending with the shredded cheese. Slowly pour the egg mixture all over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Remove the casserole dish from the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Replace the plastic wrap with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking, 10 to 15 minutes more until the top is golden brown and slightly crisp.
Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Let rest for around 10 minutes and serve warm. There you have it, my Holiday Breakfast Casserole.