Breakfast Casserole with hash browns, eggs, bacon, and cheese! This is an easy breakfast casserole recipe perfect for Christmas morning and quick enough to make during a busy week! Make ahead overnight or freeze in advance! This is one of the best breakfast casseroles, always on repeat!
Breakfast Casseroles like these are easy, freeze well, and are hearty enough to get the morning going. Here at our farm, we like this delicious breakfast casserole recipe, Country Sausage Gravy, and Homemade biscuits!
What is a Breakfast Casserole?
A breakfast casserole is a one-dish meal made of bacon (meat), onion, eggs (binder), potato, and cheesy topping. Liquids from the bacon slowly seep into the ingredients, fluffing the eggs up and binding the dish with the potatoes and cheese. As a busy mom, I love that I can make ahead a few of these breakfast casseroles and leave one for the next morning and freeze the others! Our family loves this with a side of Salsa and you can also mix in diced peppers for a Southwest kick! Sometimes you can find hash browns mixed with bell peppers so you can use that.
Can You Use Shredded Potatoes for Hash Browns?
Commercial Hash Browns are slivers of potatoes, blanched in steam for 3 minutes then, after dewatering mixed with seasonings. A hashbrown breakfast casserole can be made quickly and fast, using frozen hash browns, however, you can have the same great taste shredding fresh potatoes at home. I like to use the box grater with extra-large holes side, to make sturdy slivers that won’t turn into mush. Russet potatoes are the best for making hash browns. Keep the shredded potatoes submerged in cold water to prevent oxidization and quickly blanch or cook them in a skillet before using to ensure they cook through when baking. (See how to freeze breakfast casserole using raw potatoes below.)
How Can I Make This a Crockpot Breakfast Casserole?
This overnight breakfast casserole can be prepped the night before and set over low heat, right in your slow cooker! When you wake up you’ll smell all the great flavors of breakfast right in your kitchen! I typically don’t drain off the grease when cooking the bacon for this recipe, it keeps the casserole moist and doesn’t dry out. If you drain the fat you’ll need to spray or grease your slow cooker (or use a slow cooker liner.) Here’s how to make it in the slow cooker;
- Brown the bacon (or sausage) in a pan with the onion. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Mix in all the other ingredients. Salt and pepper are not required, the bacon and cheese are plenty salty.
- Cook slowly over low (to not overcook the eggs) for 7-8 hours.
- Slice and serve with salsa.
This Amish Breakfast Casserole is so simple with easy-to-find ingredients! I usually buy plenty of bacon and use hash browns when I can, to make ahead breakfast casseroles in bulk. If I don’t have any hash browns I’ll make my own by shredding potatoes (it doesn’t take long.) A (24 oz) container of cottage cheese is just enough for 2 casseroles. It sits great overnight in the fridge and freezes just as well! Try this simple breakfast casserole!
- Eggs- use 6 large eggs for this casserole. It’s best to crack them open in a separate bowl in case you need to remove any eggshells. Using this hand whisk, I mix the eggs until frothy so they blend into the casserole better.
- Bacon- Any hardwood smoked bacon will work. Thick-sliced bacon is easier to slice and dice. Using a sharp Chefs knife will make cutting bacon a breeze. For easier slicing, freeze your bacon for 30 minutes and slice across the slices to make thin strips. The pieces will separate on their own once they release fat and cook in the skillet.
- Hash Browns- I like to use frozen shredded hash browns, it just makes prep so easy and fast! If you can’t find any use Southern hash browns (diced hash browns) or chop-up hash brown patties. Shredding fresh potatoes can be quick too, so, whichever is best for you!
- Onion- is sauteed with the bacon and carmelizes with the bacon fat. There is no need to add extra grease when cooking it. To incorporate more veggies and color buy the frozen hash browns with diced onion and peppers.
- Cheese- I love to use cheddar cheese for breakfast casserole recipes like this. That along with cottage cheese makes this casserole creamy and cheesy. I’ll usually grate a big block of cheddar cheese but using pre-shredded cheese can make prep easy. For a silkier casserole, use Velveeta cheese shreds. Cottage cheese substitutes can be any small curd cheese like Farmer’s cheese or ricotta.
How To Make a Breakfast Casserole:
This recipe for breakfast casserole is so easy! Make it a quick breakfast casserole by using pre-cut potatoes and cheese. You could get by with, using pre-cooked bacon but it won’t be as flavorful and juicy. Here’s how to prepare this breakfast egg casserole:
- Saute the bacon and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the bacon is browned (it will crisp up as it cools.) I don’t drain the fat, it keeps the casserole from drying out.
- Transfer the bacon mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add frozen hash browns (thaw if clumped up), beaten eggs, cheddar cheese, and cottage cheese. Mix well to coat all the ingredients in the eggs.
- Spread mixture into a casserole dish (13×9 pan) and bake covered for 60-75 minutes. Then uncover and bake until set.
How long to cook Breakfast Casserole? The casserole is set when it no longer looks wet in the center and the edges are nicely browned. Typically, to fully bake an egg casserole it takes around an hour or more to reheat and cook the middle. You know when it’s done when it’s firm to the touch and not runny when serving. The eggs should look cooked.
Can You Freeze Breakfast Casserole?
Can breakfast casserole be frozen? Make ahead breakfast casserole with hash browns, can be frozen, no problem. If you are using shredded raw potatoes, it’s best to blanch them or pre-cook them so the potatoes don’t turn into mush and oxidize. I try to make extra breakfast potato casseroles specifically for the freezer, so know that it freezes excellently (perfect for a Christmas breakfast casserole or Thanksgiving when servings crowds!)
- Freezer Breakfast Casserole: cover the top of the uncooked casserole pan with aluminum foil. Double wrap with two grocery bags to prevent frost. Freeze for up to 3 months.
How to reheat Breakfast Casserole: remove the frozen casserole from the freezer and thaw it in the fridge overnight. In the morning place the casserole into the oven and turn on the oven allowing the dish to slowly preheat with the oven. This is safe for glass dishes, so they don’t crack, as rapid heat can shock the glass.
Variations and add-ins:
- Tatertot Breakfast Casserole: substitute tater tots for the hash browns and use processed cheese like Velveeta or cheese sauce for a moist casserole.
- Sausage Breakfast Casserole: make breakfast casserole with sausage by swapping the bacon with 1 pound of breakfast pork sausage. Breakfast sausage casserole is best when the casings are removed, look for a sausage roll.
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole: use 1 pound of chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage) and mix in two ounces of green chilies or jalapenos for a Southwest kick! Sweet bell peppers can add color without the heat. Omit the bacon if using other types of meat.
- Breakfast Egg Muffins: instead of making a casserole, scoop the mixture into a muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350°F. Top with extra shredded cheese or green onions for individual cheesy cups.
- Italian Breakfast Casserole: swap out the bacon with 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, and substitute the cottage cheese with ricotta. Add in 2 cups of fresh spinach, 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning, 2 cloves garlic, and 1/3 cup of diced tomatoes, and use Italian cheeses like Parmesan, Romano, mozzarella, or fontina. Use diced hash browns with peppers and onions for maximum flavor.
- Day after Christmas Breakfast Casserole: leftover ham can be cubed and added instead of the bacon. This is a brilliant Christmas breakfast idea for a crowd after a busy holiday! Make it after Christmas dinner and put it in the fridge overnight for the company in the morning!
- Veggie Breakfast Casserole: want to make a healthy breakfast casserole? Instead of making a breakfast casserole with bacon use turkey bacon. Saute 8oz of mushrooms, and add 2 cups of broccoli florets. Using lots of fresh herbs can add lots of flavor and color! Make a homemade cheese sauce for the grated cheeses.
Note: This is a gluten-free breakfast casserole.
What To Serve with a Breakfast Casserole:
What goes with breakfast casserole? A breakfast casserole is hearty enough for the main course of dinner! You can add all kinds of toppings to complete this one-dish meal! Here are some breakfast casserole ideas and side fixings:
- Breakfast casserole with bread? Slice and toast your favorite bread and serve on the side with jam and butter!
- Serve with condiments like salsa, hot sauce, or homemade ketchup! Sour cream and extra cheese are delicious dairy add-ins!
- Arrange some fresh vegetables or fruit for extra nutrition. Sliced avocados or tomatoes can be a great way to start the morning.
- Drizzle some maple syrup over your slice for some sweetness.
- Slice leftovers into thin squares and sandwich between pancakes like a Mcgriddle. This is especially good with the Breakfast Sausage variation.
- Serve as a potato side dish to grilled meats or BBQ cookouts. Don’t forget to bring BBQ sauce for dipping!
Breakfast Casserole for Two or Four?
If this breakfast casserole with cottage cheese is too much, simply divide the mixture into two 8×8 pans. Bake one and freeze the other.
How Long Can a Breakfast Casserole be Refrigerated before Baking?
This breakfast hashbrown casserole is best in the fridge for up to 3 days, unbaked. If you are not using it within this time it’s best to freeze it for up to 3 months. Once baked, it can keep up to a week in the fridge.
Should I Bake Covered or Uncovered?
You can bake this recipe uncovered or covered. I like to cover my casserole with tin foil when baking because I don’t want it to brown too quickly and dry out. Baking it, uncovered can create a nice cheese crust so, depending on how well done you like it, it’s really up to you. For a creamy casserole, it’s best to cover the baking pan during the baking time.
What Is Amish Breakfast Casserole?
When someone asked for the recipe for this hearty breakfast bake at an Amish inn, this is the recipe they got. The lady told the ingredients right off the top of her head, that’s how simple this casserole is!
BEST Casserole Tips:
- Do not freeze breakfast casseroles using an egg substitute as it doesn’t freeze well.
- Wrap casseroles tightly with plastic bags to prevent freezer burns. I like to double-wrap each casserole dish with two grocery bags and tie them tightly. When freezing casserole should always be covered with foil.
- Use disposable foil pans if you may need to bring this breakfast meal to a friend or family member.
- Crank up the heat to 400°F and bake covered if in a rush in the morning.
- This potato breakfast casserole can be brought to a picnic or BBQ potluck as a loaded potato side dish.
- Bacon breakfast casserole can be swapped out with different meats or cheeses. This casserole is very versatile to suit your taste buds.
- Make this an easy hashbrown breakfast casserole by using pre-shredded potatoes and cheese.
- Try this recipe if you are searching for Holiday casseroles for breakfast! It’s perfect for hosting Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving for its ease and good taste! I’ve tried many types of breakfast casseroles, and this one is a winner and on repeat constantly!
More Easy Breakfast Casseroles:
- Breakfast Casserole with Cheese Sauce
- Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sliders (made in a casserole dish)
- Breakfast Casserole with Eggs and Cottage Cheese
How To Make Breakfast Casserole:
- 1 13x9 baking dish
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 12-inch frying pan (to cook bacon and onion)
- 1 lb bacon (sliced)
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 6 eggs (beaten)
- 4 cups shredded hash browns* frozen, (thaw if clumped up)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
- 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
- In a large skillet, fry the bacon and onion until crisp. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the frozen potatoes, cheese, and beaten eggs.
- Spread into a 13x9 baking dish.
- Bake covered at 375°F for 1 hour and 30 minutes. (See make-ahead options below in the notes.)