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An overnight sausage breakfast casserole is the best make-ahead dish for a special holiday morning or a lazy Sunday brunch. Loaded with eggs, sausage, cheese and bread, you get a delicious and satisfying meal in one pan — and the entire recipe can be assembled the night before. Here’s to sleeping in, hot mugs of coffee, and hearty, down-home comfort food to start your day!
Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole
An overnight breakfast casserole that you can assemble in advance, leave to sit in the fridge, and just bake off in the morning is the key to a stress-free Christmas morning or a slow and relaxing Sunday brunch. This particular combination of pork sausage, eggs, cheese, and cubed bread is a classic blend of flavors that just gets better as it rests. It’s the perfect way to feed a hungry crowd (or 3 growing boys)!
The best sausage for breakfast casserole
For the best breakfast casserole with sausage and bread, it’s important to start with a really delicious sausage! There are many different options that will work, so pick your favorite. I like Jimmy Dean country mild sausage, but you can use a spicy pork sausage, Italian sausage or turkey sausage!
This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a sausage breakfast casserole. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- White bread: I used 12 pieces of Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White bread — which are very large slices of bread. If you use a smaller loaf of bread, you will need about 16 slices.
- Bulk pork sausage: I like Jimmy Dean country mild sausage, but any brand or variety will work. Increase to 1 ½ lbs. for a “meatier” casserole.
- Eggs: farm-fresh, when available!
- Whole milk: full-fat is best, so I don’t recommend replacing with low-fat varieties. Half-and-half or cream will also work.
- Onion: for flavor and a slightly sweet taste; cook it right in the pan with the sausage to make it nice and tender.
- Dry ground mustard: for extra flavor, but you can omit if you don’t have any.
- Salt and pepper: more flavor!
How to Make a Sausage Breakfast Casserole
This is seriously the best breakfast casserole because it’s delicious as is, but it can also be adapted to suit your family’s taste preferences. Swap out the sausage for ham or bacon; add some diced vegetables; mix up the cheese flavors — you get the idea!
- Arrange Bread in Dish. Place the cubed bread in a greased, deep 9 x 13-inch pan.
- Add Sausage and Cheese. Add the cooked sausage and onion on top, then sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Whisk Eggs. In a large bowl, prepare the egg custard by whisking together the eggs, milk, dry mustard, kosher salt and pepper.
- Pour Eggs Over Top. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole.
- Chill. Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 8 hours (or overnight).
- Bake. When ready to enjoy, remove the pan from the refrigerator and allow it to rest on the counter for about 30-60 minutes. Bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for 60-80 minutes, or until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the casserole in the pan for at least 10 minutes, and then slice into squares and serve!
What to Serve with Sausage Egg Breakfast Casserole
This hearty, easy sausage breakfast casserole goes well with just about any of your favorite brunch dishes. Here are a few delicious options to serve with the casserole:
- Fresh fruit salad
- Virginia Country Ham Biscuits
- Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
- Cheese Grits
- Cranberry Salad
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
- Orange Muffins or Morning Glory Muffins
- Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
- Pumpkin Bread
- French Farmhouse Breakfast Cake
- Amish Baked Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon
- Banana Bread
- Pancakes or Waffles
- Ham Steaks with Brown Sugar Glaze
- Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Southern Fried Apples
Prep and Storage Tips
Leftover casserole will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Bake a big pan on the weekend and reheat individual servings for quick breakfasts throughout the week!
How to Freeze Overnight Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Bake in a freezer-safe pan (like a foil disposable pan) and cool completely. Wrap well in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge the night before you plan to eat the casserole. Reheat the casserole in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, or until warmed through. You can also reheat individual slices in the microwave for about 1 minute.
- Italian Sausage Breakfast Casserole. Use your favorite brand of Italian sausage (mild, sweet or spicy). If purchasing the sausage in links, make sure to remove the casings before browning.
- Turkey sausage will also work well in this recipe!
- For a “meatier” casserole, increase the amount of sausage to 1 ½ lbs.
- Add bacon! If you like the combination of sausage and bacon, add ½ lb. of bacon (cooked and chopped) to the casserole.
- I use 12 slices of a large white sandwich bread (such as Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White). If you use a smaller loaf of bread, you may need about 16 slices. You can substitute with just about any bread that you prefer — whole wheat bread, leftover brioche bread, etc.
- Try other types of cheese. Instead of the cheddar cheese, use Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Gruyere, Swiss or mozzarella.
- Add veggies. Saute bell peppers or mushrooms, for example, with the sausage and onion.
- For a smaller casserole, cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in a deep 8-inch or 9-inch square pan. It will cook through in slightly less time (closer to the 60-minute mark).
Tips for the best sausage breakfast casserole recipe
- Large Pan. This is a very big, very thick casserole, so make sure that you use a deep 9 x 13-inch dish. The egg will puff up in the oven and then deflate as it cools (which is completely normal), but you want to make sure that your dish offers plenty of room for the casserole to expand.
- Whole Milk. A full-fat milk (or cream) is your best bet for an egg custard with a rich texture and flavor. Low-fat milk will work, but it’s not ideal.
- Chill. Be patient and give the casserole at least 8 hours to sit in the refrigerator before baking. Not only is this convenient for prep-ahead meals, but it also gives the bread a chance to soak up the egg custard, creating a rich, uniform texture in the casserole.
- Cover. The casserole needs at least 1 hour (and often closer to 80 minutes) of baking time to cook through, depending on the type of dish and your individual oven. This long baking time gives the cheese on top a chance to get really crispy and brown. If you prefer a lighter crust on your casserole, tent loosely with foil about halfway through baking.
- Garnish. I like to add a bright, fresh garnish to the casserole just before serving. Chopped fresh parsley is nice, but just about any of your favorite herbs (such as thyme, chives, dill or basil) will work. Sliced green onions are also a nice touch.
Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Brown the sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink (about 7 minutes); drain.
- Grease a deep 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Arrange bread cubes in the bottom of the dish. Add the sausage on top, followed by the cheese.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, dry mustard, kosher salt and pepper.
- Pour egg mixture over the casserole. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for 8 hours (or overnight).
- In the morning, allow the dish to rest on the counter for 30-60 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the foil and bake the casserole (uncovered) for 60-80 minutes, or until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Loosely cover the casserole with foil about halfway through, or whenever it begins to brown if you don't want the top to get too dark. The casserole will puff up very high in the oven, but will “deflate” significantly as it cools – this is normal.
- Let stand 10 minutes, and then slice into squares and serve.