Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
with winter fruit salad / mimosas
Filled with sausage, eggs and cheese, this breakfast casserole is a savory dish that works well any time of day. Fruit salad is a great fresh and naturally sweet dish to serve on the side.
Smarts: After assembling the casserole, let it rest for 20 minutes or as long as overnight. The egg mixture will soak into the bread cubes and give the finished dish a texture that is soft in the middle and crisp on the top.
- Baguette - 6 oz , cubed
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , diced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Pork breakfast sausage, ground - 12 oz
- Cheese, shredded cheddar - 5 oz
- Eggs - 6
- Milk - 3 cups
- Heavy cream - 1/4 cup
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Apples, any type - 1 , cubed
- Oranges, mandarin - 4 , segments (sub canned mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed)
- Kiwis - 4 , peeled and sliced
- Pomegranate seeds - 1/3 cup (look for these removed from the pomegranate shells in the produce section)
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Poppy seeds (opt) - 1 tsp
- Sparkling wine or champagne (opt) - 1/2 bottle
- Orange juice (opt) - 2 cups
- Ice (opt) - for serving
Baguette - Slice into ½” / 1.3cm cubes. Leave the cubes out on the kitchen counter for up to 8 hours. They will hold up better in the casserole if they are a bit dry / stale. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Bell peppers - Dice bell peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cook peppers and sausage - Heat oil (portion for casserole) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, breaking apart, until sausage is browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain off as much oil as possible. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Assemble casserole - Spray an 8” x 8” / 20cm x 20cm square baker with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil. Layer in half the bread cubes, half the cheese and half the sausage / peppers. Add another layer with remaining bread cubes, cheese and sausage / peppers. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt and black pepper. Pour liquid over casserole. Let stand for 20 minutes or refrigerate for up to 8 hours. (Can be done 8 hours ahead)
Make fruit salad - Prep apples, oranges, kiwis and pomegranate as directed. Whisk together lemon juice, honey, oil (portion for fruit salad) and poppy seeds. Gently toss fruit in dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat oven to 350F / 177C.
Remove casserole from refrigerator and press down on the top to fully submerge bread in egg mixture. Place casserole near the oven as it heats so it comes close to room temperature before baking.
Bake casserole until eggs are set and the surface is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. If the casserole starts to get too brown on top before it is cooked through, loosely cover it with a piece of aluminum foil. (Note: if you baked the casserole directly from the fridge, it may need an extra 5-7 minutes.)
Let casserole rest on top of the warm oven for 10 minutes before serving (it will be more firm and slice more easily if allowed to rest).
If making mimosas, combine sparkling wine / champagne with orange juice in a large pitcher. Fill glasses with ice. Pour mimosas over ice. (If you have any pomegranate seeds left, add a few to each mimosa for a pop of color.)
Serve casserole with fruit salad on the side. Enjoy with mimosas!