Thank you to Idaho® Potatoes for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
A breakfast casserole is the perfect way to handle holidays. Whether it’s Mother’s Day, Christmas, Easter or even a family reunion weekend, it is the best bang for your buck. You can feed a crowd without standing in front of the stove for hours and the best part – it can be made ahead. This last part is what seals the deal for me. Getting everything prepped beforehand so you can simply slide it into the oven and go visit with your people. I really enjoy making a great spread and sitting around the table for a couple of hours while sipping on coffee and picking on the bountiful feast in front of me. Mother’s Day is next weekend and if I were able to spend it with my Mom, this is what I’d make for her. If you would like to solidify your position as her “favorite”, make this for her and you’ll have it in the bag for good.
My Mom and I are most definitely cut from the same cloth. We discuss lunch/dinner while having breakfast. The two of us thoroughly enjoy sitting down to a meal together and making the most of it. We don’t get to do it often, so when we have this opportunity, we take advantage of our time together. It’s my favorite part of being home. Breakfast, just the two of us. I can only speak from my experience, because it’s all I know, but I think that girls have a different connection with their mothers than boys do. It wasn’t always smooth sailing (teenage years!), but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate her in a way I wasn’t capable of when I was younger. She’s gone through some of the same things, had similar experiences, etc.
The older I get, the relationship evolves into more friendship and less parental. Which, I would hope at 45 I’m not in need of too much parenting any longer… Aside from the occasional counsel, of course. One is never to old for advice. So, here’s to the women that raised us, nurtured us and love us. The Mom’s who bandaged our knees, dried our tears, hugged us tight and kissed us goodnight. Thank you, Moms everywhere for all you do, every single day. Sometimes we forget to say thank you and just how much we appreciate you. Here’s to celebrating Mom!
Do you make breakfast for Mom on Mother’s Day? If your answer was anything but yes, go stand in the corner. Now that we are all on the same page, let’s talk about this breakfast casserole. It’s a snap to put together and you can assemble it ahead of time.
First things first: As with the majority of my recipes, this can be customized to suit your tastes. I happen to think it’s pretty great as is, but if Mom is a vegetarian, leave out the pork. If Mom isn’t a fan of mushrooms, leave them out or replace them with something she does like.
Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole
Before you begin, read the recipe all the way through. This is very important with all recipes, especially if you are new to cooking. Make sure you have a complete list of what you need to make the recipe. This includes tools and bakeware! Once you are ready to get started, set up your workstation. Get a cutting board, knife, salt and pepper, bowl, whisk, etc. Organization will keep things going smoothly. Remember, you are cooking for Mom so let’s impress her!
The base of this casserole is like a savory bread pudding. You’ll want to soak your dried bread in the custard mixture for a few hours, or overnight to let it really absorb the liquid. Also, you can pre-slice your potatoes and store them in cold water in the refrigerator. This helps speed the process up when you are ready to cook and assemble the casserole. If you are really pressed for time, you can cook the mushrooms, spinach and pork ahead of time too.
I didn’t have sausage, but I had ground pork. I had all the seasoning used in sausage, so I made my own. A shortcut would be to use pork sausage in the tube or patties.
What I would do differently: Put a layer of potatoes in the middle on top of the sausage. Put mushrooms and spinach on top of the potatoes, then another layer of potatoes on top. The cheese and custard help to keep everything together, but I think next time I’ll layer it like this instead.
For the Casserole
- 6 ounces bread, about 4 1/2 cups, cubed (I used brioche rolls)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1 pound spinach, cooked
- 2 pounds Idaho® Potatoes, about 4 medium (I used Norkotah)
- 8 ounces shredded cheese, I used colby jack
For the Custard
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Let the cubes of bread dry out for a few hours and get a little tough on the outside. You can place them on a baking sheet and let them sit on the counter. After a few hours have passed and they aren't soft anymore, put them into the baking dish.
- Whisk the ingredients for the custard together and pour half of the mixture over the bread.
- Push down to make sure the bread is covered with egg mixture.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground pork. Add diced onion, garlic, sage, thyme, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Cook until pork is browned and starting to caramelize from the sugar. Transfer pork to a bowl to cool. Do not rinse pan.
- In the same pan, cook mushrooms over medium heat until they are no longer raw (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add spinach to the pan and cook over low heat until spinach is wilted (about 4-5 minutes). Set aside.
- Layer sausage on top of soaked bread.
- Place cooked mushrooms on top of sausage.
- Shingle one layer of potatoes on top of mushrooms, followed by spinach and half of the remaining egg mixture.
- Finish by shingling the remaining potatoes on top. Pour the rest of the egg mixture over the top and press down to make sure the custard coats all of the layers.
- Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350°F for 45 – 60 minutes, until a knife easily pierces the potatoes. Top with chopped chives while warm.
You will need a 2 1/2 qt or 2.5 L casserole dish. The exact amount of ingredients fit perfectly inside without it bubbling over.
Here are a few more breakfast/brunch ideas from past Mother’s Days:
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