If you have kids, Christmas morning is a blast but also very tiring.
The kids were too excited to go to sleep so you got a late start on prep for the big day. You were up most of the night with Santa wrapping gifts and eating cookies, maybe even drinking adult beverages, and got to sleep way too late.
With one eye open, you look at the clock before you shut your eyes knowing that in a few hours, the kids are going to bust in your bedroom ready to open their gifts.
Christmas morning, the last thing you want to do is have to figure out what to eat for breakfast, and you simple cannot feed your family cold cereal and toast. Don’t do that. For the love of cool, chic Moms everywhere. Don’t do that!
I made this breakfast casserole lately and loved it. It can be prepared the night before so that on Christmas morning, there’s only a few things to do.
But you’ll have to take 10-15 minutes before opening gifts so keep that in mind or you can wait until after, and know that breakfast will be ready in 30 minutes while the kids play with their toys. Whatever you choose, here is a recipe idea to make Christmas morning even more perfect.
Breakfast Casserole Bake
4 cups hash browns, shredded style
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups scrambled eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
2 cups breakfast sausage, diced (turkey or pork)
2 tbsp flour
3-4 cups whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups flour + 1/4 cup for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk, cold
1 stick unsalted butter, melted + 2 tbsp melted for brushing
1 tsp salt
Note: Before we get started, I want to share a few changes I’d make the next time. I’ll add more hash browns and eggs and roll the dough very thin so its not so thick after baking.
Decide ahead of time if there is something you want more of and adjust your recipe to add more of that layer. It won’t mess it up in any way. I learned that I prefer more potatoes and eggs, rather than more biscuit dough. And make sure to season each layer so that there is flavor in each bite.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray bottom and sides of 9×13 baking dish.
For easier prep, use frozen hash browns. If you want it all homemade, peel your potatoes. Any type of potato is fine. I used 5 large red potatoes so I kept the skin on and used a grater to shred the potatoes to make my hash browns. Set aside.
Prep your eggs, scramble your eggs as you normally would. I used 12 large eggs and added approximately 1/2 cup milk to the eggs. I will used 15 eggs next time. Beat them really well so that they are fluffy. Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t overcook them. Set aside.
Prep your sausage gravy. On medium high heat, melt your butter. Add the onion and green pepper and saute until shiny, about 2-3 minutes. Add your sausage and continue to saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and sausage and, with a fork, stir until the flour is mixed in well, coating the vegetables and sausage. Add the milk slowly, starting with 3 cups, stirring constantly. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat, continuing to stir. If the gravy is too thick, add the additional milk until it is the consistency you want. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: I also added ground sage to my gravy. I love sage flavored gravy and it added an additional flavor to the casserole that was unexpected and tasty.
Prep your biscuit dough. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a large measuring cup, pour the melted butter into the cold buttermilk. Stir gently until the butter begins to harden. Pour the milk and butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.
Dust a clean surface with flour and transfer the dough to it. Kneed the dough a few times to get it into a ball covered with flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin rectangle the size of your baking dish. It does not have to be perfect.
Note: If you are preparing this the night before, put each prepped item into a plastic, sealed container and refrigerate over night. For the dough, before rolling it out, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it as well.
The next morning, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, grease your baking dish, heat your gravy since it will be very thick (almost solid) due to refrigeration, then start with the step above that reads, “Dust a clean surface with flour…” and follow the directions below to layer your casserole. If you do this, your Christmas morning prep should be 10-15 minutes max.
Let’s layer the casserole bake.
Spread the hash browns evenly along the bottom of the dish. Season the hash browns with salt and pepper.
Add the cheddar cheese in an even layer over the hash browns. You’ll see that I topped mine with Parmesan cheese. This was only done because I used what I had in my house and did not have cheddar. I learned that any cheese is okay but I suggest using Cheddar cheese.
Top the cheese with the scrambled eggs, spreading the eggs evenly over the hash browns and cheese.
Pour the gravy evenly over the hash browns, cheese and eggs.
Using the rolling pin, roll the dough onto the pin to help to pick it up. Gently place the dough on top of the layers. You may have to use your fingers to pull parts of the dough to cover any holes you see.
Brush the top of the dough with melted butter.
Bake it for 25-30 minutes. If you decide to bake your casserole while opening gifts, make sure to set your cooking timer at 25 minutes so that you don’t forget about it and burn breakfast.
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!