Sausage, egg & cheese casserole

What’s better than a sausage, egg & cheese sandwich?

Tearing up the pieces of bread, mixing them with eggs and sausage, topping them with cheese and baking it as a casserole.

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This may not be the most revolutionary recipe but it’s near and dear to my heart because it’s been a Christmas morning staple in my family for as long as I can remember.

The reasons are twofold: 1) Because it’s damn delicious and 2) Because you can make it the night before.

On recent Christmas mornings my mother has mixed it up and introduced a few new casseroles (including a knockout version of this one but with grits instead of bread which I’d be happy to share it if she ever tracks down the recipe), but this is the original gangster.

The smell of breakfast sausage cooking will forever herald Christmas morning in my book. But even though I’m already getting extremely excited for the holiday season, that’s not why I’m sharing this recipe now.

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I actually made it last Sunday for an easy brunch with friends, along with Deb’s blue cheese scallion biscuits which I’ll also be sharing ASAP.

Brunch is the hidden gem of the hosting world because the dishes are generally difficult to mess up and almost always can be made ahead. Because who wants to get up early on a Sunday morning and cook? That’s what I thought.

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FYI your bread cubes should be about half this size (oops)

Casseroles are the best because in most cases you actually have to make them the night before to let the ingredients come together. Then all you have to do is wake up a couple hours before your guests are coming over, pop it in the oven and set up your Bloody Mary bar while you wait.

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Brunch Nirvana is yours in no time!

Sausage, egg & cheese casserole
(From my grandmother :-), cooked from the handwritten recipe in her clothbound cookbook)

1 pound breakfast sausage (I grabbed a 12 ounce package from the freezer aisle and that was close enough; if using frozen sausage you’ll want to thaw it under refrigeration before cooking)
3 slices of bread, cubed in 1/2 inch cubes
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp dry mustard (or wet Dijon mustard)
1 cup sharp grated cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste

Do aheadHeat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crumble sausage into pan and cook until browned and completely cooked through.

Spread sausage into a 9 x 13 baking pan. Add bread cubes.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Then add milk and mustard and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over sausage and bread, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Then, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Top casserole with grated cheddar and bake for 45 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through and cheese is melted and bubbly.

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