I love making this casserole because it makes weekend mornings more relaxing and it’s a special treat. If I prepare it the night before, I avoid standing in the kitchen making pancakes, or waffles, or omelets. I can pop it in the oven and sit down to enjoy my coffee. It is almost like I am on vacation which makes it taste extraordinarily delicious!
When my daughter moved out, she often came over on Saturdays to see us and have some family time. I would make 2 casseroles and send one home with her. She absolutely loved this breakfast because it was comforting and homemade. I loved doing it because I knew she had food that was homemade will love. This helped me worry about her less!
This casserole is perfect for enjoying at home, taking to a brunch or early morning meeting, or when your kids have a sleepover and there are several hungry kids ready for breakfast!
1 (30 oz.) package frozen shredded hashbrowns – thawed
½ lb. bacon – cooked crispy and crumbled
½ cup whole milk or Half and Half
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.
Spread hashbrowns in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne. Pour over hashbrowns.
Sprinkle with half of the cheese, all the bacon, then the remaining cheese.
Cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 1 hour, then remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until center is set and a knife inserted in the casserole comes out clean.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.
• Make Ahead: Make the casserole up to one day before you plan to bake, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate. You may need to increase baking time about 10-15 minutes.
• Cheese: Cheddar is delicious, but Colby, Monterey Jack, and Colby Jack work very well in this recipe. Choose your favorite cheese that melts well! For the best melted cheese, shred your cheese from a block.
• Additions: The cayenne pepper is optional but if you want a bit more spice, red pepper flakes or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce add an extra kick.
• Hash Browns: I have substituted with tater tots, and it is great (my kids’ favorite version!) Also, you can dice fresh potatoes if you do not have hash browns.
• Milk/Half and Half: I like to use Half and Half because it gives it an extra richness. Another idea is substituting sour cream in place of the milk – it works great and imparts a deeper flavor.
• Storing: Cool completely and place in airtight container. Keep in fridge for up to 4 days. Making individual portions makes for extremely easy breakfasts!
• Freezing: Once cooled, either divide into individual servings in freezer containers or transfer it to an airtight container. Completely wrap using two layers of foil and freeze the baked and fully cooled casserole for up to 2 months.
• Reheating: Place the casserole in a baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350° F until hot.