Stuffing, Sausage, and Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
A Hearty Winter Breakfast
Cold winter mornings call for a hearty breakfast. This one is quick and easy. If you prepare it the night before and keep it in the refrigerator, all you have to do in the morning is heat it up.
The first time I made this casserole, it was the day after Thanksgiving, and I wanted to use up some of the leftovers. If you are like me, the day after a big holiday your refrigerator is full of leftovers, too. This is a great recipe to put some of those leftovers to good use. It's quick and easy, and it uses only ingredients you probably already have on hand.
However, I liked the way this casserole turned out so much that I started making it often, not only after Thanksgiving. In fact, I create leftovers just so I have an excuse to make this recipe. When I serve baked sweet potatoes for dinner, I always bake some extra ones. Ditto for the sauteed or steamed greens that I like to serve with sweet potatoes.
Note About the Number of Servings
This recipe is for two, but since it is prepared and served in individual ramekins you can make as many as you want. It's easy to double (or more) the recipe so that it makes enough to feed a crowd.
- 1 cup cooked stuffing
- 2/3 cup cooked sweet potato, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup frozen chopped kale (or fresh kale, cooked, and chopped)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 pre-cooked breakfast sausages, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup light cream or milk
- Dash of salt and pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Grease two 8-inch ramekins with the butter.
- Crumble a 1/2 cup of stuffing into each ramekin. Press down with the back of a spoon.
- In each ramekin, layer half of the sausage and half of the sweet potato on top of the stuffing. Sprinkle half of the kale over the sausage and sweet potato. Top it all with half of the cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk one egg with 2 tablespoons cream or milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture into one of the ramekins over the other ingredients. Prepare the egg mixture a second time and pour it into the second ramekin.
- Cover the ramekins with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or overnight if you are preparing this ahead of time). This allows the egg mixture to penetrate down to the stuffing mixture.
- When you are ready to cook, make sure the oven is preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until the egg is set and the top is browned.
- Let it cool down for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm. Be careful handling the ramekins; they will be very hot!
Don’t Be Afraid to Improvise!
There are many ways in which you can vary this recipe. Here are a few ideas:
- You can use bread cubes instead of stuffing.
- Try it with leftover dinner rolls or biscuits. Just cut the bread into half-inch cubes and mash it down into the ramekins. Since bread is not as flavorful as stuffing, add about a 1/2 tsp of seasoning, like herb salt, into the beaten egg before you pour it over the other ingredients in the ramekin.
- If you have leftover cheese (maybe from a cheese tray from a party), cut the cheese into matchstick pieces. You can substitute other types of cheese, for instance, Swiss cheese or provolone will work well.
- If you have leftover collard greens, or broccoli rabe, or even spinach, use one of those instead of kale.
Lunch or Dinner Ideas
Just because I call this a breakfast casserole doesn’t mean you can’t have it for lunch or dinner. It would also great for a brunch!
- Side salad: If you serve it for lunch or dinner, you might want to add a side salad using your favorite salad greens. You can toss in any leftover vegetables—steamed yellow squash or zucchini, broccoli, or green beans make good additions to the salad bowl.
- Soup: If you want to add soup, choose a plain mild-flavored soup so as not to overwhelm the flavors of the casserole. I like butternut squash bisque. It is what I serve at Thanksgiving dinner. I buy it canned or in the shelf-stable boxes. (Of course, you could make it from scratch, but the packaged versions are so good, why bother.)
- Fruit: For brunch, I would add an assortment of fresh fruit to the menu or make a fruit salad.
© 2017 Catherine Giordano