Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Today’s recipe is for a breakfast casserole that includes some fun ingredients to change things up.  Yes, it includes eggs, ham, and cheese.  However, it also has chives-and-onion cream cheese, southwest style hash browns, roasted red pepper, Parmesan cheese, and panko bread crumbs.  I especially loved the panko topping.  It added a nice crunch.  It only fills an 8 or 9 inch square dish but could easily be doubled  and made in a 9 x 13.

The other great thing about this dish is it is suppose to be made at at least 4 hours in advance.  So make it the night before and then in the morning all you have to do is throw it in the oven.  I know you all love a good overnight breakfast or brunch dish.  They make life easier.  This one is also full of flavor.  YUM!

It would be perfect for Easter morning or a great way to use up leftover ham from Easter dinner.

Cheesy-Ham-Breakfast-Casserole

Cheesy Ham Breakfast Casserole

  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chive-and-onion-cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups refrigerated southwest style shredded hash browns from a 20 oz bag (I used Simply Potatoes)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, diced
  • 2/3 cup of ham
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  1. Spray a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese while slowly adding in the milk.  Then beat in the eggs, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Stir in the hash browns, cheddar cheese, roasted pepper, and ham.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared square baking dish.  Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Uncover the casserole and bake for 40 minutes.  While it bakes, combine the panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter together in a small bowl.
  5. Remove casserole from the oven and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture even over the top of the casserole.  Return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more until the bread crumbs are golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cut into 6 pieces and serve.

~Enjoy!

Mama’s Easy Breakfast Casserole

I was blessed with a really good memory when it comes to names. For example, I can name everyone in my kindergarten class with Mrs. Baskin at McSorley Elementary along with a random fact about each person (her all time favorite flower was a buttercup & her dog’s name was Roscoe). Somehow I continued to accurately fill the slots in this computer brain of mine over the years with dates, names, and people. Now…on any given day, I can automatically start spewing the birthdays and anniversaries of random people from my past when asked a question about them, or if I see their picture.

But… then I had kids. And they sucked the brain cells out of my head.  I’m lucky now if I can remember their names. As a matter of fact, sometimes I will just randomly start spewing out ALL their names knowing if I list them all, the one who I am actually referring to will hear me and have to respond. Don’t argue that logic until you have birthed multiple children and given your brain 5-10 years to stew in its own fried juices… LOL!

When I do something like book an appointment for the wrong day or forget where I hid birthday presents, my husband will say, “Honey, your poor brain.”  After all, he knew me as the woman who could remember his cousin’s best friend’s boyfriend and the names of everyone that came to our wedding…from his side. The good news is that anything I had stored in my brain before kids, is still there. And I can still access it when I’m back in my hometown at Strike & Spare and run into half of my high school. Even if we weren’t friends, I probably know your name and your birthday. But it’s not really something I’ll let on, because from experience I found it freaks people out when you still know minute details about them from when they were little, when you hardly know them now as adults. It comes off a bit stalkerish, I guess.
The really fantastic news for you, is that I can clearly recall the Christmas Eve night I learned how to make the best breakfast casserole, and the perfect Christmas morning present to yourself & your family. It’s my Grandma’s recipe, tweaked by my mama (she liked spinach in hers *shudder*), and now tweaked by me.
Mama’s Easy Breakfast Casserole
(We recently ate this for dinner though, so don’t be limited to making this just for breakfast!)  🙂
Ingredients:
1/2 loaf of french bread cut into 1 inch cubes (enough to cover 9×12 pan bottom)
12 eggs1 cup milk

3-4 chopped potatoes

1/2 grn pepper

1/2 red pepper

1/4 c. chopped onion

(optional): 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1 pkg chopped bacon OR 1 lb. cooked sausage (or if you’re feeling adventurous BOTH)

1 cup finely shredded cheese (we use colby-jack OR the mexican blend depending on mood)

Idea: after Thanksgiving, we chop up about 2 cups turkey meat (or ham) and add that for the meat

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×12 pan.  Place bread cubes so they make a nice single layer on the bottom of the pan.  On the stovetop, cook your bacon in a large skillet.  Strain oil off.  Once done, chop into 1/2 inch pieces (you want them kinda big).  Use the same pan you made the bacon (or sausage) in:  cook the onions, peppers and potatoes.  Cook on medium heat for maybe 5 minutes until the potatoes start to transition from transulcent to opaque.  When this occurs, spread these in a nice even layer over the bread in the 9×12 pan.  Spread/sprinkle the bacon bits over this.   Mix the eggs and milk together & then slowly pour back and forth over the pan making sure the egg mixture gets everywhere in the pan.  The egg mixture will look like it’s about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up to the top of the pan, don’t worry, they fluff up nicely!  🙂  Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the top of all of this evenly, cover with tin foil.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is firm.

My kids are INSANELY picky & all four of them LOVE this dish!  We’ve even made this on campouts in a dutch oven & it’s so yummy & filling.  If you are prepping this dish for the next morning, do everything except bake it (put it in the fridge overnight). Pull it out about an hour and a half before you want to eat. Let the dish sit at room temp about 20 minutes or so to lose it’s chill, preheat your oven, and then pop it in to bake for the 50-60 minutes.

ENJOY!   🙂