SAUSAGE-CHEESE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Yes, it’s another crowd-pleasing breakfast casserole–a special request from Junior who surprised us with a visit home from university. Though I made this in individual casserole dishes, it can be prepared in a large baking dish, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking time upward a bit. Was Junior happy with his special request? Oh, yes, and those two extra individual casseroles will soon be installed in his dorm room fridge. Go mom!

Sausage Cheese Breakfast Casserole

3 cups milk

12 eggs

1 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

French bread loaf, cubed (about 10 cups)

10 oz fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles (I used Jimmy Dean brand)

1-1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided

 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1) To large mixing bowl add milk, eggs, mustard, black pepper, and salt; whisk to combine

2) To a separate large mixing bowl, add bread cubes, sausage, 1 cup cheese (reserving 1/4 cup), and parsley; pour egg mixture over top and gently mix; cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours (or overnight if you think farther ahead than I do)

3) Heat oven to 350 degrees

4) Lightly oil 6 individual casserole dishes; divide egg-bread mixture between casserole dishes and bake in oven 40 minutes until golden brown and just firm in center; scatter reserved 1/4 cup cheese over casseroles and bake additional 3-5 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven and dig in!

Servings: 6-8

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SAUSAGE GRAVY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Junior likes breakfast casseroles. Junior likes sausage gravy. Mom decided to combine the two and we are talking tasty! Though some breakfast casseroles can be on the dry side, not this one. The hot sausage gravy-soaked bread cubes keep the casserole moist and make it extra yum.

Sausage Gravy Breakfast Casserole

4 sausage patties

2 tbsp flour

3-3/4 cups milk, divided

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 cups cubed french bread

10 large eggs

3/4 cups grated cheese (I used triple cheddar blend)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly oil 9×13″ baking dish

2) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add sausage patties and cook 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through; remove patties from skillet, finely chop, and set aside

3) To rendered fat in skillet (you should have about 2 tbsp; if not, add a bit of oil) over medium heat, add flour and whisk continuously until well combined; gradually whisk in 3 cups of milk (reserving 3/4 cup) and continue whisking and breaking up lumps until mixture is smooth and thick; stir in salt, black pepper, and chopped sausage; remove from heat

4) Spread bread cubes over bottom of baking dish and pour sausage gravy over them; let soak 10 minutes

5) Meanwhile, beat eggs and reserved 3/4 cup milk in large bowl; pour egg mixture over sausage gravy-soaked bread cubes and bake in oven 45-50 minutes until just done in center; sprinkle cheese over top and cook additional 2-3 minutes until cheese melts; enjoy!

Servings: 6-8

APPLE CHICKEN SAUSAGE-MOZZARELLA-POTATO FRITTATA

Frittatas have become one of my go-to meals. Not only are they relatively quick and easy to make, but the variations are endless. Though I used Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage in this frittata, you can easily substitute bacon, ham, prosciutto, or forego meat altogether. Don’t have fresh mozzarella? Substitute cheddar or swiss or…how about brie? Regardless, count on a delicious and filling meal.

Apple Chicken Sausage-Mozzarella-Potato Frittata

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

12 oz sweet apple chicken sausage (I used Al Fresco brand), diced

4 cups frozen Southern-style diced potatoes, thawed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

3 scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal

1 cup diced fresh mozzarella

6 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 4oo degrees

2) To large skillet (I used cast iron) add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp) and heat over medium-high heat; add sausage and cook, stirring often, 5-6 minutes until browned; transfer sausage to a bowl and set aside

3) Add reserved 2 tbsp olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat; add diced potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often, 7-8 minutes until browned; remove from heat

4) Scatter sausage, scallions, and mozzarella over potatoes and set aside

5) In medium-sized bowl, lightly beat eggs with milk; pour over potato-sausage mixture; cover frittata with aluminum foil and bake in oven 20 minutes; remove foil and bake additional 12-15 minutes until eggs are set and frittata is golden brown; serve immediately; going, going, gone!

Servings: 4-6

CHIPOTLE CORNBREAD AND GRILLED SAUSAGE SALAD

This salad is definitely a unique–and good!–taste experience and well worth the extra effort required to make your own cornbread croutons. However, if you’re pressed for time, store-bought cornbread can be quickly cut and toasted into croutons and, before you know it, you’ll have a tasty salad just begging to be dressed and eaten.

Chipotle Cornbread-Grilled Sausage Salad

CORNBREAD CROUTONS

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 tbsp minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

SALAD

1 lb italian sausage (I used Hillshire Farms’ Sweet Italian Sausage with Peppers and Mozzarella)

4 cup chopped romaine lettuce

1 large tomato, diced

1 cup red onion diced small

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced

1 orange bell pepper (or yellow), diced

2 tbsp minced parsley

Dressing of your choice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil an 8×8 baking dish

2) CORNBREAD: To large mixing bowl, add: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir to combine; gradually stir in milk, egg, and olive oil; mix in corn, chipotle pepper, onion, and cheese; pour mixture into baking dish and bake in oven 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; remove from oven (don’t turn off) and let sit 15 minutes; gently cut into 1″ cubes, place on baking sheet, and toast in oven 10 minutes, turning once; remove from oven and set aside

3) SALAD: Grill sausages, turning often, until done, about 10 minutes (in a grill pan over medium-high heat); remove to cutting board, let sit 5 minutes, and cut into 1/2″ slices on the diagonal; set aside

4) Assemble individual salads as follows: romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, bell pepper, sausage, and cornbread; sprinkle with parsley and serve with dressing of your choice

Servings: 6