On a cold morning, maybe before a day of sledding or snow tubing or just long day of work, there's nothing better than waking up to the warm smells of breakfast. And what's more comforting and hearty to start the day than a classic breakfast casserole? Typically made with eggs, some kind of breakfast meat (sausage, ham, bacon) and a crunch on top, it's a hearty, classic American breakfast that fills your belly and comforts your soul.
For that perfect breakfast casserole that will start the day off right, here are a few ideas.
Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market
289 E. 5th St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Back again after helping us out with quick and easy summer eats (check out the article here: Easy 4th Of July Recipes), Heartland sous chef Brandon Randolph shares with us his take on a classic breakfast dish. Want to impress the in-laws? Do something new for the kids? Just have an epic breakfast for yourself? Brandon is your guy. For the aspiring chefs and home cooks of Minnesota, or anyone who finds themselves in a kitchen, here is what he has to say.
"When I hear breakfast casserole, I immediately think of traditional Spanish tortilla or the Italian frittata; one pan/pot dish with spicy cured meats, fresh veggies and baked with cheese that will caramelize, creating a delicate sweet crust. There is no definite ingredient list, but it usually contains chopped meat and/or veggies, a starch as in noodles, potato or rice and often with a crunchy topping, such as breadcrumbs or caramelized cheese."
"Here is a recipe with a combination of these things plus what was available at this week's farmers' market. I chose chickpeas for my starch because it's a healthier option. Enjoy."
Serves 3-5 people.
- 4 free range chicken eggs
- 4 tbsp half and half
- 1/2 lb cured grass fed beef chorizo - medium dice (available at Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market)
- 1 small yellow onion - medium dice
- 1 small sweet red bell pepper - medium dice
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 medium tomato - medium dice/core removed
- 1 cup cooked and strained chickpeas
- 1/2 cup shredded Gran Queso - (also available at Heartland)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Chili flakes, to taste
I used a small cast iron pan for my casserole.
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Start off with pan on the stove. High heat. While the pan is heating, beat your eggs with half and half until fully incorporated.
- Once pan is hot, put chorizo and onions in for 2 minutes to quickly caramelize.
- Then, add garlic, red peppers and kale. Stir and let cook for one minute or until the garlic is cooked and kale is wilted.
- Add tomatoes, chickpeas and eggs.
- Turn off the heat. Top with shredded cheese and place in oven. Leave in oven for 15-20 minutes or until egg is fully set in center.
- Serve with a light green salad and hot sauce.
Grandma's Breakfast Casserole
"Everyone has a favorite memory of grandma's cooking. One of the joys of going out to grandma's house was the delicious food that was always, as if by magic, waiting on the table. One of my favorites was breakfast hot dish, one that would fill the whole house with savory smells that I still remember today. For a classic, home-cooked breakfast casserole, look no further than this all-American recipe."
Makes up to 10 servings (enough for the whole family).
- 2 lbs pork sausage, ground
- 30 oz, or approximately 4 cups, hash browns (frozen, store-bought works fine)
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cook sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until sausage crumbles and you don't see any pink. Then drain your sausage.
- Fry your hash browns in a skillet, using 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, then stir together your hash browns, sausage and cheese. Pour into baking dish that has been greased. Whisk eggs together with milk and 1 t salt. Pour evenly over potato mixture.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.
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