With many of us hosting overnight guests this holiday season, it’s nice to plan not only that big, special dinner, but also a tasty and filling breakfast! This breakfast bake is another one of those recipes I “made over” by replacing a processed boxed mix with something more wholesome. In fact, you may even recognize this “real foodinized” version of Bisquick’s Breakfast Bake! This was actually a fairly easy dish to make over, and when you look at the ingredients on the back of a Bisquick box, it’s not hard to see why you would want to avoid it and use a homemade replacement instead.
In The Box (Pictured): Enriched refined white flour (labeled as “wheat flour” without the word “whole”), partially hydrogenated oil (i.e. the same trans fat the FDA recently declared is no longer “generally recognized as safe for use in food”), and dextrose (a sweet additive I do not cook with at home).
In My Recipe: Whole-wheat flour, unrefined cooking fat (from the pastured sausage), and other whole, recognizable ingredients.
It’s funny to me how the Bisquick Breakfast Bake recipe tells you to drain the natural fat from the sausage just so you can add in their boxed stuff that contains unsafe trans fat. No, thank you!
So anyway, whether you serve this for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner, I think you’ll find this is a super easy crowd pleaser, and with all of the cooking we’ll be doing during the holidays, that’s exactly what we all need!
Sponsor Shoutout: The Fresh 20
Before I let you go, I have a little something that will make your New Year goal of “eating healthier” that much easier! And it’s our longtime sponsor, The Fresh 20, a meal planning service that features 5 wholesome weekly recipes that are made from only 20 fresh, real food ingredients! They have something for everyone including Classic, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Kosher, and even For One (Person)! On their website you’ll also find other great resources like homemade salad dressings and the full scoop on their new, beautifully photographed cookbook. I have a copy myself, and I must say it’s very nicely done. Treat yourself or someone you love – nothing better than giving the gift of health! :)
Recipe: Holiday Breakfast Bake (Make Ahead*)
- 3/4 pound sausage, locally/humanely raised meat recommended
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups frozen hash browns, look at the back to make sure it's only 1 ingredient
- 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated (or swiss), divided
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- pepper, black or red, to taste
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a square baking dish (8 x 8 inches or 9 x 9 inches) and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the sausage, onion, and bell pepper. Cook while breaking up the meat with a spatula until the sausage is cooked all the way through, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the meat mixture (including the fat) to the casserole dish and stir in the frozen hash browns and 3/4 cup of the grated cheese.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the milk and eggs until well combined but not overmixed. Pour over the sausage mixture in the casserole dish ensuring even coverage.
Bake uncovered until light brown on top and around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top and bake for 2 more minutes.
Serve with fruit for breakfast or with a salad for lunch. Enjoy!
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
*To make this casserole ahead of time simply assemble, cover, and refrigerate before baking. You will need to increase the baking time by about 5 to 10 minutes when starting with a completely cold dish.