Looking for a delicious and easy breakfast recipe that can be made ahead of time? Look no further than this Overnight Egg Casserole with Breakfast Sausage! This hearty and flavorful dish is perfect for busy mornings or lazy weekends. Plus, it’s impressive enough to serve on holidays.
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Breakfast can be a hectic endeavor, whether it’s a busy weekday morning or a last-minute weekend brunch for 2 or 20 of your friends. The answer to the chaos? Make the meal ahead of time! And that’s why I love this hearty egg casserole loaded with onions, peppers, breakfast sausage and cheddar cheese, plus cubed French bread, which means this really is a whole meal in a single dish.
Why You’ll Love It
The best part of this entire recipe? The egg casserole is made a day in advance, stashed in the fridge then baked off right before your guests arrive. The result is a hearty, cheesy, flavor-packed breakfast casserole that resembles a savory bread pudding. Whip up a fruit salad and crispy roasted potatoes to serve alongside it and last-minute guests have never been more welcome!
- What sets this recipe apart from others is the use of bread cubes instead of the usual hash browns or potatoes. The bread soaks up all the flavors and creates a delicious, hearty texture.
- Great for busy weekday mornings and relaxed weekend brunches, yet impressive enough to serve on holidays and other special occasions.
- Perfect combination of protein, vegetables and a little bit of indulgence.
- Leftovers can be reheated for breakfast throughout the week.
- Totally customizable depending on your personal taste preferences and whatever meat, veggies, cheeses, and herbs you have stashed in your fridge and pantry.
- Breakfast sausage: Chicken apple sausage or any mild pork sausage are my personal faves, but ultimately, the best breakfast sausage to use is one that you enjoy and that fits your taste preferences.
- Butter: Adds flavor and richness, plus helps the eggs cook evenly. You’ll also use butter to thoroughly grease your pan. (Have you ever made your own homemade butter?)
- Onion: White or yellow onion works, so use whichever you prefer.
- Bell peppers: Both green and red bell peppers add a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to the dish, as well as a bright pop of color. It’s important to chop them into small pieces to ensure that they cook evenly and integrate well with the other ingredients.
- Eggs: The key ingredient! They provide the structure and texture that holds everything together.
- Milk: I typically use whole milk because it adds richness and creaminess, but any variety of milk, or milk alternative, can be used. However, keep in mind that plant-based milk can have a different flavor and consistency than dairy milk, which may affect the final outcome of the dish.
- Cheddar cheese: Adds delicious flavor and creamy texture to the dish. I recommend freshly grated cheese because it has a better texture and flavor than pre-shredded cheese, which can sometimes taste dry or powdery. However, if you’re in a hurry or don’t have a grater, pre-shredded cheese is a convenient option.
- Bread: Choose a bread that has a sturdy texture, such as French bread, sourdough or a crusty Italian loaf, that can hold up to being soaked in the egg mixture without becoming mushy or falling apart.
Pro Tip: Use stale bread! Just like French toast bake, stale bread absorbs more liquid, which helps prevent a soggy casserole. If you don’t have stale bread, you can dry out fresh bread in the oven before using it: Cube up a fresh loaf and spread it onto a baking sheet. Bake it at 250°F for 7 to 10 minutes or until the bread begins to toast.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match different ingredients to create your own unique breakfast casserole.
- Veggies: Some of the popular choices include spinach, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes and bell peppers. You can also experiment with other vegetables, such as zucchini, broccoli or kale. The key is to dice the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and cook them until they are tender before adding them to the casserole. Try to stick to a total of about 3 cups.
- Meat: Any variety of ground meat, bacon, ham, chorizo, or even leftover turkey all work well in this dish. The meat should be cooked and chopped or crumbled into small pieces before adding it to the casserole.
- Cheese: The best types of cheese to use are those that melt well and complement the other flavors in the dish, such as sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, gouda, feta and Swiss. Or use a combo of cheeses!
- Prepare your pan. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with unsalted butter and set it aside.
- Cook the sausage. First, line a plate with paper towels. Then, in a large sauté pan set over medium heat, cook the breakfast sausage, breaking it apart into pieces. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the paper towel-lined plate.
- Cook the vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Transfer the veggies to a large bowl then add the sausage to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Make the egg mixture. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper then stir in the cheddar cheese.
- Layer ingredients and refrigerate. Evenly layer the bread cubes in the baking dish, followed by the sausage and veggie mixture then pour the egg mixture over the top. Cover the dish securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.
- Bake and serve. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and discard the plastic wrap. Let the casserole sit at room temperature for 30 minutes then place it on a baking sheet and bake it for 35 to 45 minutes until the eggs are fully cooked. Slice and serve.
Kelly’s Note: Experiment with toppings! Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, avocado or hot sauce can add a fun and flavorful twist.
- Don’t overbeat the eggs as this can make the casserole tough and rubbery.
- It’s important to let the casserole sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking to ensure even cooking.
- Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving. This allows it to set up and makes it easier to cut and serve.
- Consider this recipe a template and swap in whatever meats, veggies and cheeses you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
24 hours. The longer the casserole sits, the more time the bread will have to absorb the egg mixture and flavors. Remember to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any unwanted odors from other foods in the fridge.
You can check for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the center of the casserole – if it comes out clean, the casserole is done.
Allow it to cool completely before covering it with plastic wrap, or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat the leftovers, you can either use the microwave or the oven. If using the microwave, place a serving of the egg casserole on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 1-2 minutes, or until it’s warmed through. If using the oven, preheat it to 350°F, place the casserole in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and heat it for 10-15 minutes, or until it’s warmed through.
Best Brunch Side Dishes
Whether you want to go for a classic spread or get creative with your menu, there are endless options to choose from. Here are a few of my favorite recipes when hosting friends and family for brunch:
- Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
- Air Fryer Biscuit Doughnuts
- Quick Sheet Pan Pancakes
- Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish
- Pecan Sticky Buns
- The Best Crispy Hash Browns
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- 1 pound bulk ground breakfast sausage
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- 8 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups whole or non-fat milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 pound white, whole wheat or French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
- Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with unsalted butter and set it aside. Line a plate with paper towels.
- In a large sauté pan set over medium heat, cook the breakfast sausage, breaking it apart into pieces. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the paper towel-lined plate.
- Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and peppers and cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl then add the sausage to the bowl and stir to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper then stir in the cheddar cheese.
- Arrange the bread cubes in an even layer in the greased baking dish then add the sausage mixture on top, spreading it across the bread. Pour the egg mixture on top of the sausage mixture then cover the dish securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.
- When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and discard the plastic wrap. Let the casserole sit at room temperature for 30 minutes then place it on a baking sheet and bake it for 35 to 45 minutes until the eggs are fully cooked. Slice and serve.
- Use stale bread! Stale bread absorbs more liquid, which helps prevent a soggy casserole. If you don't have stale bread, you can dry out fresh bread in the oven before using it: Cube up a fresh loaf and spread it onto a baking sheet. Bake it at 250°F for 7 to 10 minutes or until the bread begins to toast.
- Don't overbeat the eggs as this can make the casserole tough and rubbery.
- It’s important to let the casserole sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking to ensure even cooking.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, you can either use the microwave or the oven. If using the microwave, place a serving of the egg casserole on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 1-2 minutes, or until it's warmed through. If using the oven, preheat it to 350°F, place the casserole in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and heat it for 10-15 minutes, or until it's warmed through.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Hi Kelly, I’d like to make this a veggie egg casserole and leave out the sausage. Should I add something else to take up the “sausage space” or should it bake up okay? Thanks for your advice.
Hi Connie! You can just toss in more veggies to make sure the ratio of bread/fillings/eggs stays the same. Enjoy!
Love making this recipe. I’ve mixed in 1/2 bacon and 1/2 sausage, grape tomatoes, and 1
I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Maryann!
This takes waaaayyy longer than 45 minutes to cook. I followed the recipe to a T.
Hi there – Did you allow the casserole to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking?
Would almond milk work instead of whole or non fat?
Hi Lauren – I have never tried this recipe with almond milk but it *should* work. Let me know if you give it a shot!
Hi Kelly ~ I’m wanting to try this recipe, however I have a sister that does not like soggy anything. Does the bread come out soggy? TIA
Hi Chris! Nope! The bread is perfectly cooked through with a slight crispiness on top. Enjoy!
Hi Kelly. This looks amazing! I’m wondering – since several in my household can’t eat eggs, is there a substitute for them? Thanks
Hi there! I’ve never tried this recipe with an egg substitute as it would lead to an entirely different recipe with a different taste/texture. Sorry I can’t be of more help!
This is the best breakfast casserole I’ve made! It’s perfect as written, but I’ve also tried it with a couple variations that I’ve tried and that work well. The first is adding bacon, bc it’s there anything that isn’t better with bacon? I’ll use the whole pound of sausage as called for, as well as half a package of bacon, cooked until crispy and coarsely chopped. My other subtle change is to put all ingredients into the crockpot rather than a 9×13. Then proceed per the recipe, with overnight in the fridge. The crock can be baked just like any other cookware, so I bake it per recipe instructions (usually closer to the 45 minute mark). But then I can pop it in the warming part of the crockpot and take it to work, and it stays deliciously warm until it’s gone.
Wow! Thank you so much for your comment, Tricia! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, and I love your variations!
Would this recipe still work without the bread?
Hi Kara – I’ve never tried this recipe without the bread, so I can’t guarantee what results you’ll get.
Enjoying this as I type. Easy, delicious, and so pretty! I does taste like a savory bread pudding. Thank you for the recipe. ❤️
So glad you enjoyed the casserole, Sabrina!