Growing up, it seemed that having French toast or scrambled eggs for dinner meant there were little groceries in the house and mom was just trying to use up what we had. The beauty about breakfast foods, though, is that they taste amazing any time of the day. Every now and then, a great big breakfast is even more satisfying for dinner than at eight in the morning.
Years ago, I made the following recipe for a family brunch, and since then it has become such a hit that I have memorized the steps and forgotten where it came from. Aside from the general label as a “breakfast” item, the other appealing characteristic is its casserole form. Combining ingredients and preparing them in one dish is not only an easy way to appreciate how delicious certain food can be when cooked together, it is convenient, as casseroles are usually served in the dish they are made in. This breakfast casserole not only makes enough to serve several people for a weekend brunch, but will also leave enough for leftovers at dinner.
3 cups frozen hash browns
1 c ground sausage, cooked
¼ c chopped green onions
1 can non-fat evaporated milk
1 envelope of Knorr leek soup mix
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 c asparagus, thinly sliced
Spray 8”x8” casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line bottom with frozen hash browns, top with green onions and cooked sausage. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs and evaporated milk. Add leek soup mix and continue whisking until smooth. Pour on top of other ingredients into casserole dish, cover and refrigerate overnight. After refrigeration, cook in oven heated at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, then top with asparagus and tomatoes. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until set.
Though the ingredients I’ve listed have grown to be my favorites for this recipe over the years, you can substitute other vegetables or breakfast meats where necessary. Bacon in place of sausage would never be a bad thing, and mushrooms and peppers may taste just as good as my sacred tomato-asparagus pairing. Whatever you do, always include the leek soup mix. I can’t imagine that nixing this ingredient would adjust the cooking time, or deem your casserole a flop; however, it adds a savory flavor to the egg mixture and brings the green onions to life. Since the dish requires overnight refrigeration, I recommend beginning the recipe on a Friday night so it’s ready for the oven on Saturday morning.