Make-ahead healthy sausage breakfast casserole uses turkey sausage and lots of veggies for a lightened-up version of the classic – perfect for entertaining, holidays and brunch!
Ah, Friday. Welcome old friend. I missed you so…
Had a fun + full week here! Got to take a cooking class at Sur la Table, where we helped make an Italian feast. (It was a birthday present from my husband, who obviously gets me, but then he couldn’t go because of a work thing. So I took a friend instead!) It was fun and delicious and a nice night out for this usually boring mama. 😊
I also finally got my holiday cards addressed, stuffed, stamped and (mostly) out the door. Love that December is the one time of year that I actually look forward to getting the mail because there’s bound to be a couple of cards each day, among the rest of the junk. It’s the little things, right?!
Now, on to today’s recipe… Who doesn’t love a breakfast casserole?
(I hope you didn’t just raise your hand because we might have to part ways. And that would make me sad.)
And who doesn’t love a breakfast casserole that’s a little bit healthier and LOADED up with all the veggies?
Tell me I’m not alone here. Right? Right?!
My family growing up always made the traditional pork sausage-bread-cheese breakfast casserole. And yes, it’s really good.
But once I was grown and making my own food, I wanted to healthify it a bit… lighten it up a little, add some veggies – you know, make it ME. 😉
And that’s exactly what this make-ahead healthy sausage breakfast casserole is. My style all the way!
It’s adapted from one of my favorite Southern cookbooks — Catering to Charleston by Frances Ellison Hamby — and has been one of my holiday and brunch staples for years!
I love that I can prep it ahead and that it serves a crowd. Doubly perfect for this time of year when we’re busy and have company visiting!
A few notes on this make-ahead healthy sausage breakfast casserole:
- The bread cubes should cover the bottom of your casserole dish. Depending on your slices, it’ll be about 7-8 slices, cubed.
- I prefer hot turkey sausage but I use mild when serving a crowd (or kids). You can also substitute pork sausage if you prefer, just be sure to drain any extra grease.
- Please feel free to customize this! You can use whatever type of sausage you like and you can leave out or change up the veggies to suit your preferences.
- Like it spicy? Use the hot turkey sausage and add the optional red pepper flakes for a good kick.
- Like it really spicy? You can also add a small jalapeño pepper to the casserole and/or serve the casserole with some hot sauce. 🌶
- You can substitute the equivalent amount of egg beaters in this recipe. (My mom has an egg allergy so I’ve done this before.)
- You can use gluten-free bread and check your sausage to make a gluten-free version of this breakfast casserole.
- You can even make this vegetarian. Omit the sausage and substitute black beans (or you favorite beans) or use a 16 oz. package of mushrooms in place of the meat. (Saute the mushrooms first so you can remove their moisture.)
- Have leftover veggie scraps, after what you need for this casserole? Add them to omelets later in the week or saute or roast them up for a side dish.
Pretty much, customize this make-ahead healthy sausage breakfast casserole to make it your own! As breakfast casseroles should be, right?!
Cheers to the holiday season and all the get togethers!
Make-ahead healthy sausage breakfast casserole
This lightened-up turkey sausage breakfast casserole is loaded with veggies and perfect for entertaining, holidays and brunch!
- 7-8 slices French bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb. turkey sausage (hot or mild), removed from casing, cooked and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup chopped Roma tomatoes (1 medium tomato)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (1/2 medium pepper)
- 1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups half and half (I use fat-free)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- chopped fresh parsley, sliced green onions, hot sauce
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add the bread crumbs to the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with the cooked sausage and the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then whisk in the half and half and seasonings.
Pour egg mixture over the casserole to coat everything.
Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 and remove the casserole from the fridge.
Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until the middle is set and the top is browned. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with parsley and green onions and serve hot.
I prefer hot turkey sausage but I use mild when serving a crowd (or kids). You can also substitute pork sausage if you prefer, just be sure to drain any extra grease.
Like it spicy? Use the hot turkey sausage and add the optional red pepper flakes for a good kick.
Like it really spicy? You can also add a small jalapeño pepper to the casserole and/or serve the casserole with some hot sauce.
You can substitute the equivalent amount of egg beaters in this recipe.
You can use gluten-free bread and check your sausage to make a gluten-free version of this breakfast casserole.
Adapted from Catering to Charleston by Frances Ellison Hamby.
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