They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But when you wake up exhausted and bleary-eyed after a long, restless night, it can feel like the hardest thing in the world to get to the kitchen and whip up something substantial. Sure, you’ve meal prepped before, but it’s not always easy to plan your meals out so far in advance. The good news? There’s an easy and delicious middle ground between devoting hours to a hearty breakfast and reaching for yet another bland protein bar — all you need is a slow cooker.
Recipe developer Erin Johnson‘s breakfast casserole recipe has all the classic flavors you’ve come to expect in a good breakfast. You’ve got fluffy eggs, savory sausage, melty cheese, and crispy hash browns, all together in one tasty package. It’s easy to prepare, and thanks to the magic of the slow cooker, most of the cooking happens while you’re getting a good night’s sleep. "Cooking a casserole in the morning in the oven will take at least an hour," Johnson says. "Cooking this in the slow cooker allows you to wake up to breakfast being ready for you."
Gather your slow cooker breakfast casserole components
Most of the ingredients for this casserole are morning staples: a dozen eggs, cooked breakfast sausage, shredded cheese, frozen hash browns, and diced onion. You’ll also need cooking spray, onion powder, garlic powder, milk, dill, and salt and pepper. "This can be made with any breakfast meat or cheese, so feel free to be creative," Johnson notes.
Beat and season your eggs
Begin this casserole the same way you would any scrambled egg dish: By cracking all the eggs into a bowl and whisking them vigorously until they become smooth and uniform. Then, add in the onion and garlic powder, milk, salt, pepper, and dill. "Dill and eggs is a classic combination and adds some additional flavor to the dish," Johnson adds.
Build layers of flavor
It’s time to construct your casserole. Once you’ve sprayed the crock with cooking spray, add in about half of the potatoes. "Remember to salt the hashbrowns on each layer to ensure they have flavor," Johnson advises, adding that she sometimes likes to use "seasoned salt or Old Bay for a change." After your spuds are nice and seasoned, top them with half of the eggs, crumbled sausage, cheese, and onion. Then, repeat the process, and let your slow cooker take it from there, cooking on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours.
Enjoy a tasty, easy breakfast
A watched pot never boils, but a breakfast casserole that cooks while you sleep means you’ll doze right through the waiting time and wake up to a nourishing meal. Aside from slicing it up and serving it, the only thing you really need to do in the morning is top your casserole with your favorite garnishes or sauces. "I like to top this with Sriracha and chopped parsley," Johnson says. "Salsa, sour cream, or avocados are all other tasty options. It’s also good as is!"
This recipe makes eight servings, so unless you’re feeding a big family, you’ll likely end up with extra. That means more opportunities to enjoy an effortless morning meal! Johnson explains that leftover casserole "keeps well for up to 3 days in the fridge," and can be reheated in the microwave. What could be easier?
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dill
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 (28-ounce) bag frozen hashbrown potatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pound breakfast sausage, browned
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Beat the eggs with the milk, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt & pepper. Set aside.
- Spray the slow cooker crock with cooking spray and then add in half of the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Layer on to that half of the onion, sausage, cheese, and egg mixture.
- Build another layer like first with the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.
- Serve the casserole warm.