The Queen of Southern Cuisine is at it again with this insanely scrumptious Paula Deen breakfast casserole. One bite will absolutely make your day!
If you’re the kind who likes different flavors and textures in one dish, this is the casserole for you.
It has a layer of bread at the bottom, followed by maple pork sausage and cheese in the middle.
Finally, there’s an insanely rich savory egg custard on top.
Each element is mouthwatering on its own, but when you put them together, they create a party in your mouth.
This Paula Deen breakfast casserole recipe is delicious, filling, and guaranteed to fuel you up for the day.
But of course, I’d expect nothing less from Queen Paula!
How to Make Paula Deen Breakfast Casserole
This breakfast casserole is super simple to make. In fact, it’s so easy; you might be tempted to have it every day!
Here’s the rundown:
Step 1: Grease the pan and brown the sausage.
All you need is a little cooking spray in the bottom of the dish. I don’t advise using parchment paper as it will likely go soggy under the egg mixture.
Drain the sausage well to keep the casserole from being too greasy.
Step 2: Slice the bread.
I prefer mine without the crusts, so I cut those off. If you’re a crust person, though, keep them on!
Also, don’t cut the bread too thin, or it will disintegrate in the oven.
Step 3: Assemble the layers.
Slice the bread in half and place the pieces in the bottom of the dish in a single layer.
Cover the bread with the sausage crumbles, followed by the shredded cheese.
Step 4: Prepare the egg mixture.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, pepper, and salt. I like to whisk the eggs a little on their own to ensure everything is smooth.
Step 5: Pour the savory egg custard over the cheese and wait.
This is the hardest step of them all!
Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and chill it for 8 hours. I like to prepare it the night before so that it’ll be ready for baking when I wake up.
If you’ve ever made bread pudding, you’ll know that this time allows the bread to soak up the custard.
Step 6: Bake and Rest.
Take off the plastic wrap and bake the casserole for 40 minutes, or until it’s set and golden on top.
Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Step 7: Slice and enjoy!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Paula Deen breakfast casserole:
- Ground Maple Pork Sausage – the maple adds a wonderfully sweet contrast to the savory and smoky sausage. However, other sausage variations will work too.
- You can also use other meats, such as bacon, ground pork, and shredded chicken or turkey. Mix them up for more flavors!
- White Bread – makes the casserole super hearty. Sandwich bread works beautifully here. You can also use hash browns or sourdough.
- Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese – Cheddar goes great with this casserole, but you can experiment with other cheeses, too, like mozzarella, Swiss cheese, and Colby Jack.
- Whatever you choose, I suggest you shred it yourself. This is because pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt as well as a blocked cheese does.
- Eggs – form the top layer of the casserole.
- Whole Milk – whisked with eggs to make them richer and creamier.
- Dry Mustard, Seasoned Pepper, and Salt – to flavor the eggs.
Tips for Making the Perfect Breakfast Casserole
This casserole is ridiculously easy to make, but here are tips to make it even easier:
- If you want a golden brown top with crunchy edges, don’t cover the dish while it bakes. Some recipes call for covering the casserole with aluminum foil to keep the top from burning. That’s totally fine, but it will add lots of excess moisture, which will make the top a little soggy.
- You’ll know the casserole is done once the top layer is nice and golden. It should be all set in the middle, so give it a jiggle. If it’s still wobbly, it needs to bake for a few more minutes.
- Make the casserole more substantial by adding vegetables! Spinach, asparagus, potatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers – take your pick.
- Note: if you’re adding veggies to the casserole, be sure to drain them well. Otherwise, the liquid in the vegetables will make the dish runny.
While this casserole is a complete meal on its own, it becomes even more phenomenal when you add tasty sides.
Serve the casserole with one or all of these dishes for an extra spectacular meal:
- Fruit Salad – whether it’s with a creamy base or just a drizzle of honey, a medley of fruits will give a nice refreshing contrast to this hearty dish.
- Muffins, French Toast, and Biscuits – this casserole already has bread at the bottom, but if you’re feeling extra hungry, these starchy delights will do the trick.
- More Meat – make your dish even more protein-packed with glazed ham, bacon, corned beef, and sausages.
How to Store the Breakfast Casserole
Prepare the ingredients and assemble the layers the night before, so you won’t feel the 8-hour wait.
Pop it in the fridge, and it’ll be ready for baking the next morning!
Let it come up to room temperature for 30 minutes, or bake it straight from the fridge. Just add 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time.
You can refrigerate uncooked casserole for up to 2 days, provided it’s covered. This is especially important if you add potatoes to the mix.
Cover cooked and cooled casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reheat slices in the microwave until warmed through.
Leftover breakfast casserole will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Let the cooked casserole cool completely. Then, place it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze for up to a month.
Reheat it straight from the freezer in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
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