I like the simplicity of tossing everything together in a baking dish, putting it in the oven, and not thinking about it until it’s done.
I like the “one dish meal” that most breakfast casseroles provide.
Most breakfast casseroles, though, feed a crowd. And while hubby and I enjoy eating leftover breakfast casserole when we’ve had some other folks to help us eat it, I don’t want to make a big ol’ breakfast casserole for just the two of us.
That’s when I got inspired to try making us each a little individual breakfast casserole!
I got the inspiration from a recipe for Morning Sausage and Veggie Strata that I found at the Kraft foods web site. I used some tasty sourdough bread, but you could also use a slice of your favorite sandwich bread — or even use a biscuit (or two, depending upon their size) if you like. Then add in some diced veggies of choice, some shredded cheese of choice, and some diced/sliced sausage, ham, or crumbled bacon. Top with beaten, seasoned eggs and milk, et voila — a delicious breakfast that isn’t heavy, but has enough protein and oomph to it to get you through the morning.
To give the dish a soufflé-like texture, I separated the eggs and beat the eggs whites into a stiff, meringue-like texture before beating in the yolks and milk. You could skip this part, but it did give it a rather elegant look and a lovely, light texture.
You can easily increase or decrease this number of servings — if you want to make 6 servings, I’d use a single 13″ X 9″ pan, I think.
If you want a single serving, you’ll face a decision to either make it a bit less eggy (using a single egg) or a bit more eggy (using 2 eggs).
Vegetarians: Simply substitute the meat with a vegetarian sausage or bacon, or perhaps some tofu. Or, add in a bit more cheese and maybe an extra egg.
When I made this, I used bits of vegetables and grated cheese I already had on hand, and I browned up an entire pound of turkey sausage links, which we’ve been enjoying with other breakfasts. Having such ingredients already there and waiting in the ‘fridge makes cooking breakfast a breeze, even if you’re still on your first cuppa tea 😉
Individual Breakfast Casserole (Serves 2; you can adjust servings up and down as you like. If making 6 servings, I suggest switching to a 13″X9″ pan.)
- 2 slices bread (use whatever you like — your favorite sandwich bread, sourdough or French bread, biscuits, etc.)
- Bit of cooked meat of choice: suggest sliced or crumbled sausage (I used sliced turkey sausage), lean ham, or crumbled bacon (Vegetarians: substitute the meat with a vegetarian sausage or bacon, or perhaps some tofu. Or, add in a bit more cheese and maybe an extra egg)
- Diced/sliced vegetables of choice: suggest diced onion (red, yellow, white, or green onion), mushroom, bell pepper (any color), diced tomato — even some squash or zucchini would be tasty — whatever bits you have on hand that sounds tasty to you
- Shredded cheese of choice: I used reduced-fat sharp cheddar, but any cheese or mixture of cheeses you have on hand that sounds appealing to you will be fine (Just do yourself a favor and grate your own! It has more flavor and melts better)
- 3 eggs, preferably separated (OR you could use 3/4 cup egg substitute)
- 1/3 or so cup milk
- Coarse ground black pepper, salt, and a couple splashes of Tobasco to taste (NOTE: I didn’t use any salt, as the turkey sausage and reduced-fat cheese I used are a bit salty)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Lightly spray with cooking spray or lightly butter/oil 2 individual casserole dishes.
- Separate eggs. (Note: You can leave the eggs un-separated or use egg substitute, but separating the eggs gives it a nice, light, soufflé-like texture.)
- Place a slice of bread in the bottom of each casserole dish.
- Sprinkle in desired fillings to taste: e.g., sliced, crumbled, or diced sausage, ham, or bacon and diced/sliced vegetables of choice.
- Sprinkle in grated/crumbled cheese(s) of choice, to taste.
- Whip egg whites until fluffy and stiffening, as for a meringue.
- Lightly beat together egg yolks and milk.
- Beat egg yolks/milk into beaten, fluffy whites. Season to taste with coarse ground black pepper, salt (if desired — I left out), and a couple splashes of Tobasco sauce, if desired.
- Divide between casseroles.
- Bake until done, about 25 to 35 minutes.
- Eat in the casserole dish (for single servings) OR let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before plating and serving.
It smells so yummy, you’ll be singing “Tea for Two” and waltzing ’round your breakfast table!