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Breakfast is Jim’s ultimate comfort food. When we travel he searches out the best place to enjoy traditional breakfast dishes. This recipe combines all of his favorites into an easy-to-make casserole that you can make ahead and then serve your family or guests in hearty portions that will fuel their day. It is a perfect breakfast for the holidays or freeze slices into single-serve portions for a quick and easy weekday morning breakfast.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
This breakfast casserole recipe uses all our favorite breakfast staples.
The complete ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.
- Hash Browns: We made our hash browns from russet potatoes that we washed and shredded but you can substitute frozen shredded hash browns. There is no need to thaw the hash browns before pan-frying them.
- Bacon: Nothing beats crispy bacon but you can use breakfast sausage, ham, chorizo, or Canadian bacon instead.
- Eggs: We use eggs that are pasture-raised and can be more expensive but we love the taste and the beautiful orange-colored yolk. Any eggs will make this delicious casserole even the liquid egg that is sold in most supermarkets.
- Cheese: We used shredded cheddar cheese but you can substitute any shredded cheese you like – Colby jack, Monterey jack, and pepper jack are all great choices. The key is grating cheese the cheese yourself since store-bought shredded cheese contains additives such as potato starch to keep the cheese from clumping. This can prevent the cheese from completely melting, which can leave the top of the casserole rubbery.
This hash brown casserole is easy to customize by adding some of your favorite omelet ingredients. Here are a few suggestions:
- chopped green and red bell peppers
- sliced or chopped mushrooms
- canned green chiles
- diced tomatoes
- fresh chopped spinach
How to Make Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
Pro-tip: Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl before adding them to a larger bowl to beat. If a piece of the shell gets into one or if there is a rotten egg, it won’t ruin the rest.
1. Shredded the Hash Browns: Preheat oven to 350° F. If using fresh potatoes to make hash browns start by peeling and grating the potatoes using the large holes on a box grater. Get as much liquid out of the shredded potatoes as possible by wrapping them with a kitchen towel or several layers of cheesecloth and twisting.
2. Cook the Bacon: In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until it is mostly cooked but not crisp. Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to drain excess grease. Remove all but approximately 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet, lowering the heat to medium-low.
3. Cook the Hash Browns: Add the grated potatoes to the skillet with the bacon grease. Spread potatoes into a single layer and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook undisturbed for 6-7 minutes or until the bottom is brown and crispy then using a spatula carefully flip them over. Cook the other side for 6-7 minutes or until brown and crispy. Remove the skillet from heat. Note: if hash browns are too large to flip as one piece use a knife or pizza cutter to cut them into quarters and flip them as individual pieces.
4. Prepare and Bake Casserole: Cut and place the hash browns in the bottom of a casserole dish forming one solid layer then top with most of the bacon pieces and half the cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs then pour them evenly into the casserole dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes then add the remaining cheese and bacon then bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
5. Serve: Let the casserole stand for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top as desired with salsa, green onions, sour cream, or chopped tomatoes.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: The casserole can be assembled and then refrigerated a day in advance. Prepare as directed but don’t bake. Cover the unbaked casserole well with plastic wrap. To bake from refrigerated add about 10-15 minutes to the cooking time.
How to Store: Store leftovers for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. In a freezer-safe container, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. To make a quick and easy breakfast freeze single-serving portions by wrapping and freezing individual servings.
How to Reheat: Allow the frozen breakfast casserole to thaw in the refrigerator then transfer it to an oven-safe dish. Cover with foil and reheat at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until heated. To reheat in a microwave transfer to a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat in one-minute increments until thoroughly heated.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Do not rinse your raw hash browns (fresh or frozen). The potatoes will soak up the water and could make your breakfast casserole soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nope! Add them to the skillet with a tablespoon or so of bacon grease and cook them as instructed. They will take a minute or two longer to cook but be careful that the bottom doesn’t burn.
Let’s Connect! If you make this recipe or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, we recommend checking out some of these breakfast recipes:
- Puff Pastry Breakfast Tart with Bacon and Eggs
- Tex-Mex Migas
- Fluffy Silver Dollar Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries
- Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal
Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
- 1 Box Grater
- 1 Baking or Casserole Dish
- 4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 pound russet potatoes, with or without the skin
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 eggs
- 4-6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Peel and grate potatoes using the large holes on a box grater.
- Using a kitchen towel or several layers of cheesecloth, wrap grated potatoes and twist out as much liquid as possible.
- In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook chopped bacon until it is mostly cooked but not crisp. Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to drain excess grease. Remove all but approximately 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet and lower the heat to medium-low.
- Add grated potatoes to the skillet with the bacon grease. Spread potatoes into a single layer and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook undisturbed for 6-7 minutes or until the bottom is brown and crispy. Using a spatula carefully flip. Note: if hash browns are too large to flip as one piece use a knife or pizza cutter to cut them into quarters and flip them as individual pieces.
- Cook the second side for 6-7 minutes or until brown and crispy. Remove the skillet from heat. Cut and place in the bottom of a casserole dish forming one solid layer of cooked hash browns.
- Top hash browns with bacon pieces and half the cheese. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then pour evenly into the casserole dish.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes then add the remaining cheese to the top of the casserole. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top as desired.