This Healthy Breakfast Casserole has something for everyone. Made with hearty Italian sausage, potatoes (I use hash brown potatoes for a shortcut), melty cheese, and a heap of fresh veggies, it’s hearty, colorful, and sure to keep the peace at breakfast time.
Our family holidays center around food, and “eating healthy” tends to go on the backburner.
If you are the one doing the cooking in our house, the last thing that will pass muster is food that tastes light (and our opinionated bunch will not hesitate to let you know as much).
At the same time, however, by the time we’ve hit our third or fourth day of non-stop decadence, a few members of my family (myself included) appreciate a healthy alternative to provide some nourishment and reprieve.
That’s where this healthy breakfast casserole with potatoes and spinach comes in.
It is LOADED with vegetables at a time when you need them, but thanks to classic hearty additions like hash brown potatoes and sausage, the diner-style breakfast purists will also approve.
Like my other favorite healthy breakfast bakes (Whole30 Breakfast Casserole, Crockpot Egg Casserole, and Hash Brown Casserole), this recipe can be assembled the day before to make your morning easy-breezy.
When you wake up, just preheat the oven, put on the coffee (or pop open the bubbly for an Apple Cider Mimosa), and slip this easy breakfast casserole into the oven.
The scent of melting cheese and zesty sausage will lure your family right on into the kitchen, as will any of my other breakfast casserole recipes!
The Secret to the Best Easy Breakfast Casserole
Since the holidays are busy enough as it is, I wanted to take any timesaving measures I could find to speed this recipe along.
I knew I wanted to use potatoes in the casserole for a homestyle taste that the traditionalists in my family would approve of, but peeling and slicing potatoes can be time-consuming.
I don’t mind doing it in small quantities for recipes like this Potato Frittata, but for a big batch breakfast casserole like this one, I’m not usually in the mood.
Frozen veggies are one of my go-time time savers (hi, Roasted Frozen Broccoli), so I decided to see if I could make healthy breakfast casserole with hash browns instead.
Rather than dice the potatoes, I swapped in thawed frozen diced hash brown potatoes. They tasted absolutely perfect, to the extent that I may never make a breakfast casserole the old way again.
You’ll need 16 ounces of diced hash brown potatoes for this recipe. Most are sold in 2-pound bags (keep the other half in the freezer for another time). You can find them in the freezer section next to the regular hash brown shredded potatoes.
How to Make Healthy Breakfast Casserole
This healthy breakfast casserole with sausage is filling, flavorful, and offers big-time appeal for everyone at the table.
In fact, don’t even mention the “h”-word. Your family will never suspect!
- Eggs. The “glue” that holds all of our delicious casserole ingredients together. Packed with protein, choline, and numerous vitamins, eggs are an incredibly healthy ingredient.
- Italian Sausage. With added spices, Italian sausage is an especially scrumptious and flavorful addition. Using either Italian turkey or chicken sausage also helps to keep this recipe on the healthy side.
- Bell Pepper. Adds a wonderful pop of color and added nutrition. Bell peppers are rich in vitamin-A and vitamin-C.
- Baby Spinach. An easy way to sneak some greens into your breakfast! When you add the spinach to the skillet, it will seem like far too much. However, it will cook down significantly and be just the right amount.
- Hot Sauce. Add a little of your favorite hot sauce for a mild touch of heat.
- Hash Browns. The ultimate crowd-pleasing casserole ingredient that helps make this recipe extra satisfying. Plus, using frozen hash browns keeps things quick and easy.
- Cheddar Cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese won’t get lost amongst other ingredients in this casserole, and its flavor wonderfully complements them too.
- Brown the sausage. Transfer it to a mixing bowl.
- Saute the vegetables.
- Combine the veggies, sausage, hash browns, and part of the cheese.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, hot sauce, and seasoning together.
- Stir everything together and pour it into a baking dish. Sprinkle more cheese on top.
- Bake covered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes and uncovered 15 to 20 minutes. Finish with green onions and DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- To Freeze. Freeze casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Make Ahead Tips
Fully assemble the casserole up to 1 day in advance, and store it unbaked and covered in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake, let the casserole come to room temperature while you preheat the oven, then bake it as directed.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making a breakfast casserole.
- Whisk. This is my favorite whisk. I love the smaller size!
- Nonstick Skillet. Cleanup is a breeze with this skillet.
Whether you need breakfast for a crowd or a few, the spot-on flavors here are sure to please, and you’ll enjoy the leftovers too!
If you try this healthy breakfast casserole, I’d love to hear what you and your family think. Please let me know in the comments below. I hope it unites the members of your household the way it does mine.
Healthy Breakfast Casserole
- 1 pound sweet or spicy Italian turkey sausage or chicken sausage either in bulk or in casings
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper cut into a small dice
- 1 small bunch green onions finely chopped (about ¾ cup), divided
- 5 ounces roughly chopped or torn baby spinach about 5 cups
- 10 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 16 ounces frozen diced hash browns thawed (or 2 cups ½-inch diced white potatoes)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or butter it.
- Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Break the sausage up in the skillet into small pieces and brown it, until it is fully cooked through. With a slotted spoon, remove to a large mixing bowl. No need to wipe the skillet clean.
- Drizzle in the olive oil. Add the bell pepper and three-fourths of the green onions. Stir and cook until the pepper is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring until the spinach wilts. It will look like a lot of spinach at first, but it will cook down considerably. This will take about 2 minutes. Add the vegetables to the mixing bowl with the sausage.
- To the mixing bowl, add the hash browns and ½ cup of the cheese. With a large spoon, gently stir to combine.
- In a separate larger mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until blended.
- Pour the egg mixture over the hash brown mixture and stir gently to combine. Carefully pour into the prepared baking dish. Use a spoon to prod the filling into an even layer. Top evenly with the remaining ½ cup cheese.
- Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking until the eggs are set and the potatoes are tender (I use a fork to remove a potato and test it), about 15 to 20 additional minutes. Let rest a few minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved green onions. Slice and enjoy!
- TO STORE: Refrigerate casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Fully assemble the casserole up to 1 day in advance, and store it unbaked and covered in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake, let the casserole come to room temperature while you preheat the oven, then bake it as directed.
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