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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Breakfast Casserole

I'm always looking for a good breakfast with a make-ahead recipe. I found this one this month in my Cooking Light magazine, and since we had house guests all weekend, what better time to try it out!

Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

12 oz turkey breakfast sausage
2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups egg substitute
1 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
3 large eggs
16 slices white bread
1 cup (4 oz) finely shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp paprika

1- Brown sausage in a skillet over med-high heat, breaking up to crumble. Remove from heat and cool.
2- Combine milk and next 6 ingredients (thru eggs) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
3-Trim crusts from bread and cut break into 1" cubes.
4- Add bread cubes, sausage and cheddar cheese to milk misture, stirring to combine. Pour into a 13x9" baking or 3 qt casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Spread evenly in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hrs or overnight.
5- Remove casserole from refrigerator, let stand 30 minutes. Sprinkle casserole evenly with paprika.
6- Bake at 350* for 45 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes.
(12 servings)
This was one of Cooking Light's feature recipes where they work with a real family, take an old family favorite that really not so healthy or diet friendly and give it a revamp. I've never used egg substitute before, but by combining it with a few whole eggs, actually makes a big difference in the fat and cholesterol in this recipe. And I was game to try the turkey breakfast sausage, but the grocery store I was at didn't carry it, so I got regular pork sausage. This amount of sausage is still half (!!) the amount in this family's original recipe though. Using the finely shredded cheese helps more evenly distribute the flavor without having to use so much. I mean, this is a large casserole, and I used only a cup of cheese... it was plenty flavorful!
We all loved it. I couldn't get my kids to try it (they had had pancakes earlier), but our friends' toddler gobbled down two helpings!
This is definitely a recipe I'll be making again and again; it's a great recipe to have on hand for overnight guests, weekends at the lake, or to take to a brunch!!