The holidays are steeped in tradition for my family. Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving we always kick things off with a scoop of hot and hearty Crockpot Breakfast Casserole, plus a pan of Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls and bottomless mimosas.
Heck we even schedule our family’s birthday celebrations around brunch time so we can serve this easy crock pot breakfast casserole as the main event. It is a CINCH to assemble, feeds an army, and is dearly loved by all.
Whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast to feed a large group for the holidays, serve as BFD (my kids LOVE this!) or for make-ahead breakfasts all week long, this slow cooker breakfast casserole covers it all.
Watch How to Make It
Crockpot Breakfast Casserole calls for a handful of everyday ingredients that are layered in the crock pot before pushing on. So, so simple. The recipe is naturally gluten free and versatile too. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Frozen shredded hash browns: I like Ore Ida brand, which is gluten free and holds up well to slow cooking. No need to thaw them or anything before tossing into the crock pot.
- Breakfast sausage: I like Jimmy Dean brand which, again, is gluten free. Feel free to use the maple or spicy varieties, though I always go with the classic mild breakfast sausage.
- Shredded cheeses: Both shredded cheddar cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese ensure each bite of this breakfast casserole is satisfying and totally irresistible.
- Green onions: Sliced green onions provide a pop of color and flavor to this dish. Feel free to slice up a few extra to top each bowl with.
- Milk: Whatever you’ve got on hand. I’ve used everything from unsweetened almond milk to whole milk.
- Eggs: Can’t have breakfast casserole without it! I recommend using large, in-shell eggs vs an egg product.
- Salt and Pepper. ‘Nuf said!
Clearly this is a suuuuper classic breakfast casserole recipe – potatoes, meat, and cheese. That said, it’s very easy to customize. Here are some ideas:
- Switch up the meat. Use bacon or diced ham instead of sausage, or veggie crumbles to keep this recipe vegetarian. Costco has big bags of pre-crumbled cooked bacon that are actually very high quality!
- Add veggies. Diced bell peppers and onions, sauteed mushrooms, or even green chiles, would be a delicious addition to the green onion layer of the breakfast casserole.
- Choose a different cheese. Smoked gouda, fontina, colby jack, monterey jack, or pepper jack cheeses would all be delicious in here.
What Size Crock Pot To Use
As written, this slow cooker breakfast recipe will fill a 6-quart crock pot and feed 8-10 hungry folks. Many people have successfully halved this recipe using a smaller crock pot – you’ll just need to reduce cooking time a bit.
This recipe is great because you can cook it overnight on LOW for 8-9 hours, or cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Have someone turn it on in the morning when they wake up and get coffee started, and the breakfast casserole will be ready by brunch time!
Great for Meal Prep
What I especially love about this recipe is that it reheats beautifully so you can scoop individual portions of the cooked casserole into glass storage containers then reheat in the microwave each morning for a nearly instant, protein packed breakfast.
My middle child loves a hot and hearty breakfast vs cold cereal, so he gets very excited when I have this breakfast casserole on hand to heat up for his breakfast — or even as an after school snack.
Best Tips for Success
Crockpot Breakfast Casserole isn’t rocket science — layer the ingredients into a crock pot then turn it on. BUT, after making this recipe countless times over the years, I do have a few tips for success!!
- A browned top isn’t indicative of a cooked center. Especially when you cook it on high, the casserole might appear done based on the browned appearance of the top after even 2 hours. But the center won’t be cooked all the way through so keep (slow) cooking!
- Spray the sides of the crock pot very well with nonstick cooking spray before adding the ingredients to ensure each scoop comes out cleanly.
- OR, use a slow cooker liner to make clean up a breeze. My Mom usually does this.
How To Make Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
Start by spraying a 6-quart crock pot with nonstick spray then spread frozen shredded hash browns in an even layer on the bottom. Like I said, I prefer Ore Ida because the quality is very consistent.
Next add a layer of browned and drained breakfast sausage. You can brown/drain/refrigerate the breakfast sausage several days ahead of time.
The next layer is equal amounts of shredded cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese, followed by a flavorful layer of chopped green onions.
Repeat the hash brown, sausage, and cheese layers one more time then whisk eggs with milk, salt, and pepper and pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.
Pop the lid on top then cook for 4 hours on HIGH, or 8 hours on LOW, or until the top of the breakfast casserole is golden brown, and the center is set.
Look at those layers of flavor!!
What to Serve with Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
Although it is completely delicious and satisfying all on it’s own, we like to serve Crockpot Breakfast Casserole with a toppings bar including:
- Chopped fresh green onions
- Bacon bits (what can I say we go big)
- Sliced or diced avocado (LOVE the combo of eggs and avocado)
- Pickled jalapenos
Feel free to dig into the crockpot egg casserole as soon as its done, then top with your favorite toppings (or not, if you’re a purist) and dig in! Like I said though, this casserole reheats super well. Here’s what to do:
- To store: Scoop individual sized portions of leftovers into glass storage containers with lids then refrigerate for 3-4 days.
- To reheat: Microwave individual sized portions for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until warmed through. I like to break the scoop of breakfast casserole up a bit before microwaving to ensure it reheats evenly.
- To freeze: Freeze individual sized portions in freezer-safe containers. Microwave at 50% power for 1-1/2 minutes then stir and continue microwaving until food is warmed through.
That’s all she wrote! Whether you serve this hot and hearty breakfast casserole for your next holiday get together, or weekend brunch – I hope you love it – enjoy!
More Breakfast Casserole Recipes You’ll Love
- Roasted Poblano and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Breakfast Taco Casserole
- Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole
- Sausage Breakfast Tater Tot Casserole
- Gluten Free French Toast Casserole
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Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
Crockpot Breakfast Casserole is the perfect breakfast recipe to feed a hungry crowd, or make for meal prep. Cheesy, hearty, and hands OFF!
- 30oz frozen shredded hash browns (I like Ore-Ida)
- 1lb breakfast sausage, browned and drained (I like Jimmy Dean)
- 8oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 12 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk, any kind
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Spray a 6-quart crock pot with nonstick spray then arrange half the hash browns into the bottom. Layer in half the cooked sausage, half of each kind of cheese, and the green onions. Repeat the hash brown, sausage, and cheese layers.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, then slowly and evenly pour over the top. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 8 hours, or until eggs are set in the center. Scoop into bowls then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin