Overnight hash brown breakfast casserole with sausage, egg, cheese, and hash browns has all your favorite American breakfast staples. Do all the prep work the night before, then in the morning simply pop it in the oven an hour before you are ready to eat. Serve with your choice of avocado, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese for a hearty breakfast that is anything but boring. Read on for my tips and tricks to get it right the first time and make it uniquely your own.
Everyone loves a great weekend breakfast or brunch, but not everyone likes waking up early to make it. After all, weekends may be for brunching, but they are also for getting some much needed rest and relaxation.
When I first started developing my take on the classic breakfast casserole, this recipe was a “take half the morning and everyone is grumpy by the time we sit down to eat” casserole. Which simply doesn’t work.
Then it became a “we only eat this breakfast for dinner” casserole. Which while tasty and less grump inducing, it doesn’t get it on the table for brunch let alone breakfast.
By doing the hard work the night before, the overnight version solves both of those problems. You can sleep in AND get a hearty breakfast on the table before noon. For those of us that prefer our extra rest in the mornings, this overnight breakfast casserole with hash browns is a win-win!
Ingredients for Overnight Breakfast Casserole
This breakfast casserole has all the standards for a hash brown based breakfast casserole: turkey sausage, eggs, milk, and shredded cheese. Then we add bell pepper and hot sauce, for a little kick, and greek yogurt to create a richer texture.
When shopping for your ingredients there is one key ingredient that gives you a lot of room to play and make this recipe uniquely yours: the cheese.
Looking for the easy way? You can go basic with a bag of shredded cheddar, or get crazy and go for the Mexican cheese blend. In this case the bagged, shredded cheese will do just fine, even with the added anti-caking agents, because we don’t need it to melt down super smooth. It does the job and saves a bit of time.
Prefer not to use the pre-shredded stuff? Look for cheeses that give you a good balance of flavor and melty goodness. My personal favorites are Monterrey Jack or a blend of young gouda (not the aged version) and sharp Australian cheddar. The gouda provides the melty goodness, while the cheddar adds a punch. I use about 3 1/2 ounces of each.
Breakfast Casserole – the make ahead version
Overnight breakfast casserole, make ahead breakfast casserole, lazy breakfast casserole, whatever you want to call it the key to making it delicious is knowing which steps to do the night before and what must be done in the morning.
For this casserole, like my Overnight Apple Cinnamon Rolls, almost all of it can be done the night before, with the exception of baking and serving. Seriously, you can do the rest before your head hits the pillow.
Pro tip – if you are using a glass Pyrex baking dish be aware they can shatter if moved directly from a cold fridge into a hot oven. If you have enameled cast iron, this is a good time to use it.
If you only have Pyrex or glass, make sure to pull the casserole out of the fridge for 10 minutes before you even think about turning on the oven. Then give it at least another 10 minutes to come up to room temp before putting it in the oven. If it still feels cold to the touch, it still runs the risk of shattering – not breaking – shattering into a million pieces.
Breakfast Casserole – the make it now version
Want your breakfast casserole now? The only adjustment you need to make is to preheat the oven when you start prepping. In my testing I found the cook times to be roughly the same. This is most likely due to the hash browns being frozen versus the whole dish being chilled. As in all oven cooking, the first time you make it check 5 minutes before you are supposed to and adjust the time accordingly.
Serving your breakfast casserole for a weekend brunch.
Overnight breakfast casseroles are great for feeding a crowd, for special occasions, holidays like Christmas and Easter, or for weekend brunch. Make them even more fun by serving them next to a toppings bar. Select a few of the favorites and let your family or friends make theirs just how they want it. Here are a few ideas to start you off:
- sliced avocado
- sour cream
- hot sauce
- cilantro or basil
- jalapeno peppers
- shredded cheese
- black beans
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Overnight Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole Recipe
Overnight hash brown breakfast casserole puts a hearty, homemade meal on your table with minimal morning effort. With sausage, egg, cheese, and hash browns, it’s got all the staples of a classic American breakfast in one dish. Make it uniquely your own with the toppings of your choice, and don’t forget to pair it with an Irish Cream Coffee!
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- 1 lb bulk turkey sausage (not precooked)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 20 ounces frozen hash browns
- 7 ounces shredded cheese* (about 2 cups)
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- sliced avocado
- sour cream or greek yogurt
- hot sauce
- fresh cilantro
- shredded cheese
- Preheat a large skillet over a medium flame. Heat olive oil, then add the turkey sausage, removing from casings if necessary. Cook sausage until brown throughout, then use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan. Use remaining grease to sauté onions and bell pepper, about 7 - 10 minutes. Remove from heat until ready to assemble.
- In a large mixing bowl combine together frozen hash browns and shredded cheese*. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, greek yogurt, and hot sauce.
- Once the sausage and onion bell pepper mixture have cooled slightly, combine them with the hash brown cheese mixture. Pour in the egg mixture and stir to combine.
- Grease a 9" by 13" or similar size casserole dish, then pour in the casserole mixture, spreading out evenly in the pan.
- Cover the dish with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight, up to 12 hours, until ready to bake.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350º F. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes while covered, then remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Casserole should be bubbly, eggs should be firm, and a thermometer should ready 180º F.
- Serve hot, topped with your favorite garnishes or none at all.
*Shredded cheese: this can be any cheese of your choice. Pre-shredded cheese works well in this recipe or you can shred it yourself. A Mexican cheese blend is nice, I prefer a combination of young gouda and sharp cheddar.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 462Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 218mgSodium: 779mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g