By Angela Bates a Recent ASU Nutrition Student
After putting all the work into your holiday dinner, whether you are hosting the whole party or bringing a dish, it’s too tiring to make the whole family breakfast in the morning. That’s where a make-ahead southwest-style casserole comes in! It uses simple ingredients, can be made the night before and assembled and baked the next morning, and serves up to 10 people. Serve it up with pancakes, cereal, or toast and some orange juice for a full breakfast to keep everyone energized to help out with the holiday cooking or cookie baking.
A few different things can be done to personalize this recipe. Although thick-cut bacon is my preferred option, you may substitute turkey bacon, ham, or sausage instead. If you want a vegetarian dish, you may leave out the breakfast meat or substitute a vegetarian meat product. You may substitute egg whites only if you need to but add a bit extra to make up for the missing yolks. Shredding potatoes to use for the crust is definitely an option, but the frozen hash browns are a fast and easy trick to use. Swapping the green chiles for roasted red peppers takes this from slightly southwestern to a bit Italian. The cheese can be whatever medium to hard cheese you like. I like to think of every recipe as customizable, so you can do the same.
1 16-ounce package frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
4 ounces butter, melted
1 pound thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 4.5 ounce can green chiles, drained
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3 cups Colby-Jack cheese, shredded and divided
Place hash browns in a large bowl and mix in garlic and onion powders, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
While the hash browns are baking, cook bacon in a frying pan just until crisp. Set aside to cool.
In the same pan, add olive oil and onion. Saute over a medium-low heat until translucent, adding the garlic near the end of the cooking. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, place the 8 whole eggs and milk. Whisk until well combined, then stir in cooled onion mixture, bacon, chiles, 2 cups of cheese, and remaining salt and pepper.
You may store these two mixtures in the fridge until the next day.
Preheat oven to 425℉.
Butter an 11×13 baking dish. Place hash brown mix into the prepared dish and press lightly. Spread butter over hash browns and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Turn oven down to 350℉.
Pour egg mixture into casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top. Bake for another 25-35 minutes or until the eggs are set.
Serve and enjoy!