Time for the holidays! And no time to spare! Whether it is Christmas morning, a morning when you have guests to feed, or just a morning you want to relax and eat well, this is a great way to do the prep work the night before.
Throw a few items in a bowl, and let it sit overnight to absorb the milk and flavors, then pop in the oven the next morning. Job done! These are two versions of the overnight sausage casserole that has spread like wildfire over the last few years and is so simple to create and make yours!
I was first introduced to this sausage casserole when we travelled to visit good friends for the weekend. My best friend and I were talking for hours, and she browned the sausage and mixed the dish while we had a chance to visit. The next morning, all she had to do was put it in the oven and we had more time to chat and catch up.
For many years, my sister has spent part of her Christmas Eve preparing two versions of the casserole and brings them to bake at my parent’s home when we all gather Christmas morning. She doesn’t have to cook on Christmas morning, but she provides a wonderful feast for the whole family! And it’s pretty big family now!
These are our 2 different versions of the same dish, and it is easy to adapt to your own preferences and tastes.
Sausage Overnight Casserole (serves up to 4 or 5)
5-6 slices of bread (white or wheat)diced into cubes
1 lb. ground sausage (I like sage flavored)
1 cup milk or cream (your preference)
1 Tbl. mustard
1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to your taste (I usually add a sprinkle of pepper, but no salt)
Spray bottom of baking dish (9 x 13 or approximate) with cooking spray. Brown sausage and drain grease. In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, mustard, pepper. Add cheese and bread cubes and stir gently to combine. Add slightly cooled sausage slowly and stir to mix. Pour into baking dish and cover with foil. Place in the fridge until the next morning.
Before baking, let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes to bring to room temperature. Bake covered for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes until top is nicely golden brown. Ready to serve!
This version is the one my sister makes with sausage or bacon! The bacon version is amazing!
Sausage (or Bacon) Casserole (my sister’s recipe)
6-8 slices of bread (crusts removed)
2 lbs. sausage (or bacon)
salt and pepper
1 pint half/half
1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican style flavor)
Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Layer slices of bread in bottom of pan. Brown and drain sausage and layer on top of the bread. Mix eggs and half and half, with salt and pepper to taste, and pour over sausage and bread. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and place in refrigerator overnight. Before baking the next morning, let sit for 15 minutes bringing to room temperature. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Tips: For either version, adjust baking times depending on different amounts or ingredients. I sometimes only use 1/2 lb. of sausage or add extra cheese.