California Breakfast Casserole

Our California Breakfast Casserole is the perfect savory breakfast for when you get together with family and friends.  It has everything you love in a California style breakfast and makes 12 servings!

California Breakfast Casserole

This California Breakfast casserole is layered with all the yummy goodness of a California style omelet in a family baked style.  You start with a layer of breakfast sausage patties, and top that with tomatoes and avocados, and then a thick layer of egg and hash browns all topped off with melted cheddar cheese. Then we like to smother it with sour cream and salsa or diced tomatoes. If you are weirded out by the avocado being cooked– dont! It tastes great! However, if you must leave it out of the casserole and just want to use it as a garnish, that is totally ok, too.

Our California Breakfast Casserole is one of my favorite overnight breakfast dishes.  It is so easy to make.  If you want to save yourself some time in the morning you can throw it all together the night before, keep it in the fridge, and bake it in the morning!  Or if you have time you can just make it all fresh and bake it right then.  Either way you make it, it always turns out great and keeps everyone coming for seconds.

Some of my other favorite savory breakfast dishes are our  Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole and traditional Breakfast Casserole.
And if you are in the mood for something sweet that will feed a group for breakfast you should try our Strawberry and Cream Cheese French Toast or Caramel Apple French Toast!  During the fall one of my favorites is our Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, and if I have company over Christmas I like to make a batch of our Eggnog French Toast with Gingerbread Syrup.

California Breakfast Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 12 precooked (frozen) breakfast sausage patties, thawed
  • 2-3 sliced tomatoes
  • 2-3 sliced avocados
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 pkg. frozen hash browns, thawed (1 Lb)
  • 1 c. cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • extra cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions

  • Layer the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan with sausage topped with tomatoes and avocado.
  • In a bowl, beat eggs and milk. Stir in all other ingredients. Pour hash and egg mixture over the sausage, tomatoes, and avocados.
  • Bake at 350 for 35-45 min or until well set. Top with extra cheddar right after pulling out of the oven so it melts all over the top. Top with salsa or diced tomatoes and sour cream.
http://www.favfamilyrecipes.com/california-breakfast-casserole/

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is there some kind of layer under the sausage?
A: No, Sometimes the egg mixture just seeps under the sausage while it bakes, creating what looks like a bottom layer.

Q:  Is the cup of milk in the mixture necessary?
A: No, it definitely makes the egg and hash brown mix more light and fluffy, but some people have left that out and it turned out fine.

Q: Why is my casserole still runny after cooking for 1 hour?
A: This is most commonly caused by not thawing the hash browns before cooking.  If you make the mix the night before you can definitely use frozen hash browns, they will thaw out in the fridge overnight.  But keep in mind, going straight from the fridge to the oven will require longer cooking because the casserole still needs to get to room temperature.  If you make this up right before you plan to bake it, be sure to thaw your hash browns first!  Sometimes I thaw them in the microwave, or just pull the hash browns out of the freezer and put them in the fridge the night before.  Or you can set them out a few hours before you plan to bake.  However you decide to thaw them out, they need to be thawed before baking.

Comments

  1. Holly says:

    This sounds like it would fit perfectly at our table!! We love breakfast:)

  2. McKay says:

    erica! I need your info again! 🙁 Like your blog address etc. AND>… I cannot stop drooling over all these yummy recipes!

    oh, this is makana, not mckay btw
    [email protected]

  3. Jen says:

    Wow. This looks incredible, can't wait to try it! I'm a new reader to your blog, I'm loving it!!!

    Jen
    http://jenslosinit.blogspot.com/

  4. She Loves To Make says:

    This looks awesome!

  5. Rebekah says:

    This looks delicious! Can it be made the night before and thrown in the oven the next morning?

    • Emily says:

      Yes, that is actually how I usually make it!

      • marlene says:

        can reheat in the micro after making it the nite before

  6. sally gruber says:

    When you say you prepare the night before does that mean that you just assemble and let sit overnight in the fridge or do you bake it the night before and reheat in the morning?

    • Erica says:

      You can assemble it and let sit overnight without baking. That way it tastes fresh when you bake it up the next morning.

  7. melinds says:

    does the avacados turn brown when you bake them?

    • Emily says:

      No, they stay green. Similar to if they were cooked in an omelette.

  8. Kari66 says:

    I wonder if this freezes well?

    • Emily says:

      I am not sure, I have never tried to freeze it…

  9. Misty says:

    What is the size of the bag of hash browns?

    • Erica says:

      It’s the one pound bag.

  10. Violeta says:

    Im cooking this recepie but is taking a while to cook, i already add two times 20 mis, i dont know if we need to use a especific type of pyrex, i used a round corning ware dish .

    • Emily says:

      It may have been the dish, I usually use a 9×13 glass pan. Hopefully after the extra cooking it was still good! 🙂

    • Jane says:

      I am using a 9×13 in. glass dish. It has already cooked for one hour and it is still liquid egg mixture all the way through! I am NOT happy!

      • Erica says:

        We usually use a ceramic 9×13 pan because it seems to heat better. It also depends on your elevation. Give it another 20 minutes or so. I am so sorry!

  11. Laura says:

    I made this last Christmas and will be making it again. My family loved it…

  12. Carrie says:

    Have you tried other meats besides sausage?

    • Emily says:

      yeah, we have made this with ham and with bacon. Both are great!

  13. Rachel says:

    Making this tonight for tom morning..was wondering if you could use simply potatos hash browns that are not frozen? Thanks!

    • Emily says:

      I am sure that would be fine, you may want to boil or bake your potatoes first, then dice or shred them.

      • Charlotte of Hemet says:

        I always use Simply Potatoes hashbrowns, they are not frozen so eliminates the problem of defrosting

    • Karen Vander Veen says:

      Yes I used a bag of Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns and they worked just fine.

  14. Michelle says:

    Just made this and after cooking 40 minutes, it looked done. When I cut it there was liquid at the bottom. The eggs looked cooked. Could the liquid be from the tomatoes? Maybe if I assemble and let i sit overnite? Thanks.

  15. Deb says:

    In the picture it looks like there is another layer of something underneath the sausage. If so, what is in the layer?

    Thank you

    • Erica says:

      Some of the egg mixture seeps down underneath the sausage making it look like another layer.. but the first layer you put down is the sausage.

  16. Jlrbrenner says:

    Making right now! Looks delish!

  17. Jeanette says:

    I made the casserole this morning and it was great! The kiddos even liked the avocado! Thanks!

  18. Kristen says:

    How many people would this serve?

    • Erica says:

      About 6-8.. depending on how hungry people are and if you are serving other dishes along with it.

  19. Linda says:

    How much Cholesterol is in this recipe?

    • Emily says:

      You would have to plug it in to a recipe calculator to find the nutritional info. But eggs have a high cholesterol content, so if you are watching that, I would sub the eggs for an egg substitute (the kind that comes in a carton). I have used those in an egg casserole before and it turned out great!

  20. Maddie says:

    Can this recipe be made into individual muffin portions?

    • Erica says:

      Yes, it just wouldn’t cook as long– just keep an eye on it while cooking 🙂

  21. Marianne Castiglia says:

    I made this for friends this week when we were away on vacation and it was a hit. I made it in a glass 9×13 pan and it took an hour to cook. When I got home my husband was jealous that I made it for friends so I made it for us at home again today. He LOVED it. Keeper recipe, thank you! I’m glad to see in the comments here that it can be assembled the night before. Looking forward to hearing if anyone freezes it.

    • Erica says:

      So glad to hear you liked it! We have assembled it the night before as well and it is great– just haven’t done the freezing thing. Let us know if you try it and how it turns out!

  22. Pat christianson says:

    Thanks for sharing it looks so good!!!!

  23. Rochelle says:

    What is on the bottom of the casserole?

    • Echo says:

      Some of the egg and hash brown mixture settles on the bottom with the sausage as it bakes. Thanks for asking!

  24. Stephanie says:

    I am getting ready to make this, this morning for Thanksgiving! Thank you for the recipe, hope it turns out as good as yours looks! 🙂

  25. Andi says:

    I finally made this dish and it was DELICIOUS. I added a twist to it, I added spinach and I used Italian sausage and chorizo. I excluded the guacamole in the mixture but did add to the final product along with jalapeños, salsa and sour cream. Thanks for sharing

  26. Almetta says:

    One question ? The recipe start with sausage on the bottom and the picture is displaying a layer of something before the sausage is laid. What is the layer before the sausage. t Than

    • Emily says:

      The sausage does get put down first. Some of the egg mix just seeps down making it look like an added layer.

  27. Darlene says:

    will have to try sounds yummy thank you
    My first granddaughters name is ” Echo Dawn”

    • Echo says:

      What a great name! We have 4 “Echo’s” in our family. 🙂

  28. MS says:

    Are you suppose to cover while you bake this dish?

    • Erica says:

      You don’t need to cover it but if you do it couldn’t hurt!

  29. Carson says:

    A few adjustments are needed here in my opinion. First of all, adding an entire cup of milk is far too much. It causes the dish to have excess liquid which can make for an unpleasant texture. It makes it seem as if the eggs are still raw. Also I made a base layer of crushed up tortilla chips, using just sausage is a bit awkward when trying to plate. And speaking of sausage, precooked sausage isn’t the best for you. So I opted to use shredded chicken breast! It makes the dish heartier and not as fatty! As for produce, I used Roma tomatoes (for their AMAZING flavour), added white onions, red bell peppers, and jalapeños on one half. My hubby can’t get enough of those! All in all, good idea for a dish. Just needed some tweaking to make it truly fantastic!

    • Beverly says:

      Maybe you should share your own recipes on your own blog? Yours sounds very good but so does the one Emily shared with us on her blog. 🙂

  30. Elle says:

    Something is not right. That photo looks like it has a crust of some kind under the sausage. And it’s not cooked eggs. You can tell from the photo the crust is separate and distinct from the sausage layer.

    • Erica says:

      It looks like there is a crust but there is not. It is egg that has seeped beneath the sausage layer. This is the same recipe as the one pictured. Hope this helps!

  31. Abby says:

    I first had this at a baby shower & it was great! However, it took TWO hours to cook in a 9×13 metal pan when I baked it for a potluck today! Luckily I allowed extra time or I’d have gone dishless! Hoping the tomatoes & avocados held up!

  32. Debbie says:

    I have made a recipe very similar to this one and I did not use the cup of milk, only the eggs without the milk and it was not liquidy after cooking it for the suggested time or a just a bit longer seeing I don’t like runny eggs. no need to have milk or any liquid in there. Recipe here is a real good one. thanks

    • Echo says:

      Thank you for the suggestion!

  33. Christian says:

    This looks great, but I have one question; what’s under the sausage?

    • Echo says:

      Thanks for asking, Christian. When you pour on the egg/milk/hash brown mixture it surrounds the sausage and cooks on the bottom of the pan.

  34. Nicole says:

    Do u cook the sausage first?

    • Emily says:

      Yes, I like to cook and part off the excess grease before adding it to the casserole.

  35. Julie says:

    The picture makes it look like there is a layer under the sausage. Is there on or is this the milk and other ingredients settling?

    • Erica says:

      The egg seeps under the sausage and makes it seem like there is another layer– but there isn’t. Hope this helps!

  36. Sarah says:

    Any thoughts about substituting vegetarian mock meat??

    • Erica says:

      hmmm.. not familiar with “mock meat”…. if you try it let us know how it turns out!

  37. Lorie Scroggs says:

    I made this today for our Sunday School class. It was a HUGE hit! It turned out perfect and bursting with flavor! Love how colorful it is! I did take your advice and cook it in a ceramic dish. I also added 20 minutes to the cooking time. I am mixing up another as we speak to take to work tomorrow!

    • Erica says:

      So glad you liked it! What a lucky Sunday School class! 😀

  38. Barbara Seiwald says:

    My daughter fixed this last week and everyone loved it. My husband prefers this recipe to the ones that have english muffins or bread. I made it for our pot luck at Palm Sunday, and will make it again on Easter. Very good!

  39. Karen says:

    I made this this weekend and it turned out fantastic and was a huge hit. After reading some of the comments where there were problems I thought I would share a couple of suggestions. I used a bag of Simply Potatoes Hashbrown, you don’t have to thaw them so no extra moisture like you might get from the frozen kind. Make sure you seed the tomatoes, again eliminating extra juice and finally extra large eggs. Mine baked to perfection in one hour. Definitely recommend this recipe and there are so many possibilities to tweak it to fit your personal preference. Hope this helps.

  40. christina says:

    oh man… I totally didn’t thaw the hashbrowns :(. It’s so watery! ahhhhh

    • Erica says:

      Shoot, hopefully they still ended up ok!

  41. Jessica says:

    I’ve read through all the comments and it doesn’t look like anyone has tried freezing this. I’m pregnant and due any day with baby #2 and I’m wanting to make this now and freeze it so I have some thing ready and don’t have to worry about making breakfast every day for me and my daughter. I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether I should freeze it before baking it Or bake it first and then freeze? Not sure how the eggs will turn out either way…

    • Erica says:

      First of all, congratulations! Secondly– this probably isn’t one I would freeze… if you MUST freeze it, I would probably freeze it AFTER baking but I can’t promise it will taste quite as good. :/

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