Sunday, November 18, 2018

Easy Overnight Hashbrown Casserole

Way way back in 2011 Sue and I shared some of our favorite breakfast casserole ideas. There was a crock pot tater tot casserole, a blueberry and cream cheese french toast casserole, and a wifesaver french toast. Check those recipes out HERE. This is another breakfast casserole that you make the night before, making it perfect for the holidays or even super busy mornings. All you do is pop it in the oven in the morning and you are done! 
This recipe is great for picky eaters as it is a very simple and basic dish - meaning it is not spicy and it does not have any "weird" ingredients in it. That doesn't mean you can't customize it though! You can totally add in your favorite ingredients or spice it up, as you prefer!
Just a quick note - while this requires almost no effort, it does require time to cook! Give yourself a good hour and a half for it to cook. Don't try to rush it! 

Easy Overnight Hashbrown Casserole

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 kg pkg frozen hashbrowns (cubed)
1 1/2 cups finely diced ham
2 cups shredded, aged cheddar cheese
12 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley

In a large bowl, stir together the cherry tomatoes, onion, chives, frozen hashbrowns, and cheese. Spread into a 9 X 13 pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray. 
In the bowl you just used, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt & pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, and dried parsley. Pour evenly over the hashbrowns in the pan. 

Cover with tin foil and place in fridge overnight OR, you can cook immediately. 
When ready to cook - place casserole on counter while oven preheats to 375. 
Bake, covered, in 375 oven for one hour. Remove tin foil and continue to bake until casserole is lightly brown on top and set in the center - about another 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it. (NOTE - I usually rotate the pan at the 45 minute mark.) If you find the edges browning too quickly and the center is still not set, turn the heat down to 350 and continue cooking. 

The center does take a long time to be cooked through. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. 

Remember, if this seems a little too simple for you, feel free to jazz it up however you like! Add in some chopped green pepper or black beans, stir in some hot sauce, use different flavors of cheeses, minced garlic, bacon or sausage instead of ham... you can see there are tons of options here! 
I usually serve it with a little ketchup, just in case it gets a little dry from over cooking. If you find you need to keep it warm in the oven, be sure to cover it with tinfoil again to help prevent it drying out. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave. 
10 minutes of prep the night before and you a get a no muss, no fuss breakfast for your guests. (You can cook it immediately after making it too, if you want.) 
FYI - If I remember correctly, you should get 12 good sized servings out of this recipe. You could stretch it out to a few more if you served it with some toast or fruit! 

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