Anyone with a Crock-Pot® appreciates its versatility. The busy cook simply fills it with a little this and that, and a few hours later, the kitchen smells like someone’s been slaving over a hot stove all day. Some folks don’t realize that these little kitchen magicians are willing to work all night long while the family frolics in dreamland. Common ingredients that bake the night away include eggs, frozen potatoes, and cheese. Upon awakening, a perfect Crock-Pot® breakfast casserole is served!
There are dozens of ways the clever cook can craft a Crock-Pot® breakfast casserole that will appeal to diners’ desires. Meat eaters might find sausage, bacon, or ham inside. Vegetarians can substitute tempeh or tofu.
A simple casserole is easy to design from a dozen eggs, a bag of frozen hash browns, and a couple of handfuls of shredded cheese. After layering hash browns and cheese several times, the final step is pouring the eggs, which have been mixed with a splash of milk, over the layers. This serviceable recipe can be stepped up by adding layers sautéed onions, sweet bell peppers, and tomato. Fresh or dried herbs in the egg and milk make this casserole even more memorable.
When company’s come or just because, cooks find that adding bacon makes a Crock-Pot® breakfast casserole that’s not likely to last long. Sizzling the bacon in the fry pan first then draining and crumbling it keeps extra fat from the casserole. Instead of bacon, crumbled or sliced sausage is another way to go. Serious carnivores might demand both bacon and sausage, and the truly self-indulgent just might add some ham as well.
Once upon a time, a thrifty cook discovered that stale bread could be slipped into casseroles undetected. In fact, the bread adds bulk and texture, making the combination of tastes even better. A really good Crock-Pot® breakfast casserole might include as much as a loaf of bread in addition to cheese, a dozen eggs, and milk. While stale bread is traditional, some cooks prefer to toast the bread first for a deeper flavor and slightly different texture.
Variations on the theme of the Crock-Pot® breakfast casserole abound. Changing out the dried or fresh herbs for curry powder or paste makes a casserole with a decidedly exotic sensibility. Diced or sliced potatoes instead of hash browns work as well, and trading some of the eggs for egg whites produces a flavorful casserole too. Sautéed mushrooms, fire-roasted red pepper, or pesto all put different spins on the basic recipe.