Breakfast Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

I love to cook with my mom. Whenever we spend time together, half of it is spent in the kitchen. We were cooking together this past weekend and she said, “Isn’t it fun to cook with other people?”

I said yes almost without thinking, but then after taking a moment to think about it, I realized that my mom is one of the only people who I truly enjoy cooking with.

Mom helping me prep for my daughter’s 1st birthday party.

I can be a bit of a control freak, but with my mom that is never an issue. We have similar styles, we communicate well, and we can easily divide tasks without even a discussion. We love choosing recipes together, modifying them to fit our tastes, shopping for the best ingredients, and then preparing the meals for our family. We also really trust each other in the kitchen. I’ve cooked with other people and I feel the urge to look over their shoulder frequently. You know–make sure they aren’t adding the wrong spice, that they are stirring enough, or that they aren’t contaminating food.

Yeah, I’m that girl.

I also learned most of what I know about cooking from my mom, which likely contributes to the similar styles. We don’t share the exact same taste for everything though. She likes curries, I don’t. I have a bigger sweet tooth. She likes fish more than I do. I eat more beef than she does. However, we both share a passionate love of cooking and baking.

Eventually I’ll get around to posting what we created this weekend. In the meantime, this recipe is one that my mom always made on Christmas morning/afternoon for brunch. We used to do a big extended family gathering on Christmas Eve and then a smaller, more low-key brunch on Christmas day. Traditions have changed a bit as our families have grown, but this casserole will always bring back great memories of Christmas and tastes delicious no matter what time of year it is.

I like to make a big pan of it in the evening and then hubs and I eat it for breakfast during the week. It tastes great reheated and you can’t beat a yummy hot casserole that just needs to be warmed up.

Breakfast Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

8 eggs
2.5 cups milk
8 slices white bread, cut into cubes, almost stale bread is best! (Note: In the photo, it is made with a combination of white and wheat bread.)
1 pound breakfast sausage
a few good handfuls of baby spinach (maybe 4 cups loosely packed–no need to be exact)
1.5 tsp dry mustard
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I like sharp)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Brown sausage in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and drain well. Place on the bottom of a large glass pan (9×13 or larger).
3. Wilt spinach in the same pan over medium heat, tossing occasionally. If you cover it, it will happen faster. Spread spinach (removed any liquid that has appeared in the pan) over the sausage layer.
4. Place bread on top of spinach.
5. In a large bowl beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper and dried mustard together. Pour over bread and sausage. Press bread down a little if needed so that it is all moistened by the egg mixture.
6. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
7. Bake for 45 minutes (I usually stick a knife in it to see if the egg is cooked and not runny), and let stand for a few minutes before serving. May be refrigerated overnight before baking (this may increase baking time slightly).

Note: You can substitute pretty much anything for the vegetables and meat. This is simple to make vegetarian, just leave out the meat! Here are some great combinations:

  • Sausage and Mushroom
  • Ham and Broccoli (I love this combo)
  • Spinach, Red Peppers & Feta (I haven’t tried this–I just thought of it and now I really want to make it!)

Verdict: One of my favorite breakfast foods.
Husband’s take: He loves, loves, loves it when I make this and he can eat it before work. Sometimes I’ll make it as a dinner too, but he prefers breakfast for breakfast (not me–I love breakfast for dinner!).
Changes I would make: No changes other than experimenting with different meats and veggies.
Difficulty: So easy!

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  5. It made me smile seeing this recipe! I just discovered your blog via Pinterest!! I also make this casserole but only on Christmas so it is “special,” then finish it off the next few days. I have never thought to add spinach, definitely going to try this year!So glad I found your yummy blog!

  6. I make this dish often,and never thought to add spinach! Great idea! We have it on Christmas morning with my Dad’s sausage balls. Yum! Making tomorrow with him in his kitchen! Thanks!

  7. Ha! I’m totally a control freak too. So is my mom. We don’t really cook together much, especially since she’s in Seattle and I’m in DC. But we do chat about the dishes we make.

    Love the cheesy goodness on the top of the casserole.

  8. Sure hope your sending out all the cupcakes that are leftover. You wouldn’t want to have to eat them by yourself! I think I just recently read you thru away some goodies so you wouldn’t eat them. Just send them my way :)

  9. I love cooking with my mom too – especially since she is so good at the clean-up part :) This casserole looks delish – perfect for a weekend brunch!

  10. Thank you, honey, for your wonderful comments! I love cooking with you, too, and talking about cooking is great, too. I love your blog and enjoy reading it and telling other people about it. I’m so proud of you! Love you!

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  12. Definitely love a good breakfast dish! I love cooking with my mom too except I am the {crazy} control freak while she is more relaxed. She helps keep me chill, usually!

  13. My mom and I are exactly the same way! Whenever I go home, we cook and bake together all day. One of my favorite things to do with her :)

  14. I’m totally that girl too! I wish my mom were still here for me to cook with, it’s lovely that you have that to share.

    I make a similar breakfast casserole at Christmas and love it!

  15. How many people did you invite to your 1 year olds’ party? Holy cakepops Batman!

    • Ha! We had a lot of leftovers. Also, since people don’t RSVP (yes, still a little annoyed), I had no idea what to plan for. I was planning for between 20 and 50–fun! ;)

  16. I wish I could dive into the that casserole!

  17. How fun cooking with your mom! This looks fantastic! We always make a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning and I love this version! Looking forward to trying this.

  18. Breakfast casserole is one of those dishes that I grew up eating. We would have it for all holidays and then have it for any breakfast dinners we would do for the football players (yep, i was a cheerleader) anyway, it brings back good old memories and there are always so many different versions. I need to try yours next time. It sounds amazing

  19. Aw, that’s so sweet you love cooking with your mom. Love this casserole- so perfect for holiday breakfasts!

  20. My mom make something like this on Christmas eve, too! It’s so good we usually live of it (along with heaps of christmas candy) for days on days :)

  21. This looks great! I honestly don’t cook with a lot of people in the kitchen. When my best friend comes to visit I do like cooking with her though. We usually mix baking with drinking….always fun :)

  22. That looks awesome! I also love cooking with my mom – my sisters and my girls. :) It’s fun…sometimes a little stressful and messy but always memorable!

  23. yummy looking breakfast! I’d eat it any time of the day :)

  24. How fun to bake and cook with your mom!! I’m staying with my mom for a few weeks right now, and we haven’t even had a chance to cook together. But we did look through cookbooks last night!! This breakfast looks so good!

  25. Somehow, I’ve never, ever had a breakfast casserole, not even for Christmas. Every year I tell myself that *this* will be the holiday that I’ll be prepared and a breakfast ready to go, but I never do. I’m going to try your recipe sometime over the holidays. It looks wonderful!

  26. Looks like the perfect brunch recipe.

    I’m a bit like you, not too good at trusting other people in the kitchen. I have to bite my tongue when the man is cooking. Better that he’s in there giving it a go than not at all!

  27. This looks great-I love recipes like this that you can make for a crowd. I am definitely saving this one!

  28. Looks fantastic Rachel! I think it’s fabulous that you love cooking with your Mom. I loved cooking with mine too!! Great post darlin!


  29. Looks great! We love breakfast for dinner. I think the spinach and feta variation sounds fantastic.

  30. Breakfast casserole makes my decisions for me.

  31. i’m a kitchen hog :) but i do love cooking with family!

  32. Love that you love to cook with your Mom!

  33. This looks SO delicious! I love breakfast casseroles (one of my best friends from college makes a mean French toast casserole), and this seems like the perfect use for the breakfast sausage I have in my fridge. Can’t wait to try it! :)

  34. My favorite person to cook with is my sister, but we live two and a half hours away from each other, so we don’t get to do it very often. Your breakfast casserole looks great; I’m with you, I think it would be a great dinner!

  35. Sounds fantastic! I love that picture of your Mom. :) It’s so great that you can cook together!

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