I grew up eating a "wife-saver" casserole each Christmas morning, with eggs and bacon and Corn Flakes crumbled on top. It was delicious and hearty, and best of all, my mom could make it the the day before and pop it in the oven while we opened gifts as a family.
Pancakes and waffles are a more typical "fancy" breakfast around our house, as we all love to smother them with our frozen berries we pick each summer, and a big ol' dollop of whipped cream. But these can be much more time consuming to prepare on the morning of, which takes away from the enjoyment of the holiday somewhat.
I was thrilled when I discovered a recipe for a similar type of breakfast casserole in Sue Gregg's breakfast book. I've tweaked it somewhat, but it remains very similar. As I've said before, Sue Gregg's cook books are a wonderful resource for any homemaker who desires to serve healthy yet simple and frugal dishes. This casserole is, of course, just a little bit more decadent, but that's what holiday celebrations are for!
Nourishing Wife-Saver Breakfast Casserole
Makes 6-10 servings (alongside other side dishes)
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (you could sub soy sauce or Tamari for this)
1 very full cup shredded cheddar cheese (don't skimp on the cheese because it simply won't taste as good)
12-14 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup fresh mushrooms, diced
2 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
Toasted Bread Crumb Mixture
2 pieces whole grain toast (sprouted or sourdough is best), turned into crumbs (coffee grinders and food processors work well)
1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
1. Make cheese sauce by melting butter in a medium pot, then blending in flour. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until thickened, then add shredded cheese, mix in well, and remove from heat.
2. At the same time, begin scrambled eggs by melting butter in a large pan. Add green onions and mushrooms to the pan, cook until softened, then pour beaten eggs over top. Scramble over medium heat until eggs are cooked through.
3. Spread scrambled egg mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole pan.
4. Pour the cheese sauce as evenly as you can over the scrambled eggs, using it all up.
5. Combine toasted bread crumbs with melted butter. I find the easiest way to do this is to use the hot pan from the scrambled eggs after they've been taken out, melt the butter in it, then add the crumbs and mix it around for 30 seconds. Take this mixture and add it as the final layer to the casserole.
6. Bake uncovered at 325 F for 45-60 minutes.
The casserole can also be prepared the night before, and then be covered and stored in the fridge overnight. Then just pull it out and toss it straight into the oven in the morning for delicious breakfast with little prep or cleanup! Perfect for holiday breakfasts!
Did you note the theme with all the butter and cream and cheese? This is a fairly rich and filling dish, even without any meat in it.
You can serve this along with toast or biscuits, any type of breakfast meat, or a potato dish. I like to serve it with pan-baked, diced potatoes with seasonings (garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, etc.), like these ones above. I add in plenty of coconut oil, toss them well, and bake for the same amount of time as the breakfast casserole.