How to make a Simple Egg Casserole

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Start to Finish: 40 to 50 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner


Hot, savory egg casserole is an uncomplicated dish that a kitchen novice or seasoned cook can make with few ingredients and an impressive outcome. The standard components – eggs, milk and cheese – are accented with colorful vegetables and diced meat for added flavor and visual flair. Although it's best-known as breakfast fare, egg casserole can be the warm centerpiece of a light luncheon, chilled for sandwich filling or sliced and served as a savory appetizer.

Ingredients

    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 8 large eggs
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Pinch of fresh-ground black pepper
    • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

    Choose one of these vegetables:

    • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
    • 1/2 cup spinach
    • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
    • 1/4 cup sliced green onion

    And choose one of these meat products (optional for a vegetarian casserole):

    • 4 strips cooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup diced ham or Canadian bacon
    • 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled sausage
    • 1/2 cup sliced, smoked turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Directions

  • Turn the oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for preheating while you mix the casserole ingredients.

    Coat the inside surfaces of a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Break each egg into a small bowl, examine for egg shells and remove any stray pieces before adding the egg into a large bowl for mixing.

    Stir the eggs vigorously with a wire whisk until the egg whites and yolks are thoroughly blended.

    Add the milk, salt and black pepper to the bowl. Whisk again for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture is slightly frothy.

    Stir the cheese, your selected vegetable and the meat you chose into the egg mixture.

    Pour the combined ingredients into the spray-coated baking pan.

    Place the filled pan in the preheated oven and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

    Test whether the casserole is done by inserting the tip of a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, remove the casserole from the oven. If the knife has moist egg clinging to it, return the casserole to the oven for another 10 minutes and test again.

    Set the casserole on a heat-resistant surface. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into serving-size rectangles.

Tips and Variations

  • If cooking spray is not available, coat the sides and bottom of the baking pan with margarine, butter or cooking oil. Make sure the corners are thoroughly covered to prevent sticking when you're ready to serve.

    Separate fresh broccoli into small florets before measuring.

    Tear fresh spinach leaves into pieces about 1 inch across and pack them tightly into the cup for measuring.

    Thaw frozen spinach or broccoli thoroughly and squeeze out any excess moisture before adding to the egg mixture.

    Whole milk or 2 percent milk is OK for this simple recipe. You can use canned milk or half-and-half for a creamier taste and texture.

    Cook bacon strips in the microwave to save time when you are using the savory meat product in your casserole. Or use precooked bacon, which can be found in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores.

    For an extra kick of spiciness, add 2 or 3 dashes of hot sauce to the egg mixture.

    Give the egg casserole Southwestern pizazz by using whole corn kernels and rinsed, cooked black beans instead of the usual vegetable and meat combo. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to amp up the heat level.

    Use steamed fresh asparagus, thin slices of cooked chicken sausage and chopped fresh chives for an egg casserole with fresh, springtime flavor.

Serving Ideas

  • For a light, nutritious breakfast, serve a piece of egg casserole with fruit and whole-grain toast. To satisfy heartier appetites, serve the casserole with a side of hash browns, pancakes or waffles.

    Create a pretty lunch plate by cooking the egg casserole in a large pie plate or similar-size round pan. Allow it to cool to room temperature and cut into quiche-style wedges. Serve on a plate with a fluffy green salad and thick slices of crusty French bread.

    Make a refreshing open-faced sandwich with leftover egg casserole cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arranged on a piece of bread with mayonnaise, sliced tomato and lettuce leaves.

    Transform the egg dish into a festive hors d'oeuvres party menu item by cutting the firm-baked, chilled casserole into 1-inch squares. Top each piece with an olive slice and small sprig of dill or parsley.

Warnings

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap under hot running water before and after handling eggs and meat products.

    Use thick potholders or oven mitts to protect your hands from burns when you put the casserole into the hot oven and take it out again.

    Do not leave leftovers and baked egg casserole for appetizers at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, or 1 hour on hot, summery days. Store the baked casserole in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 3 days.

References

  • Photo Credit razmarinka/iStock/Getty Images
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