What is it about the breakfast casserole that is just so appealing? Is it the ease and freedom it gives us in the morning because we've put it together the night before? Or is it the idea of waking up to a warm, comforting and cheesy breakfast that propels us to make these up on Saturday night?
I suspect it's a little of both. But, really, it's nice to have a breakfast you can just pop in the oven. The leftovers are also fantastic, so don't be afraid to make this even if you are not serving a crowd.
Using onion bagels really enhances the flavor and eliminates the use of a boatload of onions, which we see in lots of breakfast casserole recipes. This is also means you don't have to chop all of those onions...score for us!
It's really important to dry out your bagels...at least 24 hours on the counter. You'll end up with mush if you try to hurry this step. You can also dry them out in the oven if you need to speed up the process. Just make sure they are very stale.
This is how the casserole looks after sitting in the fridge overnight and soaking up the egg mixture, before adding the extra cheese on top.
Kielbasa-Bagel Breakfast Casserole
- 1 lb onion bagels, cubed
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 package (14 oz) kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 10 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1 large shallot, finely minced
- 10 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 8 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Stale bagel cubes on a baking sheet overnight (a good 24 hours really) until completely dry.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a nonstick pan over medium heat, brown kielbasa until edges are crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper-lined plate. Add mushrooms and cook down until cooked and the water is cooked out of them (you might have to add a little more oil). Add shallot and cook until softened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, cream, milk, broth, mustard, green onion, salt and pepper. Add bagel and toss to coat. Add kielbasa and mushroom-shallot mixture and half the cheese. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese over the casserole and bake about 45-60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer placed in the center reads 160 degrees F. Let sit 20 minutes before serving.
It's really hard not to indulge in second helpings...
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