Monday, June 10, 2013

Cheesy Sausage Spinach Breakfast Bake

In a utopian society, brunch always consists of something sweet and something savory. Eggs Benedict and a fluffy blueberry pancake. Finger licking french toast with crispy bacon. I recently mentioned my love affair with the Loaf, my go to for something sweet.

This savory breakfast bake made it's way into our Easter breakfast feast this year and it truly exceeded expectations. Chock full of spicy sausage, smothered in melty Montery Jack cheese, it was bursting with delicious flavor! There's even some spinach tucked in there for freshness. But the meat factor is what makes it perfect for Father's Day!

This bake is a welcome departure from other overly eggy or bready breakfast casseroles. Somehow the stuffing imparts a wonderful hearty texture without reading as bread. It's delightful and makes for a relatively quick prepping process.

The Monterey Jack cheese is a rock star in this dish! Please, I beg of you, resist the inclination to buy pre-shredded cheese. Dad deserves perfectly melty, not waxy cheese! Buy a block (it's cheaper!) and shred it yourself. You will be so glad you did!

Cheesy Sausage Spinach Breakfast Bake
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 1 package (6 ounces) herb-flavored stuffing mix
  • 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage (or breakfast crumbles)
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, (buy the block and shred it yourself) 
  • 1½ cups half-and-half
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish (you can use 9x13 but I went slightly smaller, because I like it thicker)

Prepare the stuffing according to package directions; set aside. Shred your Monterey Jack Cheese. It is SO important to buy the block and shred it yourself to attain melty goodness.

Cook the sausage over medium heat in a large skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the scallions and cook until the meat is no longer pink. (You may also use breakfast crumbles — just heat it up in the pan) Add the garlic and cook for another minute, or until the garlic is fragrant. Drain any fat from the pan.

Add the prepared stuffing and the spinach to the skillet and mix together with sausage until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

In a small bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and eggs and pour evenly over sausage mixture. Be  sure the liquid is evenly distributed, rapping it once or twice against the counter, if necessary.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 5 more minutes, or until bubbly. Let it set up for 10 minutes before serving.

G and I have been so busy with work and school lately! He's on the dreaded surgery rotation, meaning I don't get to see him nearly enough! We've been having lots of spontaneous lunch and dinner dates where we can fit them in. Counting down the days until he gets a little summer break! We didn't expect any sort of vacation so we're super excited, and I have been scouring Groupon and Living Social for ideas!

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