As much as I love to bake sweet treats, my own particular eating preferences lean heavily toward the savory. Give me a plate of salty carbohydrates any day over pastries and pies. This sentiment is most true at breakfast time. I can easily pass up the donuts and pancakes, but put a plate of bacon, eggs, and potato in front of me and I don’t stand a chance. Enter: the egg bake. The nemesis of my skinny jeans and my favorite breakfast indulgence. It’s a make ahead, one pan wonder with salty and cheesy carbs. When I got married, my mother and mother-in-law gave me a handwritten book filled with treasured family recipes. Included in that wonderful book is her basic egg bake, which I have made a thousand times and love, for it’s simple goodness and ease of adaptability to all tastes.
The specific recipe below is her classic combination, a tried and true standby, with only a minor decrease in the amount of butter used in the hash brown crust. It requires minimal chopping and mixing, though I do recommend shredding your own cheese if you have the time. The dish can be made ahead (fully baked) and gently reheated in a 200 degree oven in the morning, but truthfully it comes together so quickly that it’s not much of a chore to toss it together while sipping on some coffee in the quiet moments before your hungry crowd gathers. Try it as written, or mix it up with chicken sausage and sliced jalapeño, bacon and roasted red peppers with melty gobs of goat cheese mixed in, or leave out the meat and add in some onions, broccoli, and peppers for a vegetarian options. The possibilities really are endless.
Serve it with some good coffee and fresh fruit and you have a hearty breakfast that will feed a crowd!
More Breakfast Egg Bake Inspiration from around the web:
A leek, ham, and cheese bake from Smitten Kitchen.
Naturally Ella‘s herb and grain filled version.
Giada gives us an Italian twist on the breakfast staple.
And for the more adventurous, Saveur’s Persian Herbed Frittatas.
What family breakfast traditions do you have? Leave us a comment on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and let us know!
Basic Breakfast Egg Bake
- 16 ounces frozen hash browns
- 1/4 cup of butter melted
- 2 cups diced ham
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack or swiss cheese
- 5 Eggs beaten with a pinch of salt
- 1 Cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the frozen hash browns in a 9x13 pan and pour the melted butter over the potatoes.
Bake until lightly browned.
Decrease the oven heat to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle the ham and cheese over the has browns.
In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the eggs and milk until just combined.
Pour the egg mixture over the cheese and hash browns.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Note: I like a crispy, slightly burned cheese layer so tend to bake mine on the longer side of 30 minutes.)