At 32 years old, I continue to be a stereotypical kid on Christmas morning. I love opening my eyes knowing that it’s Christmas. That excitement is heightened exponentially if I sneak a peek outside and see even the slightest bit of snow. For me, Christmas morning has always meant putting on comfy pajamas and sitting in front of the tree exchanging presents. Usually as soon as gifts are done being exchanged, I’m like a 5-year-old and immediately want to try on or put together whatever it is I’ve received. For maybe the only day of the year, food is nowhere near the forefront of my mind. I just enjoy the coziness of family, giving and making memories. However, at some point we need to eat in order to fuel us through a day full of jumping from one family member’s house to another. I usually end up eating something quick, like pb&j on toast, on my way into the shower since I play with my toys until the very last minute. However, a breakfast casserole would be way more satisfying! You could easily make this the night before then pop it into the oven while you’re exchanging gifts, then when you’re done, poof! You have a nice warm breakfast waiting for you. It ups the holiday special factor quite a bit!
Last year, I began playing around with breakfast casseroles, trying a French toast version, as well as a savory sausage and egg version. This new casserole takes a standard sausage and egg casserole and amps it up with the addition of spinach and prepared stuffing (no soaking bread!). More cheese, less eggs, throw in some spinach, and you have an unbelievably hearty breakfast. If I were in charge of planning Christmas breakfast, I would have one French toast casserole and one of these sausage spinach casseroles in the oven bright and early Christmas morning… and then I would hoard any leftovers for days to come!
Do you have any Christmas morning food traditions?
A wonderfully hearty breakfast casserole, perfect for a holiday morning or overnight houseguests.
1 package (6 ounces) herb-flavored stuffing mix
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1½ cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside.
2. Prepare the stuffing according to package directions; set aside.
3. 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. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, or until the garlic is fragrant. Drain any fat from the pan.
4. Add the prepared stuffing and the spinach to the skillet with the sausage and mix together until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the Monterey Jack cheese.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and eggs and pour evenly over sausage mixture. Rap the dish against the counter once or twice to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees F. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 5 more minutes, or until bubbly. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.