(Image credit: Lauren Volo)
Slow-cooker breakfast casseroles are sort of like a culinary superhero. They work through the night to save the day — all you have to do is throw in a few of your favorite breakfast ingredients and turn it on. But you can take this culinary cunning to the next level by stowing away a few breakfast casserole kits in your freezer, so that late at night you can call to your culinary superhero and be rescued from breakfast boredom.
Prep Once, Eat Twice
The glory of creating a few breakfast casserole kits for your freezer is that you only dirty the kitchen once while making two, three, or four kits. You could make every kit the same combination of ingredients, or make a few variations. The original slow-cooker breakfast casserole has bread, sausage, peppers, and onions, while the one below is a riff on quiche Lorraine.
While you are welcome to peel, dice, and parboil your own potatoes, there’s no need to when you can make this casserole with already-frozen hash brown cubes. Be sure to portion these out with the rest of the ingredients and include them in the bag for the kit, or else you risk accidentally using them up before you cook the casserole. Also, ask your butcher to slice the ham into thick slices for you, which makes it easier to cube.
It is important to freeze the portioned bags of ingredients as flatly as possible — it helps the ingredients freeze faster and makes the kit easier to store.
How To Make Slow-Cooker Breakfast Casserole Kits
What You Need
2 cups frozen diced hash brown potatoes
8 ounces cooked ham, cubed
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Butter or cooking spray
12 large eggs
2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (6-ounce bag) baby spinach
Large mixing bowl
6-quart or larger slow cooker
3-quart and 1-gallon freezer bags
- Portion: Place the frozen potatoes in a quart-sized freezer bag. Package the ham in a separate quart-sized freezer bag. Combine the Gruyère and Parmesan in a third quart-sized freezer bag. Press as much air as you can out of the bags and seal.
- Freeze: Freeze the individual bags flat on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place the frozen packages into 1 gallon-sized freezer bag labeled with the cooking instructions. Return to the freezer until ready to cook.
- Prepare the slow cooker: Grease the bottom and sides of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker bowl with butter or cooking spray.
- Whisk the eggs: Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until the whites and yolks are completely broken up, and the eggs are a bit frothy.
- Season the eggs: Add the milk, mustard, salt, and pepper, and whisk to combine; set aside.
- Assemble the casserole: Place the diced potatoes in the slow cooker in an even layer. Top evenly with the ham, spinach, and cheeses. Pour the egg mixture over the top. If necessary, use a spoon to push down the ham and cheese so that they are mostly submerged in the liquid.
- Cook the casserole: Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours. The casserole is ready when the eggs are set, the top is golden-brown, and the sides are browned and pull away slightly from the bowl.
- Storage: Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.