Overnight Sausage and Egg Casserole

You’ll all be amused to know that once again I am stumbling through a post trying to type with one hand wrapped up in gauze. (Y’all remember this post?) We had French Dips for dinner tonight and as I was holding a roll in the palm of my hand slicing it in half with a foot-long bread knife (already see where this is going?) I went a little to fast and a little to far. The knife went right through the bread and then right through the spot between my pinkie and ring finger. Did you just say “ouch” out loud? So did I. And it’s not the only thing I said. See? I said you’d be amused. Alright, now get that image out of your heads and let’s move on to yummier things!

Christmas. It seems like every family has their own traditions when it comes to meals around the Christmas holiday. For my family one of our favorite ones is our Christmas morning breakfast. We’ve been enjoying basically the same menu since I was a little kid. Some new things come and go, but the bulk of our menu is rooted deep in tradition. Since I’ve been married and spent some Christmases in new places I’ve often re-created this same meal and all of the warm memories of childhood come flooding back. Food is pretty amazing that way. One of the neat things about our Christmas breakfast is that the entire thing is prepared the night before. That way on Christmas morning all we have to do is pull things out of the fridge or pop them in the oven and as soon as we start smelling breakfast we know it’s time to take a break from presents and eat! At the heart of the meal is this breakfast casserole- and I’ll tell you right now it’s not the only one that will ever appear here. I have a lot of yummy overnight breakfast dishes (and I know Kate does too), some very similar to this recipe, but this is our official Christmas morning one. Hope you enjoy it!

You’ll need all of this stuff (see my notes about cheese and bread below the ingredient list). And note that I show a large can of green chiles in this photo, but the recipe calls for a small one. I really love green chiles so I double it.

and a bunch of spices…

It seems like there are always a lot of questions when we have recipes that call for sausage of any kind. It’s probably because there are so many different types: breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, sausage in links, sausage in castings, sausage in tubes, sausage in 8 different sections of the supermarket… so I thought I’d just show you. That’s the beauty of a blog, right? This is the kind of sausage that I use, always. It’s Jimmy Dean, and it’s found in the section of the supermarket near the hot dogs, bacon, etc. I always get the reduced fat kind but not because it has anything to do with cutting calories in any way. More on that later, but the reduced fat is wonderful because it still tastes just the same as the regular stuff, but you don’t have to mess with draining it after cooking so it’s a lot less work. Just brown it up and toss it in. So take a mental picture (and please don’t accidentally buy anything maple flavored):

On with the cooking!

Start by removing the crusts from your bread and lightly buttering one side.

Place bread butter side down in a 9×13 baking dish. I usually need 6 pieces of bread, plus 1 cut in half to finish up the bottom row. You just want the bottom of the pan covered with no big gaps.

Grate your cheese and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the bread. And yes, you’re reading the recipe correctly, 4 cups baby! Spread the browned sausage on top of that, and top with the green chiles.

One time I tried to be all healthy and give this recipe a makeover. I used wheat bread, reduced fat cheese (and much less of it) part egg substitute, etc. It was SUCH a waste of ingredients! Don’t even try to take calorie-cutting short cuts. Trust me, just enjoy it!

In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk eggs. Add milk and then seasonings and whisk to combine well.

Slowly stir the egg mixture while you pour it evenly on top of the assembled casserole. You’ll want to keep stirring or else the spices will all gather in one spot and drop onto one single piece of casserole. I speak from experience from one Christmas morning where my brother got the piece with ALL of the spices. Not so good.

Cover well and place in the refridgerator overnight.

In the morning preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pop the casserole in there and bake (uncovered) for 50-60 minutes. You’ll want the center to be set and the outside edges to be golden brown. It will be puffy and beautiful like this (oh and your house will smell amazing!)

It’s important to let it cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it or it will just fall apart. As it cools it will settle- don’t worry, that’s normal! Cut into squares and serve warm.


This makes a great addition to any breakfast or brunch. If you’re thinking of other overnight wonders, try these cinnamon rolls. Or if you completely forgot to do those the night before- whip these ones up in the morning! Pair the meal with some fresh fruit and a yummy morning drink and you’ve got a brunch fit for royalty (or a hungry family!)

Check out our index of dishes for Breakfast and Brunch for more great holiday ideas.


  1. Want to wish you you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    This recipe looks so good. Hubby loves sausage so i know he will love this.

    sure hope your hand is ok and no pain.

    Hugs Pam

  2. Looks really good, thank you!

    I would encourage you all to forget buying pre-grated cheese period…did you know that there is an antibiotic in it? (Natamycin…not sure on my spelling, but if it is in there, it is on the back of the bag…) and also cellulose…
    Anyway, that is enough to have me grating my own cheese….yuck…
    GLad to have found you!

  3. I was so hoping you would be posting a Christmas morning recipe. I was just thinking I need to prepare something. Unfortunately it needs to be milk free so this one won't do. SOunds yummy though!

  4. This is one of my very favorite recipes. In fact, I was planning on making it for Christmas morning. And then my husband begged me to make quiche instead. So…I might have to make quiche for Christmas and this for New Years! Thanks for the tips on the bread and cheese too. I've never thought of using Colby Jack before.

  5. I have a similar recipe and I love it! Such an easy breakfast. I put my husband in charge of making it a few months ago, and he decided to substitute cubed potatoes instead of the bread, and it was delicious!

  6. I make something similar as well, but with tater tots on top instead of bread on the bottom. Dee-licious. And I love the green chiles too.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Merry Christmas to you and your family… just wanted to thank you for all your time that you put into your blog!!! I love it!

  8. My mom just made this for a christmas brunch the women in our family had together. It was so good we stuffed ourselves and didn't save room for the cheesebake dessert! Thanks for the recipie, now I don't have to ask her for it!
    I also just made your peppermint bark popcorn for another party -LOVE your blog!
    Happy Holidays!

  9. YUM, YUM, YUM!! I LOVE breakfast casserole – especially Christmas morning. Mine never turns out quite right, though, so I'm using your bread tip (the recipes I've tried have bread in chunks and mixed throughout) and no bagged cheese! This and the overnight cinnamon rolls are on the menu for our Christmas morning. πŸ™‚ Mmmmmm…..

  10. So funny – I was just about to search your site for this recipe! I always check your site first, for recipes that I'm searching for (yes, over Martha's πŸ™‚ Your recipes NEVER disappoint!


  11. I love overnight anything breakfast recipes. This one looks fantastic. I make these for Christmas morning as well. They are so nice to just put in the oven first thing in the morning and then after we are done with some of the presents we take a break and eat. No cooking really Christmas morning. My favorite one is a french toast with sugar and more sugar. Anything with sugar can not be bad. Yum.

  12. What a great family tradition! My husband and I have started talking about what traditions we can start when the little ones come and this is a great one! Not to mention the wonderful recipe, yum yum!

  13. WOW this looks so good! I want to make it for my hubby on X-mas vacation! WOW definitely making Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, thanks for all the yummy pictures/recipes! πŸ™‚

  14. We're all counting on you to not seriously injure yourself. Your functioning hands are very important to us! πŸ™‚
    This is the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. Thanks for sharing your mom's special recipe.
    Merry Christmas!

  15. I stumbled upon your blog recently and I'm in love with it! Thanks for the great recipe, I'll try it Friday morning!

  16. Thank you for posting this. I wanted to make some sort of breakfast casserole, but didn't know which to try. I have total faith in your recipes, so this one is it!
    So what else do you have on Christmas morning? We are trying to plan our menu and I would like everything to be cooked beforehand. Thanks!

  17. we are doing breakfast casseroles for Christmas brunch and I was not sure what to bring, I found your recipe and will be making it, thanks so much for sharing, I love reading your website, you make cooking so much more fun! keep them coming!

  18. This style of recipe is so very forgiving and wonderful for those of us who like to "tinker" with recipes. I made a similar one last weekend with bacon (because we had some left aver making biscuits), Ro-tel style tomatoes and chilies, and an egg substitute. I served it with salsa and sour cream – LOVE it!!!

  19. I am so looking forward to making this for Christmas morning! I'm a vegetarian so I'm going to sub in some of the Morningstar Farms veggie sausage.

    Thank you again for your wonderful site! It is my first stop when I'm looking for a new recipe!

  20. My husband and I (yes I said my husband too) love this site. In fact, it's my husband that is always telling people about it. If it's on OurBestBites, it is good… Thanks.

  21. Made this for breakfast this morning and it was so very good. Think it may become a holiday tradition at my home as well! Merry Christmas!

  22. Sara, Sara, Sara…
    This is the first breakfast casserole (still cringe when I use that word)that I've ever liked! The ones I've tried in the past were either too heavy or the flavors were all mixed together and I felt like I was eating 2 week old left-overs. I'm not much of a breakfast person, but I would definitly eat this again. My husband made it (because honestly, I had no intention of trying it), the house smelled so great. We even overcooked it because we forgot to press start on the kitchen timer.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. I made this for Christmas morning. It was a huge hit!!!! THANKS!
    We had some leftovers that I saved and dh ate it for breakfast the next day and still wanted more!

  24. I hesitated to try this because the idea of soggy bread just grossed me out, not to mention I'm not a big fan of eggs… so soggy bread and eggs I thought would equal super disgusting.
    I finally tried it and I was amazed! I used Texas Toast for the bread and it made the eggs super light and fluffy, I couldn't even tell there was bread in it. A small confession is that I only used 2.5 cups of cheese, because that is all I had, but it was still super. Thanks for pushing me to try something new.

  25. Been making this for years – it's pretty awesome with spicy breakfast sausage for those who like a little kick. πŸ™‚

  26. My husband hates green chiles. Any ideas for a substitution? Or if I just left them out altogether would it be flavorful enough?

  27. Nicole, for years my Mom made 2 of these each Christmas morning. One with green chiles and one without (for my brothers who won't eat them!) It's still super yummy so leave them out if you need to. Or you could just put them on half as well.

  28. Made this for Mother's Day for all my extended family and it did not disappoint. My non egg loving family said that this was the best breakfast egg dish they'd ever had! I made a few tweaks – added 1 cup leftover chopped bell pepper (three colors) and sauteed a cup of onion with the sausage, and added one more egg to make sure it covered the extra toppings. Not only was this super colorful and pretty, but it tasted really yummy with the chiles and the meat. SLAM DUNK!! Thanks for all the great recipes. I've loved this website and am now dubbed the family cook.

  29. I've made this a handful of times and love it! Here's a question though: my sister-in-law is vegetarian…do you think if I replaced the sausage with some frozen shredded hashbrowns, maybe like 2 cups, would it still be good? would it work? any suggestions?

  30. Thanks for posting this. We wives get make this occasionally for our hubbies to take down to a men's homeless shelter. Since my hubby is gone so much, I haven't been asked to make it and lost my copy!

    Watch out or your kids may start threatening to take your kitchen knives away like mine did! After many minor cuts that took more than tape or just a few stitches, I filleted a finger so well that it took a $17,000 surgery to reattach the nerves and artery. Only half the feeling came back, but better than nothing , , it's the one that I push the needle back up with when I'm quilting πŸ˜‰

  31. This is almost identical to the casserole our family has consumed every Christmas morning for as long as I can remember. One year, when I was in college, my granny tried to not make it, and my cousin and I completely flipped out. "WHAT?! You aren't making the Christmas casserole? It isn't even Christmas without the casserole! How could you even THINK such a thing?!" Yep. It's that good.

  32. This is the same recipe that my family makes every single year for holidays, etc. Except we don't use a lot of spices or green onions because we don't like them, lol! Such a tasty and easy meal!

  33. I'm making this for a baby shower brunch (instead of quiche, hoping I'm not crazy but it sounds delicious and a bit easier than quiche) – how many servings do you get out of one pan? Looks like about 12 medium servings, maybe? I'll be serving with the Sunrise punch, a fruit platter, and a variety of mini-muffins. Thanks for the yummy recipes!

  34. This got RAVE reviews and multiple requests for the recipe at the baby shower. One lady makes something almost identical and grilled me on what spices I used because, as much as she likes hers, mine was better! The Sunrise Punch was also a hit. Huge Thank You for the recipes, and the blog in general! I can't wait until your book comes out.

  35. I made this two days ago and popped it in the oven yesterday (christmas morning). I had to modify it a little because I did a small square dish for my little family, but it came out great. My husband raved over it, and he's a picky guy. This is a new Christmas tradition in our house, thanks so much for sharing!

  36. Made this for Christmas morning and LOVED it! The only thing was that I ended up having to bake it for about 1hr 20min – I think b/c I left the foil on when I put it in the oven? I'm a complete co-dependent when it comes to following recipes, so if it doesn't say to remove the foil, I don't πŸ˜› It's a problem I have! It came out great though – next time I'll bake UNCOVERED! Thanks!

  37. Good morning Sara… This is a great recpe. After baking I add 2 cups of crushed corn flakes., with butter dizzled over it and bake for a extra 10 minutes or until a golden brown… Adds a wonderful flavor and a crunch.. Plus it looks so pretty. This recipe is so yummy it really needs nothing extra.. But these little additions just make it so much more unforgetable… You all have a wonderful year….. God bless

  38. I try a different recipe from the internet each year for our Christmas gettogether, and we all agreed this is the best by far! I will be making this again. However, we used the pre-grated cheese and we still liked it.

  39. I just made this recipe for the first time and I wanted to mention modifications: I used white wheat instead of straight white and turkey sausage and I think we didn’t lose any flavor (I’ve tried other very similar recipes before). Next time, I will omit the salt b/c we all felt it was too salty. We ate it with grits, which helped balance the richness. Thanks for the great recipe!

  40. Does this have to be refrigerated overnight? I’d like to use this recipe in my cooking class, but I can’t leave it overnight.

    1. It’s MUCH better if left overnight. If you don’t give it time, the bread won’t soak up the egg mixture and you’ll get dry bread with an eggy mixture on top.

  41. If you’re making this for dinner instead, can you make it in the morning and let it refrigerate all day? Would that work as well?

  42. Yes that would work, as long as you make it early enough in the morning that it can sit for at least 8 hours, longer if possible.

  43. made this over the weekend for guests- it went fast!! So good and easy to make! I was heavy on the spices which made it even better!!! Thanks for sharing.

  44. I have a 15×10 pan I want to use…any thoughts on whether I should increase the recipe, or go for less cooking time? And its good to go in the morning, straight into the oven? Don’t need to worry about it getting too dry overnight…I seem to remember that concern from a strata that was similar to this that I made years ago. Thank you, Ann

  45. I’m not a vegetarian, but sausage freaks me out!:) Has anyone tried this same recipe with bacon and how did it turn out? I’m thinking New Years Day brunch!

  46. Hey Sara, just wanted to let you know I made this for brunch after my son’s baby blessing. It was a huge hit. I made three 9 x 13 pans for 25 people and there were only two pieces left. I had several people ask for the recipe and I sent them the link. I’ve been looking for an overnight breakfast casserole for Christmas Eve, and this is it. Thank you!!!

  47. I have not made this yet, but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate how specific you are about your ingredients. The pictures are also very helpful. I have one of these make-ahead breakfast casseroles that I make using ham; but I would like to try one with sausage. Also, with mine I have to cube every slice of bread, which takes a lot of time. This would be great for Christmas morning or a brunch. Thanks for posting!

  48. Can’t wait to try this casserole…have checked several, but this one sounds like the best one, and all the reviews were good, so will be making it soon….thanks for posting πŸ™‚

  49. My husband volunteered to bring breakfast to his team meeting at work the other day. He was just going to bring donuts or something boring. I said, “No, no, no dear. We don’t do boring.” I made this the night before and your cinnamon rolls, popped this in the oven in the morning and went back to bed for an hour; super duper easy. It was a huge hit! I’m expecting a raise any day now. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the recipe!

  50. I tried this yesterday, it was great! I served a crowd of about 25 when I doubled the recipe. I was a bit nervous about serving a new recipe, but it turned out great! Thanks.

  51. I made this for brunch this weekend and it was FANTABULOUS. Oh my goodness. I followed the recipe to the letter except I used wheat bread and chicken-apple sausage (several non-pork eaters). It was great. I also made the Overnight Baked French Toast and followed the directions to the letter. It was perfect. I’m going to order the cookbooks as I am a believer. Thank you for the fantastic, PERFECT recipes.

  52. Can you make this without the bread? I ask because I want to make this, but I also want to make the overnight cinnamon rolls and it seems like a lot of bread for one meal…

    1. you need the bread. It absorbs all of the egg and then it grows and gets fluffy when you cook it. It is soooo good and worth it. I found it on here and I make it ALL of the time.

  53. YUM! I made this last weekend when we had overnight guests, and it was a hit. We’re not really green-chile types around here, but I noticed a “mild” variety at the store, so that’s what I used. I also took a tiny shortcut and used the Jimmy Dean’s sausage crumbles that are already cooked. Anyway, it’s been requested for Christmas morning as well, so thank you for solving that problem too! πŸ™‚

  54. This was amazing! My family loved it! Assembled it in the morning before work, popped it in the fridge to soak all day, and baked it for dinner. So easy and delicious!

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