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Overnight Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Overnight Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole | Catz in the Kitchen | #breakfast

So, I wrote this post back in 2010 when Chels first started writing her blog. Apparently, I was in a bit of a zany mood, as it’s basically insane. The recipe, however, is a traditional Rief dish – my mom always made it the night before a holiday. Morning of, no one had to cook – we just popped this excellent little casserole in the oven, and, voilà! 30 minutes later we had breakfast. If you feel like a random chuckle or two, feel free to read the post. Otherwise, just skip to the recipe, print it out, and file it away for the night before Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or New Year’s, or…)! 


It is with great pleasure and arduous fanfare that it is my distinct honor to present to you, dear reader, this, my guest blog in three parts. And let it be known, and duly noted, that this is the only three part guest blog available to read today! In Oregon. Or, at least, in Wilsonville. Well, maybe only at my desk. Regardless, a claim has been made, and validated. If you wish to be able to read a three part guest blog (at least one originating at my desk), it may only be read here. And there you have it.

Overnight Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole | Catz in the Kitchen | #breakfast

Why in three parts, you say? Why, that is simple. Besides the fact that it gives me two additional chances beyond what I would normally have to actually produce a readable (not to be confused with “worth reading”) piece of online literature, it gives one the perfect opportunity to address not only breakfast, and not only lunch, but also dinner. And, in reality, what culinary repertoire is complete without all three? So there you have it. Yet again.

Welcome then, now that the appropriate exercises in vanity have drawn to a close, to Part I of the three part blog (hey, did I mention this would be a three part blog?), a meal commonly known as breakfast. Now, it should be known that there was a time in the Middle Ages, around the 15th century, when breakfast was not observed, prepared, eaten, or otherwise enjoyed, due to an unfathomable frowning-upon by the Catholic Church. Thankfully, common sense eventually prevailed, and we are now free to enjoy the proverbial most important meal of the day without fear of excommunication. It is perhaps more well known where the origin of the word “breakfast” itself came from. Shall we move on then? What is that? You are not familiar with the origin of the word? Well, then, in that case, consider this your formal enlightening. A momentous hour indeed. The word breakfast is composed of the words “break” and “fast.” Ah, I see, you had that much figured out. Well, then, this next part should be quite simple for you. The longest span of time during the day in which you will generally go without nourishment is the nighttime (Taco Bell’s marvelous invention “Fourth Meal” excepted). Thus, to a certain extent, from about six or seven in the evening to seven or eight in the morning, you are “fasting,” as it were. Upon the taking up of morning nutriment, you are “breaking” said fast. So, of course, we should, for grammar’s sake, all refer to this morning time of victual consumption as “breaking-fast.” However, rather than attempt to upend 600+ years of tradition, grammatical heresy though it may be, we will, at least until the opportune time for a revolution of culinary verbiage presents itself, refer to our slightly post-dawn subsistence as “breakfast.” Have all historical curiosities been satisfied? Excellent. There you have it. Once more.

This particular breakfast recipe is one of some renown and history in the Rief household, both my own and that of my father and mother. Primarily on Christmas morning (and for many, many church potlucks), I can remember my mother fixing this wonderful breakfast (so much more depth to the word now that you know its history, don’t you think?) casserole. And, as such, courtesy of my mother and eldest (still younger than me however – I have no intention of letting her forget that…) sister, we have been able to successfully duplicate and pass down this recipe time and time again. At this point, it spans but two generations. However, I have every intention of passing it down to my daughters (and sons, God willing), at which point it will span three, and who really knows what course it will take from there? Surely, if the tradition of breaking-fast can withstand church persecution and Toaster Eggs (another story for another time – consult the archives of the Failed Product Museum in Ithaca, NY) for upwards of 600 years, our humble sausage egg casserole can last more than three measly generations…

Overnight Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole | Catz in the Kitchen | #breakfast

On to the food then. This recipe is so simple, you absolutely must give it a whirl. You will never be sorry you did. And when you have made it successfully for the 60 or 70th time, you will still not feel the pangs of regret. Indeed, you will simply revel in the wonder that is a combination of browned Jimmy Dean sausage, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, eggs, and, wait for it…bread. Really, how can you go wrong? One quick tip, then. A best practice where this particular meal is concerned is to make it the night before whatever blessed morn you are anticipating, place it gingerly in the refrigerator, and simply pop it in the oven when the morning light has shown its smiling face. And, reeling in my pathetic poetic impulses…

Begin by browning the sausage. I strongly recommend Jimmy Dean, and I strongly recommend the maple flavor, although you can get by with whatever suits your fancy (or whatever is on sale, as the case is more likely to be). The smell is simply glorious – and I am not generally a fan of pork-based substances.

Once the meat is browned (or, better yet, while the meat is browning), grease a glass 9×13 baking dish.

This task complete, take six slices of white bread and cut off the crust. I know, I know. Just do it.
Lay said slices out in the pan as shown above. Once your meat is fully browned, spread it evenly over the bread. See, the pieces are slowly coming together…its like a puzzle with layers…
Next, take six eggs and crack them into a bowl. Much the same (actually, truth be known there is no difference) as if you were preparing scrambled eggs (in the Rief family tradition, not the Chinchen family tradition – those of you who don’t know of whence I speak, just move along – nothing to see here…), add approximately a tablespoon of milk for each egg (that would be six tablespoons, for those among us not of the rocket scientist persuasion). Beat the eggs until they are a soft, uniform yellow, with as little white as possible.
Set aside the bowl of cruelly-beaten eggs for a moment, and sprinkle the sausage-covered bread in the pan with generous helpings of grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese. There is no rule here other than the key word – generously. Then again, am I really the best person to ask about this? You all should know my feelings by now on the subject of cheese. In my humble, modest, lowly-thought-of opinion, cheese is only second to chocolate on the international scale of delectability (the word “international” serves absolutely no purpose in the preceding sentence, other than to add an additional modifier of marginal substance and elongate the paragraph unnecessarily). In the profundity-ridden words of Facebook flair, “Cheese – milk’s leap towards immortality.” So, I am biased. Nevertheless…generously.


Once the bread in the pan under the sausage under the cheese is ready to go, you should then proceed to pour, as evenly as possible, your bowl of brazenly oppressed eggs over the multi-layered mixture. At this point, you’re done. Seriously. That’s it.

Now, all that is left to do is put a lid on the pan, put it in the fridge, and hit the hay. Wow, there’s a colloquialism I hadn’t used in a while. Ah, well. Still, that bothers me. Who among us has actually ever spent a night sleeping in hay? If you have, I implore you to leave a comment explaining your harrowing ordeal, as I would be terribly interested in hearing it.

Overnight Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole | Catz in the Kitchen | #breakfast

When the morning comes, as the bard known as Smashmouth once said, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and place your delectable morning treat, sans lid, inside for about 35 minutes. Just enough time to finish the stockings, as the case may be. This will absolutely be our Christmas morning meal, as it was for Thanksgiving as well. Enjoy, and don’t forget to take a moment to enlighten the rest of your abode on the history of breaking-fast – perhaps the culinary circumlocution revolution can start with you!

And so Part I concludes. Part II shall commence soon! (Editor’s note: Nope.)

Overnight Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Overnight Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This overnight sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast casserole recipe is incredibly simple to prepare, and so convenient when you don't have time to cook in the morning!



  1. Brown sausage in skillet.
  2. Slice Italian bread into 1-inch thick slices and cut off crusts.
  3. Grease high-sided 9x13 baking dish and arrange bread so that it completely covers the bottom of the dish (this part is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle).
  4. Drain sausage and spread evenly over bread. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over bread and sausage.
  5. In separate bowl, beat eggs and milk. Pour evenly over all ingredients in pan.
  6. Let set covered in fridge overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees and remove covering.
  8. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until knife poked in center comes out clean. Let stand a few minutes before serving.


Slightly Adapted from Original Recipe by Lisa Rief

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 559Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 272mgSodium: 1079mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 32g

Shawn Russell

Thursday 16th of November 2023

I loved reading your write-up on this! I knew the history of religious control and persecution was horrific, but I had no clue people had times to eat selected by the Catholic government!! This is a delicious recipe by the way... I first was introduced to it by a lady who was a friend of my boyfriend's mother as a teenager. I had been invited along with the family to visit where we lived in the Philippines... early 1970's... beautiful setting! She served the egg casserole with homemade cinnamon rolls. Over the years I replicated this menu with my own children growing up in North Carolina. We were a home school family and menu starters for homemade bread making, the norm. Homemade sourdough bread is awesome with this recipe! Bon Appetite! <3

Joshua Rief

Saturday 25th of November 2023

Ha, I'm always a little mortified when someone says they actually read this times I wish I could write like this all the time, and sometimes wish I never had...but glad you found it entertaining! 😆 Agree, the recipe is a simple, timeless gem. Totally agree, the sourdough is an excellent way to go! I have so enjoyed hearing all of the different ways that this recipe fits into different family traditions, much as it has for our family. Thank you for your reading and your comment!


Friday 24th of December 2021

It is December 24, 2021. I have been looking for my Jimmy Dean sausage for a couple of weeks. (I like the Sage variety.) None of any variety is to be found. So I ended up getting a package of mild Italian sausage in the pork section of the meat department. I’m seasoning it and using that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Joshua Rief

Saturday 25th of December 2021

That seems like it would work! How did it turn out?


Tuesday 10th of December 2019

Can I make the egg sausage and cheese casserole as a double recipe and put it in a large roasting pan?

Chelsia Rief

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

I've never tried it. We usually just split it into two 9x13 baking dishes. But if you use the roasting pan, I would make sure you grease it properly and adjust the cooking time. It may need more time to cook since it's a bigger vessel and more food. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!

Cranberry Orange Croissant French Toast - Catz in the Kitchen

Sunday 16th of December 2018

[…] option that we normally go with, a simple recipe I grew up on and still cherish, this ever-popular overnight sausage egg and cheese breakfast casserole. We make it pretty much every Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, but sometimes you’ve got to […]


Thursday 22nd of March 2018

Can you freeze this? If so, should you freeze it before or after you cook it?

Joshua Rief

Sunday 25th of March 2018

Hi! You know, we've been asked that question before, and we've never actually had a reason to try it. We're of the opinion that you'd probably be better off cooking it first, and then freezing it. We'll try to find an excuse to try it one of these days!

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