Monday, April 1, 2013

Maple, Sausage, Bacon, and Waffle Casserole (with a gluten free option)

Well, another Easter has come and gone.  Mr. E. Bunny was good to all this year.  Now, it is April 1 and spring may finally be starting to truly rear it's head.  Yesterday was misty/rainy and cool all day.  That meant the annual Grandma and Pawpaw egg hunt was indoors, but the grandsons still had a lot of fun.  Today, the sky is cerulean blue and the sun is shining, birds are singing, and trees are blooming.  It is going to be in the 70's by the weekend.  Yeeha!  Yes, I really said the 70's. Awesome.  That is why we can now be assured that spring is finally making it's way to mid-Tennessee.  All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!  Oh, and little league games start Saturday.  Whew, just in time.

Because our grandsons are 9 and younger, we had the egg hunt in the morning followed by a family brunch.  If the wait is too long and the excitement builds to a fever pitch, there will be meltdowns in our future if you know what I mean.  So hunt eggs early, then eat.

The 3 youngest boys nap in the afternoon and moms and dads were looking forward to a respite after all the morning excitement.  (Grandma and Pawpaw were too)  The 2.5 and 3 year old were shoveling candy in their mouths at a record breaking rate which can possibly lead to a lot of hyperactivity in the near future.  Wow. How you forget.   None of them eat much candy normally and yesterday was an all out candy-thon on every front.    Therefore, brunch was an excellent idea because it offered them some good food with lots of protein in place of sweets.

For brunch, I made this maple, sausage, bacon and waffle casserole adapted from a recipe I found at  You know that I use her recipes often and this one is another keeper.  It can be made the day before, refrigerated and then baked the morning of your event.  It would also be fabulous as a "breakfast for dinner" casserole.  The kids really loved it.  Why wouldn't they?  It has all their favorite things in one dish.

I made ours with Van's gluten free waffles so our son in love could enjoy it too.  Otherwise, the recipe calls for Eggo frozen homestyle waffles.  Here is the original recipe and then I will post my adaptation.

Original recipe for 8x8 casserole:

8 frozen Eggo homestyle waffles, cubed
2 pounds maple flavored breakfast sausage
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (whole or low fat)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
salt and pepper

This is to be baked in an 8 x 8 baking dish, but layered together just the same as the larger casserole  I made.  Here is how I made mine.

Casserole for 9 x 13 baking dish.

12 Van's gluten free frozen waffles (or Eggo waffles if not making gluten free), cubed
1 pound breakfast sausage  (I used plain sausage, but you can use maple flavored if you wish)
1 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
12 large eggs
1 8 ounce block cheddar cheese, grated
2.5 cups milk (whole or low fat)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
salt and pepper

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.  I sprayed mine with Pam.

Cube all the waffles.

Cook sausage over medium heat, breaking apart until well browned.  Drain fat if needed.

Cook the pound of bacon until crisp, drain.  Break into good sized pieces.

Add 1/2 the cubed waffles to the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with half of the sausage and bacon and 1/2 of the cheese.  Layer the remaining waffles, sausage, bacon and cheese.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, salt, and pepper (about 1/2 tsp. each).  Pour the egg mixture evenly over the layers in the baking dish.

Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap for at least 1 hour before baking or up to one day if using the next day.  Store in the refrigerator.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes.

As soon as eggs look set, remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Mmmmmm, waffles, sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese, AND maple syrup in one dish.  This is soooooooo good and really easy to make.  (The gluten free waffles do give it a slightly different consistency than regular waffles, but it's still really good.)  If you prefer sausage over bacon, use 2 to 3 pounds of sausage for a big casserole.  If you only want bacon only, use 2 pounds of bacon.  We liked the mixture of the two, but it's up to you.

This is a wonderful make ahead dish anytime you need something for breakfast, especially if you are entertaining guests.  Don't forget about it for a "breakfast for dinner" meal also.  The grandsons LOVE bacon and sausage, and anything with syrup.  (Imagine)  You could even pour a little warmed maple syrup over the top for a little extra flavor. Yummmmo.

Mother's Day will be coming up in May and this would be a wonderful recipe to serve for a Mother's Day brunch - or any brunch or breakfast for that matter.  Graduation will be right around the corner too.  Lots of opportunities coming up where you can use another great breakfast casserole recipe.  Seems you can never have too many recipes.

Now, it's time to put away the bunnies and eggs, do a few spring crafts and enjoy the beautiful weather.  It's also time for some spring cleaning and yard work.  Looks like we are going to be busy.  Talk to you all soon.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland  (Thankfully!)


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