Wife-Saver Breakfast Casserole
I grew up eating a “wife-saver” casserole each Christmas morning, with eggs and bacon and Corn Flakes crumbled on top. It was delicious and hearty, and best of all, my mom could make it the the day before and pop it in the oven while we opened gifts as a family.
Pancakes and waffles are a more typical “fancy” breakfast around our house, as we all love to smother them with our frozen berries we pick each summer, and a big ol’ dollop of whipped cream. But these can be much more time consuming to prepare on the morning of, which takes away from the enjoyment of the holiday somewhat.
I was thrilled when I discovered a recipe for a similar type of breakfast casserole in Sue Gregg’s breakfast book. I’ve tweaked it somewhat, but it remains very similar. As I’ve said before, Sue Gregg’s cook books are a wonderful resource for any homemaker who desires to serve healthy yet simple and frugal dishes. This casserole is, of course, just a little bit more decadent, but that’s what holiday celebrations are for!
Wife-Saver Breakfast Casserole Recipe
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce you could sub soy sauce or Tamari for this
- 1 very full cup shredded cheddar cheese don't skimp on the cheese because it simply won't taste as good
- 12-14 large eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms diced
- 2 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
Toasted Bread Crumb Mixture
- 2 pieces whole grain toast sprouted or sourdough is best, turned into crumbs (coffee grinders and food processors work well)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
- Make cheese sauce by melting butter in a medium pot, then blending in flour. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until thickened, then add shredded cheese, mix in well, and remove from heat.
- At the same time, begin scrambled eggs by melting butter in a large pan. Add green onions and mushrooms to the pan, cook until softened, then pour beaten eggs over top. Scramble over medium heat until eggs are cooked through.
- Spread scrambled egg mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole pan.
- Pour the cheese sauce as evenly as you can over the scrambled eggs, using it all up.
- Combine toasted bread crumbs with melted butter. I find the easiest way to do this is to use the hot pan from the scrambled eggs after they've been taken out, melt the butter in it, then add the crumbs and mix it around for 30 seconds. Take this mixture and add it as the final layer to the casserole.
- Bake uncovered at 325 F for 45-60 minutes.
The casserole can also be prepared the night before, and then be covered and stored in the fridge overnight. Then just pull it out and toss it straight into the oven in the morning for delicious breakfast with little prep or cleanup! Perfect for holiday breakfasts!
Did you note the theme with all the butter and cream and cheese? This is a fairly rich and filling dish, even without any meat in it.
You can serve this along with toast or biscuits, any type of breakfast meat, or a potato dish. I like to serve it with pan-baked, diced potatoes with seasonings (garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, etc.), like these ones above. I add in plenty of coconut oil, toss them well, and bake for the same amount of time as the breakfast casserole.
This reminds me of an oven omelet I make every Christmas morning. It looks delicious!
Lovely.. Absolutely so.. Am going to be making this over the weekend.. Am just wondering if the topping gets too crisp. The husband has a TMJ problem and can eat anything that’s too crunchy or crisp.
@Prerna, It does get a bit crisp, so you could just take it out a little sooner, or maybe use less butter so that it doesn’t get as crispy.
YuM! This looks absolutely delicious! I think I will be making this very soon, if not on Christmas morning this year! Thanks!
This looks so tasty, my favorite season, thanks for sharing.
Is that paprika sprinkled on top?? Looks delicious!
@Teresa MacLaren, Oh, did I forget to include that? Yes, it’s paprika! I’ll add that in!
Looks great, but I do wish there were more dairy- free but still good breakfast ideas- besides the regular fare. I can’t have dairy, not to mention its also expensive.
@Nola, I think that you could make this one dairy-free. Try using the “cheese” sauce from this vegan recipe:
I’ve often done it with coconut milk and it tastes great. I think it would totally work in place of the cheese sauce in this recipe and you could easily substitute coconut oil for all the butter.
And yes, it’s expensive. This isn’t an everyday dish for us, that’s for sure! 🙂
@Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, Thanks! I’ll have to check that out.
I agree about the reason for the expense. However for us my grocery budget doesn’t change for the holidays. Good thing we end up going to see family and eating their food mostly instead LOL
Yummy. The original “Christmas Morning Wifesaver” recipe comes from a recipe book entitled “The Best of Bridge” (I”m not so sure about the original recipe but the recipe NAME was conceived by a group of women from Calgary, AB. It’s a bit different from your recipe there and I have to say the recipe I have is a little less time consuming with no pre-cooking of eggs or sauce or grinding breadcrumbs. Everything is tossed in the dish and then baked. It takes me less than 10 mins. to make ours on Christmas Eve. But I’m definitely up to trying the version above and hey, no cornflakes.
@Andrea, It would definitely be nice to come up with a recipe that was even faster to make. Maybe I’ll experiment more this holiday season. 🙂
I bet that original recipe is the one that my Mom used!
I have a question about your taters….
I am just now starting to use coconut oil in place of other oils in my cooking. Last night I made the taters like you have above. Usually, I use olive oil. This time I used the coconut oil; same amount, same method as always. The potatoes seemed dry and toasted, not oven fried. Almost as if they were not tossed with oil at all.
Does it take more coconut oil for this type of cooking? Or what?
@jenny in cg, I do use a fair bit of coconut oil when I make these. For a full 9×13 casserole dish, I use at least 2 Tbsp of coconut oil, maybe even a bit more. They seem like they might be too greasy when I start cooking them, but then they always turn out fine.
I just posted my first Linky over on the “Whole Foods for the Holidays: Main Dishes” for our version of the breakfast casserole. Probably not classified as healthy (too much cheese, salt in the ham, etc), but it is *so* simple and is a great dish for when company is around but you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen (at least for breakfast).
That really does sound delicious! I am pretty sure my kiddos wouldn’t go near it, but I think I will keep the recipe in mind for the next brunch I do. Thanks for sharing!
I remember this type of casserole. Yummy. However my husband recently found out he has an egg allergy as well as having to be gluten-free for years. So I had to get creative in order to still provide a daily “wife-saving” breakfast for him. (He gets up WAY earlier than I do.) Instead of eggs as the protein ingredient, I cook either pork breakfast sausage or organic bacon and add it to the dish with cooked diced leftover baked potatoes from the night before, that are browned in olive or coconut oil along with bell pepper and onion. Sometimes I throw in sauted squash as well. I also make the cheese sauce gluten free by substituting superfine brown rice flour or sorghum flour instead of wheat flour for the thickener. For variety, I sometimes replace the potatoes altogether, by using slices of Udi’s brand sandwich bread as the “filler” in the dish. Got this idea from another Christmas morning casserole dish I’ve been served.
On Cmas Day, I get completely ridiculous and serve cinnamon buns and lots and lots of bacon with cheese “omellettes” (simple, simple, simple). And lots of fruit juice. There’s no gift-opening extravaganza here, we have a very few gifts for them, put Jesus in His manger now and watch a movie while we eat our brkfst (a treat for my kids).
We’ve had bought the nite b4 pizza from a pizzeria for our main meal (heated up) or taco dip (can you say fat on fat on fat) or ham sandwiches with mustard on white bread (my childhood memories here) or shrimp with cocktail sauce. All whatever we decide to spring for as we eat very low budget, but very healthy so we don’t get this stuff normally LOL. We have desserts, usually storebought so I’m not doing work (I go to school and my last day is usually the 23rd so baking b4 is out). This will be the first yr we don’t have pop as dh and I have both quit since b4 turkey day, but I can see lots of hot cocoa cmas day!
We have no family near or that comes over so it’s just us and I try to make it special a little, for our 2 little girls. The next day we eat oatmeal just like Cmas Eve day LOL. Oh, for Cmas Eve this year, I’m going to make a Jesus Bday Cake…they’re so excited about that! I told them they can a big piece and then again on Cmas Day. My older kids used to love this and we had a party after church for Jesus too. Now no one comes over from the church we’re at but I decided WE can do it ourselves too, to get the tradition in the kids’ heads. 🙂
Sometimes, simple is nicest of all. 🙂
Can you cook the bake and the potatoes in the oven at the same time? Does that change the temperature setting?
@billie, Do you mean, can you cook the potatoes while the rest of the casserole bakes, rather than cooking them ahead? I don’t know if that would work. It would be a much longer baking time and it may affect how the casserole turns out.
@Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, Ah, okay thanks! 🙂
This is the second time this week I’ve heard of Wife Saver casserole, so I’m taking that as a sign to make it for Christmas breakfast as well. New follower 🙂
Do you boil your potatoes before baking in your recipe next to your Nourishing Wife-Saver Breakfast Casserole? Please reply to my email ASAP. It all looks so good! Thanks!
The potatoes look great! We are making this casserole for a brunch and the potatoes would be a great addition. Do you add anything other than coconut oil? What temperature and for how long do you cook them? Do you boil them ahead of time? Thanks!
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