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Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole
I first had this casserole at a Christmas Party at my son’s school. Instead of the usual afternoon parties, they have a big breakfast party and invite the family. A few families brought variations on this casserole, but this one was my favorite. I’ve since made it for visiting family and it’s always been popular.
I usually use freshly shredded potatoes, though I have bought frozen hash browns when I’ve been crunched for time. The original recipe didn’t call for baking the potato ‘crust’ separately, but I found I like the potatoes to be a bit crunchy.
This recipe is for a 9 x 13 inch pan, which is quite large for just us, but it keeps and reheats well, so is nice to have for quick breakfasts on busy mornings, which will again be the theme around here in a few days. It can also be halved easily. I also think it lends itself well to variation. One option I plan to try is use jack cheese instead of cheddar, and add green chili.
 
Sausage and Egg CasseroleSausage and egg casserole in pan
 
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
3 cups shredded potatoes,
well rinsed and drained
1/4 cup melted butter,
12 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 16 ounce container cottage cheese
6 large eggs
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Stir together the shredded potatoes and butter, and press evenly into lightly grease a 9×13 inch square baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crust is set. Leave it longer if you want it crispy – less or not at all if you don’t.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside. Mix the cheddar cheese, onion, cottage cheese, eggs and sausage. Pour over the potato crust.
Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the casserole comes out clean.