Friday, September 21, 2012

Make-ahead Italian brunch bake

I saw this recipe for "Zesty Italian Brunch Bake" over at What I Gather and I knew I had to try it. I've made egg muffins dozens of times, so I really liked the idea of a layered dish just as a change of pace. I also wanted to see how it would hold up to freezing and reheating. It worked out great, so now I have a new make-ahead breakfast option! I snapped the above picture after reheating a frozen piece.

Here is what it looks like frozen, before nuking.
I made only a couple changes. I used yellow squash instead of zucchini, because that's what I got from my CSA. I think that zucchini would be prettier since the yellow squash blended in with the color of the eggs. I also precooked the onions because I was paranoid that they would be raw if I didn't, and I beat the seasonings into the eggs. All in all, this was a winner and I loved the look of the layers.

Serves 4-6

  • 16 oz jar roasted red peppers (whole or big pieces, not sliced or chopped), drained and patted dry with paper towels
  • Half a yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 zucchini or yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz sliced crimini or white mushrooms (criminis are more nutritious)
  • 1/2 lb ground beef or Italian sausage (I used bulk spicy Italian sausage; turkey sausage would definitely work too!)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • Olive oil for sauteeing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Saute the onion in a bit of oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Set aside. Wipe out pan and brown the sausage or ground beef until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat and set aside off heat.
  3. Line the bottom of a lightly-oiled 8x8 baking dish with the roasted red peppers, slightly overlapping.
  4. Add a layer of onions, then zucchini, then mushrooms, then meat.
  5. Beat the eggs with Italian herb mix, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Evenly pour it over the casserole. Shake the pan a bit to ensure even distribution.
  6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until eggs are cooked through and no longer jiggly.
Make-ahead directions: When completely cool, cut into squares. Use a spatula to lift squares out of the casserole dish and set them on a baking sheet, pieces not touching each other. Freeze overnight. Individually wrap the frozen squares in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. To serve, microwave 2-3 minutes on high or until hot.


Tarah said...

I never would have thought of freezing and reheating it! What a great idea. I am always looking for shortcuts on the morning.

Glad you liked it!

Erica said...

Yep it freezes really well! I love having little meat/veggie/egg cubes in my freezer for emergency hunger :D Thanks for the great recipe!!

Joan Mercantini said...

I made this today and loved it. Perfect for any meal.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! I found it had the flavor of pizza and I love pizza in the morning!

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