Cheesy Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole



1 tablespoon butter, softened
10 (3/4-ounce) slices yellow or white American cheese
1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated hash brown potatoes*
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/4 cup half and half


1 Roma tomato, seeded, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn


Heat oven to 425°F. Brush butter over bottom and up sides of 8- or 9-inch square glass baking dish.

Stack cheese slices. Cut into thin strips; coarsely chop.

Combine potatoes, 1 1/2 cups chopped cheese, 1 egg, salt and pepper in medium bowl; mix well. Press potato mixture onto bottom and up sides of buttered dish. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, crumble sausage into 10-inch nonstick skillet. Cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat until browned and no longer pink. Using slotted spoon, place cooked sausage into potato crust.

Combine remaining 5 eggs and half & half in medium bowl; beat with wire whisk until well mixed. Pour egg mixture over sausage. Bake for 15 to 19 minutes or until eggs are almost set. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; continue baking for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Cut into squares; top each serving with chopped tomato and fresh basil.

*Substitute 3 1/2 to 4 cups thawed frozen hash brown potatoes.

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