You can never have too many brunch-style dishes in your culinary repertoire. Even if you're not a brunch person, in ten minutes you can get an egg and cheese casserole into the oven for lunch or dinner (with a salad and some crusty bread), or make it in the evening and reheat for breakfast the next day. And, like vanilla ice cream, a basic egg and cheese casserole loves mix-ins: fresh or leftover cooked vegetables, sausage, fresh herbs, whatever you have on hand. In this version, I've used a bit of crumbled bacon, but if you'd prefer a vegetarian dish, omit the bacon or substitute some tofu scramble. Quick and easy egg and cheese casseroles are my go-to for any meal, at any time of day.
Egg and cheese casserole with leeks, red pepper and bacon
Inspired by the many breakfast casserole recipes on Kalyn's Kitchen, this dish serves 6.
Cooking spray (canola or olive oil)
4 strips bacon
10 large eggs
1 tsp olive oil
1 large leek, chopped and washed
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
2 cups grated or shredded cheese (I use Sargento reduced-fat shredded Cheddar, from the supermarket, or any leftover shredded cheese from my freezer.)
1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 Tbsp skim milk
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a casserole dish by spraying with cooking spray.
In a nonstick frying pan, cook the bacon over low heat until it is just crisp but not burned. Drain on a plate covered with a paper towel, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
In a small frying pan, heat the oil, and add the leeks and red pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables are soft but not yet starting to brown. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool for 2 minutes. Then, mix the vegetables into the eggs; crumble the bacon and add to the egg mixture along with all of the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish.
Bake for 35 minutes, until the casserole is lightly browned and a bit puffy. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before eating.
(Can be made up to one day ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate. To reheat, uncover and place in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes.)
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Corn, green chile, egg and cheese casserole
Asparagus, egg and cheese casserole
Egg and cheese breakfast muffins with mushrooms and thyme
Frittata with broccoli and garden herbs
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Chorizo and eggs, from Simply Recipes
Curried egg salad, from 101 Cookbooks
Gluten-free pasta frittata with goat cheese, from Gluten-Free Goddess
Broccoli bacon frittata, from Cooking by the seat of my Pants!
Potato frittata, from Joy the Baker
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