Almost every morning, I bake, scramble, fry or flip eggs for breakfast. So, when I also remember to mix in some antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens like kale or spinach, I want to pat myself on the back. How virtuous! How clever! How easy, with a bag of washed greens stashed in the crisper drawer. It takes only a couple of minutes more to prep an egg casserole and pop it into the oven than it takes to poach or fry a couple of eggs, and the casserole will feed a crowd, or provide a week's worth of breakfasts (or lunches, or light suppers). I can't explain how a little bit of bacon, usually so salty, makes this egg and cheese casserole so sweet, except that it draws sweetness out of the slightly bitter kale. If bacon isn't your thing, or for a similar vegetarian option, try a kale, mushroom and caramelized onion breakfast casserole instead.
Breakfast casserole with kale, bacon, mushrooms and onions
3 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
5-oz box of baby kale
8 oz roughly chopped mushrooms (any variety; I like cremini)
8 large eggs
2 Tbsp nonfat milk
7 oz shredded cheese (I use fat-free Italian four-cheese mix; use mozzarella or a mix of any of your favorite cheeses)
1 Tbsp dried thyme leaf, or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a casserole dish (approximately 9x13 inches, in any shape) with cooking spray, and set aside.
In a deep nonstick frying pan, sauté the chopped bacon over low heat until the bacon is cooked through but not crisp, and some of the fat has rendered into the pan. Stir in the onions, and continue to cook for 2 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add the mushrooms, and let them cook until just starting to brown. Then, stir in the kale. Use your spatula to bring the warm mushroom mixture over the kale leaves; the heat will wilt the kale quickly. When all of the kale has wilted, transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish, and allow it to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until slightly frothy. Add the milk, and whisk to combine. With a rubber spatula, stir in the shredded cheese, thyme, salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the casserole dish. Draw the spatula through the mixture to bring some of the vegetables to the surface.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes, until the eggs are puffy.
Serve hot, warm or cold.
More egg and cheese casseroles for breakfast, lunch or dinner:
Broccoli, mushroom, egg and cheese breakfast casserole
Egg casserole with leeks, red bell pepper and goat cheese
Egg and cheese casserole with chayote squash and green chiles
Egg, spinach and two cheese crustless quiche
Egg casserole with Italian cheeses, sun-dried tomato and fresh herbs
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Southwestern egg casserole, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked egg breakfast casserole with mushrooms, spinach and salsa, from Cookin' Canuck
Crock Pot breakfast casserole, from Iowa Girl Eats
Breakfast sausage, egg and cheese casserole, from Brown Eyed Baker
Avocado breakfast casserole, from Dine & Dish
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