This crockpot breakfast casserole is the ultimate meal for busy mornings. Made with eggs, bacon, cheese, and other delicious ingredients, it’s easy to prepare and cooks perfectly in a slow cooker.
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Instead of firing up the oven, make this delicious breakfast casserole in a crockpot! It’s perfect when you need to make a big family meal but want a quick prep and hands-off cooking option. I often make this for the holidays, like Easter brunch or Christmas, when I need to feed a crowd. It’s also great to make for meal prep! This is an excellent alternative to my classic breakfast casserole when you have more time to let it cook.
The casserole is very customizable, just add in your favorite proteins and veggies. I use a combination of eggs, smokey bacon, bell peppers, onions, and melty cheese. To make it heartier, I layer in hash browns. Adjust the cooking time based on when you’re ready to serve. This simple hot breakfast is always a hit!
- Eggs: Use 12 large eggs for the recipe. Alternatively, you can use 2 2/3 cups of liquid eggs as a convenient option.
- Milk: Whole milk helps to dilute the eggs, creating a light custard. Use half-and-half or half heavy cream and half whole milk for a richer texture.
- Protein: Add 1 cup of cooked chopped bacon. Browned sausages like breakfast sausage or Italian varieties, or diced ham are tasty alternatives.
- Hashbrowns: Use frozen shredded hashbrowns that have been defrosted. Diced frozen potatoes can also be used.
- Vegetables: Use chopped onions, sliced green onions, and diced red and green bell peppers for extra fiber and flavor.
- Cheese: Use mild or sharp cheddar cheese. The grated cheese helps to bind the ingredients together.
Cook the bacon
It only takes a few minutes to cook the bacon on the stovetop. I use classic bacon, but if you prefer a thick cut, go for it! Use a large skillet for cooking the slices until crispy, about three minutes per side.
You’ll need to cook in two batches for one pound of bacon. I also recommend cooking the bacon in the oven to prepare them all at once. Drain, then chop them into smaller pieces. If you already have pre-cooked meat, you’ll need about 1 cup.
Assemble the casserole
I use a 6-quart slow cooker to make this breakfast crockpot casserole. Lightly grease the insert with cooking oil or spray. For less cleanup, mix the defrosted hashbrowns, onions, bell peppers, and a portion of the cheddar cheese directly in the slow cooker. This distributes the ingredients to flavor the dish evenly.
Add the custard
To make the custard, whisk together the eggs, milk, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the potato mixture. You don’t have to mix it! Over time, the custard will distribute throughout the casserole. Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.
Slow cooking time
The great thing about this crockpot breakfast casserole recipe is you can adjust the cooking time based on when you are ready to serve. Using the high setting will take about 3 to 4 hours. Using the low setting takes about 7 to 8 hours.
I suggest using the longer cook time as the guide so that it’s ready when needed. If it’s done cooking earlier, you can always keep it on the warm setting for about 1 hour.
Checking the casserole for doneness
To test for doneness, the center of the casserole should be firm and not jiggly when gently shaken. When testing with an instant-read thermometer, the center should reach 165 to 175ºF (74 to 79ºC). The edges will be cooked slightly more because it has closer contact with the hot insert.
- Toppings: Add sour cream, salsa, pico de Gallo, or avocado slices.
- Meat: Canadian bacon, ham streak, breakfast sausage, or a mixture.
- Vegetarian: Add sauteed mushrooms instead of the meat. Add sauteed spinach or zucchini.
- Denver: Use chopped ham steak, bell pepper, and onions.
- Cheese: Smoked gouda, Colby, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Gruyere, or mozzarella.
- Spicy: Add in freshly diced jalapeno or serrano peppers. Add canned fire-roasted chilies. Top with your favorite hot sauce.
- Hashbrown casserole
- Home fries
- Cinnamon rolls or sticky buns
- French toast casserole
- Fresh fruit salad
Frequently asked questions
Yes! The casserole can be assembled in the crock pot insert, covered, and refrigerated up to 24 hours in advance. It will take longer to bring the cooking vessel up to temperature. Plan for about an extra hour when cooked straight from the fridge.
If you find the consistency to be soggy, next time you can saute the high-moisture ingredients before adding them to the slow cooker—pre-cook ingredients like onions and other vegetables. Make sure to defrost the hashbrowns to reduce cooking time and excess moisture.
You don’t need to pre-cook the onions if adding a small amount. They will have a more robust onion flavor, a nice contrast to starchy potatoes. If you prefer a mellow taste, saute for a few minutes or caramelize the onions for an even sweeter flavor.
Using fresh potatoes
Frozen shredded hashbrowns have already been par-cooked, typically from blanching before freezing. This helps remove some moisture from the raw spuds, keeps a better structure, and makes for a more tender texture. Only use raw shredded potatoes or diced ones, if you plan to blanch them for a few minutes before adding them to the slow cooker.
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Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
- 28 ounces frozen shredded hashbrowns, 7 cups
- 1 pound bacon
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup bell pepper, red and green, ¼" dice
- ¼ cup sliced green onion
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 12 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Defrost the Potatoes – Thaw the potatoes before using either in the microwave or at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess moisture.
- Cook the Bacon – Add half of the bacon slices to a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess grease. Repeat with the remaining slices. Finely chop into smaller pieces.
- Assemble the Casserole – Lightly grease the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the potatoes, chopped bacon, bell peppers, yellow onion, green onion, and 1 ½ cup cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
- Add the Custard – In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk, mustard, salt, and pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker, evenly coating the ingredients.
- Slow Cook – Cover and cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hours or low setting for 7 to 8 hours. The casserole is done cooking when the eggs are set and the center reaches between 165 to 175ºF (74 to 79ºC).
- To Serve – Serve immediately while still hot. Alternatively, keep on the warm setting for up to an hour.
- Make Ahead: Assemble the casserole in the crockpot. Cover and refrigerate the insert for up to 24 hours. Add at least another hour to the cooking time.
- Storing: Store pieces in an airtight container for up to 7 days. To freeze, Individually wrap the slices, then store them in a resealable bag for up to 30 days.
- Reheating: Reheat individual slices in the microwave in 15 to 30 seconds intervals on high power until warmed through.
- Using Cooked Meat: You’ll need 1 cup of chopped bacon. Alternatively, use diced breakfast sausage or ham steak.
- Mustard Substitution: Use 1 teaspoon of dried mustard powder.
- Using Diced Potatoes: If desired, use frozen diced potatoes.
- Cheese Options: Substitute cheddar with Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or pepper jack.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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