A couple years ago, I saw an article from Food Network for Mix-and-Match Brunch Casserole. They’ve featured various mix-and-match recipes for a variety of dishes (including quick bread, baked pasta, quiche and pesto), and I’ve found it extremely helpful. “Mix-and-match” cooking is my favorite way to cook – you’re provided with general guidelines, but there’s freedom in the recipe to use whatever you like best or have on hand. Often, that means you can save yourself a trip to the store for those one or two ingredients that you’d never use otherwise.
This Bacon, Asiago + Spinach Breakfast Casserole is the result of that flexible style of cooking. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with bacon, and I love the nutty, almost sweet flavor of Asiago cheese. I also like to throw dark greens such as spinach into almost everything I can for added color, flavor and nutrition (and it’s also a good way to sneak more veggies into my kiddos’ meals!).
Of course, this being a mix-and-match style recipe means you can follow the instructions exactly as written, or you can change up the ingredients however you like. Try sausage instead of bacon, cheddar cheese instead of Asiago or sautéed bell peppers with a bit of fresh basil instead of spinach.
You can also make this recipe the night before, and then bake it the next morning, which I highly suggest so you can avoid waking up earlier than normal. Or, I sometimes make a big pan early in the week and then we end up eating leftovers warmed in the microwave for a quick breakfast or lunch...and sometimes even dinner.
Are you a fan of mix-and-match cooking? Or do you like to follow a recipe exactly as written?
Bacon, Asiago + Spinach Breakfast Casserole
Yields about 8-10 servings
12 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 ounces spinach or other mix of tender greens
12 large eggs
2½ cups whole milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
5-6 cups of cubed, day-old bread
Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate.
Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the spinach. Stir until wilted, about another 2 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Add the sautéed bacon, onion and spinach. Stir in the cheese and bread cubes.
Pour into the prepared baking dish, cover, and let sit for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight. If it’s been in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for about a half hour before baking.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the casserole for about 45-55 minutes, uncovered, or until the eggs are just set and the top of the casserole is slightly browned. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Note: You can sub a variety of different cheeses like cheddar or Gruyere. You could also use different kinds of bread (my favorite is a leftover baguette or other crusty bread!).