Wednesday, September 22, 2010

brie brunch casserole (featuring Nature's Pride bread)

 Tomorrow is the first day of fall.  I'm ecstatic...beyond ecstatic actually.

But what is beyond ecstatic?  Jubilant?  Deliriously exuberant?

Whatever it is, that's what I am.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  Pumpkins are turning orange on the vine, the neighborhood corn maze opens its gate once again, and I can eat soup and pie until I drop.  I love the cool, crisp breeze that flows through the trees in the mornings and the yellow and orange leaves that start to grace the sidewalks.

I also love that in the fall, there is always an excuse to get together with friends.  Whether it's a Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner, or fall hayride, the social events are always plentiful and fun.

If you are considering hosting a get together, might I suggest a brunch?  
And, when you begin to plan your menu for that brunch, might I suggest this breakfast casserole?

This recipe features Nature's Pride potato bread - it's smooth, light, fresh, and delicious.  Nature's Pride gave me a free loaf of this bread (ahem...disclosure!), and so I decided to create a brunch casserole that lived up to it.  While easy to make, this dish is also more fancy than your traditional breakfast casseroles in that it contains both Brie and Parmesan cheeses alongside sauteed mushrooms and peppers and a crunchy Grape Nut topping.

And it's good.  OH is it good.

First, brown a pound of sausage.  Because I'm vain and care about the size of my thighs, I used turkey sausage.  Once it's brown, remove it to a separate dish, and throw into the same skillet a cup of diced mushrooms and 1-2 diced green peppers.  Saute these until they are tender.

Mix together 1/2 cup of flour with 4 cups of milk (skim milk will do!).  Pour this milk mixture into the skillet with the peppers and mushrooms.  Add 2 tablespoons sage, 1 teaspoon dried mustard, and 1 teaspoon seasoned salt; bring to a boil.  Once it thickens up, turn off the heat and let this mixture cool for a few minutes.  Whisk together 5 eggs in a separate bowl and add a few large tablespoons of the milk mixture to temper; add the eggs to the skillet and mix well.

 To assemble casserole, cut 6 slices of Nature's Pride potato bread into cubes and place in a 13x9 inch casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.

Top bread cubes with cooked sausage and 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.  Trim the rind off of an 8 oz. round of Brie and drop Brie by small cubes into the casserole dish.

Pour milk mixture evenly into the casserole dish.  Cover this and chill it 8 hours (or overnight).

Before baking, sprinkle 1 cup of Grape Nuts cereal over the top of the casserole for that extra special crunch.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until it's set.

Brie Brunch Casserole
6 slices Nature's Pride potato bread, cubed
1 lb. sausage
1-2 green peppers, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
5 eggs
2 T. sage
1 t. dried mustard
1 t. seasoned salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. Brie, trimmed of its rind
1 cup Grape Nuts cereal

Brown sausage in skillet; remove to a separate dish.  Saute green peppers and mushrooms in sausage drippings.  Whisk together milk and flour and pour into skillet; bring to a boil and cook a few minutes until thickened.  Add spices.  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs; add several tablespoons of milk mixture to temper the eggs.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and mix well.

To assemble casserole, place bread cubes in the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Top with sausage, Parmesan, and cubes of Brie.  Pour milk mixture over the top.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.  Before baking, top casserole with Grape Nuts cereal.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until set.  Serves 12 (these are generous servings).

Nutrition (using skim milk and turkey sausage): 334 cal, 14g fat, 6g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 144mg cholesterol, 861mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 8g sugar, 23g protein, 20% vit. A, 20% vit. C, 34% calcium, 30% iron.

Linked up with Foodie Friday
Also linked to This Week's Cravings: Christmas Morning Breakfast and Brunch!
This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tasty Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table


  1. Oh my gosh this looks A-MAZING! I am bookmarking this for the next time I am making breakfast on a weekend!

  2. That just looks waaayyyy too good. I would've never thought of using Grape Nuts as a topping!

  3. I may try this the next all my family comes home for the weekend!

  4. That looks decadent! Now what would happen if you left the rind of the Brie on I wonder. I love the Fall too!

  5. wow, that looks amazing. If one isn't too fond of brie will they still like it?

  6. The flavors -- oh the flavors! I can taste this already and want some. I adore brie -- and just made (and blogged about) a brie portabella scramble ... this sounds absolutely delectable. Great post and great photos!


  7. I am with you on loving fall! I can't wait for the crisp weather and falling leaves begin here!
    I am having a brunch here on October 18th and I'm going to make this wonderful sounding recipe.
    Thanks so much!

  8. Shannon - I think you could easily replace brie with Swiss or Havarti if you don't like brie. I didn't think the taste was too strong, but I like brie, so I'm a bad one to ask!

  9. Yummy for sure. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I am going to try this recipe very soon.

  10. Oh my! this looks incredible!


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