I never understood the big deal about breakfast casseroles until recently. My co-workers love them—of course, that’s because they usually have pig products in them, which I don’t get as excited about. But to me, it always seemed like more work and time to do a casserole than to just make eggs, bacon, and pancakes.
But I was intrigued by this one, partly because it contains my vegetable du jour (mese? annno?), kale. Kale for breakfast? Count me in! Also, I had a crowd to feed last weekend with family in town, and we had made turkey bacon the day before so I swiped a few pieces for the next day’s breakfast. Bam, one step down. I’m that efficient…
From there, it was super easy to put together and put in the oven. I included one of my little tricks for getting egg dishes to cook evenly in the instructions, because it’s saved my life a few times. I live in perpetual fear of accidentally giving all my co-workers or family food poisoning by under-cooking eggs or chicken.
First you’ll want to tear or cut all of the major stems out of a bunch of kale. Saute the kale with a little olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) for around five minutes, possibly a little more. You can toss in a little garlic powder if you’re feeling saucy.
Place the kale in the bottom of an 8×8 pan that’s been sprayed with oil. It would also be possible just to increase some of the ingredients (by a factor of about 75%) to make a 9×13 pan.
Next, tear up the bacon and spread evenly over the kale.
In a bowl, beat the eggs together and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle cheese over the kale and bacon. The recipe calls for mozzarella, but I had some extra share Irish cheddar on hand, so I used some of that too (gave it a nice bite!).
Pour the egg mixture over everything else. It won’t look like enough, but trust me, it is.
Now, you could be dumb like me and sprinkle more cheese on top of the eggs. What I found was that this created a kind of seal that made it harder for the egg to cook properly. So you can do that and just prick openings in the cheese every few minutes, or you can wait until it’s almost baked to sprinkle the cheese on top. Your choice.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are almost entirely cooked (figure it will keep cooking a couple minutes after coming out of the oven). A trick I’ve figured out (and keep forgetting) is to put something metal in the middle of the pan (like a fork or small biscuit cutter). This helps conduct heat into the middle, making sure the eggs there get cooked evenly with the outside of the casserole. You can also broil for a minute or two at the end, to make the cheese golden.
Let cool for at least 5-10 minutes before digging in.
Cheesy, eggy, bacony, kale-y goodness. It got rave reviews from the fam, and I ate leftovers for breakfast (re-heated) all week and it was great!
Kale, Egg, & Bacon Breakfast Casserole
Makes an 8×8 pan, serves about 4-6 people; for a 9×13, use double the bacon, cheese, and kale and use 12-14 eggs
- 1 large bunch kale (8 oz. sliced kale strips); or as much as you want, remember kale will “cook down”
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 slices of cooked crisp bacon, torn or crumbled in pieces
- 3/4 cup of grated cheese (I used a blend of sharp Irish cheddar, regular sharp cheddar, and low-fat mozzarella)
- 10 eggs
- Coarse sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375. Spray an 8×8 glass or ceramic casserole dish with nonstick spray. Cook the bacon until it’s very crisp, blotting as much fat as you can with paper towels. The original recipe (linked below) recommends using pre-cooked bacon, crisping it in the microwave, and then blotting the fat.
Trim off kale stems, then wash the kale and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Or buy pre-washed, if you’re lazy like me. Tear or cut up the kale into smaller pieces or ribbons (I like bigger bites myself). Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Cook the kale all at once, for around five minutes, turning to make sure everything gets coated with oil and cooks evenly.In the casserole dish, layer the kale, crumbled bacon, and cheese. Break eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and beat well with a fork. Pour the eggs over the kale-bacon-cheese mixture, then use the fork to stir gently until eggs are well-distributed in the mixture. It will look like you don’t have enough eggs, but it will be fine!
Bake 22-25 minutes or until the casserole is set and the top is lightly browned. I recommend putting a fork or other metal item into the center of the pan to conduct heat there and make everything cook evenly. If the center puffs up, that’s not an issue either, it will settle. Serve hot, but it can keep for least a week in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave (I only heated each piece for about 20 seconds).
Original recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen
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