Slow cooker perfect for weekend brunch

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By Donna Erickson

Signal Contributing Writer

When the weekend rolls around, we’re a brunch bunch in our family. Just say the word, and it translates to “relaxing.” Brunch isn’t too early, so we have time to read the paper and do a run, and not too late so the day isn’t taken away. Best of all, it’s an occasion for good food and connecting with friends and family.

For a main dish, here’s a slow cooker brunch egg casserole you can serve without having to think too much about the details, and you won’t be heating up your oven on a hot day.

Assemble the ingredients early in the morning (or the night before and refrigerate), turn the slow cooker switch to high for about 3 hours, and it’s ready to serve as is, or with your favorite toppings. 

Like classic baked egg dishes, this recipe uses the basics — eggs, milk and cheese. But instead of adding bread cubes, this combo is layered with shredded hash brown potatoes.

Slow Cooker Egg Casserole

12 eggs

1 cup whole milk 

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black or white pepper

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 20-ounce package fresh shredded hash browns (in the refrigerated section of your grocery store) or frozen

1/2 pound cooked ham, cut in pieces, or substitute cooked bacon cut in pieces

1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

3 cups cheddar cheese shredded, or Mexican four-cheese blend, shredded

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped for garnish (optional)

Toppings such as salsa, sour cream, sliced avocado (optional)

1. Grease a 6-7 quart slow cooker. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and dry mustard. Set aside.

2. Distribute one-half of the hash browns evenly over the bottom of slow cooker.

3. Layer with half of the ham or bacon, red pepper, onions and one cup of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with two cups cheese on top. 

4. Pour egg mixture evenly over the layered casserole. (Assemble the night before, if you prefer, and refrigerate.)

5. Cook on high for three hours or until eggs are set and thoroughly cooked, and edges begin to brown. 

6. Sprinkle thyme or rosemary on top for garnish and serve directly from the slow cooker. Set out small bowls of toppings, if you wish. Makes 8 servings.

NOTEDepending on the brand or age of your slow cooker, temperatures and cook time may vary.

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

(c) 2019 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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