Are you in the mood for a hearty and satisfying breakfast or brunch option that’s both simple to make and absolutely delicious? Look no further, because today we’re diving into the world of the Farmer’s Casserole. This dish is a perfect combination of crispy hash brown potatoes, savory ham, zesty pepper jack cheese, and a touch of green onions, all bound together with a rich and creamy egg mixture. Whether you’re serving a crowd for a family breakfast, a casual brunch, or even looking to meal prep for a week of breakfasts, this casserole has got you covered. It’s versatile, easy to make, and the flavor is out of this world.
So, who is this recipe for? Everyone! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice cook, this Farmer’s Casserole is a go-to dish. It’s perfect for busy mornings when you need a quick and satisfying breakfast, and it’s also a hit at brunch gatherings with friends and family. Plus, it’s a fantastic make-ahead option, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your meal. Now, let’s delve into the details of creating this delectable casserole and discover some valuable tips, shortcuts, and variations that will make it your new breakfast favorite.
Kitchen Equipment You’ll Need
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s make sure your kitchen is stocked with the essential equipment you’ll need to prepare this Farmer’s Casserole:
- 2-quart Baking Dish: A baking dish of the appropriate size is crucial to ensure even cooking and to prevent any spillage in the oven.
- Mixing Bowl: You’ll need a medium-sized mixing bowl to combine the eggs, evaporated milk, pepper, and salt.
- Knife and Cutting Board: For dicing the ham and chopping the green onions.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) to ensure proper baking.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurements of all the ingredients.
With your equipment ready, let’s proceed to the recipe.
Recipe: Farmer’s Casserole
- 3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
- ¾ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup cooked ham, diced
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat Your Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). While it’s heating up, grease a 2-quart baking dish to prevent sticking.
- Layer the Potatoes: Arrange the frozen hash brown potatoes evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. This will create a deliciously crispy base for your casserole.
- Add the Goodies: Sprinkle the shredded pepper jack cheese, diced ham, and chopped green onions over the layer of potatoes. This is where the magic happens – the combination of flavors is truly mouthwatering.
- Mix the Egg Mixture: In a medium bowl, mix the beaten eggs, evaporated milk, ground black pepper, and a pinch of salt. This mixture will add creaminess and flavor to your casserole.
- Pour and Refrigerate (Optional): Pour the egg mixture over the potato and cheese layers. At this point, you can cover the dish and refrigerate it for several hours or even overnight, making it a great choice for meal prep or a stress-free morning.
- Bake to Perfection: When you’re ready to bake, place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. If you’ve prepared it ahead and refrigerated it, bake for 55 to 60 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Rest and Serve: Allow the casserole to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This helps it set and makes for easy serving.
Notes and Tips
- Variations: Get creative with your Farmer’s Casserole by adding your favorite ingredients like bell peppers, mushrooms, or even some diced tomatoes. You can also switch up the cheese for a different flavor profile. Cheddar, Swiss, or feta are all excellent choices.
- Storage: If you have any leftovers (which is rare with this dish), store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the microwave for a quick and satisfying breakfast.
- Pairing Ideas: This casserole is versatile enough to be a complete meal on its own, but you can always pair it with a fresh fruit salad, a side of crispy bacon, or even a simple green salad for a balanced breakfast or brunch.
Q1: Can I use fresh potatoes instead of frozen hash browns?
A1: Absolutely, you can use fresh potatoes. Simply shred them or dice them finely, and make sure to cook them before adding them to the casserole to ensure they’re fully done.
Q2: Can I use a different type of meat besides ham?
A2: Of course! Sausage, bacon, or even cooked turkey are great alternatives that add a unique flavor to your casserole.
Q3: Can I make this casserole ahead and freeze it?
A3: Yes, you can prepare the casserole, cover it tightly, and freeze it for up to 2-3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then bake it as instructed.