Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

This recipe is what we renamed Our Best Bite’s Easy Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole.  We made it for Mother’s Day breakfast but all agreed it is not a breakfast casserole – it’s more like a funeral potato type recipe, and would be a different, easy alternative for twice baked potatoes or loaded baked potatoes.  In other words, it was good, and we’ll totally make it again – but as a dinner side dish, not as a breakfast.  If you (at least) doubled the number of eggs, then it would be more main-dish-breakfast-y.

photo from ourbestbites.com

4 c. Southern/country-style hash browns (cubes), completely thawed (if they’re not thawed, they won’t cook correctly)

1 12-oz. package bacon
1 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 eggs
1 c. milk*
about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
about 10 turns freshly ground black pepper

*For high altitudes, reduce milk to 2/3 cup and sauté the potatoes in rendered bacon grease until partially cooked before baking.

Begin cooking bacon.  While the bacon is cooking, place the potatoes in a 9×13″ baking dish. Mix the cheeses together and sprinkle it over the potatoes. When the bacon is done cooking, drain it on a paper towel and reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Cook the onions in the drippings for 2-3 minutes or until they’re tender and fragrant. Spread the onions over the cheese mixture and then sprinkle everything with the crumbled bacon.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and, whisking constantly, pour the egg mixture evenly over the potato mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for 7-8 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350.  Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly but not brown. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with fresh fruit.

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