At our house we like heavier breakfast items like omelets and pancakes for dinner more than for breakfast. Sunday night is usually “Breakfast for Dinner” night and this made a very yummy supper, but would be great for a special breakfast, like a weekend or even Thanksgiving morning!
The casserole recipe is adapted from one I got from Udi’s Gluten Free, a company I really like that makes yummy gluten-free bread, muffins, pizza crusts, and bagels…they have the BEST! gluten-free bagels. (My first gluten-free bagel experience almost turned me off them completely. They were so dense and tough they actually squeaked when I tried to slice them – I am not exaggerating! Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the brand to warn you off of them, but since I was brave enough to try Udi’s the first time I’ve never tried another – soft and doughy and oh, so tasty!)
Anyway, I just jotted down the recipe on a piece of paper or I would included a link to the original recipe. (I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or copy anyone’s recipe, so just so you know where it came from!)
The Sausage Balls are a Gooseberry Patch recipe from their book, The Harvest Table, on page 29. I love Gooseberry Patch but they use a lot of processed convenience foods. It’s not hard, though, to use real food ingredients; in some cases the recipe just takes a little longer.
(On another note, a recipe I shared was published in The Harvest Table book! It was beyond exciting to see my name in print – and I got the cookbook for free! My recipe for Roasted Chicken Sausage and Potatoes can be found on page 71; check it out – it is SO good!)
The breakfast casserole needs to refrigerate several hours so keep that in mind. For breakfast or brunch you can make it the night before, or for dinner put it together first thing in the morning. The sausage balls are really easy to put together and worked out timing-wise when I put them together after putting the casserole in the oven. I waited until there was about 20 minutes left on the timer and put the sausage in the oven; it worked out beautifully.
Greek Breakfast Casserole (Gluten-Free with Dairy-Free option)
½ a loaf gluten-free sandwich bread, cut into ¼-inch cubes
¼ c. butter or oil of your choice (I used olive oil)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
About 4 cups fresh spinach
¼ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
10 large eggs
½-1 cup shredded cheese (I used raw milk white cheddar that is lactose free)
2 cups milk (whatever you like, cow if you can tolerate it; I used coconut because it is what I had on-hand and no, it did not taste like coconut)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and gently toast in the oven about 10 minutes, tossing half-way through – watch them closely to avoid burning as each oven is different – that’s how long mine took.
Lightly oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish and spread toasted bread cubes evenly over the bottom. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sundried tomatoes and cook until heated through. Remove from heat. Evenly spread spinach mixture over top of the bread cubes. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the spinach mixture.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and spices. Pour evenly over the casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or all day). When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 40-55 minutes, until puffy and golden.
16-ounce package ground pork breakfast sausage (make sure it’s all-natural and gluten-free – the one we use has just pork, water, and spices in it and I can buy it at the supermarket, not a specialty store)
1 c. all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
½ cup shredded cheese (again, I use a cheese that is lactose free; feel free to use whatever you like. The original recipe called for much more, but I think this is all it needs.)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead together until completely incorporated. Form mixture into one to 1-1/2-inch balls (I use my medium-sized cookie scooper and they all turn out the same size and will cook evenly!). Place balls on parchment paper-line baking sheets, one inch apart. (I use my mini muffin pan – it works perfectly and keeps them from rolling!) Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden and sausage is no longer pink. Cool slightly before serving. May be baked, then refrigerated up to one week, sealed well, and warmed at serving time. Makes 3 to 4 dozen.