- March 16, 2023
Smoked Breakfast Casserole Recipe
This decadent smoked breakfast casserole recipe is made with a crispy hash brown crust and a filling loaded with eggs, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions, and grilled ham. It’s a perfect way to enjoy breakfast using your charcoal grill or pellet smoker!
If you love to grill, chances are you’re looking to bring some delicious smoked breakfast recipes to the backyard BBQ. Because we all know starting off the day with a solid breakfast is the only way to go, right?
There are a lot of approaches you can take to making a breakfast casserole; and frankly, they’re a rather uncomplicated recipe. That being said, I was heavily inspired by my cauliflower hashbrown breakfast casserole recipe and by this hashbrown crusted quiche recipe by Spoon Fork Bacon and wanted to transpire it to the grill for a smokier flavor profile.
Making a casserole with a hash brown crust combines my love for crispy hashbrowns filled with an egg mixture that is similar to a quiche. You can load your casserole up with whatever you like (I went with leftover grilled ham steak, bell peppers, and onions in mine) and create something truly delicious for the first meal of the day!
Why This Recipe Works:
- Convenience: It’s a one-dish meal that can be prepared ahead of time and easily reheated for breakfast. This makes them a convenient option for busy mornings when you don’t have a lot of time to cook. While this recipe itself takes some planning, the aftermath is quick and easy!
- Versatility: They can be made with a variety of ingredients, making them a versatile option for breakfast. You can use different types of meats, vegetables, and cheeses, to create a casserole that suits your taste preferences. It’s also a great way to clean out the fridge!
- Even cooking: Casseroles are cooked low and slow on the smoker, allowing all the ingredients to cook evenly. This results in a dish that is properly cooked and has a consistent texture throughout.
- Crowd-pleaser: It’s a popular breakfast option because they are hearty, filling, and can feed a crowd. They are often served at brunches, potlucks, and other gatherings where people can serve themselves.
- Spring Form Baking Pan (you can use a cast iron skillet but the crust will not get as crispy)
- Baking Sheet (helps with easier transfer)
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Frying Pan
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Paper Towels or Cheese Cloth
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
For The Hashbrown Crust:
- Bag of Hashbrowns, fully thawed
- Shredded Cheese
- Salt and Pepper
For The Egg Filling:
- Heavy Cream
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced Ham
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil or Melted Butter
How To Prepare Hashbrown Crust Breakfast Casserole
The total prep time takes about 20 minutes but you will need to account for an additional hour to freeze the hashbrowns crust in place, so plan accordingly!
To Prepare The Hashbrown Crust:
- Start with a bag of thawed hashbrowns. Once they are thawed, you need to remove all the excess moisture. I find the best way to do this is to squeeze out as much liquid as possible using cheesecloth or nut milk bags. Alternatively, you can pat dry with paper towels.
- Once the liquid has been removed, combine the hashbrowns, cornstarch, cheese, and spices in a bowl and coat everything until fully combined.
- Grease the spring form pan or brush on some melted butter on the bottom and up the sides.
- Pour the hashbrowns into the pan and press down on the bottom and pack the hashbrowns down and up around the sides. Pack the potatoes down as much as possible so you don’t have a leaky filling! Do the same if using a large 12-inch cast iron skillet.
- Freeze the hashbrowns crust in the pan for about an hour.
To Prepare The Egg Filling:
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and heavy cream together. Do not sub other liquids or the filling will be too watery. You need the fat in the heavy cream for this recipe to work the best.
- Fold in the shredded cheese, seasonings, and any prepared veggies and meats. If using cooked veggies, make sure they are not watery and if using foods like breakfast sausage or chorizo, be sure to remove excess grease. I added cooked peppers, onion, and ham.
- Do not add the filling to the crust until it has partially cooked on the grill to help it get crisp. See the cooking instructions below.
- Preheat the smoker to 425 degrees F. and set the grill for indirect heat. While this is a higher grill temperature than typical smoking, make note that you will reduce the temperature after the crust has been partially cooked.
- Remove the hashbrown crust from the freezer. Place the springform pan onto a baking sheet for easier transfer on and off the grill.
- Place the crust onto the smoker and grill for 30 minutes to set the crust. After 30 minutes remove from the grill and reduce the grill temperature to 350 degrees F. Depending on the smoker you have this may take time (pellet smokers will adjust faster than say a ceramic grill because of heat retention)
- Carefully pour the prepared egg mixture into the center of the hashbrown crust. You should still have exposed hashbrown crust showing on the edges.
- Place the hashbrown breakfast casserole back onto the smoker and cook until the egg mixture is mostly set about 30 minutes.
- If using a spring form pan, remove the casserole again and carefully run a knife around the edge of the crust, release the outside spring to remove the side of the pan. Place the base of the pan with the casserole still intact back onto the baking sheet and onto the smoker to finish cooking, about 10-15 more minutes.
- Remove the smoked breakfast casserole from the grill when the crust is crispy and golden brown and the eggs are set. Garnish with sour cream and chives if desired; slice and serve!
More Smoked Breakfast Recipes To Try:
Smoked Breakfast Casserole Recipe
- 1 bag Frozen Hashbrowns thawed
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
- 2 tsp. Cornstarch
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 6 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream do not sub
- 1 cup Shredded Cheese
- 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper each
- 1/2 cup Diced Ham
- 1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper diced small
- 1/2 cup Onion diced small
- Grease a springform pan (recommended for best results) with nonstock spray or melted butter. If using a 12 inch cast iron skillet, you can leave it as is.
- Start with fully thawed frozen hashbrown potatoes. Place them into cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and squeeze as much liquid from them as possible. Lay them out on paper towel and pat them dry.
- Add the hashbrowns, cheese, cornstarch, and seasonings to a bowl and toss to combine.
- Pour them into the springform pan and use a small measuring cup or spatula to press the potato mixture down across the bottom and up the sides. If using a cast iron skillet, do the same. Press down hard enough to prevent cracks in the potato layer so the filling won't leak out.
- Place the pan with the hashbrown crust into the freezer and freeze for 1 hour
- In a skillet sauté the green pepper and onion until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add in the diced ham and allow everything to lightly caramelize and then set it aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and heavy cream. Add the salt and pepper and beat again.
- Fold in the cooked veggies and ham and the shredded cheese and set aside.
- Preheat the smoker to 425 F. and set it for indirect heat.
- Remove the crust from the freezer (it may be easier to place the pan onto a baking sheet for easier transfer to and from the smoker) and place it on the smoker for 25-30 minutes to set.
- After it has set up, remove it from the grill to cool slightly and reduce the smoker temperature to 375 F.
- Carefully pour the egg filling mixture into the center of the hashbrown crust. Return it to the smoker and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the breakfast casserole again (if using the springform pan only) and run a knife around the edge of the crust and the pan to lightly release it. Then carefully release the outside latch spring and remove the sides of the pan. Place the casserole back onto the smoker for a final 10-15 minutes to allow the outside of the crust to crisp and get golden brown and for the egg filling to finish setting. You do not need to do this with a castiron pan. (just let it cook that last 10-15 minutes).
- Once the crust is crispy and brown and the center is fully cooked, remove the smoked breakfast casserole from the grill and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with chives and a dollop of sour cream, serve, and enjoy!