Breakfast Shepherd’s Pie

This time of year some of my favorite recipe ideas are easy to make baked breakfasts. Many of us are visiting family or have family visiting next week, and being a short order cook at breakfast can be a real pain. Everyone wants something hot and fresh though, and creative egg based casseroles are the way to go. This one is a shepherd's pie breakfast mash-up, with breakfast sausage and some veggies at the bottom, an egg layer in the middle, and cheesy mashed potatoes on top. What made it really unique was that the egg and potatoes kind of melded together and created some fun textures and flavors.
Start with the filling. Onion and sausage in the pan. Spinach in next. Once the spinach is wilted add in the tomatoes. Let this cook about 10 more minutes to thicken a bit. You don’t want it watery. Get the tasty filling into the bottom of your baking dish. Next goes the egg layer. So I debated with myself about how to make this for awhile, but in the end I decided shepherds pie needs mashed potatoes on top. I thought of hash brown options or putting the eggs on top of the potatoes, but it really just felt like a generic breakfast bake unless it was a mashed potato top crust. The problem with this plan which I knew going into it, was that the potatoes would be denser than the eggs and thus sink into them. As you can see here, when I started piping on the potatoes I got pretty nervous about this working at all. On top of that I chose a slightly too small baking dish. Thankfully, there was plenty of potatoes to eventually cover the eggs and it all just barely fit into the pan. The side product of this which I did not expect was the blending of the egg and potato to form a really unique texture and flavor. It was really light and fluffy like a souffle with some bites more potatoey, and some more eggy. Fresh out of the oven this thing is gorgeous. It was hard not to just dive right in. You can see from the steam in these pictures that I didn’t wait that long. The cheesy potatoes were perfect to go with the tomato and sausage mixture and there was just enough sausage and egg flavor to keep it brunchy and not feel like dinner. The crispy bits of potato brought it to the next level. If you want to make this ahead so you can relax in the morning, I would suggest keeping the components seperate and just building it in the morning before you toss it into the oven.

Breakfast Shepherd’s Pie

  • Potatoes
  • 4 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar (shredded)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • Eggs
  • 8 Eggs
  • Sausage Mixture
  • 12 Ounces Loose Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 Onion (diced)
  • 5 Ounces Baby Spinach (chopped)
  • 14 Ounces Canned Diced Tomato

Instructions

    Potatoes
    1. Bake the potatoes at 350 until tender, about an hour and a half. Peel and put into a bowl with the cheese and butter.
    2. Start to mash and add the milk slowly until you have the right amount of milk to have fairly thick mashed potatoes. Set aside.
    Eggs
    1. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat until smooth. Add salt and pepper.
    Sausage Mixture
    1. Cook the sausage and onion in a pan on high for about 12 minutes until fully cooked and lightly browned. Add the spinach and cook about 3 minutes stirring often until spinach is wilted.
    2. Pour in the tomatoes and stir to combine. Cook about 10 minutes to let everything meld together and thicken.
    Put it together
    1. Preheat oven to 450.
    2. Put the sausage mixture at the bottom of a baking dish. Next pour in the eggs.
    3. Use a piping bag or the corner of a large zip lock bag to pipe the potatoes onto the top of the casserole. This is the trickiest part of this recipe. Do a base layer of almost half of the potatoes to form a raft for the top layer to sit on, and then pipe the top layer in a more decorative fashion, keeping it tight so that it feels like an actual crust.
    4. Run a fork along the top of the potatoes to create more texture. Bake at 450 for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.