This dish smells, feels, and looks like Christmas morning. Prepare it ahead of time and then throw it in the oven to bake as you work up an appetite under the tree.
This recipe is the epitome of a happy childhood food memory, and I asked my mom if I could share it with the world. She was thrilled to know it may make its way into more homes this year, perhaps inspiring a new tradition that will bring joy to you and yours, as well.
In hindsight, the best part about this for her was probably that it’s a make-ahead dish. Growing up, she’d prepare this every year on Christmas Eve and then simply throw it in the oven on Christmas morning while we worked up an appetite tearing open presents and throwing wrapping paper everywhere for my dad to clean up (this is still an ongoing joke in my family).
We’d smell the sausage baking and just get that feeling. The feeling of joy, togetherness, whimsy, magic, and hunger: the bliss of Christmas morning. We’d make our way from under the tree to the kitchen table and enjoy a long, drawn out Christmas breakfast together as Christmas carol classics played on the radio.
Last year, we celebrated Christmas in quarantine, which felt very odd, and I was determined to make sure it was still just happy, magical, and full of nonstop love as "normal" times. I prepared this dish on Christmas Eve, as my mom always had, so that I could fill our home with that same Christmas morning aroma I’d grown up with every year. After we opened presents, we enjoyed a huge breakfast together and watched Christmas movies all day as a family. It was different, for sure, but it was a beautiful day. This recipe is love.
This is such a simple dish, but it makes the entire house smell like heaven and just feel good. It’s the perfect way to begin the food adventures and traditions of Christmas day. It’s also ideal for parents who are planning ahead to Christmas morning, but also trying to plan a special breakfast to enjoy together. I hope it brings you as much joy and as many happy memories as it’s given me throughout my life.
Happiest & Healthiest Holidays To All!
Christine and Mama Florio
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Yield: 6-8 Servings
¾ pound bulk pork sausage
6 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups whole milk or oat milk
2 slices of sandwich bread, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
1 cup, about 4 ounces, yellow American cheese that has been torn into small pieces
¾ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large skillet, cook sausage until crumbled and browned. Drain well and place aside in a bowl lined with a paper towel.
In a mixer on low speed, combine eggs, milk, bread, cheese, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Once combined, add sausage and mix again for 1 minute on low.
Pour into greased 8 x 11 ½-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Bake for 45 minutes, until set in the center and a knife is clean when inserted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve warm.