When your kids ask what you're serving for breakfast, "casserole" probably isn't the answer they expect, but it might just become a favorite meal. Although most of us associate slow cooker dishes with warm dinners, bring that same coziness and heartiness to your breakfast table for a nutritious start to the morning.
Eggs provide Omega-3s and protein for energy. Bring a little Mexican flavor to the breakfast table by combining eggs or egg substitute, croutons, spicy breakfast sausage, onion and green chilies in your slow cooker, served with creamy ranch dressing for topping. For a veggie-stuffed egg casserole, combine broccoli, cottage cheese, whole wheat flour and eggs. Since most slow cooker dishes need to cook for up to three hours, cook the casserole the night before and serve slices warmed up.
Fruit isn't a traditional casserole ingredient, but the blend of sweetness and nutrition makes a kid- and Mom-friendly casserole. Start with diced bread, either sourdough or a lightly sweet bread such as brioche. Let the bread dry out before dicing. Inside the slow cooker, add egg or egg substitute and sweeteners, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, brown sugar and vanilla or almond extract. Add plenty of fresh berries, including blueberries, strawberries, cherries or blackberries. Experiment with slices of apple or pear.
Instead of sausage and bacon served up in a traditional style, add some extra ingredients for a hearty, healthy casserole. Bacon usually appeals to kids of all ages. Substitute turkey bacon for a healthier option. For a blend of savory and sweet, blend chopped bacon with sweet potatoes, cinnamon and orange juice, as well as onions, pecans and pepper. The resulting mix of spicy sweet and tasty bacon is suitable for holiday mornings or any special occasion.
Cheesy, warm potatoes hit the spot, whether during cold weather or sunny summer mornings. Turn hash browns into an inspired and tasty breakfast casserole. Mix frozen hash browns, seasonings such as pepper and thyme, garlic and shredded cheese. Add extra flavor and nutrition with corn and other vegetables, such as tomatoes or broccoli. A tablespoon or two of creamy salad dressing is enough to give the casserole a distinctive taste.