Easter is only a week away and in the next few days, I am going to be sharing with you some of my family’s favorite Easter traditions. I thought I would start with Brunch. Our family’s Easter Brunch is something that everyone looks forward to. After celebrating mass on Easter Sunday each year, we gather together at either my house or my mother’s house. My four young children are always very eager to begin looking for hidden eggs filled with little toys or treats while the women of our family get busy cooking in the kitchen.
A lot of the prep work for the meal and even the table setting is done the day before. We like to take our time with this because it is a special occasion and well, it’s just fun! I believe the key to really enjoying Easter with your family is preparation. I know it is hard sometimes to get things done ahead of time, but it’s worth it on that day when you yourself can sit down, relax and really enjoy your family.
Along with ham, Polish sausage, pierogi, baked goods and fresh fruits & vegetables; our family loves a hearty egg casserole. This Potato, Broccoli & Pepper Jack Egg Casserole is big hit every year! To help make this delicious casserole even easier, I always start by using Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes. Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes can be found in the freezer section right at your local Walmart.
Walmart Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes
These flavorful Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes are then mixed with eggs, broccoli, chopped ham (for Easter), red pepper, onion, garlic, sour cream, milk and Sharp Cheddar and spicy Pepper Jack cheeses for an amazing dish that will satisfy everyone in the family! My children really don’t care for ham by itself, so for Easter I like to just chop some good quality deli ham and add it to the casserole. They don’t seem to mind it a bit and they never complain about the veggies in this either! To make your Easter Brunch preparations even easier, this casserole can be made ahead of time. That’s right! Make this casserole the night before, cover it and place it in your refrigerator until you are ready for it on Easter! How great is that?! I don’t know about you, but the feeling of having a main dish like this already made and ready to go helps me sleep a lot easier the night before a big family gathering.
1 (30 oz.) bag Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes, thawed completely
1 (14 oz.) bag broccoli florets, thawed completely
1/2 lb. good quality deli ham, chopped small
1/2 large red pepper, chopped small
1/2 large onion, chopped small
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups of shredded Pepper Jack cheese, divided
2 cups of shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup 2 % fat or higher milk
3/4 cups sour cream
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the red pepper, onion and garlic in 2 Tbsp. butter until softened about 5 minutes.
In an extra large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, ham and 1 1/2 cups of each of the cheeses.
Evenly spread half of the potato mixture into a lightly greased 11 x 15 (5 qt.) baking dish.
If you do not have a casserole dish that large, you may divide it into two separate dishes.
Top the potato layer with the broccoli and then the red pepper mixture.
Cover the vegetables with the remaining potato mixture.
In the same mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream and salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole.
Sprinkle with dried parsley and top with the remaining cheese (1 cup total).
Bake covered with foil loosely for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 30-35 minutes until the casserole is browned around the edges and the casserole does not appear to be runny.
*Cooking time will vary depending on the size and shape casserole dish you use. I love to use a pretty round dish for special occasions, but it makes the casserole thicker- sometimes requiring at least 20 more minutes of cooking time, so use your judgement.
Remove from the oven and let cool and set for 10 minutes before serving.
May be served hot or at warm at about room temperature.
Store any left over casserole in the refrigerator.
*If you are making this ahead of time, prepare the casserole, cover and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. until you are ready to bake it. May require a few more minutes of baking time straight from the refrigerator.
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