Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham

A recipe I found in an old cookbook that featured Bed & Breakfasts from around the country, Potato Cheese Strata, is one of my go to recipes when I have a house full of company.

Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham

Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham

This recipe (now slightly adapted) came originally from Arsenic & Old Lace, down in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a gorgeous B & B, in an amazing setting in the Ozarks.

I haven’t been to the Ozarks since I was a kid and my Aunt Ginny (yep, the Aunt Ginny that made English Toffee and brought back a recipe for Stroganoff from Russia) & Uncle Dick had a cabin there. It’s beautiful country.

Arsenic and Old Lace B & B

Arsenic and Old Lace B & B

This is definitely a hearty, stick to your ribs breakfast. It can be made same day or made ahead so it’s super easy for a brunch and always a huge “ask for the recipe” hit.

It can be made with a little bacon or ham (and it’s on my “12 Days of Ham” posting) and I’m sure sausage would be good, too, although I’ve never tried it. This isn’t our typical breakfast fare, but it’s a nice change from all those bread type stratas when company comes.

Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham

Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham.

I have tried short cutting this recipe and have skipped the extra little step of not drying those potatoes in a low oven, but then casserole tends to be a little wet. Take the extra time, if you’ve got it – it’s worth it.

I’ve also wondered about the weird amount of canned soup (it helps the creaminess factor) but it’s the perfect amount. It’s such a small amount that I’ve balked at the idea of replacing it with a little white sauce.

Serve this with a little more bacon or some sausage links and mabye some honeydew, cantaloupe or berries and a muffin and you’ll have one gorgeous breakfast. I used white cheddar this time, but any good cheese that melts well work great.

Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham

Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham

Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, four to five, white part only (reserve green tops, sliced at an angle) for garnish if desired.)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds hashed brown potatoes, thawed, O’Brien are great
  • 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup or some “cream of anything soup”
  • 1/2 soup can milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 5 cups shredded cheese (20 ounces), divided
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped ham cubes or 1/2 lb bacon, cooked until chewy, crumbled (may use more, if desired.)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Spread potatoes on a large baking sheet and bake for one hour. Saute green onion in butter till tender.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, the sauteed green onion, 4 cups cheese, soup, milk, sour cream, eggs, hot sauce & salt. Mix well. Spoon into a three quart glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes until puffed and slightly golden. Sprinkle with bacon or ham and reserved cheese. Bake five minutes more. Let stand five minutes to set up and cut into squares.

May be prepared the night before and refrigerated, covered. If placed in oven directly from fridge, uncover and bake about 75 minutes, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Garnish with green onion tops.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

    • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
    • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every; page and how I apply them, below.
    • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
    • Use a coupon matching site! I check every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.

Kitchen and Cooking Hacks:

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Per Serving: 460 Calories; 33g Fat (64.4% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 217mg Cholesterol; 748mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 5 Fat.

Put your own spin on it:

  • You could certainly make changes to make this recipe lower fat.
  • You could substitute Bacon for the Ham, leave out the meat, or tweak it in any number of ways.
  • I really like to serve this with honeydew melon or a mix of honeydew and berries in the summer, or with a tangerine type salad in the winter. I think I don’t eat quite as much of it if there is something else tempting on my plate!  It really is quite good, and everyone seems to like it.

My Pay Off:

A fairly simple, easy to mix up (as long as you plan ahead for the potatoes to dry in the oven) recipe that serves a good amount of people for a brunch dish.

Cost figured in October 2011, $6.36. Remade 2014 for $6.04. The sales price for Ham nearly doubled in three years, eggs became much more expensive, as did sour cream. Learning how to really buy cheese at the lowest price, though, lowered the overall cost by just a bit.

Helpful Links:

If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use ham, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Ham. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Turkey, too.

2 thoughts on “Potato Cheese Breakfast Bake with Bacon or Ham

  1. Joanne

    Oh my! I’ve never commented on anyone’s blog before, but I had to tell you, this was by far, one of the best breakfast casseroles I have ever made. I was not going to dry out the hashbrown, so glad I did. I plan on visiting your site often. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Joanne, I’m so glad you did stop by! It’s so nice to get the feedback & makes me feel like I’m on the right track!

      Drying those potatoes is an extra step that takes a bit of time, but not much effort and I think it makes a big difference. I even do it now when I make other recipes that doesn’t tell me to do it.

      Happy New Years, and I do hope you visit often! (And comment – it just makes my day.)


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