When you need breakfast for a crowd, try this Slow Cooker Egg Casserole with Sausage, Peppers, Cottage Cheese, and Cheddar! And this delicious high-protein egg casserole with sausage and peppers is low-carb and gluten-free.
There are a lot of breakfast casserole recipes on this blog, so when I bought the new Casserole Crock Slow Cooker last year (a slow cooker with the crockery part in the shape of a casserole dish), at first I didn't think of using it for a breakfast casserole. But then one day it hit me how perfect this would be for those times when you want to make breakfast for a crowd, and I knew I had to start experimenting.
It took me two tries to get the amounts right, but I loved this Slow Cooker Egg Casserole with Sausage, Peppers, Cottage Cheese, and Cheddar. My niece Kara tested it with me the second time, and we enjoyed the creaminess (and extra protein) the cottage cheese added, and the way that cooking an egg dish in the slow cooker makes the flavors of the other ingredients get infused into the eggs.
And this type of egg casserole frees up the cook for a little over 2 hours while it cooks in the slow cooker, or until the eggs are firm and the cheese is nicely melted. (That's just long enough to hang out with guests - or do I dare mention a morning when you'll be opening presents - and then breakfast is ready!)
Of course I know lots of you don't have the Casserole Crock Slow Cooker and if you're not interested in adding it to your collection of slow cookers, just put these ingredients into a large casserole dish and bake at 375F for about 40 minutes. No worries! (See after the recipe for suggestions if you'd like to adapt this recipe to use in an oval-shaped 6-Quart Slow Cooker or the 6-Quart Ninja Cooker.)
I used Jenni-O Lean Turkey Breakfast Sausage Links, and browned them before they went into the slow cooker. (We cut the sausage in half, but if you're making this for kids, I'd cut the sausage into smaller pieces.) Then we barely cooked the green pepper strips (optional) and layered that over the sausage. (For those who are wondering, Jenni-O is not paying me to mention their sausage; I just love it.)
Rinse the cottage cheese and let it drain while you're cooking the sausage. Then layer the drained cottage cheese, grated cheese and green onions, and pour over the beaten eggs. Cook on low for 2 hours or slightly longer, until the center of the casserole feels firm and the cheese is all nicely melted.
Things don't brown in the slow cooker like they do in the oven, but sprinkling some green onions over the top will dress this up a little. I like it with a dollop of sour cream; enjoy!
Slow Cooker Egg Casserole with Sausage, Peppers, Cottage Cheese, and Cheddar
(Makes about 10 servings; recipe created by Kalyn with testing help from Jake and Kara.)
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese, rinsed and drained
24 oz. (2 12 oz. packages) lean turkey breakfast sausage links (I used Jenni-O.)
3 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips (or diced)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I used Kirkland 4-Cheese Mexican Blend)
1/2 cup sliced green onions + 2 T more to sprinkle over at the end
1-2 tsp. Spike Seasoning
fresh ground black pepper to taste
14 eggs, beaten until yolks and whites are well-combined
Spray Casserole Crock Slow Cooker with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil. Put cottage cheese into a fine mesh colander, place in the sink, and rinse with cold water until the creamy part is rinsed away. Let cottage cheese drain while you cook the sausage and peppers.
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan and cook half the sausages until they're well-browned. Put sausage on a cutting board to cool. Heat another tsp. oil, cook the second half of the sausage, and transfer it to the cutting board. (If you have a giant pan that can cook all the sausage at once, by all means use it!) Heat the final tsp. of oil and brown the green pepper strips about 2-3 minutes. (You can skip this if you like them slightly crunchy.) Cut the sausage into halves or fourths and layer them in the slow cooker with the green pepper strips.
Sprinkle the drained cottage cheese and then the grated cheese over the sausages. Top with the sliced green onions and sprinkle with the Spike Seasoning and black pepper. Beat eggs until they're well-combined and then pour over the sausage, cottage cheese, and cheese. (I like to take a fork and slightly "stir" so the sausages and peppers are evenly distributed in the eggs.)
Put the lid on and cook on LOW for 2 hours, or slightly longer, until the eggs are firm in the center and the cheese is nicely melted. Sprinkle with the rest of the sliced green onions and serve hot.
What If I Don't Have the Casserole Crock Slow Cooker?
I haven't made this in other sizes of slow cookers, but I think I can still give some recommendations. (If anyone tries it, please let us know how it works.) I have made several variations of slow cooker frittatas in my Ninja, so I know you could make a recipe similar to this in an oval-shaped 6-Quart Slow Cooker or the 6-Quart Ninja Cooker. I would not recommend using a smaller size. The frittatas I've made in the Ninja cooker only served 6, so I would recommend cutting this recipe down as follows:
1 cup cottage cheese, rinsed and drained
12 oz. lean turkey breakfast sausage links
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small green pepper, but into thin strips (or use half a pepper if you prefer)
1 1/3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onion + 2 T more to sprinkle over at the end
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning
fresh ground black pepper to taste
8-9 eggs, beaten until yolks and whites are combined
Follow directions above to prepare the casserole for the slow cooker. The mixture will be a little thicker in a smaller casserole dish, so cooking time will probably be closer to 2 1/2 - 3 hours on LOW.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
If you're making this for the South Beach Diet, it would be approved for all phases if you use lean turkey sausage (like I did) and reduced fat cheese. For other types of Low-Carb diets, you might want to use pork sausage and full-fat cheese. This recipe should be suitable or easily adapted for most types of low-carb eating plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Breakfasts from the Slow Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet or Low-Carb friendly; check ingredients.)
20 Amazing From-Scratch Slow Cooker Breakfast Recipes ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch
Slow Cooker Frittata with Broccoli, Swiss, Cottage Cheese, and Parmesan ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Ham and Swiss Frittata ~ 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Slow Cooker Frittata with Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers, and Feta ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
6 Ways to Make Slow Cooker Oatmeal ~ Eat at Home
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)