Country Gravy Breakfast Casserole

This Country Gravy Breakfast Casserole has everything you need for a terrific breakfast... sausage, eggs, cheese, country gravy and toast... perfect for guests or a weekend breakfast.
I must admit... my Mother never made breakfast casseroles when I was growing up.... I learned all about them from co-workers... they would bring them in for office "food days".... one bite.. I was hooked.. so my son reaped the benefits... breakfast casseroles became a weekend treat with leftovers enjoyed during the week.
I learned all about country gravy from my other half... a Southern staple... and oh so good.  I usually make my country gravy from scratch.. but this shortcut recipe works well...
I list the melted butter OR butter flavored cooking spray as optional.... honestly .. I think it is needed... it gives a light buttered toast taste and is the finishing touch on the casserole.  In this case.. I highly recommend you brush the melted butter over the bread cubes... butter flavored cooking spray works well to crisp the bread up but the butter flavor really isn't apparent.. so that would be a second choice.
I used fat free milk.. you can use 1% or 2 % or regular milk.
You can use any breakfast sausage you like...
Use both the green and white parts of the green onion.. and add it to the skillet of sausage after the sausage is almost done cooking... otherwise it will scorch and over-cook.
You can use any shredded cheese you prefer.. but cheddar truly is yummy!
You can use egg beaters instead of eggs... just use the equivalent amount.
This is really easy and delicious!

Recipe:  Country Gravy Breakfast Casserole
All you need:
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 pkg. Pioneer Country Gravy mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
6 slices bread cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter OR Butter flavor cooking spray (optional) *See TIPS
Paprika (optional)
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish or a 9 inch square (deep) baking dish and set it aside.
Cook the sausage over medium high heat in a large skillet... when it is almost finished cooking, add the green onions.  Drain on paper towels.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then add the water, milk and country gravy mix.   Beat with a wire whisk until well mixed.
Put the cooked sausage and green onion in the bottom of the baking dish.   Layer the shredded cheese on top of the sausage.  Pour the egg mixture on top.  Put the bread cubes on top of the mixture... some will sink into the liquid and that's okay.
Lightly brush the melted butter over the bread cubes or lightly spray with butter flavor cooking spray. 
Optional:  Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes (for a 9 x 13 baking dish) or 45 minutes for a 9 inch square (deep) baking dish or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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