Back at it again with the 52 weeks of Cooking Challenge. This past week the challenge was macaroni and cheese, which is perfect because I almost always have a box of the cheesy stuff on hand for lazy weeknight dinners. I decided to use the challenge to make a lazy Sunday breakfast instead, complete with sausage, hash browns, and baked eggs.
I dug whatever ingredients I could find in my refrigerator and cabinets and managed to find some sriracha ketchup and maple syrup for drizzling across the top of the breakfast bake. If there’s one thing that makes a good breakfast (to me) is the sweet heat combination of maple syrup and sriracha – or at least some kind of spicy combo!
You can also use macaroni and cheese from the night before, which is a great way to use up any leftovers too! If you are making the mac and cheese fresh out of the box, omit any steps that add milk, but otherwise boil cook the mac according to the instructions on the packaging.
Shred fresh potato or use frozen bagged hash browns and combine them with the garlic and onion. Feel free to add mushrooms or jalapeños or whatever else you might enjoy mixed into your hash browns. Cook the potatoes on the stove top until browned and crispy.
When the mac and cheese is ready, strain it in a colander, then melt butter in the pot and add the tomatoes and jalapeños before adding the cooked noodles back into the pot. Stir in the cream cheese and the cheese mix that comes with the box.
Add any additional cheese you might have on hand – I used a mixture of sharp cheddar and mozzarella.
Grease a glass baking dish and spread the macaroni and cheese along the bottom. Top with the precooked sausage followed by the crispy hash browns.
Create a few ‘wells’ in the top of the casserole and crack and egg into each. Season the dish with salt and pepper and drizzle with maple syrup, then bake until the eggs are set to your desired consistency. I like mine super runny, so I cooked them at 350°F for 30 minutes, until the whites were just opaque.
I squirted the sriracha ketchup all over the top of my breakfast casserole, but leave if for dipping on the side if you are looking for a more mellow meal.
However you eat it, this fun new way to enjoy macaroni and cheese is sure to be a hit with small children and college kids everywhere.
Breakfast Mac & Cheese
- Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the instructions on the packaging, minus any steps that require milk.
- Shred the potatoes with a large grater or food processor. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add the potatoes, onions, and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and let cook until browned. Flip when the hash browns are crispy around the edges.
- When draining the macaroni noodles, place 2 tablespoons of butter into the empty pot while the macaroni strains. Add the chopped tomatoes and jalapeños and sauté until browning. Pour the cooked noodles back into the pan. Stir in the cream cheese and half of the cheddar and mozzarella.
- Spread the macaroni and cheese across the bottom of a greased baking dish. Cover with the cooked breakfast sausage. Pour a drizzle of maple syrup across the tops of the crumbled sausage.
- Place the cooked hash browns on top along with any remaining shredded cheese. Make shallow 'wells' in the hash browns and crack eggs into each. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the casserole until the egg whites have just turned opaque but the yolks still have wobble, about 25-30 minutes.
- Squirt sriracha ketchup all over the top of the eggs and hash browns. Serve right away and enjoy!