Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

There's something magical about a hearty, homemade meal that brings comfort and joy, especially when it comes to breakfast. One such classic is the Biscuits and Gravy Casserole. This dish combines the fluffy goodness of biscuits with rich, savory sausage gravy, all baked to perfection in one dish. Whether you're hosting a brunch, feeding a crowd, or simply craving a delicious breakfast, this casserole is sure to hit the spot. Let's dive into the details of making this scrumptious dish from scratch.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Sausage Gravy:

  • 1 pound breakfast sausage (pork or turkey)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk (whole milk preferred)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional for a bit of heat)

For the Casserole:

  • 1 can (16.3 oz) refrigerated biscuits, or homemade if you prefer
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

Step-by-Step Recipe

  1. Preheat Your Oven Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). This will ensure it's ready to bake your casserole to golden perfection.

  2. Cook the Sausage In a large skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage and cook until browned and fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Break it into small pieces as it cooks to ensure even browning. If there's excess grease, drain it off before moving to the next step.

  3. Make the Gravy Sprinkle the flour over the cooked sausage, stirring constantly until the flour is fully incorporated and has cooked for about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, continuing to stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes if using. Let the gravy simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened to your desired consistency. Remove from heat and set aside.

  4. Prepare the Biscuit Base While the gravy is simmering, prepare the biscuits. If using refrigerated biscuits, open the can and cut each biscuit into quarters. If using homemade biscuit dough, roll it out and cut into small pieces. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and arrange the biscuit pieces evenly across the bottom.

  5. Mix the Egg Mixture In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. This will add an extra layer of flavor to your casserole.

  6. Assemble the Casserole Pour the sausage gravy evenly over the biscuit pieces, making sure they are well covered. Then, pour the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly across the top of the casserole.

  7. Bake Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the biscuits are golden brown. You can check for doneness by inserting a knife into the center of the casserole; it should come out clean.

  8. Garnish and Serve Once baked, remove the casserole from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a touch of color and freshness. Slice into squares and serve warm.

Tips and Tricks

  • Homemade Biscuits: If you have time, making your own biscuits can elevate this dish. Homemade biscuits are often fluffier and more flavorful than the canned variety.
  • Cheese Options: While cheddar is a classic choice, you can experiment with different cheeses like Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or even a smoked cheese for added depth of flavor.
  • Sausage Varieties: Feel free to use different types of sausage. Spicy sausage adds a kick, while turkey sausage offers a lighter option.
  • Make-Ahead: This casserole can be assembled the night before and stored in the refrigerator. Simply bake it the next morning, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time if needed.
  • Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.

Why Biscuits and Gravy Casserole?

Biscuits and gravy casserole is more than just a meal; it’s a comforting hug on a plate. Here are a few reasons why this dish is a standout:

  • Convenience: Combining biscuits and gravy into a casserole simplifies the process and cuts down on dishes. It’s all baked together in one pan.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: This dish is perfect for feeding a crowd, whether it’s a family gathering or a potluck. It’s hearty, filling, and always a hit.
  • Versatility: You can easily customize this casserole to suit your tastes. Add vegetables like bell peppers or mushrooms, swap out the sausage for bacon, or adjust the spices to your preference.
  • Comfort Food: There’s a reason why biscuits and gravy have stood the test of time. The combination of fluffy biscuits and creamy gravy is the epitome of comfort food.

A Few Variations

  • Vegetarian Option: Replace the sausage with a plant-based sausage or a mixture of sautéed vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach. Use vegetable broth instead of milk to make the gravy.
  • Southwestern Style: Add diced green chilies, black beans, and corn to the gravy. Top with pepper jack cheese and garnish with fresh cilantro.
  • Loaded Casserole: Mix in some cooked bacon or ham along with the sausage for an extra hearty version. You can also add diced potatoes for a loaded breakfast casserole.
  • Spicy Kick: Use hot sausage and add some diced jalapeños to the gravy. Sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper into the egg mixture for an added kick.

Serving Suggestions

  • With a Side of Fruit: Balance the richness of the casserole with a fresh fruit salad. The lightness of the fruit complements the hearty casserole perfectly.
  • Coffee or Tea: A hot cup of coffee or tea pairs wonderfully with this breakfast dish, making for a cozy morning meal.
  • Hot Sauce: For those who like a bit of heat, serve with your favorite hot sauce on the side. A dash of hot sauce over a slice of casserole adds a delicious zing.

A Brief History of Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and gravy is a traditional Southern breakfast dish in the United States, with roots that trace back to the early settlers. In the 1800s, cooks in the South made use of simple, readily available ingredients to create hearty meals. Biscuits were made from flour, lard, and buttermilk, while gravy was concocted from meat drippings and flour. This dish provided a filling, energy-boosting meal to start the day.

Over time, biscuits and gravy evolved, with regional variations and family recipes being passed down through generations. Today, it remains a beloved comfort food, celebrated for its simplicity and deliciousness.

Final Thoughts

Making a Biscuits and Gravy Casserole is like giving yourself a warm hug from the inside out. It's simple enough for a weekend breakfast but special enough for holiday brunches. With its creamy gravy, fluffy biscuits, and cheesy top, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your household. So the next time you’re looking for a comforting, crowd-pleasing dish, give this recipe a try. It’s a classic that never goes out of style.