This Cheesy Vegan Breakfast Casserole studded with crunchy golden potatoes and chewy vegan sausage, all in a creamy, cheesy cashew sauce, delivers plenty of flavor and nutrition to get your day off to a great start. Make this recipe ahead of time and pop it into the oven 30 minutes before serving.
Savory breakfasts like this Cheesy Vegan Breakfast Potato Casserole get me out of bed and raring to go, even on weekend mornings. It is packed with protein and good fiber, both important breakfast ingredients, and is even more delicious than I can describe.
This is a beloved recipe in our home and it's one I shared with you first back in July 2017. So many of you have since made it and written back to say you loved it. I've updated the post with new photos and more detailed instructions on how to make this breakfast casserole, and I am bringing it back to the front for newer readers.
Part of the appeal of this dish, for me certainly, and perhaps for the others who have made it, is that it is one-pot and is one of the quickest casseroles you can put together. Chop a few potatoes, an onion and garlic, and you are pretty much done with prep.
The creamy, cheesy sauce that makes this casserole divine comes together in a blender, and it is so good you'll likely want to glug it by itself. 😉
There's so much deliciousness in this dish even if you're not a savory breakfast person, even if you're not a potato person, and even if you can resist golden, crunchy food (What? Honestly? You exist?). You will still find something to love here.
I love getting the potato-sausage mixture and the cheesy sauce ready ahead of time-- usually the night before-- so I can just bung the casserole into the oven in the morning. The delicious smell wafts across the house, waking any last remaining sleepyheads and pulling them, magnet-like, into the kitchen.
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Why you'll love this vegan breakfast casserole recipe
- It's SO delicious. Like OMG delicious. The tender potatoes and chewy vegan sausage are so perfect together, and the creamy, rosemary-kissed, cheesy cashew sauce that binds them all together is simply sublime.
- It's quick. There's so little prep work involved in this recipe, besides a bit of chopping. It won't take you more than 10 minutes, tops.
- You can make it ahead. It's easy enough -- and quick enough -- to make this vegan breakfast casserole recipe from scratch in under an hour, but it is also easy enough to make this ahead and keep in the refrigerator, then bake or warm before you serve.
- It is one-pot. Make this casserole in an oven-safe or cast iron skillet for easy cleanup. If you don't have either, transfer the potatoes, sausage and sauce to a baking dish and then bake.
- It is everyone friendly. The recipe is gluten-free and soy-free. You can make it nut-free, see the ingredients list below to learn how. I find casseroles to also be extremely kid friendly (case in point vegan tater tot casserole and vegan hash brown casserole), and this breakfast casserole is definitely one of Jay's all-time favorites. If you have picky eaters of your own, kid or adult, this is the recipe to make them gorge.
- Onions. Any kind, I usually use red. But sweet or yellow onions are just as good.
- Garlic. For lots of flavor.
- Parsley. You will use this in the recipe and as a garnish after the casserole has baked. But if you wish you can leave it out.
- Vegetable oil. Just a little, to saute the veggies.
- Potatoes. Any kind of potatoes work here, including russet, yellow, and red.
- Vegan Italian sausage. This is preferred but you can use any other kind of vegan sausage. Avoid anything with a very strong flavor, like a vegan chipotle sausage. If gluten-free and soy-free make sure you read labels. I have made this recipe with nearly every brand of vegan sausage on the market, but this time I used Beyond Sausage.
- Cashews. Blending your own cashew cream for this recipe is really worth it, and that way you can make it exactly as tasty as you want it to be. If you are nut-free, use a nut-free nondairy milk and add two tablespoons of cornstarch, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- Onion powder. For flavor.
- Garlic powder. For more flavor.
- Nutritional yeast. There is no vegan cheese in this recipe and all the cheesiness here comes from delicious and healthy nutritional yeast.
- Rosemary. Rosemary and potatoes are a match made in heaven.
- Sage. I love the smokiness of the sage with the Italian sausage.
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
How to make the Vegan Breakfast Casserole
You definitely can. Add zucchini, mushrooms, sweet potatoes or carrots or even spinach. Zucchini, mushrooms, carrots and spinach can be added to the skillet directly, but cook the sweet potatoes before adding them, as you would the potatoes.
Yes, if adding tofu use super firm tofu or extra firm with the water pressed out, and cut into cubes. Season the tofu preferably, even if it is with just salt and pepper, or use your favorite Italian seasoning. Add to the pan when you'd add the sausages. You can also use tempeh.
You can put this breakfast casserole together up to a week in advance. Cover tight with cling wrap and refrigerate for a couple of days, and freeze for longer storage. Thaw and bake before serving.
To store after baking, simply cover and refrigerate or place in a freezer-safe container and freeze. Reheat before serving.
Vegan Breakfast Casserole
- 10-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe skillet
- If not using an oven-safe or cast iron skillet, you will also need a baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the cheesy sauce by combining all ingredients and blending into a really smooth paste. Set aside.
- Cook the potatoes.In a microwave: Place the diced potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and add 1 tablespoon water. Cover and nuke on high for five minutes or until potatoes are tender. On the stovetop: Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water by an inch, then bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes 10 minutes or until very tender. Drain the water and reserve the potatoes.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil. You can do this in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or any skillet that can go from the stove to the oven, to reduce cleanup.
- Add the onions, garlic, parsley and rosemary (or sage) to the oil. Season with salt and ground black pepper and saute, stirring, for five minutes over medium heat or until the onions are soft.
- Add the sausage, red pepper flakes and potatoes and continue to cook, about five minutes. Check seasoning and add more pepper and salt if needed.
- If you are using a cast iron or a stove-to-oven skillet, arrange the potato mixture in an even layer and pour the cheesy sauce over it evenly. If using a baking dish, like I did, transfer the potato sausage mixture to the baking dish and pour the cheesy sauce on top.
- Transfer the skillet or baking dish to the oven and bake 30 minutes or until the top starts to lightly brown. Switch to the broil function on your oven and broil for another five minutes on the highest setting, or until gold-brown spots appear on the potatoes and cheesy sauce.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with more parsley if you wish, and serve hot or at room temperature.
- I've made this recipe with different varieties of potatoes, and they all work, but russets are my favorite because they thicken the sauce nicely and make it even creamier.
- You can add more vegetables to this casserole, including zucchini, mushrooms, sweet potatoes or carrots or even spinach. Zucchini, mushrooms, carrots and spinach can be added to the skillet directly, but cook the sweet potatoes before adding them, as you would the potatoes.
- To replace the cashews with a nut-free option, use 1.5 cups of any nut-free nondairy milk and add 2 tablespoon cornstarch to the blender.
- You can use any vegan sausage you like, but Italian sausage is preferred. Avoid using a sausage with a very strong flavor, like chipotle sausage, as it will overwhelm the other flavors.
- You can also use cubed, seasoned tofu or tempeh instead of the sausage.
- Use no-salt seasoning in the sausage-potato mixture to reduce your salt intake and add flavor.
- You can put the casserole together a day or two earlier and bake the morning you plan to serve.