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Breakfast Casserole in a Crockpot on a wooden cutting board

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

Guests will oooh and ahhhh over this gourmet breakfast casserole at your next brunch or holiday gathering. Its depth of flavor and beautiful color come from the bacon, onions, garlic, kale, roasted red peppers, and Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. Bonus: It’s naturally gluten-free and makes a very large batch! 

Yield: 10+ servings 1x
Prep: 30 minutesCook: 4 hoursTotal: 4 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, thoroughly drained and diced (Sub: 12 diced red bell peppers, sautéed)
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale (be sure to remove the tough stems) (Sub: spinach)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups (about 15 ounces) refrigerated or frozen shredded hash browns, thawed (it’s important to thaw them first!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (sub: grated Parmesan cheese)
  • 2 cups (a 6 ounce block) shredded Gruyere cheese (sub: Swiss cheese, Monterey Jack, or your favorite shredded cheese)
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (we used 2% milk, but it’s your choice)

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Make It Now:

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy, about 8 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-toweled lined plate and pour off all about 2 tablespoons of grease. Set aside.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the onions and red pepper flakes. Sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the peppers, kale, and garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, until the kale has wilted, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper while it cooks. Set aside. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  4. Spray a 6 quart slow cooker insert generously with cooking spray. Layer 1 1/2 cups of the hash browns, 1/2 of the bacon, half of the veggie mixture, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1 cup Gruyere, and then repeat with the remaining hash browns, bacon, veggies and cheeses.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Pour over the other ingredients in the slow cooker. (Note: The casserole can sit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days at this point.)
  6. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours, or until the center is set. Dab off any moisture from the top with a paper towel.
  7. Taste and season with most salt and pepper, as needed. Serve warm.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-3; let the veggie mixture cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour the egg mixture into a gallon-sized freezer bag or container. Add in the veggies and bacon, hash browns, 1 cup of Gruyere cheese, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Seal tightly, toss lightly to combine, and freeze. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Gruyere and 1/4 cup of Parmesan to a small freezer bag or container and freeze along with the egg mixture.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the refrigerator. (Tip: Place the freezer bag in a dish to prevent leaks.) Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. Transfer the egg mixture to the slow cooker and stir to make sure ingredients are combined and evenly distributed. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and 1/2 cup of Gruyere. Follow Steps 6-7.


*A great short-cut is Burgers’ Smokehouse Diced Bacon. Skip chopping raw bacon and toss it right into the saute pan. 

© Author: Thriving Home
Cuisine: American Method: Slow Cooker