LIT’L SMOKIES AND BUTTERNUT BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Ingredients

1 loaf ciabatta or Italian bread, but into 1 ½-2” pieces (about 1 pound loaf)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound butternut, cut into 1” pieces

¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1, 14 ounce package Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Cocktail Links

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded

9 eggs

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

½ cup maple syrup

Instructions

Put the bread on the sheet pan and bake 6-8 minutes until the bread is toasted on the outside, but still soft in the center.  Let cool.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the butternut squash and sage to the pan.  Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the squash begins to lightly brown and soften. Add the red bell pepper, Lit’l Smokies, salt, the black pepper to the pan.  Cook for 2-3minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

Coat a 9” x 11” baking dish with non-stick spray.  Place the toasted bread in the baking dish and top it with the squash mixture and half of the shredded cheese.  Gently toss everything it is all evenly distributed.

Combine the eggs, cream, milk, and maple syrup in av large bowl and whisk vigorously until very smooth.

Slowly pour the egg mixture over the casserole, letting it seep into all of the cracks and crevices.  Gently push the contents aside with a fork to help the egg mixture evenly seep into the center and sides of the casserole. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let casserole come to room temperature while the oven heats.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 1 hour until golden brown and set in the center (no longer any liquid in the center).

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