5 from 6 votes

Cowboy Breakfast Casserole

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Cowboy Breakfast Casserole with bacon, bits of vegetables, black beans, and tons of shredded cheese is the most loaded breakfast casserole you will ever eat. Savory and amazing, this may be the last breakfast casserole recipe you will EVER need.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes for breakfast, oatmeal, french toast, or even these TikTok Cinnamon Rolls don’t cut it.

But worry not! This healthy breakfast casserole recipe is FULL of flavor, easy to prepare, and is the ultimate cheesy holiday brunch for the entire family. 

slice of cowboy breakfast casserole

Why you will love making this Easy Breakfast Casserole

On those days that I’m craving a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal, nothing beats Cowboy Egg Casserole. This breakfast casserole recipe has it all: bacon, potatoes, beans, and all of it mixed together with melty, cheesy goodness.

Cast Iron Friendly Recipe – Just like they used to do it on the range, this breakfast skillet is cooked using cast iron. I LOVE working with cast iron. Not only does it hold and disperse heat really well, but being able to cook an entire meal in a single oven-safe skillet makes clean-up easy.

Breakfast for Dinner – Whether you’re cooking for a whole crew or you want some leftovers for lunch, this loaded Hearty Breakfast Casserole does the trick.

With potatoes, colorful peppers, beans, and just the right amount of spice, I feel like I’ve been transported to the southwest, and I’m about to ride into the sunrise OR sunset. 

Oh, and did I mention it has bacon?

Breakfast Casserole Ingredients

Weekend Breakfast casseroles are incredibly popular around holidays that celebrate parents like Mother’s day and Father’s day, as well as busy holidays like Easter and Christmas.

They are simple to assemble and carry to a home for celebrations and are SO filling that when you make a delicious breakfast casserole, you need very few extra side dishes.

This particular casserole is LOADED with bacon, onion, peppers, and beans and is probably the only thing you need to eat for about the entire DAY!

So savory, this “cowboy” casserole is just as good for dinner as it is for morning breakfast, and there are tons of toppings (like hot sauce, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole) that are a fantastic addition.

  • Bacon
  • Russet potatoes
  • Vegetables – red and green bell pepper, green onions, and diced white onion. 
  • Black beans
  • Seasonings – chili powder, salt, cumin, paprika, and ground black pepper.
  • Eggs
  • Half and half
  • Melty Cheese – shredded cheddar cheese and shredded Monterey jack cheese
how to make cowboy breakfast casserole

How to make Cowboy Breakfast Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a large skillet, cook slices of bacon until crispy. Remove cooked bacon from the pan, drain excess grease on paper towels and cool before crumbling. Set crumbled bacon aside.
  3. In the same pan with the bacon grease, add chopped onion, tiny diced potatoes, and chopped up red and green pepper. Heat all together for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the onion is tender.
  4. Add water and cover the pan.
  5. Heat vegetable mixture for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are soft and tender.
collage on how to make eggs for cowboy casserole in a cast iron pan

  1. Remove from heat and add drained black beans, green onion, cooked bacon, and all of the spices. Season with salt. Mix well.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine eggs and half and half. Whisk together well.
  3. Fold in half each of the shredded cheese kinds and pour the entire egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet.
  4. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the eggs, and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  5. Bake cowboy breakfast casserole for 30 minutes or until the center is set.
  6. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Easy Weekend Casserole Substitutions

This Cowboy Breakfast Casserole is super versatile too.

Here are some of the substitutions you can make to the recipe to make it an instant family favorite:

  • Instead of Bacon – breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, diced ham, chorizo.
  • Instead of Russet potatoeshash browns, tater tots, sweet potato, yuca.
  • Instead of Black beans– pinto or kidney.
  • Instead of Sharp Cheddar Cheese or Monterey Jack–any cheese.
  • Instead of Green onions– canned green chilies, pepper flakes, or fresh jalapeno.
vegetables in a cast iron pan

How can I make Cowboy Breakfast Casserole healthier?

I get it; you want to eat rich, filling breakfasts all the time, so you’re looking for some healthy breakfast casserole alternatives. Using only egg whites will reduce cholesterol, while leaving out the potatoes is a great way to reduce the carbs.

You can also top Cowboy Breakfast Casserole with lots of extra veggies, including diced tomatoes, mushrooms, and (my personal favorite) sliced avocado.

Can I cook Cowboy Casserole without a cast-iron pan?

No cast-iron, no problem (although you’re missing out!). You can use any oven-safe pan or casserole dish for this cheesy breakfast.

What’s the easiest way to clean a cast iron skillet?

Add coarse salt to the pan and a couple of oil drops. With a paper towel or clean cloth, rub the salt into anything stuck-on. I like to heat the skillet as I clean it for 30 seconds or so–a hot skillet is easier to clean than a cold skillet.

Repeat with salt as necessary, and finish with a thin layer of oil to keep your pan ready to go for its next use.

uncooked cowboy casserole

How can I use frozen hash browns in place of the potatoes?

Shredded or cubed, potatoes are so good in this Breakfast Casserole. If you have frozen hash browns, simply defrost them in the microwave. Sauté the onion and peppers on medium heat like normal, cover for 10-12 minutes but leave out the water.

Once removed from the heat, add the defrosted hash browns with the beans, green onion, and spices.

How long can this egg bake keep?

You can keep this in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If it’s still hot, make sure to divide the casserole into smaller containers to ensure it cools fast.

cowboy casserole in a cast iron pan

More Breakfast Casserole Recipes

As breakfast is literally our favorite meal of the day, there is no shortage of breakfast casserole recipes here on Salty Side Dish.

5 from 6 votes

Cowboy Breakfast Casserole


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
This cowboy breakfast casserole recipe is full of all the amazing flavors that make breakfast delicious. Piles of eggs, bacon, onion, plenty of vegetables an cheese, this filling breakfast casserole is all you will need for the day. Any left overs? Warm and serve with dinner! A perfect make ahead or take with savory breakfast casserole that will keep you full and happy.

Ingredients
 

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large skillet, cook slices of bacon until crispy. Remove cooked bacon from pan, drain excess grease on paper towels and cool before crumbling. Set crumbled bacon aside.
  • In the same pan with the bacon grease, add chopped onion, tiny diced potatoes, and chopped up green and red peppers. Heat all together for about 5 minutes on medium heat until onion is tender.
  • Add water and cover pan.
  • Heat vegetable mixture for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are soft and tender.
  • Remove from heat and add drained black beans, green onion, cooked bacon and all of the spices. Mix well.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine eggs and half and half. Whisk together well.
  • Fold in half of each of the shredded cheese and pour entire mixture over the vegetables in the skillet.
  • Use a spatula to evenly distribute the eggs and sprinkle top with remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake cowboy breakfast casserole for 30 minutes or until center is set.
  • Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • They key to making breakfast casserole that includes fresh potato’s is PREP. Making sure vegetables and potatoes are chopped down evenly and small provides the best cooking experience. If vegetables, onions or potatoes are left to large or are all different sizes, the cooking time can vary.
  • I know its tempting to skip rinsing the beans but make sure you do. Otherwise the bean "juice" will turn the egg a muddy brown color.
  • Serve this cowboy breakfast casserole with hot sauce, sour cream, salsa and extra avocado on top

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 270mg | Sodium: 561mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 6 votes

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4 Comments

  1. Nanci Brockett says:

    very delicious!!!

  2. Paige Mask says:

    This is a super recipe for guests or a special weekend breakfast! Thank you so much for the recipe and substitution tips. There were zero leftovers!

  3. What size pan do you recommend? Also when subbing the diced potatoes for shredded hash browns, how much should I use? Thanks!

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      I am using a 12 inch cast iron pan – The amount of diced potatoes you can get from 2 russet potatoes also depends on the size of the potatoes and the size of the dice. Here’s a general estimate:

      A medium-sized russet potato typically yields about 1 to 1.5 cups of diced potatoes. So, if you’re using medium-sized russet potatoes, 2 of them would likely yield about 2 to 3 cups of diced potatoes.

      You can substitute for the same amount of potatoes in hashbrowns – so 2-3 cups (more or less depending on how you prefer)