All-in-one meals that come together quickly and easily make me a happy cook. I think many busy people appreciate them as much as I do! When the recipes offer great flavor and versatility, they often become staples. For me, this is one of those meals.
The crust itself is simple yet surprisingly tasty. Shredded cheese flavors the potatoes–no butter or additional fat needed–while the eggs serve as a binder and enhance the texture. Whereas a flour crust can become mushy when wet ingredients are added, this base stands up quite well to various fillings. What essentially began as a gluten-free alternative to a regular quiche crust has become a go-to base for many different recipes.
The recipe for Egg Scramble in a Cheddar Hash Brown Crust came to be one night when I planned on making this meal. As it turned out, the bag of frozen broccoli I was certain I had in my freezer was nowhere to be found. There was no spinach for an easy substitute either. Feel free to use what you have on hand and a little imagination to create variations of either recipe. Think about your favorite omelet fillings as a starting point…and let me know if you hit upon a keeper!
- 3 cups frozen, shredded (not cubed) hash brown potatoes, thawed and moisture removed (see notes)
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided (plus extra 1/4 cup optional)
- 6 eggs, divided use
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 ounces bacon, chopped (about 6 pieces)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup broccoli florets (fresh and steamed or frozen, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture)
- Salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, beat two of the eggs, add 1/4 cup cheese, and all of the hash browns and mix well.
- Press hash brown mixture evenly onto the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden brown.
- In the same bowl you used for the hash brown mixture, whisk the remaining 4 eggs and the milk together, add the salt and pepper, and set aside.
- While the crust is baking, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a plate, drain the pan, and then sauté the onion until softened and beginning to brown.
- When the crust is cooked, remove from the oven and spread the broccoli over the bottom, then the onions and bacon, followed by the 3/4 cup cheese. I like to reserve enough crisp bacon to sprinkle over the top before serving, maybe two tablespoons. Slowly pour the egg mixture over top.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until filling is puffed and golden brown. If desired, sprinkle an extra 1/4 cup cheese over the top and broil for a minute or two, watching very closely, until the cheese is bubbly and golden-flecked.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, sprinkle with optional reserved bacon, and enjoy.
- It is best to measure the potatoes while they are still frozen, as they will squish down once thawed. To thaw quickly, place the potatoes in a colander and run warm water over them. For a crisp, golden crust, be sure to squeeze the excess moisture out of the potatoes no matter which way you thaw them. For most effective removal of excess water, wring them out in a clean tea towel.
- I like to either use leftover steamed broccoli or steam an entire bunch, using a cup of it for the frittata and serving the rest on the side for a complete meal. You may steam the broccoli a day or two in advance and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Lastly, if you like to cook your bacon in the oven or microwave and don’t have the time or desire to sauté the onion, you may omit or substitute 1/4 cup of chopped green onions or scallions.