this Dairy-Free Breakfast Casserole is packed with the perfect balance of flavorful protein and carb-y sweet potatoes to keep you fueled up till your next meal. made with just 7 primary ingredients and a few spice cabinet staples, it's the perfect easy breakfast to serve a crowd.
Table of contents
- this Dairy-Free Breakfast Casserole is packed with the perfect balance of flavorful protein and carb-y sweet potatoes to keep you fueled up till your next meal. made with just 7 primary ingredients and a few spice cabinet staples, it's the perfect easy breakfast to serve a crowd.
- Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
- Why you'll love this dairy-free breakfast casserole:
- How to make a breakfast casserole without dairy
- Ingredient substitutions:
- How to make my dairy-free breakfast casserole
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Recipe variations:
- Making the dairy-free egg bake ahead of time:
- Serving suggestions:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Storage and reheating directions
- Freezing directions
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More dairy-free breakfast recipes (or recipes that can easily be made dairy-free):
With the holidays (and motherhood!) fast approaching, I'm all about finding ways to make the busy season easier and less stressful. This amazingly delicious and super satisfying gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast casserole is one of my newest tricks.
If there's one thing I've learned in my many years of playing host it's that you can't forget to feed your guests breakfast on the morning of big meals like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or they'll keep coming into the kitchen looking to scavenge from your dinner prep.
Made with just 7 basic ingredients plus a few herbs and spices and only about 20 minutes of active prep, this dairy-free egg bake is the quick and easy brunch I'll be turning to when the house is crowded with all our nearest and dearest. Sanity = Restored.
Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
Why you'll love this dairy-free breakfast casserole:
This dairy-free gluten-free breakfast casserole isn't just tasty and satisfying. It's also:
- Made With Just 7 Primary Ingredients - Keeping it simple is the only way to survive holiday cooking marathons. Most of what you need for this sweet potato breakfast casserole will also be making appearances on the dinner or dessert table in different forms, so your grocery list won't get too out of hand.
- Quick & Easy - You just need 20 minutes of prep to get this tasty dairy-free breakfast bake ready for the oven.
- Meal-Prep & Freezer-Friendly - If you're type A like me, you're welcome to make this recipe up to 2 months in advance. That's right, folks! My Christmas breakfast is already assembled and ready 👏 to 👏 go, and yours can be, too.
- Budget-Friendly - You can feed a party of 9 for about the cost of a single person's Waffle House breakfast, meaning this make-ahead meal will also save you lots of money.
- Wholesome & Nutritious - It's made with real ingredients that are easy to pronounce, and also happens to be both gluten-free and dairy-free to boot!
- Super Versatile - Swap in different herbs and spices, use frozen hash browns instead of a sweet potato, try different vegan cheeses, or even stuff wedges of the casserole between English muffin halves to keep this easy breakfast fresh and interesting. Read on below for even more ideas!
How to make a breakfast casserole without dairy
Breakfast casserole has long been a staple of American kitchens, and for good reason — you can make a bunch of servings in a single dish and the oven does all the heavy lifting for you.
However, most of the baked breakfast hot dishes I grew up with were laden with cheese, milk, and other ingredients that simply don't agree with me anymore.
In my short time as a lactose-intolerant human, I've learned many ways to bolster the flavor of classic dishes without relying on typical dairy products.
Here are some of my best tricks for making breakfast casserole dairy-free:
- Boost the flavor quotient by opting for ingredients that are heavy hitters in the taste department. Using sweet potato instead of regular potato, choosing spiced sausage over one-note meats, and raiding the spice aisle are all easy ways to make your milk and cheese-free breakfast casserole taste awesome.
- Swap in plant-based milk for dairy milk. So long as it's unsweetened and unflavored, it'll taste great in this dairy-free egg casserole.
- Don't overlook the power of vegan cheese substitutes. They've come a long way in the last decade or so! I use vegan parmesan cheese, but there are also plenty of excellent swaps for cheddar, pepperjack, gouda, and other favorites, too.
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this gluten- and dairy-free breakfast casserole. Here's what to grab:
- Olive Oil - Your normal cooking oil is great here.
- Sweet Potato - Sweet potatoes come in a rainbow of different shades. Feel free to use white, yellow, orange, or even purple-fleshed!
- Yellow or White Onion
- Raw Bulk Breakfast Sausage - I generally reach for either raw chicken or pork breakfast sausage. Opt for the kind that doesn't come in casings (read: link form) to save you a step. You can also use turkey sausage if you prefer.
- Eggs - I like to use eggs from pasture-fed chickens to get the most nutrients and those gorgeous, saffron-colored yolks.
- Unsweetened Almond Milk - Almond milk has become my go-to milk substitute. If possible, reach for unflavored, too.
- Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper - For seasoning.
- Spices - I used a mixture of onion powder, dried rosemary, and dried parsley.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese - For a salty, umami punch.
I think this dairy and gluten-free breakfast casserole is pretty awesome just the way it's written. That said, there are always opportunities to customize the ingredients based on your family's needs and preferences.
Here are a few easy swaps you can make:
- Olive Oil - You're welcome to use avocado or grapeseed oil, too.
- Sweet Potato - I love the depth of flavor and color that sweet potatoes add to the mix. You're also free to use regular potatoes if you prefer. If you do, frozen, shredded hash browns will make for an even quicker prep.
- Yellow or White Onion - I tend to save my red onions for raw preparations since the color gets washed out as they cook, but you're welcome to swap one in here. You're also welcome to experiment with shallots, leeks, or even green onions!
- Raw Bulk Breakfast Sausage - You can swap in meatless sausage crumbles to make this non-dairy breakfast casserole suitable for the vegetarians in your crew. Other meats like crumbled bacon or chopped ham can also be used.
- Eggs - Vegan liquid egg substitutes (e.g. JUST Eggs) are becoming more and more common these days. While I haven't tested making this non-dairy egg casserole with them, reason leads me to believe they *should* work.
- Unsweetened Almond Milk - Any unsweetened, preferably unflavored plant-based milk will work here. You're also welcome to use lactose-free milk or even regular dairy-milk if this isn't a concern for you.
- Spices - You're welcome to experiment with other herbs and spices or spice blends.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese - Other vegan cheese varieties can be used. If dairy isn't a concern, you're also welcome to use lactose-free cheese or any regular dairy cheese of your choosing.
How to make my dairy-free breakfast casserole
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Making this breakfast casserole with chicken sausage is a snap. Here's how it's done:
Step 1: Prep. Preheat the oven and spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.
Step 2: Sauté the shredded sweet potato, minced onion, and sausage in oil for 6-8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the sausage is cooked through and no longer pink. Remove the pan from the heat.
Step 3: Make Egg Mixture. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, almond milk, seasonings, and ½ cup of the vegan cheese until combined.
Step 4: Assemble. Stir the slightly cooled sweet potato and sausage mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Pour the egg and potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese onto the egg casserole.
Step 5: Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the casserole no longer jiggles when shaken and is fully set in the center.
Making this sweet potato breakfast casserole is pretty straightforward, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve:
- Peel the sweet potato before shredding; the skins are pretty tough and detract from the overall texture of the egg bake.
- To shred the sweet potato, you can use a box grater to do it manually, or you can use a food processor fitted with the shredding disc.
- Crack your one egg at a time into a separate small bowl before adding it to the mixing bowl. I once made the mistake of not doing this, and one of the eggs in my batch was rotten 🤢 so I had to toss everything in the bowl out. Alternatively, opt for pre-cracked eggs in the carton so you don't have to worry about it.
There are SO MANY ways you can tweak this base recipe to make it your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Try different vegan cheeses. This one simple swap can make a big difference in terms of flavor!
- Swap regular potato for sweet potato for more of a traditional take on breakfast casserole.
- Go Tex-Mex by opting for Mexican chorizo, adding a chopped red bell pepper in with the onions, using vegan cheddar cheese, and swapping out the spices for taco seasoning mix.
- Make it Denver-style by using chopped ham instead of sausage, adding a green bell pepper in with the onions, and using vegan cheddar cheese.
Did you come up with an amazingly delicious version of this gluten- and dairy-free breakfast bake? If so, let me know in the comments below or tag me in your social posts (@maesmenu) so I can cheer 👏 you 👏 on!
Making the dairy-free egg bake ahead of time:
Want to get a jump on your holiday preparations? I don't blame you! Simply follow the directions up to the baking step, then cover your casserole with foil or plastic wrap for up to 1 day, and bake according to recipe directions.
Wondering when to serve this tasty and filling breakfast hot dish? Try making it for:
- Lazy weekend brunches
- Holidays with the family
- Early morning tailgates
- Meal prep for the week
If you want to serve it as part of a larger breakfast spread, may I suggest:
- Offering lots of toppings. Avocado, salsa, and vegan sour cream are delightful.
- Pair it with lightly dressed greens and/or a fruit salad.
- Turn it into breakfast sandwiches by sliding a slice between a halved and toasted English muffin or two slices of your favorite bread. Feel free to add mayo, hot sauce, and extra vegan cheese if you like!
Generally speaking, water doesn't make a great substitute for milk in a breakfast casserole (or in many other things, for that matter). The reason is that milk doesn't just add moisture, it also adds fat.
Fat helps to make baked goods more tender and this breakfast casserole richer. If you don't want to use regular milk, feel free to swap in non-dairy milk. You can also liven up your water by adding about a tablespoon of vegan butter or oil per cup of water you use.
Yep! While they're often stored in the "Dairy Aisle" of your favorite store, eggs don't contain lactose or any type of milk (e.g. cow, goat, sheep, etc) so they are decidedly dairy-free.
Storage and reheating directions
Leftovers keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Once baked, the casserole does not freeze well.
To reheat, pop individual portions in the oven or toaster oven at 200F for about 15-18 minutes until heated through, or microwave in 45 second bursts until hot.
Egg casserole can only be frozen unbaked. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 2 months.
Before baking: thaw the casserole covered in the fridge for up to 36 hours and bake to recipe directions, adding baking time as needed, or until the casserole is baked through and no longer jiggles in the center
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- 1.5-quart baking dish
- 12-inch non-stick skillet
- Silicone spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowl
More dairy-free breakfast recipes (or recipes that can easily be made dairy-free):
- Breakfast Casserole with Tater Tots
- Black Bean Breakfast Enchiladas
- Mountain Breakfast Skillet
- Coconut Maple Chai Breakfast Risotto
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded
- ½ large yellow or white onion, minced
- 1 lb. raw or bulk breakfast sausage (chicken or pork; squeezed out of casings if raw)
- 10 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- Fresh cracked pepper
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons shredded vegan parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 1 ½ quart-size baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded sweet potato, minced onion, and sausage. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently and crumbling the sausage as you cook, or until the onion is translucent and the sausage is cooked through and no longer pink. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes as you whisk up the egg mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, salt, onion powder, dried rosemary, dried parsley, cracked pepper, and ½ cup of the vegan parmesan cheese until combined.
- Stir the slightly cooled sweet potato and sausage mixture into the egg mixture until combined.
- Pour the egg and potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese onto the egg casserole.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the casserole is cooked through and set in the center.
- Leftovers keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. They do not freeze well.
- If using raw breakfast sausage in the casing, squeeze the sausage out of the casing before cooking it in the skillet.
- This recipe can also be made with dairy milk and traditional (dairy) shredded parmesan cheese, but the recipe will no longer be dairy-free.
Amount Per Serving Calories 312Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 251mgSodium 637mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 17g