When I was young I remember my mother making this casserole for a charity event at our church, called “The Champagne Brunch”, so in my mind it was very fancy.
I never could find her recipe for this, and for years I’ve been searching for it on Google by keyword searching the ingredients. I finally found a recipe with very similar makeup and how it was put together, and they called it “Governor’s Breakfast Casserole”. I also found that it seems to have come from (before that) a cookbook that was published and sold at the Kentucky Derby. I definitely can see my mom picking that up at the Derby (she made us Kentucky Hot Browns all the time).
Regardless, it is a very nice, rich casserole that is perfect at brunch. And has a surprise ingredient.
The ingredients are relatively straightforward. Start with 10 hardboiled, peeled and sliced eggs. I like to use my Pampered Chef slicer.
The very very best way I’ve found to cook hard boiled eggs (that peel like a dream!) is in the Instant Pot. I cook them on high pressure for 7 minutes, then hold for 1, then quick release, remove the hot water, and replace with ice water. Seriously, it makes peeling the eggs a BREEZE (and it’s normally such a pain). I use the Instant Pot Max (love the max pressure and the automatic release option)
First, start by cooking some bacon. I used 5 slices of thick cut but you could also use 10 of thinly sliced.
Cook until crispy.
You’re going to make a béchamel sauce with onions. Start with 1 medium onion sliced and quartered (you can also dice but I like the way these lay in the pan) and sauté in 3 tablespoons of butter.
When the onions are translucent, add 3 tablespoons of flour
…and cook for several minutes to reduce the floury taste.
Add 1 cup milk. I find a béchamel comes together faster if the milk is warmed in the microwave.
Heat until bubbly and thickened.
Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar (I use sharp) and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
…and melt the cheese.
Add the bacon and stir.
Layer 1/3rd of the sliced eggs on the bottom of a pan. I used a 9 inch pan with high sides, but have done it in a 9X13 (if you want it to rise high you’ll need to double or triple the recipe).
Add 1 layer of crushed potato chips. The secret ingredient! It seems odd, but in fact you cannot tell that they are potato chips when the casserole is cooked, it just melds together and makes a delicious cheese-y-potato-y sauce.
Add 1/3 of the onion/cheese sauce/bacon mixture.
And repeat layers 3 times.
At this point you can either cook for 350 for 30 minutes (wrapped half the time in aluminum foil, the other half open to brown), or refrigerate overnight. When I cooked mine, it had been refrigerated overnight so I cooked at 250 for 30 minutes, then raised the temperature to 350 for another 20 minutes (checking the temp in the center to make sure it was hot). Because mine was cold, I put aluminum foil over top while it was baking. I then broiled for a minute to get the top browned. It does hold well in the refrigerator for several days, but definitely DO NOT freeze this one because it’s awful.
We had this on a “breakfast for dinner” day. My 15 year old loved it, the seven year old not so much (but she picked out some of the eggs and bacon).
Governor’s Breakfast Egg Casserole
- Instant Pot
- 5 slices cooked thick-cut bacon
- 10 Peeled, sliced hard boiled eggs
- 1 medium onion, sliced and quartered
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 ounces crushed potato chips
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Cook eggs in Instant Pot for 7 minutes (on rack with 1 cup water), hold for 1 minute, then quick-release. Drain water and add ice water and allow to cool. Cook bacon until crispy and crumble (or slice and dice prior to cooking). DrainSautee onions in butter until translucent over medium heat. Add flour and cook for a minute. Add warmed milk and cook on medium until thickened. Add cheese and cook until melted. Add cooked bacon back to cheese mix and stir. Layer 1/3 of your sliced hardboiled eggs, then 1/3 of the crushed potato chips, then 1/3 of the cheese sauce mixture. Repeat twice for a total of 3 layers. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes. Can be kept overnight or several days in the refrigerator (covered).