Light and airy like a soufflé, our Green Chile Breakfast Casserole is moist and cheesy, with just the right amount of spice. The absence of any bread helps to keep it light, and instead of separating eggs and whipping the whites, baking powder is added to help it rise. Puréed cottage cheese adds a creamy texture with no lumps. Southwestern spices (cumin, oregano, garlic powder) perfectly complement the chile-cheese flavor, and chopped pimientos add small pops of color throughout. So easy, so alluring, and a real crowd pleaser!
Green Chile Casserole Recipe
Breakfast casseroles are hugely popular, and once you start making them you can see why. They are super easy to prepare, can be made ahead, are full of flavor – and extremely flexible. A few of my favorites (in addition to this one!) include Sausage, Cheese and Hash Brown Strata and Baked Cinnamon French Toast. You can serve them as part of a brunch celebration (Easter, Mother’s Day, school graduation, bridal shower, baby shower, etc.) or simply to indulge yourself and your family on a Sunday morning. And, this Green Chile Egg Casserole is an excellent dish to add to your collection of breakfast dishes, because:
- It can be prepared ahead, but doesn’t have to be. In fact, this casserole takes so little time to prepare, you can put it together the morning you’re serving it.
- It doesn’t contain any bread, making it lighter and a great companion to luscious breakfast muffins and coffee cakes.
- It’s vegetarian, and many breakfast casseroles aren’t as they include bacon and/or sausage.
- It can easily be made gluten free (see below).
- Everyone – young and old – loves it!
Southwestern Egg Casserole Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to prepare this moist, cheesy, flavorful casserole – all of which can easily be found at major grocery stores:
- Mild green chiles (Anaheim or Hatch/New Mexico), roasted, seeded, deveined and chopped. You can also use canned chopped green chiles (not jalapenos!).
- Monterey Jack cheese. It’s equally delicious with Cheddar cheese, or a blend of the two.
- Cottage cheese. Small curd is best, but larger also works.
- Eggs. Use large eggs – after all, they are one of the stars of this dish!
- Butter. I prefer to use salted, as the salt brings out the flavor of the other ingredients during baking.
- All-purpose flour. Organic unbleached is my AP flour of choice.
- Baking powder. Make sure it hasn’t expired – if it has, it won’t do its job to make the casserole light and airy.
- Dried oregano. Use Mexican if you can find it; it has a different flavor. Regular will work, too.
- Ground cumin.
- Garlic powder. Can also use granules.
- Kosher salt and pepper. The salt is needed to activate the baking powder – and amp up the flavor.
- Chopped red pimiento. It comes in a jar; make sure to drain it well!
What is a green chile?
A green chile is a small spicy pepper that’s commonly grown in the Southwestern United States and Mexico. They come in many varieties; the most common are Anaheim, Hatch (or New Mexico), Poblano, Jalapeno and Serrano. They vary in flavor and heat; for this recipe I recommend using one of the milder chiles – Anaheim or Hatch (most canned chopped green chiles are one of these types).
Is a green chile spicy?
As mentioned above, the heat level of a green chile varies by type. Milder green chiles include Anaheim, Hatch and Poblano. Jalapeno and Serrano will be hotter. Removing the internal seeds and vein will reduce the spiciness.
How to make Green Chile Casserole
Super quick and easy to prepare, here’s all you have to do to make this amazing casserole:
- Prep oven and pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking dish.
- Purée cottage cheese.
Place cottage cheese (including any liquid) in the bowl of a food processor and whirl around until fairly smooth – it should look like ricotta cheese. Set aside.
- Beat together wet ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer (using whisk attachment) until light. (Can also use a blender.) Add butter and cottage cheese; beat until well mixed.
- Add dry ingredients.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together together flour, baking powder, oregano, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Add to egg mixture and beat just until mixed.
- Add remaining ingredients.
Stir in cheese, chiles and pimiento.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown, set in the middle (not jiggly) and puffy. Serve immediately.
Green Chile Egg Casserole FAQs
This casserole is so quick and easy to prepare, I tend to make it the morning I’m going to serve it. If not baking right away, cover and put in the refrigerator. If you prefer, you can also make it the night before. Again, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking; bake time may take 5 to 10 minutes longer.
The casserole will be golden brown on top, and set in the middle – which means, when you gently shake the pan the middle isn’t jiggly.
To make this dish gluten free simply use a gluten free flour mix in place of the all-purpose flour.
Storing and Reheating Southwest Egg Casserole
Uncooked, covered and refrigerated, this casserole will keep overnight. Cooked, well covered and refrigerated it will keep 3 to 4 days.
Yes, once cooked it can be well wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months.
If it’s been refrigerated, bring the casserole to room temperature. Then wrap with foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
(See gluten-free adaptations in the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe.)
- 2 cups cottage cheese, preferably small curd
- 10 large eggs
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (16 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, grated (can also use Cheddar or a blend)
- 4 ounces mild green chiles, seeded, roasted and chopped – or 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
- 1/4 cup or 1 (2-ounce) jar chopped red pimiento, well drained
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking dish.
- Place cottage cheese (including any liquid) in the bowl of a food processor and whirl around until fairly smooth – it should look like ricotta cheese. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer (or process in a blender) until light. Add butter and cottage cheese; beat until well mixed.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, oregano, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Add to egg mixture and beat just until mixed.
- Stir in cheese, chiles and pimiento.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown, set in the middle (not jiggly) and puffy. Serve immediately.
Gluten free: Substitute gluten free flour blend for the all-purpose flour.
Make ahead: Casserole can be prepared but not baked up to overnight, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking. Baking time may be 5 to 10 minutes longer. (Note: I prefer to prepare it shortly before baking.)
- Category: breakfast, brunch, make ahead
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Southwestern