This Mexican Low Carb Breakfast Casserole features Mexican cheeses, spicy turkey breakfast sausage, roasted green chile, bell pepper, and eggs. This savory, low carb breakfast is a one-pan wonder that takes just a few minutes of active time, and about 30 minutes in the oven (depending on the size of your pan). You can even prepare it in advance, and pop it in the oven 30 minutes before meal time!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – About Mexican Cheeses
If your mind goes to pepper jack or cheddar when asked about Mexican cheeses, you’re missing out on a world of deliciousness! Even living on the border most of my life, I really didn’t realize the breadth of Mexican cheeses until I moved to McAllen, Texas.
This low carb breakfast casserole features queso requesón and queso menonita (aka queso chihuahua). Queso requesón is most similar to ricotta, but it is not the same. Requesón is a non-salty fresh cheese that is made by coagulating milk proteins with an acid, typically through the addition of lemon juice or vinegar. It is known for its mild flavor and moist texture, and is used in both sweet and savory preparations. The brand that I use is a little firmer and dryer than the typical ricotta, but they vary.
Queso menonita is a Mexican melting cheese that originated in Mexico’s Mennonite communities. It is a semi-firm, mild cheese with a buttery flavor that makes it perfect in quesadillas, sandwiches, and casseroles like this breakfast casserole.
The Mexican cheese that I specify in many of my recipes like these breakfast burritos, and this easy tajín corn, is cotija. It makes a great stand-in for Peruvian cheese in my ají verde sauce. Cotija is a firm cheese with a crumbly texture. You can find cotija in 2 varieties – “fresco” (fresh) and “añejo” (aged). Fresco is softer and milder, while añejo is aged longer, resulting in a drier, saltier, and more intense flavor. We love the añejo cotija!
I have used all 3 Mexican cheeses in this breakfast casserole. The requesón provides the body of the casserole (along with the eggs). The menonita brings luscious melty cheese that we all love, and the cotija makes a great, salty garnish along with fresh cilantro. For more on Mexican cheeses, see A Guide to Mexican Cheeses.
📋 Ingredients Notes
- breakfast sausage – I use “spicy” lean turkey breakfast sausage. You can use your preferred breakfast sausage. Chorizo would be another option.
- bell pepper
- ground cumin
- roasted green chile – My preferred roasted green chile is Hatch green chile (I lived near Hatch, NM. for almost 22 years). I can’t always get it. If I plan things right, I make a trip to Las Cruces to see our son, his husband, and dear friends, and I bring back whatever we can get on the plane. In 2022, we managed to bring 50 pounds of Hatch green chile that we had roasted in Hatch, froze, and packaged. We finished the last of it this summer. I can sometimes get frozen Young Guns Hatch green chile at our local WalMart, but I don’t love shopping there. HEB and Amazon carry this Hatch green chile in a jar, and it is pretty good. You’ll want to drain the liquid.
- requesón – With this low carb breakfast casserole, I wanted to feature Mexican cheeses (not pepper jack😉). Requesón is a soft Mexican cheese that is quite similar to the ricotta that most of us are familiar with. Ricotta is a good substitute.
- Mennonite cheese – The melting cheese I chose is menonita rallado (Mennonite cheese after the community that first produced it). It is also called queso Chihuahua. It is a sharper cheese similar to cheddar with a buttery taste, and excellent melting properties. You can substitute cheddar, muenster, asadero, or jack.
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Brown the breakfast sausage – Brown the breakfast sausage over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet (I like cast iron). NOTE: I spray cooking spray on the skillet first because the turkey sausage is so lean. This meat chopper tool speeds up the process!
- Add the aromatics – Sauté the chopped onion, bell pepper, and ground cumin with the browned sausage.
- Sauté the veggies with the sausage – When the onion is translucent, stir in the green chile. Spread the mixture evenly in the skillet.
- Make the egg mixture – Whisk the eggs, then add the requesón and menonita cheeses, half teaspoon of salt, and fresh ground pepper.
- Put it altogether – Pour the egg mixture over cooked sausage and vegetable mixture. NOTE: Jiggle the skillet to settle the egg mixture.
- Bake the casserole – Place the skillet in your preheated oven. After 15 minutes, top the casserole with additional grated cheese.
- Finish the casserole – Return the casserole to the oven, and bake until the egg is set. NOTE: Time will vary by oven, and by size and material of your skillet. I use a 10″ cast iron skillet, and it takes about 30 minutes in my convection oven. It will take a little longer in a standard oven.
- To serve – Garnish the breakfast casserole with crumbled cotija and chopped cilantro as desired. Enjoy!
We think it’s excellent warmed up the next day! On photo day, we had “breakfast for dinner” because of the late photo shoot. The next morning, we had it warmed up in the microwave for a super-quick breakfast. It was delicious! Store the remaining casserole in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but enjoy it sooner rather than later.
Bake your egg casserole until a thermometer inserted at the center shows 160° F, or a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, bake until the center appears set but still jiggles a bit when the dish is tapped or gently shaken.
Cooking time will vary, depending on the size and material of your skillet. I use my 10″ cast iron skillet, and it takes about 30 minutes on convection (a little longer for a standard oven).
Choose your skillet wisely. I highly recommend cooking this breakfast casserole in a cast iron skillet. It goes easily from the stove to the oven!
With Christmas just around the corner, I’m thinking this breakfast casserole would be a great make-ahead Christmas morning breakfast or brunch. Simply prepare the night before, get it out and bring it close to room temperature the next day, and bake it!
Mexican Low Carb Breakfast Casserole
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- 8 ounces lean turkey breakfast sausage
- 8 eggs - whisked thoroughly
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup onion - chopped
- 1 bell pepper - chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 ounces queso requesón - or ricotta; see Ingredients Notes in post
- 1 cup roasted green chile - chopped
- 4 ounces Mennonite cheese (queso Menonita) - + more for finishing; see Ingredients Notes in post
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Brown the breakfast sausage over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet (spray with cooking spray if using lean sausage).
- Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and ground cumin to the skillet. Sauté until the onion is translucent, then add the green chile. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat. Spread sausage mixture evenly in the skillet.
- Combine the whisked eggs with the requesón and menonita. Pour over the sausage mixture. Jiggle the skillet to settle the egg mixture.
- Place the skillet in your preheated oven. After 15 minutes, top the casserole with additional grated cheese if desired.
- Bake the egg casserole until it's nicely browned, and the interior temperature reaches 160°. Slice and enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.