Starting my son’s day off with a good meal got a lot easier after I came up with this Homemade Breakfast Bowls recipe that’s a Jimmy Dean Copycat.
See, I need two cups of coffee — in silence — to be anything close to pleasant in the morning. Even though I get up extra early to have my coffee, I’m still not always awake enough to cook a hot meal from scratch first thing. So for years we’ve we started our day with something from my list of make-ahead breakfasts but those somehow still involved a lot of effort on my part each morning.
With my son’s 16th birthday approaching next month, I’ve been focusing on teaching him more independence. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like someone who is legally old enough to drive should be able to feed himself in the morning.
Or maybe it’s just that, after spending the last 25 years raising kids, I am tired.
Homemade Breakfast Bowls – Jimmy Dean Copycat
FEEDING TEENS COSTS A FORTUNE!
When we were grocery shopping one day, my son saw some Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls on sale, so I bought four. That week, he had a hearty breakfast before school every day without any help on my part. Then the deal ended, and I realized they’re $2.69 per bowl!
They didn’t seem complicated, so I set out to come up with a less-expensive but still filling homemade breakfast bowls recipe. That was three months ago, and let me just tell you we’re both much happier in the mornings now that these are part of our meal rotation!
It takes less than an hour to make a batch on the weekend that lasts him all month, and in the morning it takes him under 3 minutes to heat them up on his own.
LOOK HOW MUCH THIS RECIPE SAVES!
Every time I make this homemade breakfast bowls recipe I think about how much I’m saving. Here’s the breakdown:
• 1/2 lb. bacon: $1.85
• 1 lb. sausage links: $4.29
• 2 lbs. Russet potatoes $1.09
• 14 extra-large eggs: $3.37
• 1/2 lb. medium sharp cheddar cheese: $1.94
TOTAL COST 14 HOMEMADE BREAKFAST BOWLS: $12.54
Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls at Kroger’s: $2.69 each
TOTAL COST 14 JIMMY DEAN BOWLS: $37.66
By spending less than an hour making these homemade breakfast bowls, I’m saving $25.12 and giving my son an easy way to start his mornings with a hearty, hot breakfast he can heat and eat without having to wait for me to finish my coffee. I call that a win-win recipe!
It all starts with bacon
I start with a half-pound of bacon and a pound of link sausage. We get ours from Zaycon Fresh, and the bacon is fantastic: thick, not fatty, and with an excellent smoky taste that adds a great flavor to the breakfast bowls. To make things even easier on myself, I make bacon in the oven.
Cook sausage at the same time
While the bacon cooks, make the sausage on another rack. It needs to get turned over halfway through, but that gives you a chance to make sure the bacon isn’t getting too crispy.
Soak those Spuds
Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes. With red ones, you can leave the peels on, but my picky eater won’t touch potato peels unless they’re served as stuffed potato skins — go figure.
Transfer the potatoes to a bowl of cold water while you work. This keeps them from turning pink or brown and also helps reduce their starch content, which lowers their glycemic index to prevent blood sugar swings. Teens have enough hormonally-induced moods — we don’t need to add blood sugar wackiness, too!
When the bacon and sausage are done, let them cool then roughly chop them. Transfer the chopped meats to a bowl and reserve about four tablespoons of the bacon grease. Add two tablespoons to a large skillet on the stove or use a different oil if you’d rather — we like the flavor of the bacon grease.
Drain the potatoes and pat them dry. Next, add them to the skillet and stir immediately to coat all of the potatoes with the bacon grease (or oil). Cook on medium for 5-8 minutes, often stirring until they’re easily pierced with a fork but not falling apart. You don’t want to brown them for this recipe since they’ll just get tough and taste dry later on when you’re reheating them.
Spread the cooked potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Letting the potatoes thoroughly cool at this point is an important step to keep things from clumping when it’s all mixed.
While the potatoes cool, wipe the skillet then add the other two tablespoons of bacon grease or use your preferred oil. Heat over medium heat and add the eggs and scramble them. Don’t go crazy stirring them or you’ll wind up with tiny curds that get overwhelmed by the other ingredients.
Let the eggs cool thoroughly after cooking, too. As you probably know from making your own family’s breakfasts, eggs cool fast, so this step only takes a couple of minutes.
Pile on the cheese
Grate some cheese. I used medium sharp cheddar for this round, but in the past, we’ve also enjoyed a combination of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, for a little extra zing.
Stir the cooled eggs into the bowl of potatoes and meats then spread them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and transfer the whole thing to the freezer for 30 minutes or so.
Freeze and Reheat
Once everything is frozen, put it in resealable bags and chuck it back into the freezer. I usually write the reheating directions on the bags so my son remembers that he just needs to scoop 1 1/2 cups of the frozen mixture into a microwave-safe bowl, heat it for 1 minute on 50% power to defrost, then continue microwaving it on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds to finish.
With a cup of tea and a hug from Mom, he’s good to go!
Homemade Breakfast Bowls (Jimmy Dean Copycat)
Serving your family a hearty, hot breakfast in the morning is easy when you stock the freezer with this delicious mix.
- ½ lb. bacon
- 1 lb. sausage links
- 2 lbs. Russet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 14 extra-large eggs whisked well
- ½ lb. medium cheddar cheese grated
Preheat oven to 425°F /218 °C. Line two baking sheets with foil, spray with cooking spray and place a baking rack on one.
Spread the bacon on the baking rack and arrange the sausage links on the other sheet. Cook bacon and sausage in the middle 1/3 of the oven for 15-20 minutes until done, turning sausages halfway through.
Remove the meat from the oven and let cool then chop. Reserve 4 tablespoons of bacon grease.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ½ of reserved bacon grease. Pat the potatoes dry and add them to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, 5-8 minutes until they are fork-tender but not browned. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet or rack and let cool.
Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining reserved bacon grease. Scramble the eggs in the skillet, stirring occasionally, until fully cooked. Remove from heat and let cool.
Combine everything on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes until firm. Transfer to resealable bags and freeze.
- To serve: Add 1½ cups of mixture to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute at 50% power to defrost, stir, then cook on HIGH for 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until fully heated.