Marks Daily Apple
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26 Nov

Primal Breakfast Casserole

You know the scenario. It’s the morning after Thanksgiving and you’re recovering from a day of marathon cooking and pulling off a holiday feast with all the fixins, Your kitchen still looks like it’s been ransacked, you still have dishpan hands and the only thing you want to do is pull your duvet cover over your head and sleep in. But everyone else in the house seems to be awake and suddenly you hear someone say the four words you’ve been dreading. “So, what’s for breakfast?”


After killing yourself putting together a holiday meal, the last meal any host wants to think about is breakfast. But the thing about house guests (especially those permanent house guests also known as your kids) is that it doesn’t matter how much turkey they ate the day before, they’re going to wake up hungry.  As any veteran host knows, the best defense is a pan of something wonderful tucked away in your freezer that requires no more work from you other than turning on the oven. For this reason, even though it’s a simple, no-frills dish, the breakfast casserole is pure genius.

The base of our Primal breakfast casserole is a straightforward mixture of beaten eggs and grated turnips. Turnips have the mildly earthy flavor that most root vegetables share and just a hint of sweetness. In fact, some of your guests might not even realize that they’re not eating potato hash browns. Once you have a base for your casserole, you can add almost anything you want to it. A simple duo of sausage and scallions is a favorite combination, but you can load the casserole up with more if you like. Diced peppers, mushrooms, bacon, grated cheese and any fresh herbs or dried spices that your heart desires can all be mixed in with great results.

The recipe below can easily be doubled and baked in a 13×9 pan for a larger crowd. Simply mix the ingredients together, cover the pan with foil, and freeze until you need it. The casserole can go directly into the oven from the freezer. You don’t have to freeze the casserole ahead of a time, of course. You can mix it together and put it directly in the oven the day you’re serving it. For the sake of your sanity, however, you might want to consider the freeze-ahead option. This way, you can still be half-asleep the morning after Thanksgiving and hardly lift a finger to feed the masses.


Approximately 4 servings

  • 1 pound ground breakfast sausage or other ground meat
  • 3 turnips, peeled and grated (a food processor works well for this)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 scallions, chopped


Sauté sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula, until almost cooked through.

Mix the sausage with the rest of the ingredients.

Spoon into a 8×8 baking pan.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes then cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes more. Let cool 15-20 minutes so the casserole sets before cutting into it.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I just made this today. I baked @400 for 45 minutes covered then 25 minutes uncovered. It looks a little burnt. I also squeezed the water out of the turnips so the casserole would not be liquidy. it smelled so good while baking and it’s really delicious!

    Tracy wrote on March 19th, 2011
  2. Spaghetti squash would be a great instead.

    Meagan wrote on April 30th, 2011
  3. I was terrified of this recipe as turnips taste like crap. But the picture looked so good I tried it anyway. Wow! No turnip taste! They really could be confused with potatoes. This is a great dish that I plan on cooking more often.

    AndySlammer wrote on June 23rd, 2011
  4. This recipe is wonderful. Never had turnips, and it is deliscious! My kids thought it was potatoes.

    Tania wrote on November 9th, 2011
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    Fresno Dental wrote on November 20th, 2011
  6. Prepared this last night…woke up early and put it in the oven. Cooked it for 45, took the foil off for 25, set for 20.

    It’s good. It’s not great. The smile on your face comes from the nutritional value and the primal-ness of it, definitely not the flavor.

    Definitely try it, but don’t roll this out on your guests unannounced or without giving them a non-primal familiar option.

    The Food Police wrote on December 5th, 2011
  7. @ Fresno Dental:

    Let me guess, you need me to cash a money order?

    Bob Nelson wrote on December 14th, 2011
  8. Made this today as a trail for my traditional Christmas morning breakfast casserole. It turned out great & my kids (6, 4 & 18 months) all ate it. I used some local seasoned pork sausage & then fried the turnip in the skillet too. I only used one turnip but you couldn’t taste it, it just added texture. This would also be good w spinach, onions or mushrooms. I did 5 eggs with some coconut milk & topped it w some raw cheddar. Great base for lots of veggie options. I also cooked it for 40 mins uncovered as it was coming from all night in the fridge.

    Trisha wrote on December 18th, 2011
    • I just found this recipe as I have a TON of turnips. Great recipe, even for those who ” think” they hate turnips! I modified a few things for my clan who think turnips can be bitter. I sautéed yellow onion with a green apple in coconut oil, added to turnips. I also used ground pork since that’s what I had on hand. Also great cold, ate in the car this a.m. On my 2 hour drive. ENJOY!

      Black poodle wrote on July 30th, 2013
  9. ok here’s what I did, and it was so delicious! I chopped the scallions and added them to the pan. Then I added the 4 eggs to the pan. Then I cooked the sausage in my cast iron skillet and drained it on paper towels when it was finished. Then I peeled/grated the turnips and squeezed out the water. I added the turnips to the pan and seasoned everything with salt/pepper. I mixed it up with my hands. Lastly, I added the sausage and mixed everything up again. It was done in 45 min in the oven at 400F… maybe could have kept it in for just 40 min. It turned out more quichey than casseroley but was still good. We ate ours with salsa on the side.

    Erin wrote on October 20th, 2013
  10. What are some good substitutes for turnips (bleurgh!!) ? Please don’t say parsnips, they’re just as foul hahaha!

    Belinda wrote on December 12th, 2013
  11. Try it with ground venison–you won’t be disappointed.

    LCDR USN Ret wrote on February 3rd, 2014
  12. I so wanted this to be yummy, alas the turnip flavor was horrible. No one in my family (3 adult and 3 teenagers) would eat more than a couple bites and they are NOT picky eaters.

    Betty wrote on September 24th, 2014
  13. I made this for Father’s Day Brunch. I used chorizo, doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 pan. Really delicious especially with a dab of guac and some green salsa. Thumbs up!

    Cook’s Note: After grating the turnip, I put it in a kitchen towel and squeezed the liquid out of the turnips. Worked well to help the casserole set up nicely.

    Sarah wrote on June 21st, 2015
  14. What’s wrong with this recipe? I grated TWO turnips and had way too much. I cooked one pound of ground pork with spices, an onion and some diced yellow pepper and four eggs. When assembled, I probably had more than half of the grated turnip left over – it just couldn’t fit it a pan. I used a larger pan than 8×8 and still had too much turnip. What am I missing??!!

    Linda wrote on March 18th, 2016

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