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.

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  1. been seeing more turnips in the store so this is a timely recipe.
    plus, am always looking for b-fast ideas!

    1. I imagine you mean pork sausage that has been ground with nothing added. The typical “breakfast sausage” offered has far too much sodium and other preservatives to be Primal. I think I’ll try it with turkey sausage.
      I believe you meant to print bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake another 25 (that would brown the top).

      1. I think you meant to reply to the main post and not Jenella’s comment.

      2. 1. Nothing wrong with pork sausage, I make my own, but I’ve been known to buy it, and our local Food Co-Op as well as another store here make some that is tasty, low in sodium and preservative free.

        2. I think he does mean bake for 45 and then cover and bake 25, as you’re getting it brown, and then covering so it doesn’t get too brown.

        1. How do you make your own sausage? I can’t find any that is compliant, so I would really like to make some. Thanks!

        2. I make my own sausage from a pastured pig I bought from a friend. I take one lb. ground pork and mix in: 1 t. unrefined sea salt; 1 t. organic ground ginger; 1 1/2 t. organic ground sage; 1/4 t. organic nutmeg; 1/4 t. cayenne pepper. Oh boy, its’ good.

  2. For breakfast, I just had a bowl of soup made with leftover turkey and veggies, but this sounds like something wonderful for a second breakfast, or a third.

    1. Yes, they are much lower. 100 grams of turnip have only 6 grams of carbohydrate, while 100 grams of potato have 18. Rutabaga are similarly low carb, with only 8 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams. (All according to

    2. 1 cup raw turnip has 8 grams carbs; 1 cup raw russet potato has 28 grams carbs…according to

    1. Do you dairy? I like to wrap smoked salmon around a chunk of cream cheese with some sliced onions. Sometimes I’ll just have a bunch of berries with whipped cream for breakfast- keeps me pretty full all morning! Maybe add some nuts for a little protein…

  3. I knock this out this morning. I am new to the Primal family. My good friend D. Jones turned me on to it. I loaded mine with some chiles from New Mexico naturally :). Good stuff.

  4. Used our leftover primal stuffing and mixed in some eggs for a next-day frittata in seconds!

  5. I thought for sure this was going to be a recipe for using leftover turkey. Are we sick of turkey yet?

  6. My husband makes a great breakfast casserole. In a greased 8 1/2 x 11″ glass pan layer 2 lb. cooked ground meat (I like 1 lb. ground pork and 1 lb. ground pork sausage the best). Top with one 10 oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry. Beat 8 eggs with 1/2 cup half&half or almond milk, pour over the meat and spinach. Top with cheese if you do dairy. Bake 350 for 30 min or until done. Good hot or cold, and makes 8 servings. Yum!

    1. That sounds good to me. I tried the recipe with the turnips-didn’t much care for it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  7. I subbed sweet Italian sausage and shallot for the meat and the scallions. It was all the rage! I smothered it in butter…..and served it with turnip greens (done in lard, chicken stock, and garlic). As my dad says “it’ll make yer tongue slap yer brains out!”

  8. After falling off the primal wagon – milk chocolates by thorntons, considered one the best here in the UK – I am going to cook this and have it to break my IF this afternoon.
    Love the site and the recipes. I have put in my order for the books for my christmas presents!

  9. OK I am new to this. I just made this. I added some chopped chilles, red onion, green bell pepper, turkey sauage, and bacon. After cooking I sprinkled fresh cheese on top. I am digging the lifestyle. This dish is killer and easy to fix. Hats off gang.

  10. I’m so confused. I’m new to this sort of eating and still in the research phase (but if buying books about it on Amazon is any accomplishment, I’ll take it) and thought sausage was on the NO list, as with any processed meat.

    1. go to your local butcher and you can have fresh sausage done up for you that doesn’t have all that preservative and nitrate crap in it. I can get many variations of breakfast sausage and others…i.e jalapeno or maple, and i mix it up sometimes and have them do me some chicken or turkey breakfast sausage the same way. Costs just a little more, its fresh, preservative free, and i’m buying local!

  11. I made it this morning for myslef and a very fussy 13 year old….I wasn’t paying attention and bought parsnips rather than turnip at the grocery store (duh) But this was delicious with grated parsnips and not a word of complaint from my 13 year old cousin….I look forward to trying this with turnip next!!

    1. did the cook times in the recipe work out right? or are they for cooking a frozen casserole?

    2. i deliberately bought parsnips to substitute, i’m excited to hear it’s tasty 🙂

  12. I made this last night. Added chopped red, yellow, orange, and green bellpeppers, sliced mushrooms, and chopped scallions. I cooked it all last night and put it in the fridge for an easy breakfast for a very non-morning person. It was great!

    Highly recommended. Easy to make, stores/reheats well and tastes AMAZING!

    Thanks, Mark!

  13. question about cook time… is the time noted for making it right before cooking or for a frozen batch?

  14. Holy crap. This is awesome. I just made it with a pound of ground beef. Two large turnips was enough to fill an 8×8. This is one of my favorite things now.

  15. I’ve made this for the last three weeks, using turkey chorizo sausages and different vegies, like pumpkin. Yesterday I made it with parsnips.

  16. Just made it, and burned it a little. If it isn’t frozen you need it in there for barely 30 minutes.
    Tastes great, although mine was missing something… not sure what. I think you need really flavorful sausage or a good serving of bacon to add flavor. I put a little bacon in mine and wish I used more. I used a little high quality parmesan cheese but not enough to really make a difference in taste.

  17. Hi there,
    I am paleo follower and am a bit puzzled by all the non-paleo ingredients creeping in to this dish: butter, chesse, bacon. What’s up? Anyone with a bit of paleo knowledge knows that these ingredients are not advocated in the paleo way of life, so what’s going on here? Are we twisting something that could do us more harm than good?

    1. This site is Primal, not paleo. Dairy is allowed in small quantities, particularly the raw (ie, good) stuff.

  18. WOW is the word that best describes this recipe!

    While I don’t think the turnips taste like potatoes, this is one of the tastiest ways to cook turnips that I have ever tried. The only thing I can recommend is to make absolutely sure the turnips are shredded and DON’T toss in any chunks your food processor might not quite get shredded.

    The little chunks very definitely have the bitter turnip that that many of us despised as children.

  19. Any suggestions on substitutes for turnips? Neither my wife or I care for them. As for right now my breakfast consists of 5 eggs, 4 whites and 1 whole. Half to 3/4 of a small organic red apple and some nuts (almonds,pecans,walnuts). I need a change every now and again.

    1. Hey Ryan

      They did not have turnips here, so I subbed it for half a celeriac (celery root).

      Also, first fried up one whole onion and then added the beef.

      Turned out great!

  20. I tried this yesterday morning and it was amazing. I only had one turnip and I shredded it and boiled it for a couple minutes first then drained and added to ingredients. I also added sauted onion and mushrooms. It was amazing. Next time I will use all 4 turnip and I’m going to try making homemade breakfast sausage with ground pork and my own spices.

    I was scared of turnip since I’ve never had it before and I heard it was bitter. Well I’m a believer in this dish. MMMMMMMM good! Now I can stop having fried eggs and Canadian back bacon every day. lol

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. This recipe is wonderful. Never had turnips, and it is deliscious! My kids thought it was potatoes.

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  25. 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.

  26. @ Fresno Dental:

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

  27. 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.

    1. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. What are some good substitutes for turnips (bleurgh!!) ? Please don’t say parsnips, they’re just as foul hahaha!

  30. Try it with ground venison–you won’t be disappointed.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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??!!

  34. I just made this (1/3 scale). It’s not terrible. It does not pack a lot of flavor, but I will definitely be using this recipe as a base to add spice packages. I’m thinking something south-Indian for the next round. And will probably add more savory elements as well. Maybe sun dried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, bacon crumbles.

  35. Made this last night. Holy smokes, it’s phenomenal. I had just over a pound of homemade sausage so I added an extra egg. It falls apart when you take a piece out of the pan, but thankfully ugly food tastes delicious too. I’d also never had turnips before this. Very interesting flavor. Can’t wait to make this again.

  36. I tried adding mushroom. I wouldn’t recommend it, the whole casserole turned grey and was soggy. Perhaps they needed to be pre-cooked before adding to the mix to get all the moisture out?

  37. If you saute the grated turnip (or rutabaga) in the sausage fat, the flavor is even better. Well worth the extra step! I also added a few handfuls of chopped cooked kale.