Sweet and savory muffins to start the day

Gretchen Mckay
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thinking of changing up the way you do breakfast in 2020? These mini casseroles — made in cupcake tins — are almost as easy to pull together as a bowl of oatmeal.

Studded with crispy bacon bits and topped with shredded cheddar, they pair vitamin-rich sweet potatoes with the natural sweetness of apples. They’re equally delicious warm or at room temperature, and can be easily packed up to take for lunch. I like them with a little Frank’s Red Hot sauce and sprinkled with salt.

This recipe makes 6 cupcake-sized casseroles, but you also could bake them in a mini cupcake pan for 24 small bites.

Mini Sweet Potato and Apple Casseroles

Nonstick cooking spray or butter for pan

8 slices thick-cut bacon

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, plus more for sprinkling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk or half-and-half

1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar

Hot sauce for serving, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 6-cup cupcake pan with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter.

Fry bacon slices until crispy in large skillet over medium heat. Drain bacon on paper towels, then crumble into large pieces. Discard drippings from pan.

Return skillet to heat and add apples and onions. Cook, tossing occasionally, until apples are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes to pan and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Divide potato mixture among muffin cups.

Stir together eggs, milk and cream in a medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over potatoes, and top with cheese. Sprinkle a little more thyme on top.

Bake casseroles for 25 minutes, or until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool pan for 5 minutes, then remove casseroles from cups. Serve warm.

Makes 6 mini casseroles.

— Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette