Brunch play dates are one of my favorites to attend. The kids are guaranteed to love it (someone always brings donuts) and it’s still early enough that crankiness hasn’t set in yet.
Yet it can also be hard when trying to figure out what to bring. Donuts are always easy, hence why they always show up, as are bagels; but sometimes you want something that’s warm and yummy. That’s where it gets tricky, but I’ve found a recipe that I love and these Ham & Cheese Brunch Squares is now my go to brunch recipe.
It has everything one wants for breakfast – meat, potatoes, eggs, and veggies – and it’s super easy to make. The original recipe is thanks to Pampered Chef, but I’ve since made my own adjustments that just makes it so much easier.
One of the biggest changes I think I’ve made is with the hash browns. I don’t use them anymore. Crumbling up the hash browns was just a pain, but if you want to do it, go for it. Instead I like to use Potatoes O’Brien. Not only are they mini home fries (so still technically a hash brown), but they also have diced onions and red peppers mixed right in. They’re a great way to sneak in a few veggies since the other veggies are quite easy to spot.
You can also switch out the ham to any meat you want. I’ve used breakfast sausage before and OMG it was delicious.
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cups (8oz) Colby & Monterey Jack cheese
1 pkg (28 oz) frozen potatoes o’brien
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
8oz thickly sliced deli ham
5 green onions with tops, divided (1 cup sliced)
3 plum tomatoes
Additional coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly brush pan with oil using a basting brush or oil spritzer. Spread the potatoes o’brien over the pan; press gently into an even layer. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over potatoes o’brien. Bake 13-15 minutes or until crust starts to brown and cheese is melted.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add eggs and black pepper; whisk until smooth. On the cutting board, coarsely chop ham. Slice green onions, reserving ¼ cup of the tops for garnish. Place ham and remaining green onions into a sauté pan; cook and stir over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until hot.
- Remove pan from oven to a cooling rack. Spread the ham and green onions over the potatoes o’brien. Pour egg mixture over crust. Return pan to oven; bake 6-8 minutes or until center is set.
- Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half lengthwise using a knife; scrape out seeds and dice. Remove pan from oven; top with remaining cheese, tomatoes and reserved green onions. Sprinkle with additional black pepper, if desired. Cut into squares and serve.
Jackie is a stay at home mom to two adventure loving boys; a wife to a husband who is very tolerant of her reading addiction; and the owner of Literary Escapism where she has actively promoted books since 2006. Since introducing her boys to the world of superheroes and Doctor Who, she has realized that she is a bigger geek than she knew. She loves exploring and finding new adventures to take her boys on, and it turns out they love checking out the unknown as well.