I love breakfast food. Before following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle I particularly loved breakfast casseroles. You know the ones: loaded with bacon or sausage, potatoes, eggs, and cheese all poured over stale bread. Total carb and fat overloads. Or breakfast burritos. This recipe is my attempt to combine the two in a low carb recipe: Southwest Frittata Squares.
Getting rid of the carbs could have been as simple as omitting the bread and potatoes. But I like the body they give to the casserole. Last summer my friend Erin (who offers excellent wellness coaching) introduced AnnMarie and I to jicama in an egg dish and I realized I’d found my solution.
Developing the Recipe
I got home and started experimenting. I knew I wanted to give my casserole a southwest flavor. And I wanted for each serving to have enough protein that it could satisfy and keep me full between meals.
This recipe has gotten the stamp of approval from my husband and my kids. After I came up with the final version of these southwest frittata squares my husband declared “you need to make these regularly. I really like them!”
I like that it makes a fairly large batch so my family can have it for breakfast several mornings during the week. It also freezes, thaws, and re-heats beautifully so if your family is small you can freeze individual portions to pull out when you need a quick breakfast. Each Southwest Frittata Square can even be cut into quarters to serve as an appetizer or finger food.
Let’s make some Southwest Frittata Squares!
This is what you’ll need:
[scroll down for printable recipe]
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 5 cups peeled, shredded jicama
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 15 large eggs
- 24 ounces 2% cottage cheese
- 16 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon mineral salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 7 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend (see notes in the printable recipe for substitution suggestions)
- 2 Tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder
This is how you make the Southwest Frittata Squares
First, prepare your jicama. The skin is often too thick to easily remove with a vegetable peeler. I prefer cutting a large jicama in half and then paring the skin away with a sharp knife. You want to remove all the brown parts.
This is what it looks like once it’s completely peeled.
Then grab your box grater and shred the jicama. I always buy a large jicama and use the extra to make jicama slaw. I’ll share my recipe for that another time!
Next, put 4 Tablespoons of butter into a saute pan and melt it over medium-high heat.
Then add the shredded jicama to the pan.
Turn the jicama so that the butter is distributed throughout. You can use a spoon or a spatula if you like, but I prefer using tongs! Then let it cook for about 5-7 minutes without disturbing it.
While the jicama is cooking, go ahead and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. You want the edges of the parchment to extend above the baking sheet. Otherwise the egg mixture could overflow and make a HUGE mess in your oven.
Flip the jicama over to let the other side start to brown. It’s a lot like cooking hashbrowns! But without the carbs. 😉
Spread the jicama over the bottom of the parchment paper-lined pan.
Return your saute pan to the burner and brown the sausage over medium-high heat. I buy my sausage at my local BJ’s Warehouse in 2-lb packages. I brown all of it at once and put the extra meat in the freezer to be used the next time I whip up some southwest frittata squares.
Drain the grease off the sausage, then spread the browned sausage evenly over the jicama.
Now preheat your oven to 350 F.
Preparing the Egg Mixture
Now it’s time to mix up the egg mixture. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND breaking eggs one at a time into a measuring cup and then adding them to your mixing bowl. I hate making extra dirty dishes, but you’re using a lot of eggs in this recipe. It would be a shame to crack a bad egg and ruin all the ones you’ve already added!
My mom always told me to do this and I didn’t pay attention. Then a few years ago I cracked an egg into a mixing bowl and the egg was BLOODY. It was disgusting. And it ruined all the ingredients that were in my bowl. So now I suck it up and dirty an extra container.
Whisk your eggs up until they’re pale yellow and frothy.
Add the cottage cheese, pepper jack cheese, mineral salt, and pepper and mix until well combined.
I’ve discovered that not all diced green chiles are equal. Old El Paso brand is not very liquidy–the chiles are in a thick sauce. But Ortega brand is VERY liquidy. I’m not sure what other brands may be like? So if you open your can and see lots of liquid like this, be sure to drain that excess liquid before adding to the egg mixture. Otherwise your egg mixture will have too much liquid and won’t set up properly.
Mix in the green chiles.
Then sprinkle the baking blend and the baking powder over top of the egg mixture.
Stir until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Then pour the egg mixture over top of the sausage and jicama.
And spread the egg mixture evenly over top, being sure to get the egg mixture into all the corners. Then pop your baking sheet into the pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
It’s done when the edges are browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let it cool for 10 minutes on a baking rack before you slice it.
And breakfast is served! Garnish your Southwest Frittata squares with thinly sliced jalapeno peppers, green onions, avocado, chopped cilantro, or salsa. Or all of the above! For a family breakfast or brunch, set out all the garnishes and let everyone personalize their own squares.
I hope you love these as much as my family does!