Simply Healthy Family: Breakfast Empanada Casserole #SundaySupper


Breakfast Empanada Casserole #SundaySupper

This cheesy, gluten free vegetarian breakfast casserole is bursting with all of my favorite flavors from the South West. Scrambled eggs with green chilies, red bell peppers, onion and Cotija and Pepper Jack cheeses. Sweetened with a bit of corn and a flaky crust, this will be your new favorite breakfast!

When life hands you lemons........

Make empanada casserole! I had my little heart set on making some cute empanadas ever since I found a set of pretty empanada cutters and crimpers at TJMaxx. Alas, my gluten free crust had a mind of it's own and refused to cooperate. I was ready to throw my dough in the trash when the light bulb went on. Why not just roll it out and layer it on the bottom and top of a casserole dish and make a pie? 

Not as cute as little crimped empanadas but just as delicious and just as cheesy!

So, I got some...... interesting news a few weeks ago.

No, I'm not pregnant. Which makes my news even more, interesting seeing as that's most people's first thought being that I'm only 40 and look pretty darn young for my age if I must say so myself.

I'm going to be a grandma. You have no idea how weird it is spitting out those words! When did I get old? That cliche phrase "Life happens right before you in the blink of an eye." keeps playing like a broken record in my head. My youngest is only 6 years old for crying out loud, diapers have only been out of the house for a few short, short years. Granted, my oldest is almost 22 and granted that, yes, I had him when I was 20 and granted that I have been somewhat preparing myself for this since well, he went through puberty but still, a Grandma?!

I think I'm going to go with GiGi. I think I can handle being called GiGi.


Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a blessing right? However, I'm currently at the "It could be a lot worse." phase and working my way up to the "It's a blessing" phase. Point and case, my son and his (very) pregnant girlfriend have only know each other for a (very) short time. Very short. Aaaand, he didn't even tell us until she was almost 5 months along, and by the way it's a boy, and by the way this is what we're naming him.  Aaaaaaaaand.... my husband and I had only met her once at that point, a few weeks before Christmas! "I'm sorry, what was her name again?" was all I could spit out after I popped my eyeballs back into my head and picked my jaw up off of the floor.

What are you gonna do? Life's funny. Throws you a curve ball or two, a lemon here and there but we either make the best of it or let it consume us. I choose lemon meringue pie. 

We've met the.girl. a couple more times since then and you know what? She seems really nice, genuinely sweet. Her and I had a nice little talk which she initiated about the whole awkwardness of the situation which she was visibly very nervous during. I was impressed by that. It took guts. 

I've jumped on this baby train and am hanging on with hopes and prayers that it all works out between them. Having a baby is just so dang hard! It's definitely going to be an adventure being on the grandma side of things!

This week, Sunday Supper is bringing you all of their favorite, local dishes from all across the Globe! I grew up in South West Arizona where Mexican food is pretty much a staple. Not only do we have enchiladas, tacos and Spanish rice on most days but you can typically find Pozole and Chile Verde on the table for Thanksgiving alongside the Turkey. We put salsa or hot sauce on EVERYTHING from our scrambled eggs to pasta and a pinch of cayenne can be found in our peanut butter jar and on cottage cheese with fruit.

TIME        45 MINUTES PREP AND COOK +  60 MIN CHILL              SERVES        6


FOR THE DOUGH  (epicurious' recipe, altered to be gluten free)

2 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix such as Bob's Red Mill
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large NestFresh Organic, Free Range egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  1. Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with a spatula or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small butter lumps.
  1. Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated.
  1. Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.


5 large, NestFresh Organic, free range eggs
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon real butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
pinch of salt
1 can chopped green chilies (I also use roasted Poblano peppers, diced)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded (or Oaxaca cheese)
1 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon butter for preparing casserole dish


Pre heat oven to 380F. Grease a 8x10 casserole dish with butter, set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute another 2 minutes. Using a spatula, remove from skillet into a large bowl and set aside. Saute red bell pepper and zucchini with chili powder and cumin and pinch of salt for 5 minutes until browned, add green chilies and toss to heat through. Add mixture to bowl with onions.

Using the same skillet, add a bit more butter and cook eggs for 3-4 minutes stirring with spatula to combine until cooked through, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Right before the eggs are set, add chopped spinach and toss to combine and let spinach wilt. Remove from skillet into bowl with other vegetables.

Meanwhile, remove chilled dough from refrigerator. On a clean surface dusted with flour or corn meal, divide dough into two equal parts. Using a rolling pin, roll them out to the shape of your casserole dish. Place one rolled piece of dough on the bottom of greased dish. Pour the vegetable mixture over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with both cheeses. Cover with the second piece of dough.

Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with your favorite salsa, we like salsa verde with this!




A huge thanks to Sue from A Palatable Pastime for hosting this weeks Sunday Supper!

Side Dishes:
Main Dish:
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement


  1. I love the idea of making an empanada casserole--I would just say this was a mistake worth making :)

    1. Excellent way of looking at it! ;)

  2. Congratulations! Life really is full of wonderful surprises... just need to take the time to enjoy all of our blessings! The casserole looks amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Congrats on being a grandma soon! I'm sure it will be great! I love the idea of an empanada casserole. It looks wonderful!

  4. This is such an excellent idea for a breakfast casserole.

  5. What fun news! You definitely will be a hot grandma!! P.S. Your empanada casserole looks terrific!!!

  6. Great casserole idea! Congrats on the blessing that you have before you!

  7. Hi! We were knocked out of the blue by our first grand baby too. Our daughter arrived one day with a sonogram picture (she was six months along) and said "Guess what?" Well, that was two years ago and today we just had a shower for her second baby (due in three weeks!!) I know it's strange and exciting and we wish you all the joy and happiness sweet little people bring into our lives! Btw, I was 19 when we had our first, so I totally get the hot, young, Grandma thing! You've got this!

  8. It's breakfast time over here and this would make a really wonderful meal!

  9. LOVE this idea - a very clever way to use the dough when empanadas didn't go to plan! And congrats on your big news - one day you'll know it's only a positive thing even if the exact circumstances perhaps aren't quite what you would have chosen! :)

  10. I love breakfasts that don't feel like breakfasts, like this one. I looks really comforting!

  11. I could eat the whole casserole right now, looks very appetizing.

  12. This sounds amazing! I think I need to host a brunch just so I have an excuse to make this, haha :)

  13. Aw! Congratulations. I feel old - I am older than you and my daughter is only 9. No matter how old we are, we can all enjoy this delicious breakfast casserole. I love the flavors.

  14. Congratulations! Such exciting news!!! We love empanadas but never thought of making an empanada casserole before. Saved to try it soon :)

  15. congrats on the surprise news! :)

    I love empanadas - this idea is great!

  16. What a great casserole! I would love a bite right now!

  17. This looks amazing, I saw it on Instagram and need it in my life. Looks delicious! Congratulations on your big news - and I agree, Gigi is a great name (my Mom is called Juju btw) and finally, you're one HOT Gigi! :) ...and I say that with tons of admiration, you look amazing girl!

  18. My mother in law wanted to be JU-JU for judy but they couldn't say it so MIMI is it. I love how you just improvised and instead of the hand pies you got a casserole. You're right, you just have to roll with it! Great recipe!

  19. Congratulations! And everytime I shared this recipe yesterday I kept saying I have to remember to go back and make this - it looks so delicious and perfect for a brunch

  20. These look and sound delicious, such a flavorful filling! And congrats!!

  21. This looks like a stellar breakfast to bake for my husband! He would love me for this!

  22. Congratulations on the new baby! I had mixed feelings when I first became a grammy but there is a special joy in store for you!

  23. This looks wonderful!

  24. My kind of breakfast...or lunch, or dinner...definitely with the chili verde

  25. Having made some little empanadas recently, while they were good, this has a way better proportion of filling to pastry and looks delicious so I think you've maybe come up with a better dish anyway. Looks great!

  26. Congrats on becoming a grandma, Gigi! Your breakfast casserole would be great to start kick off Cinco de Mayo from the start of the day.

  27. this casserole is delicious! thanks!

  28. This casserole sounds amazing!

  29. What a great breakfast idea! would also be nice for weeknight comfort food too I think

  30. Congratulations! Being a Grandma is such a challenge, but I think you will be awesome as a Grandma or Gigi. ;-)

    All of my favorites are mixed in this recipe. The zucchini, bell pepper, cilantro, eggs, are such a perfect blend of flavors. The green chilis are also a kick in flavor. Thanks for creating this and once again, congrats!

  31. Never thought about empanada in casserole form. Love the idea and recipe.

  32. Oh my gosh that looks to die for! And making it as a casserole is definitely easier and more breakfast friendly than individual empanadas.


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