Best Breakfast “Catastrophe”

catastrophe_in_bowlFrom the time I was a young Girl Scout, this breakfast bake, and all its variations, has always been called “Catastrophe.” I’m not sure how it earned the name but it dates back to at least the 1970s if not earlier. If you know how it got its name, please post it in the comments below.

I’m always a little leery of recipes like this because I’ve had a few where the eggs didn’t get done and I just can’t eat undercooked eggs. But we were going camping and my family specifically requested a breakfast like this one for the Dutch oven so I decided to bravely give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised. The eggs were not only cooked, they were light and fluffy. The cheese melted in nicely and the Tator Tots were golden brown. I was very happy and I will gladly make this again.

The recipe calls for salt, but I didn’t think it needed any so I would recommend tasting it first and then deciding if you want to add salt. I was cooking for 6 of us so I halved the recipe and used my 12-inch Dutch oven and that worked great. Remember, when using a different sized oven, to adjust your coals for the size of Dutch oven you are using.

The next time I make this, I think I’ll add some chopped red bell pepper (½ cup ought to do) for both color and flavor.



14-inch Dutch oven

Mixing bowl



2 pounds ground sausage

1 cup crumbled bacon

1 onion, chopped

1 (32 ounce) bag of frozen Tator Tots

1 dozen eggs

8 ounces (2 cups) grated cheese (your choice)

Salt and ground black pepper to taste



Brown the meat in your Dutch oven and carefully drain excess grease. Add chopped onion and cook until they become translucent. (If your plan is to foil line your Dutch oven, this could be done in a separate skillet or you could do this at home before you go.)

Evenly lay Tator Tots over the top of the browned meat and onion mixture.

Beat eggs in a large bowl then pour over Tator Tots. You could also use Egg Beaters.

Spread grated cheese over eggs.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 21 coals on the lid and 11 coals underneath, for about 30 minutes or until egg is cooked. Refresh coals as needed.

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serves 10-12.


Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Best Breakfast “Catastrophe”

  1. I seem to remember someone at a Girl Scout Training somewhere, telling the story of how catastrophe got it’s name, but the details escape me. I’ve never seen a catastrophe recipe with tater tots – but what a kid-friendly and handy idea.

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