Prepare sausage according to package directions. cool slightly and cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.
In a bowl, combine hash browns, butter, salt and pepper; divide evenly into 12 greased muffin cups. Press mixture onto sides and bottom of muffin cups.
Bake at 400F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, divide sausage pieces into muffin cups.
In a bowl, combine eggs, cheese and bell pepper. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups. Sprinkle with chives or onion. Return to oven, bake 13-15 minutes or until set. Serve.
Option: This recipe can be used to make Jumbo Breakfast Muffin Cups. Press hash brown mixture into 6 greased jumbo non-stick muffin cups. Bake crust for 12 minutes. Fill cups and bake 22-24 minutes longer or until set.