1. Prepare sausage according to package instructions, cool slightly and cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine hash browns, butter, salt and pepper; divide evenly into 12 greased muffin cups.
3. Press mixture onto sides and bottom of muffin cups.
4. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Remove from oven, divide sausage pieces into muffin cups.
6. In a bowl, combine eggs, cheese and bell pepper.
7. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups.
8. Sprinkle with chives or onion.
9. Return to oven, bake 13-15 minutes or until set. Serve.