Loaded Overnight Breakfast Casserole

This easy to prepare breakfast casserole is made up the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven and enjoy!

Take it easy on yourself by making this breakfast casserole the night before, then bake it in the morning while you get ready!  A true crowd pleaser, this breakfast bake is perfect for holiday breakfasts or when you have guests!

This make ahead breakfast casserole is a true family favorite!  Perfect for a holiday breakfast, or anytime, it's loaded with bold flavors and is a cinch to make! #breakfastcasserole #breakfastrecipe #holiday #christmas #easter #mothersday #fathersday #breakfastbake

For some people, Christmas dinner is the main event on Christmas, but in our family, it’s breakfast Christmas morning!  Since we’ve had kids, my parents and brother make the trek over to our house early in the morning.  We all sit down around our table (as many as can fit anyway), mugs of steaming coffee in our hands, and eat a hearty, stick to your ribs, breakfast that will last us through the many hours of gift opening to come.  We have a tradition in our family that on Christmas, everyone gets a gift, but we only open them one at a time, which is nice, because then you’re guaranteed to be able to watch your loved one open that gift you’re so excited to give them!  It also means that it takes us a lot longer to get through all the presents lol.  So we definitely need that hearty breakfast to fuel us up!

Breakfast casserole in baking dish

Several years ago, on the first Christmas morning at our house, I served this overnight breakfast casserole… it was a TOTAL hit!  There are rarely any leftovers, and usually we’re all scrambling to grab the last piece.  We usually just call it “the breakfast casserole”, but technically, it’s a strata since the base of the dish is cubed pieces of bread and they soak overnight in a spiced up egg custard.


Yes, in fact, it’s best when it IS made ahead of time!  You can make this breakfast casserole up to 8-12 hours ahead of time.  My favorite way is to make it on Christmas Eve after dinner, then let it chill overnight and bake it Christmas morning!  You want it to sit in the refrigerator so the custard really soaks up into the bread and all the flavors come together.

Unbaked breakfast casserole in dish


Just about anything!  I’ve seen breakfast casseroles made with tater tots, hashbrowns, croissants, etc.  I love my breakfast casserole loaded with sausage, bacon, and plenty of cheese!

I consider this recipe to be more of a method, and not necessarily a hard fast recipe.  Meaning, you can add (or subtract) ingredients to customize it to your tastes!  Here’s a few options…

Customization options for this Overnight Breakfast Casserole:

  • Add sautéed onions (since our little ones have an onion aversion, I leave them out, but they’re delicious!)
  • Play with the herbs and add your favorites
  • Use chorizo instead of sausage and sprinkle with cilantro to add some Mexican flair
  • Switch up the cheeses, or use all cheddar
  • Use some torn croissants or cubed up bagels instead of Italian or French bread

Make ahead breakfast casserole in dish

I love using both the sausage and the bacon here, as we’re huge breakfast meats fans around here, but feel free to use one or the other if you’d rather not use both.


Yep!  After you assemble the casserole, instead of covering it and refrigerating, place it in the freezer instead.  Breakfast casseroles can be frozen for up to 2 months, then just thaw overnight and bake as directed.

Scoop of breakfast casserole

I hope you guys give this overnight breakfast casserole a try… it’s perfect for not only holiday breakfasts, but for weekend breakfasts as well!

We like to serve ours with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of fresh parsley and chives!


Piece of breakfast casserole on plate

Overnight Breakfast Strata | This breakfast strata dish is made the night before, refrigerated overnight, then baked to bubbly, cheesy perfection! | http://thechunkychef.com

Loaded Overnight Breakfast Casserole

This easy to prepare breakfast casserole is made up the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven and enjoy!
5 from 29 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 10 servings
Calories 618


  • 1 lb sage or breakfast sausage
  • 8-10 pieces bacon, - cooked and crumbled
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground dry mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 12 oz Italian bread, - cubed into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • minced fresh parsley, - for garnish
  • chopped fresh chives, - for garnish
  • dollop sour cream, - for garnish


  • In a large skillet, brown and crumble sausage until cooked.  Drain and set aside.
  • Use a bread knife to cube Italian bread into 1/2" pieces, then set aside.  Combine shredded cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, then set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, salt, dry mustard, dried parsley, black pepper and paprika.  Whisk until combined.
  • Add cubed bread pieces to bottom of 3 quart oven safe pot, or 9x13" baking pan.  Top with crumbled sausage, bacon, and 3/4 of the cheeses.  Pour egg custard over the top, using a wooden spoon to gently push any un-soaked bread down into the custard.  Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheeses.
  • Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from refrigerator, uncover, and let sit at room temperature while oven preheats to 350 degrees F.  Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Serve hot, topped with garnishes if desired.


Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!


This make ahead breakfast casserole is a true family favorite!  Perfect for a holiday breakfast, or anytime, it's loaded with bold flavors and is a cinch to make! #breakfastcasserole #breakfastrecipe #holiday #christmas #easter #mothersday #fathersday #breakfastbake





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124 comments on “Loaded Overnight Breakfast Casserole”

  1. I came upon your website this morning and I’m really intrigue by this recipe. Both my wife and I are big bacon and sausage lovers, as well as hash-browns, eggs and cheese.. Thank you for making such recipes available. We’re looking forward to trying it and will let you know the results. Thanks again.

  2. So easy and delicious! Was a hit at with my team at work for Friday breakfast.

  3. Has any tried cooking then reheating?
    Grandson is being baptized and want to be able to eat right after?  Thought about cooking it early then adding the remaining cheese and melt it then.  Any suggestions appreciated 

  4. In reading all the recipes I see they say 8 hours or overnight. So I’m trying it for 5 hours. We shall see!  Using croissants and just had 2% milk so I added some sour cream. Didn’t have dry mustard so I used Chinese mustard.  It’s an experiment all around!  Fingers crossed!

  5. Hello, The Strata looks delicious, can’t wait to try it! I want to do a practice run and make this dish for this upcoming weekend. Dose the bread pieces need to be put on large rimmed baking sheets and baked in the oven until slightly golden brown, about 15 minutes or unbaked?

    Also, in your opinion would adding hash browns or cubed potatoes in combination with the bread be too much?

    Thank you in advance for your reply

  6. Can i make this with hashbrowns instead of bread?

  7. Sounds great and I plan to make this for Mother’s day. I have a question in regards to pot size. Would a slightly larger pot change cook time (3.6 qt in my case)? Would texture or anything else be affected (other than thickness of course)? Thanks!

  8. Does this have to sit overnight or can it be made same day?

  9. I’m interested in making these for a family bringing home a new baby in a few weeks…would it work to make these in muffin tins instead of a large pan? Would they freeze okay?

  10. How many cups of bread approximately? Excited to make this for Valentines Day brunch!

  11. This recipe sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it. I have a question though. I have an 11-year-old who has Celiac Disease so I can’t use the Italian bread the recipe calls for. I was thinking about using tater tots or hash browns instead, like you suggested above. If I were to do that, would I bake the potatoes first or just put them in the dish frozen and let them bake when the casserole bakes? Thank you for your help. I would try it with gluten free bread, but I’m just afraid that it will turn out too mushy.

  12. This may be the BEST MOST Delicious breakfast casserole I’ve ever tasted and made several times now!! Don’t overcook it!  And don’t Over Warm it in the oven waiting for people to get ready to eat it.  Did that the first time and it dried out. My fault. Won’t happen again! LOVE this recipe!!

  13. Have you made it with a milk alternative before? I am trying to accommodate dairy free guests and don’t think whole milk would be too kind to serve them!

  14. This recipe is perfect just as it is! I made two of these casseroles in 9 x 13 glass dishes for Christmas Eve morning and they couldn’t have been a bigger hit! I served a nice fruit salad on the side. I am definately hanging on to this recipe! I wouldn’t change one thing. I think I will make this for the next time my teenage son’s friends plan to come to dinner. They would love it!

  15. I offered this as a Take and Bake on our Holiday Order Form at our restaurant. We sampled it and got great feedback. A lot of people from where I’m from in Texas have never heard of a Stata. We sold 3, hopefully more next year. The seasonings is on point. So delish!!

  16. I made this on Christmas Eve for Christmas morning and the whole family loved it. Everyone had seconds and we still had enough leftover the day after.  I made it exactly as is but, next time I’m going to try adding red bell helpers and mushrooms.  So glad I found this recipe. 

  17. Hello! Would this be able to be cooked in a crock pot? Any suggestions on time?

    • I have only tested this recipe as written, but I think it would be able to. I’ve only seen crockpot breakfast casseroles made with hashbrowns, but I think this version would work. I would try LOW for 7-8 hours.

  18. Can you add O’brien potatoes to this casserole?

  19. Hi, is it ok to use very stale French bread? I have a leftover nice baguette that will be hard, about 5 days old, when I plan to prep and refrigerate to be eaten the next morning. Thank you!

  20. Hello! 

    If subbing croissants instead, so I bake them first and then tear them up or tear up the dough strips? 


  21. Mom to a toddler here. Any suggestions for sneaking veggies into this recipe? Thanks!

    • Oh how I remember those days! Are there any veggies he or she will eat? Or is it an aversion to anything green? Dishes like this can be tough to “sneak” veggies into, as there’s not really a sauce. But I would try pureeing the veggies and adding them to the egg mixture. I’d say any specks of veggies or coloring in the casserole is the “seasoning that makes it taste good” 🙂

  22. Could you please tell me if this reheats

  23. I made this casserole and 3 other kinds, for a church breakfast.
    This Casserole was the “Hand down” favorite !!!

  24. I need to prepare this ahead of time for fellowship, but then I need it to stay warm until it can be served after service. Can this be baked at home and then kept warm in a low oven (170 degrees) for 2-3 hours?

  25. Are you supposed to use “stale” bread for this?

  26. Has anyone tried this in a crockpot?  Thinking of doing this for a family camping trip, but using a crockpot to “bake” it.  Just wondering if it would work that way.  🤔

  27. Hello, can’t wait to make this tomorrow! Was wondering about subbing waffles in for the bread. Do you think it’s better to stick with tried and true bread or do you think waffles would work well? Would love your input 🙂

  28. Hello. I will be baking two 9×13 tin pans at the same time. How much longer do you think I should cook it for?

  29. Do you need to grease the pan? Doesn’t say & don’t want it to stick 

  30. Can I put spinach in it. 

  31. This recipe is spectacular!  I subbed brioche bread and Gilbert’s Early Bird chicken breakfast sausage.  It came out amazing!  

  32. I have a large, round 4 quart enamel pan, similar to the blue one in your pictures. I’d like to make 1.5 times the recipe, for about 15 people. Will this recipe cook evenly in a large round 4-quart pan?  I want to make sure the strata at the center of the pan cooks at the same pace as the rest of the dish. 

  33. Would you be able to replace the bread with potatoes? Or would that change the consistency?

  34. How much in oz or how many cips of bread would this be?

  35. Isn’t the bread soggy?

  36. I was looking up strata and found your site, your recipe sounds delicious. I missed trying it out at Christmas, but will try to remember of next year, because we do the same as you, presents are given one at a time, and it can take ages (I think this family tradition was started by my parents, because we were very poor and didn’t get many gift! they’d put all the presents in a box and the youngest child choose the first gift). Back to the strata, in Italy as a child, in the version I was shown,  the bread was left in slices, and spread with any leftover pasta sauce (ragu, pesto, etc), arranged in a dish with any extras you wanted, the egg/milk mix was poured on top and allowed to soak in and cheese put on top and  baked. I’m sure every family had their own recipe!, 

  37. My step-mom and I have been making overnight breakfast casseroles for years for Christmas morning and this one is fabulous! We loved it! It’s delicious and excellent as leftovers!

  38. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    I was going to make it for Christmas morning but you know what they say about the best plans..so I made it today instead. It was delicious & my boyfriend loved it! I ran out of sour cream so we topped it with warm maple syrup. Swoon.

  39. I made this last night and put it in the fridge but the party was cancelled. Can this dish be put in the freezer? If so, would I bake it first?

  40. I made a similar recipe one year for Christmas breakfast.  I used both French bread and a loaf of Jalapeño  Cheddar bread I bought in the bakery section, and added mushrooms to half the pan (my husband isn’t a fan), it was fabulous!  I’m making this recipe this year with the Jalapeño bread, and probably adding leftover ham as well.  It’s a very easy recipe to play with!

  41. Christmas morning perfection indeed!

  42. WOW!! This looks SOOOO good!

  43. This looks so good! I would love to have this Christmas morning!

  44. This looks absolutely amazing! I love overnight breakfasts, and I’ll definitely be giving this one a try!

  45. This is exactly how I want to start my mornings especially during the holidays. So hearty and delicious!

  46. Great recipe! There were only 6 of us, but it would easily have fed 12. 

  47. We made the overnight breakfast strata.  Yummy!  But we added mini tater tots to the top before baking the dish.  Added some Minnesota yumminess.

  48. Could I mix all the ingredients how you’ve explained and put in the refrigerator around 2:00 pm and bake it the next morning around 8:00 am?  I was afraid that might be too long for it to sit in refrigerator. 

  49. I am going to make this Breakfast Strata to take for Election Day Breakfast for my fellow Election Board Officials on November 6. I am also making a separate Breakfast Casserole for those who may be gluten free or gluten intolerant. Thanks for the RECIPE.

  50. This looks delicious – I’m thinking about making it for a Brunch themed work event this week! What are your thoughts on baking it a day earlier and then warming it up the morning of the event? My office doesn’t have an oven so I’m trying to think of ways around this hurdle.

    Do you think it will affect the dish in any major way?


    • Hi Marissa 🙂 I wish I could give you a definite answer, but I’ve never tested the recipe that way, so I can’t say for certain. I think if you have the ability to have those sterno cans with the foil chafing dishes at your work, you might be able to heat it back up that way, but it would definitely take a while. Could you bake it in the morning before work and get one of those carriers for 9×13 pans that have the ability to keep the food hot? You could do that then keep it warm on the sterno chafing dish thing?

  51. I would love to try this with bagels. How many do you think I should use and do you think I need to cut them into smaller pieces bc of the chewiness? Also was wondering what you thought of using Everything bagels? 

    • Tammie, my thoughts about using everything bagels are that you are a genius! That would be SO tasty, I can’t wait to try it myself 😀 I would think 3-4 regular sized bagels, and I’d cut them maybe a little smaller than the recipe calls for, but not TOO small, or there won’t be any texture 🙂

  52. I used Chorizo and added Gouda cheese. Turned out amazing!

  53. Made this for a crowd at a Wimbledon champagne brunch, and it was fantastic. I swapped out the parsley for rosemary which gave it a slightly different flavor profile, rosemary is so nice in dishes with sausage. Everyone loved it, it is hearty, generous in size, and a little decadent. Thank you!

  54. Fantastic recipe! A hit with my family and has now been added to our favourite recipe list. 
    Such peace of mind that my main course was prepped the night before too! Highly recommended.

  55. What changes should I make if I want it to serve 12. Eggs? Milk? Cheeses?

    • Hi Jeri 🙂 I would probably 1.5x all the ingredients, and use a whole loaf of bread. Just make sure you’re using a really big pan, I’d say at least 4 quarts, or a large lasagna pan. This may take longer to bake as well. I’ve never made it other than the recipe specifies, so I can’t say for certain the exact changes.

  56. Pingback: Cheesy Mushroom and Spinach Omelet - The Chunky Chef

  57. Pingback: Christmas Morning Strata • Bread & Jam for Francis

  58. Does this work for leftovers?

  59. We had this on Christmas morning. Delicious and filling!

  60. Trying so many for years. Yours with variations is the cats meeeeeeeeeeeow. Thank you thank you.


  61. Hello and thank you for sharing this recipe with us. I am making it tomorrow for a brunch and forgot to get Italian bread!! Can I dry out white bread and use that? Thank you Karla

    • Hi Karla 🙂 Yes, absolutely! Just be sure to cut the cubes in at least 1/2″ pieces, as they won’t be as chewy as an Italian loaf, but it should work out just fine 🙂

      • I made with white bread and cut into 1″ cubes and it came out fantastic! Such a great recipe thanks for sharing!!! Merry Christmas… Karla

  62. I am on a low carb diet & would like to leave out the bread. How will that affect the cooking time?

  63. Can you tell me approximately how many cups you consider “3/4 of a loaf of Italian bread”?

  64. Can you make this two nights ahead? Likewise it Friday night and serve Sunday? Or is that too long to just sit in the fridge?

  65. Made this last week end ! I used diced ham and a pkg real bacon bits added a couple cups browned hash browns with ham and bacon. Used 1C. Croutons in place of bread . 1 tsp. Cumin. 1/2 red pepper, celery 1/2 C. And about 6 sliced Bella mushrooms! O my what a awesome dish! I took a piece for breakfast to work each day. Everyone one was asking for recipes. Just by the looks at it they thought it looked great! Thanks.

  66. Amanda, your recipes were an absolute hit at my ladies breakfast! I had made this mouth-watering strata and your Ham & Cheese Spinach Puffs and my friends just loved and savored every bite. I substituted chicken cubes instead of the ham and that’s all I changed in the recipe. Thank you for these wonderful recipes!


  67. I adore breakfast stratas but haven’t made one for years. We had a graduation party yesterday with a pasta bar, so have leftover sausages, cheeses, baguette, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, etc. I’m going to make this up with all of those yummy bits and pieces! I’ll try to post a pic when it’s done! Thanks for the inspiration!

  68. I made this for a big family brunch. Everyone really enjoyed it, including the 2-4 year old children.. We’ll most definitely be making this one for special breakfasts in the future. I made the following small modifications:
    1) I caramelized a small onion with 2 cloves of garlic, and added some frozen spinach and scattered this over the bread for a bit more flavour and some nutritional value
    2) I used slightly less sausage to account for the onion and spinach

    Next time:
    1) I may mix in the cheese and sausage in with the bread a bit better next time, so that the whole dish gets the salty, cheesy goodness

    Seriously, great recipe!!! 5 stars

  69. Can you add hasbrowns to this recipe? Thanks

  70. I love make-ahead breakfasts for Christmas morning! 🙂 This one looks amazing!

  71. Looks fantastic! Children will love this dish! 🙂

  72. YUM!! What an amazing breakfast dish!!

  73. Two things:
    1. That strata looks awesome! I’d be happy to wait to open presents if that was waiting for me at the breakfast table.
    2. We have that same Christmas tradition! We all get a gift, and then we watch each person unwrap theirs before moving on to the next. We could never understand those parents who sectioned off presents at the bottom of the tree and just let their kids dive in!

  74. This sounds wonderful, and I love that you take your time opening presents! I need to enforce that rule here. 🙂

  75. This looks positively magical! Cannot wait to try it!

  76. This looks fantastic. I would love this for brunch.

  77. Strata is one of my very favorite brunch items to make, and yours look SO hearty and delicious!