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!
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!
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.
CAN BREAKFAST CASSEROLE BE MADE AHEAD?
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.
WHAT CAN YOU PUT IN A BREAKFAST CASSEROLE?
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
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.
CAN YOU FREEZE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE?
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.
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!
SHOP THE RECIPE:
- Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Dish – I love the even baking in this dish, plus the easy cleanup!
Loaded Overnight Breakfast Casserole
- 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.