Make-ahead Breakfast Bake - Weekend at the Cottage

Make-ahead Breakfast Bake

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Grease an 11 x 15-inch glass casserole dish.
  2. Place the eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper into a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until combined.
  3. Place the bread, ham, cubed Gruyère and shallot into a medium-sized bowl and toss together by hand.
  4. Place half of the quantity of the ham mixture into the baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Whisk the custard mixture together and pour half of it over top. Add the remainder of the ham mixture into the dish, followed by the remaining custard mixture. Cover with wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove the dish from the fridge one hour before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position. Remove and discard the cover wrap from the casserole dish. Sprinkle top of the casserole with the grated cheddar and Gruyère cheese.
  7. Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until toasted and bubbly.
  8. Remove from oven, garnish with chives and serve with hollandaise sauce (see above).
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Make-ahead Breakfast Bake

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Ham, cheddar, Gruyère and chopped shallot tossed with chunks of bread, baked in a creamy egg custard…

  • clock icon
    45 MIN
  • 6-8 SERVINGS
Make-ahead Breakfast Bake

This MAKE-AHEAD BREAKFAST BAKE is perfect especially when you’re entertaining family and weekend guests.

I’ve held breakfast bakes, a.k.a. breakfast casseroles, in high regard since I first learned of them years ago on a trip to Western Canada. What’s not to love about a straightforward recipe, prepping and assembling the night before, then simply baking and serving the next day? Works like a charm each and every time.

If you’ve hung out with Weekend at the Cottage for a while, you might be feeling a bit of déjà vu, remembering our HAM AND CHEESE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE. It has way more ingredients and takes a bit more effort, but seeing as it’s super tasty too, make sure to add it to your “must-make” list.

Okay, you’re probably thinking “Bring it, Nik!” which reminds me – if you’re part of a group heading to a cottage for the weekend, BRING IT! Get this MAKE-AHEAD BREAKFAST BAKE ready the night before and stick it in a cooler for easy transport. You’ll be the superstar of the weekend, and I’ll bet you get a return invite too!

A make-ahead breakfast or brunch recipe like this makes meal planning a snap. Let’s do this! Here’s why:

Ingredients for Make-ahead Breakfast Bake

PICTURE IT!

You’ll literally look at the pic of the ingredients and think, “Hmm, I got this!” We purposefully crafted this bake using stuff we often have on hand. Running light on Gruyère or need a shallot? Substitute them with another cheese and white or green onion. It will still taste great without you booting across the lake, running amok in the local tuck shop. Ask for Gruyère and you’ll be labelled a townie!

Eggs, milk and cream for the custard

GOOD EGG

Speaking from experience, serving a really delicious egg dish is always a good idea, especially in cottage country. Whether you’re making EGG IN THE BASKET, a classic QUICHE LORRAINE, our famous COTTAGE BREAKFAST or a breakfast bake such as this, egg dishes always get cottage guests running for a seat at the table.

For this recipe, we’re whisking eggs with milk and heavy cream to create a rich custard-like base. During the testing of this recipe someone said, “This tastes like a savoury bread pudding!” We couldn’t agree more.

Leftover cooked ham and two cheeses

HAM IT UP!

This breakfast bake puts leftover ham to good use. Although I’m calling for two cups of cubed ham, the recipe will still work with more. Click here if you need an exceptional OVEN-BAKED HAM recipe, but if you’re pressed for time, buy a hunk of cooked ham at the grocery store and use that. We’ll never tell!

Gruyère and cheddar cheeses

CHEESE PLEASE

My use of both Gruyère and cheddar in this recipe accomplished two things: the Gruyère blends in with the eggs and cream to give the dish even more creaminess, while the cheddar melts into the top of the bake and gives the bread a nice, cheesy crispiness. Two cheeses equals a resounding, “Yes, please!”

The Make-ahead breakfast bake ready for the oven

THE BIG BAKE

The 30-minute bake is the easy part of the process, but two notes on preparation before it goes in the oven: take the casserole out of the fridge one hour before baking to bring it to room temperature. This ensures an even bake throughout. Second thing, don’t forget to sprinkle the top with the two cheeses before placing it into the oven.

Make-ahead Breakfast Bake

TO SERVE

No surprise that serving our MAKE-AHEAD BREAKFAST BAKE is as easy as preparing it. If you have the energy, take advantage of the baking time to pull together a fresh FRUIT SALAD to serve it on the side. Also, don’t forget to clip and chop some fresh chives from your garden to sprinkle on top right before you dig in.

Hollandaise Sauce Hack

One final recommendation is to take five minutes and make our HOLLANDAISE SAUCE HACK. Serving this tangy, lemony, whipped butter sauce on the side takes this easy breakfast idea to a whole new level.

Serve generous portions of the breakfast bake

This MAKE-AHEAD BREAKFAST BAKE is amazing, just like everyone who makes it for their friends and family!

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Make-ahead Breakfast Bake

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Make-ahead Breakfast Bake

Ingredients

  • For the egg custard:
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup 35% cream
  • ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
  • For the filling:
  • 8 pieces Italian bread, thickly sliced and cubed
  • 2 cups cooked ham, cubed
  • 1 cup Gruyère, cubed
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • Garnishes:
  • ¼ cup each grated cheddar and Gruyère
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Serve with:
  • Hollandaise sauce (see story for details)

Directions

  1. Grease an 11 x 15-inch glass casserole dish.
  2. Place the eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper into a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until combined.
  3. Place the bread, ham, cubed Gruyère and shallot into a medium-sized bowl and toss together by hand.
  4. Place half of the quantity of the ham mixture into the baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Whisk the custard mixture together and pour half of it over top. Add the remainder of the ham mixture into the dish, followed by the remaining custard mixture. Cover with wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove the dish from the fridge one hour before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position. Remove and discard the cover wrap from the casserole dish. Sprinkle top of the casserole with the grated cheddar and Gruyère cheese.
  7. Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until toasted and bubbly.
  8. Remove from oven, garnish with chives and serve with hollandaise sauce (see above).

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