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The Best Breakfast Casserole

The Best Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Assemble casserole: Trim crust off challah bread, cut into cubes and toast. Pulse toasted cubes in a food processor to a rough consistency. Reserve challah breadcrumbs until the next day.
  2. Butter a 9 x 13-inch glass casserole baking dish or baking pan and place slices of challah bread in a single layer on the bottom. Cover with slices of ham, followed by slices of cheese, followed by a sprinkle of shallots and artichokes. Add an additional layer of bread and repeat process, ending with a final layer of bread.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, mustard and savoury. Pour egg mixture over casserole, cover with wrap or foil and place in fridge overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Prepare topping: Toss breadcrumbs with Parmesan and two tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  6. Transfer to oven and bake for 55 minutes. Allow casserole to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with pure Canadian maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
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The Best Breakfast Casserole

3 / 5. 2

Layers of thinly sliced ham, Gruyère cheese and challah bread baked in creamy egg custard with a breadcrumb and cheese crust…

  • clock icon
    75 MIN
  • 12 SERVINGS
Ultimate Breakfast Casserole

It’s the BEST BREAKFAST CASSEROLE for good reason. Wait until you try it!

This very popular, often-requested easy breakfast casserole idea is especially perfect for Christmas morning and the holidays. You can follow our lead and get it ready the day before, then simply bake and serve it to your hungry crowd. Slot it into your holiday or everyday meal plan and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. It’s the make-ahead meal we know you’re going to thank us for. (You’re welcome! XO)

I first presented this recipe a few years back during my culinary classes at Christmas in November. We received tons of positive feedback and the compliments just keep on coming. Who knew this one post for an easy ham and cheese, make-ahead breakfast casserole would be so popular!

With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice if someone kind and thoughtful made this recipe? What a fabulous gesture to lighten the load for mom (or dad, your spouse, your siblings, etc.) on the big day. 

Because it’s so tasty and extremely popular, we suggest you PIN the recipe to a favourite breakfast or brunch board on PINTEREST or BOOKMARK this tab for easy access. SHARE it with friends so they can make it too. We’d also appreciate seeing pics of all the scrumptious stuff you’re making these days. Use #weekendatthecottage when you post those pics on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks!

Here are a few tips on making the BEST BREAKFAST CASSEROLE:

Ingredients for the Ultimate Breakfast Casserole

INGREDIENTS

Finding the required ingredients should be pretty easy. As with everything we make, the recipe has been tested several times so you know it will turn out perfectly. The general rule is to make sure everything is as fresh as possible. If you can add organic ingredients into this gathering, even better. You will taste the difference.

A loaf of fresh challah bread

CHALLAH BREAD

This recipe will work using pretty much any bread, but we find challah always delivers best results. Challah is a rich yeast bread made with egg and a pinch of sugar to give it a hint of sweetness. It has a very dense crumb that helps soak up the creamy custard added to the casserole. Look for challah in the bakery section of your supermarket. Some recipes swap bread with tater tots. Sounds interesting! Perhaps we’ll craft a tater tot breakfast casserole, next!

Cooked ham and Gruyère cheese

HAM AND CHEESE

I love the taste of smoked cooked ham for this recipe. My favourite is something called prosciutto cotto or Italian Parma ham – it has a rich, smoky flavour but the meat itself is tender and ribboned with just enough fat to make it extra tasty. If you can’t find this speciality ingredient in your local deli, use your favourite breakfast meat, like bacon or sausage. I’m sure it will still taste wonderful.

I’m hoping many of you appreciate the classic pairing of ham with cheese. In this recipe we really wanted flavours that make you stop mid-bite and go “wow”! We accomplished this by using Gruyère, that unique Swiss cheese with a buttery, almost nutty flavour. It also has a noticeable creamy stringiness about it, which is so fab when you dig in. Of course you can also make this recipe using cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese.

Marinated artichokes and chopped shallots

ARTICHOKES, SHALLOTS AND VEGGIES

The chopped artichoke and shallot add a lovely vegetable compliment without taking centre stage in the flavour profile. I also find the hint of vinegar from the cured artichoke gives the dish a bit of bite. Feel free to swap the artichokes with mushrooms, bell peppers, shredded potatoes, spinach or other veggies.

Don’t worry about the onion flavour from the shallots; they soften and almost soak up the cream, making them perfect for this overnight breakfast casserole recipe. Green onion will also work as a substitute.

Ingredients for the creamy custard

CUSTARD CREAM

We know the custard is rich, but it has to be. It’s essential to make the eggs, cream and milk puff up when soaked up in the bread before the breakfast casserole is baked. Don’t be surprised when the bread swells up in the dish too – it’s such an appetizing look.

The ingredients for the topping

TOPPING

Tossing breadcrumbs in melted butter and mixing them with grated Parmesan is always a welcome addition to recipes but for a breakfast casserole, it’s nothing short of brilliant. Sprinkling this mix on the casserole right before baking adds a bit of crispness to the finished dish. Don’t miss this day-of task. Good news! We’ve also heard from a follower who explained that shredded cheddar cheese mixed with breadcrumbs and butter also works!

Squares of casserle served for breakfast

SYRUP

I think my suggestion to present this with pure Canadian maple syrup allows for the ultimate taste sensation. A creamy, savoury custard casserole finished with a hint of sweetness and a pinch of kosher salt – it’s beyond amazing! Great flavors!

Ultimate Breakfast Casserole

Although this tasty ham and cheese breakfast casserole is a complete meal, we’re hoping you and your guests pair it with one of our fresh fruit salads. Serve it with our HEALTHY FRUIT SALAD complete with a cherry-mint dressing. Such an amazing first meal of the day.

If a make-ahead hearty breakfast casserole is your thing, don’t forget to also check out our APPLE FRITTER BREAKFAST CASSEROLE which is similar to a French toast casserole, only better!

Start your day on a high note with the ULTIMATE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE. It’s going to be great!

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The Best Breakfast Casserole

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The Best Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf challah bread
  • ½ pound Italian prosciutto cotto or cooked ham, thinly sliced
  • ½ pound Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • 2 cups homogenized milk
  • 1 tablespoon of Pommery or grain mustard
  • ½ cup shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ cup artichoke, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried savoury (savory)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease the dish
  • 1 cup challah crust breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • For serving:
  • pure Canadian maple syrup
  • Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Assemble casserole: Trim crust off challah bread, cut into cubes and toast. Pulse toasted cubes in a food processor to a rough consistency. Reserve challah breadcrumbs until the next day.
  2. Butter a 9 x 13-inch glass casserole baking dish or baking pan and place slices of challah bread in a single layer on the bottom. Cover with slices of ham, followed by slices of cheese, followed by a sprinkle of shallots and artichokes. Add an additional layer of bread and repeat process, ending with a final layer of bread.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, mustard and savoury. Pour egg mixture over casserole, cover with wrap or foil and place in fridge overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Prepare topping: Toss breadcrumbs with Parmesan and two tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  6. Transfer to oven and bake for 55 minutes. Allow casserole to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with pure Canadian maple syrup and Dijon mustard.

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