Breakfast Casserole

A friend asked me about this dish yesterday, and it’s such a simple, easy recipe that I thought I’d share it.  It’s basically a savory bread pudding made with breakfast ingredients.  The idea for this dish came from my mom’s coworker, a very talented woman who’s always putting together some thoughtful, creative gift.  She brought a prepped version, minus the eggs, over on Christmas Eve, the idea being that on Christmas morning all we’d have to do would be to add eggs and throw it in the oven.  Brilliant.

This is also a great way to use leftovers, and you can customize it however you please.

The basic ingredients are:

Several torn-up slices of bread (day-old or gluten-free)

1 cup or so of shredded cheddar cheese

Several eggs, beaten with a fork (enough to cover the bottom of the dish evenly)

Arrange the bread in the bottom of a casserole dish (glass or ceramic, 9×13 or thereabouts).  Gluten-free bread actually works really well in this dish, because it tends to be a bit dry naturally, and can soak up the liquids in the dish as it cooks without getting too mushy.  Scatter cheese over it.

Now you can add whatever you like: bacon or sausage pieces (please cook these first!), diced tomatoes, onions, zucchini and/or peppers, mushrooms, leftover bits of beef or chicken… you get the idea.  Basically, take whatever’s in your fridge that might be kind of breakfast-y, chop it up, and scatter it evenly around the casserole dish.  When you’ve loaded it with deliciousness, you can (a) keep going, or (b) cover tightly with foil and put it in the fridge for tomorrow.  Or bring it to a friend’s house on Christmas Eve.  I wouldn’t try to keep it longer than overnight, though.

Either way, when you’re ready: pour the eggs evenly over the ingredients.  You don’t have to cover everything, but it should be even and at least cover the bottom of the pan.  If you like your eggs fluffy (and fatty), stir in some sour cream or yogurt before adding the eggs.  If you’re going the healthy route, use egg whites.  Scatter a bit more cheese on top.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until eggs are cooked and dish is golden brown and bubbly on top.  Serves 6-8 people. 

This dish not only uses leftovers, it creates delicious and long-lasting leftovers– you can make this for breakfast and then keep eating it all week if you like.

Happy birthday, Dad!

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4 Responses to “Breakfast Casserole”

  1. peterlore Says:

    This sounds like something we had in Boston called a “Strata.” It was leftover bread made into a quiche-type thing. YUMMY.

  2. therealpotato Says:

    Oh, yeah! That’s totally what this dish is. Does that mean it has Italian roots? The folks seem to think so. The lady I learned it from is Polish-American, but she’s also from Springdale so there’s a lot of Italian-American cooking.

  3. peterlore Says:

    I would like to think that various cultures found things to do with what they had. Leftover stale bread, eggs, and whatever was left. I mean, how far from Strata/Breakfast Casserole is French Toast? Or for that matter, Biscuits and Gravy?

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