A Christmas Breakfast Miracle?
December 21, 2012 7:41 AM   Subscribe

What are your best recipes for a savory breakfast casserole that can be prepared the night before and cooked in the morning?

I'm in charge of bringing an egg-and-sausage-type casserole for Christmas morning festivities with my family. We've had egg-cheese-sausage casseroles in the past that were OK, but always ended up being a little too salty or too blah. Now that it's my turn to make something, I'd like to find a more interesting (and tasty!) recipe.

Searching the typical recipe sites is kinda useless, since people will give five stars to just about anything. I'd prefer to have recommendations from the AskMe hive mind, because, well, I trust you guys.

- It'll need to serve 10 people (including two kids, ages 4 and 6)
- The less morning prep time, the better
- I'll need to transport it in the car, so excessively liquidy casseroles might be a problem
- I have a crockpot, so perhaps that can be used?
- There will also be a french-toast-type casserole, so I was thinking mine should be on the less-bready side.
posted by MsVader to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
"Panade"? It's got bread but it's not -- er, mine is not -- overly bread-y. These are decent instructions.
posted by kmennie at 7:47 AM on December 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

Canadian bacon strata.
posted by hmo at 7:47 AM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could do a typical egg-cheese-sausage thing with less liquid and (roasted) butternut squash in place of some or all the bread. Caramelized onions, cooked sausage, goat cheese, squash, and egg is a pretty winning combo. Season with fried and crumbled sage leaves and lots of coarse cracked pepper.
posted by peachfuzz at 7:56 AM on December 21, 2012

When I ran breakfast at a B&B in Santa Fe this calabacitas casserole was a big hit. Lighter than a strata and more interesting—plus the adults can put hot sauce on it if they want it spicy, and the kids can have it as is.
posted by felix grundy at 8:09 AM on December 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Here's another strata recipe with several variations. It should be made the day before.
posted by shoesietart at 8:21 AM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

How about a couple of quiches? They are infinitely customizable, easy to transport and frozen pie crusts are perfectly serviceable if you don't like to fuss with that end of things.
posted by susanvance at 8:34 AM on December 21, 2012

As I've mentioned here before, Deb has got you covered.
posted by Aizkolari at 8:38 AM on December 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

This Sundried tomato and sausage casserole from Bon Appetit is really wonderful-easy and packed with flavor.
posted by purenitrous at 9:01 AM on December 21, 2012

A good search term for you is "estrada casserole." That's the dish that has a foundation of bread and eggs and milk and then you add whatever breakfasty toppings you like.

I use enough bread cut into cubes to fill the bottom of a buttered 9x13 glass casserole dish. I typically get a regular sized loaf of asiago bread from Panera and that's nearly the perfect amount.

I cook about a pound of bacon and a tube of sausage and sautee whatever vegetables I have on hand -- onions and bell peppers work great in this, as do mushrooms and zucchini (watch out for too many watery veggies though or it will get soggy)-- let them cool down a bit and then toss with the bread.

Then mix 3 cups of milk and with 8-10 beaten eggs and 1/2c of parm cheese. I also add about a teaspoon of mustard powder, some onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste, but you can add whatever you like. Pour it over the bread and other ingredients in an even layer. I smoosh things down a bit to make sure the bread is well on its way to soaking up the custard and then top with some grated cheddar.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, take it out at least 30 minutes before you put it in a 375 degree oven so it has a chance to come to room temperature. Cook for 60-90 minutes or until it turns golden brown and all the liquid has absorbed and set.
posted by Kimberly at 9:52 AM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh! Forgot to mention, don't add much salt (if any) if you do use bacon and sausage and cheese, those things have a lot of salt in them to begin with. Definitely salt the vegetables when you cook them though, because that will draw out the moisture so your casserole won't be watery.
posted by Kimberly at 10:05 AM on December 21, 2012

Our usual Christmas breakfast is Eggs Benedict Casserole. It's got some breadiness, but no one will notice because it's covered in Hollandaise.
posted by looli at 10:34 AM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

How about some migas? Make the night before in a cast iron skillet and then heat it the oven the morning of. If that doesn't do it for you, here's the rest of pioneer woman's breakfast casserole recipes.
posted by Katine at 11:07 AM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Stratas are great, but this one is awesome and meatless.

2.5 cups milk
7 eggs
Mustard (dry or dijon)
Tobasco (dash or two)
Can of diced green chiles (small can, big flavor, no heat)
Pound of grated cheese
Crustless white bread to cover the bottom of an oblong glass baking dish

Beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard and tobasco together. Line the dish with the bread, then half the cheese, then spread out the chilies, then more cheese, then pour the egg mixture over everything.

You can let this sit overnight in the fridge or bake immediately at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

It will puff up and be all golden brown on the top. Serve hot. Be prepared for people to laud you into the new year.

Om, nom, nom.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:49 AM on December 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have made a breakfast casserole recipe that uses scrambled eggs, but they are not poured in as liquid and cooked in the oven. No, they are cooked on the stove like regular scrambled eggs, being careful not to stir too much, so they come out in chunks that are about 3/4 inch. Put them in the casserole dish with cooked diced potatoes, sauteed onions (and/or other veg of your choice), shredded cheese, ham/bacon/sausage (your choice) then use a white-sauce (or one with cheese (Mornay??) to bind it together. Bake, if desired you can top with more cheese and brown the top.

Using the eggs as your bulky item instead of bread makes a really different casserole.
posted by CathyG at 2:38 PM on December 21, 2012

This is my favorite strata. Super rich so it's okay to use lower fat milk or less cheese if you want.
posted by picklebird at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

The best strata is made with challah bread. Slice it about an inch thick and puzzle piece the slices into a 9"x13". Mix about 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill and about 1/3 cup finely-diced red onion, and maybe some capers if you have them, into approximately 12 oz cream cheese with maybe a squeeze of lemon juice; spread over the challah slices. Puzzle-piece slices of smoked salmon over the cream cheese. Whisk up maybe 8 eggs with 2 1/2 or 3 cups half and half (or milk if for some reason you think you can lighten this up!). Pour over the bread/cheese/salmon. Cover and refrigerate overnight; the bread should soak up most of the custard. Bake at 350 for . . . forty-five minutes? It's been a long time since I made this, so it may take more or less time, but the strata should be all puffed up and golden-brown. Man, this is sounding tasty. I may have to make it again myself soon.
posted by miss patrish at 11:53 PM on December 21, 2012

Seconding the strata from Gourmet that picklebird recommended. If it's left to meld overnight, it won't be liquidy in the morning.
posted by misformargaret at 7:36 AM on January 10, 2013

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