Even though this recipe has Christmas in its name, this breakfast casserole is great any time of the year. Perfect for Sunday brunch and even a weeknight dinner!
For many years, this breakfast casserole has been part of our Christmas family brunch. This recipe is full of ingredients that are common for breakfast: bread, eggs, ham, cheese, milk, cereal, and more.
I love how easy this casserole is to make. Assemble it the evening before and place it in the fridge overnight. On Christmas morning, throw it in the oven to bake for an hour and then serve.
Every single time I make this casserole, people rave about it and there is typically never any leftovers. Simple and delicious – that is always a good combination!
Ingredients for the Best Breakfast Casserole!
- Sliced bread
- Black forest ham
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce – don’t worry, it’s just a dash
- Salt and pepper
- Green pepper
- Corn flakes cereal
The first step to making this Christmas breakfast casserole is to remove the crusts from the bread. I use white bread, but whole wheat or multigrain will work just fine as well. This casserole uses 16 slices (8 for the bottom layer and 8 for the top). I like to stack 8 slices and then use a bread knife to cut the crusts off the four sides. Then do the same thing with the other 8 slices of bread.
The crusts are not used in this recipe. You can discard the crusts or use them to make something else. They could be used to make a small bread pudding, to make croutons, or dry them and process them to make bread crumbs.
Assembling the Layers!
As you put this casserole together, you will discover that it is essentially a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg mixture poured on top.
- Place 8 slices of the crustless bread in the bottom of a greased 13×9 baking dish. My dish is tapered and the bottom is a little smaller than the top. I have to cut a little off of two end pieces of bread so that they all fit on the bottom. You can see this in the picture above.
- Evenly place the slices of ham across the bread in the dish. Both shaved and sliced ham lunchmeat work great, but just make sure you have about 1 pound of sliced ham.
- Spread the grated cheese all over the ham. I use cheddar cheese, but there are many kinds that work very well including mozzarella, Monterey jack, provolone and more!
- Place the final 8 slices of bread on top of the grated cheese.
Once the layers of the breakfast casserole are assembled in the baking dish, it is time to make the egg mixture. Use a large enough bowl and whisk together the eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Mix until the eggs are well combined into the milk. Slowly pour the egg mixture all over the bread.
You will notice that the bread will soak up all the liquid and it will work its way to the bottom of the casserole and soak into the first layer of bread as well.
Time to go in the Fridge!
Just before this goes into the fridge, evenly spread the diced onion and green pepper all over the top. Then, cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. This is an important step for the bread and egg mixture to set.
As I said earlier, I love to make this for a holiday breakfast and brunch. It is so nice to be able to place this in the fridge overnight. This is ideal for Christmas or other days, when you do not want to spend much of the morning in the kitchen.
If you do not want to leave this overnight, it can be left it in the fridge to set for just 1 to 2 hours. I have done this many times and the casserole is just amazing!
There are a couple more simple steps to do with this casserole before it is ready to go into the oven. Take it out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Pour the melted butter evenly across the onions and peppers. The butter will add so much flavour and richness to every bite.
Lastly, crumble a bunch of corn flakes cereal and sprinkle it all over the casserole. This adds a really nice crunch.
How Long to Bake the Breakfast Casserole?
Put the casserole in a 350F oven and let it bake for 1 hour.
Don’t be surprised if you see the casserole puff up as it happens to me pretty much every time I bake this casserole. Once you take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes, the puffed parts will settle right back down again.
Other Great Breakfast Recipes!
Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole
- 2 tbsp butter
- 16 slices white bread , crust removed
- 1 pound black forest ham slices
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 onion , diced finely
- 1/2 green pepper , diced finely
- 1/3 cup butter , melted
- 1 cup Cornflakes , crushed
- Use 2 tbsp butter to grease a 13x9 baking dish. Place 8 pieces of bread on the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly place slices of ham on top of the bread and sprinkle the grated cheese over the ham. Place remaining slices of bread on top of the cheese.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, with the milk, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread in the casserole dish. Top with diced onion and green pepper.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of one hour, or leave in the fridge overnight.
- Take out of the fridge and pour The melted butter evenly all over the casserole. Sprinkle crushed corn flakes cereal all over the top.
- Bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour.
- Take out and let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.