I just about died when I found this recipe and just about died AGAIN when I made it. I’ve always wanted to make a breakfast casserole but never found a recipe that wowed me. Oh was I wowed. This was seriously easy to prepare the day before (and best to do that way so the egg is soaked up reeeeeaaallll good) and just popped in the oven in the morning. Enjoy your coffee and smells while it cooks!
Adapted from The Kitchn’s Ham and Cheese Casserole:
4 cups (loosely packed) day-old bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 – 1 pound sausage, cooked
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Grease an 8-inch square baking dish (or another 1 1/2 quart to 2-quart baking dish) and spread the bread in the bottom.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium to low heat. Add the onions, salt, and sugar. Sauté until they are lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another heavy skillet, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook up the sausage.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, and thyme. Season with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Spread the sausage over the bread cubes, then layer the onions on top. Sprinkle grated cheese on next, and then pour the egg mixture over the entire thing.
Press down on the top gently, so that all of the bread cubes get soaked a bit with the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°F and take the casserole out of the fridge while the oven is preheating. Bake, uncovered, for an hour or so, or until the edges are bubbling and the top begins to brown. The baking time will be greatly dependent on the depth of dish you use. Check the interior with a knife; if it comes out clean the bread custard is baked through. (Cover with foil near the end of cooking if the top is already browned.)
I used a deep souffle dish so it took me longer to cook but it was WORTH THE WAIT. The house smelled amazing and the taste was out of this world. The substitution of sausage for the bacon and cheese switch was delish. I can’t wait to make this for Christmas morning.