This Breakfast Bake Recipe is a new weekend tradition in our family! Christmas breakfast casserole has been a family holiday tradition for longer than I can remember. It is a real time saver and goes by the name Wife Saver in our household. Maybe it should be renamed “Wife’s Time Saver,” as it is such an easy overnight breakfast casserole!

There are many tasty breakfast casserole recipes to choose from, including a sweet French Toast Casserole With Apples, but we like this one because it has many variations.  You can use sausage, ground beef, ham or even cooked bacon in this dish.  They are all equally yummy.

cut piece of breakfast bake on a spatula with the breakfast casserole in the baking pan in the background

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Our favorite is this breakfast casserole with ham, and we love the zesty flavor the red pepper adds to the dish. We also really enjoy a sausage breakfast casserole since there are so many types of sausage to choose from – Spicy Chorizo, mild Italian or honey garlic to mix it up.

What is a Breakfast Casserole?

A breakfast casserole is simply breakfast made in a casserole dish.  We like to prep this Christmas morning casserole recipe on Christmas Eve, rest it overnight in the fridge and pop it in the oven in the morning. But we don’t just save this for Christmas, we make this all the time! It’s great on weekends, and especially holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter!

This quick and easy breakfast casserole smells so mouthwatering while it’s baking in the morning that even the adults won’t sleep in. It has all of the ingredients of a complete breakfast – eggs, bread, sausage (or bacon or ham), diced peppers with some crunch and buttery goodness all served up in a piping hot casserole dish.

close up of a piece of breakfast bake on a white plate with a knife

If you are wondering what to serve with breakfast casserole, it really doesn’t need anything, except maybe your favorite condiments or hot sauce. For a rounded out breakfast, we really like serving our easy overnight cinnamon buns or Monkey Bread Muffins and a fresh fruit salad along with the breakfast bake.

Can I Make a Casserole the Night Before?

Yes, this is the most important first step in making this “night before breakfast casserole.” All of the prep is done the night (or two nights) before you want to eat it. This is a must for two reasons:

  • The bread gets infused with the egg and holds the dish together
  • You can sleep in and relax with a coffee in the morning while it’s baking.

For this recipe, we use dry bread or day old bread that has been sitting on the counter unwrapped.  Dry buns were actually the inspiration when I created this dish! I have my favorite standby breakfast bake recipe, but we were out at the lake, and we didn’t have any fresh bread. We had plenty of dried out hot dog buns though so I improvised and created this amazing recipe! We actually made it 4 times that week!

cooked breakfast bake casserole in the baking pan with a spatula on the side

How Do You Make Breakfast Casserole?

Breakfast casserole is simple to make.

  1. Butter the casserole dish
  2. Add the buns, ham and red pepper
  3. Beat the eggs together with the milk, add the spices, and mix in the diced red or yellow peppers
  4. Pour over the casserole dish
  5. Wrap and refrigerate overnight
  6. In the morning, top off the dish with butter and bread crumbs
  7. Bake and enjoy!

The butter and bread crumbs give the dish a crunchy topping that tastes great.  My husband didn’t think he would like the extra crumbs, but he said that was his favorite part and now we make this breakfast bake recipe version the most.

closeup of unbaked easy breakfast bake, topped with cheese, in the baking pan with a spatula on the side

Do You Bake Breakfast Casserole Covered or Uncovered? How Long Do You Bake Breakfast Casserole?

This breakfast casserole is baked uncovered. It bakes for 60 minutes. After 45 minutes, check if it is starting to get a little more browned than you’d like, then add a loose piece of foil over top for the remaining baking time. Rest the breakfast casserole for about 10 minutes before serving.

overhead of uncooked breakfast bake casserole in the baking pan

This dish is perfect for a large crowd, for your family gatherings at the lake or holidays, along with Honey Cornbread Muffins (and Honey Butter of course!). We fed a few families with this breakfast bake, some of whom don’t like eggs, but they LOVED this egg casserole, even more than our usual breakfast casserole! My two year old son asked for 3 servings and ate as much as my hubby!

If you have any leftovers, this sausage breakfast casserole is excellent the next day. Simply reheat it in the microwave. A tip when you reheat, especially for the kids, is to cut the breakfast casserole when it is cold. It is so easy (and I even snuck a few bites cold!).

The next day, my husband said this is the best breakfast bake ever! That’s love!

cut piece of breakfast bake on a spatula with the breakfast casserole in the baking pan in the background
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Breakfast Bake Recipe

This Breakfast Bake Recipe has been a holiday tradition in our family for longer than I can remember.  This Christmas breakfast casserole is a real time saver!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Candace

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 4-5 dry hot dog buns, hamburger buns or thick bread or enough to cover bottom of 9 x 13 dish
  • 1 cup diced ham can use back bacon or cooked bacon
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper chopped finely (or other veggies)
  • 2 ¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese divided (or slices to cover casserole)
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • ½ cup melted butter

Instructions 

  • Butter a 9x13 casserole dish. Place buns cut side down to cover the bottom of the casserole dish, filling in empty spots with broken pieces of bread. Top with ham and diced red pepper.
  • Mix together eggs, milk, dry mustard, pepper, onion and chopped pepper. Pour mixture on top of buns. Sprinkle with 2 cups cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle casserole with remaining cheese.
  • Melt butter and mix with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes. Check after 45 minutes. If the top is getting really browned, loosely place foil for remainder of cook time. 
  • Once done, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. The breakfast casserole puffs up while baking, and settles after it's been out of the oven for a few minutes.

Notes

If you prefer less crumbs, pour ¼ cup melted butter over top of casserole, mix ¼ cup melted butter with ½ cup crumbs, and sprinkle over casserole.
If using thinner bread (rather than buns), make two layers of the bread.
5 from 7 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 319 | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 524mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1310IU | Vitamin C: 25.7mg | Calcium: 270mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

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cut piece of breakfast bake on a spatula with the breakfast casserole in the baking pan in the background

closeup of unbaked easy breakfast bake, topped with cheese, in the baking pan with a spatula on the side

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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