Ultimate Breakfast Casseroles – Part 1 The Big Breakfast



This is the beginning of a four part series on great breakfast casseroles, which we will release over the next two weeks to make your Christmas or Hanukkah season perfect. Make sure you sign up to Follow Blog via Email so you receive the rest of the series.

Remember the McDonald’s Big Breakfast?  This recipe reminds me of that in an easy to serve casserole format.  It is as complete a meal as you could want.  And, when it comes out of the oven it is golden brown and puffy like a quiche.   The crowd will go wild. 

The holidays, as much as we look forward to them, can be very stressful.  We have a large family, so it typically means a lot of cooking.  Sometimes I could just stay in the kitchen all day.  Breakfast can be especially trying as everyone chooses their own time to rise and still expects mom and dad to serve them something.

Tired of hours in the kitchen?  Try this breakfast casserole and life will get better quickly.  It can be made the evening before and quickly slipped into the oven while you have your morning coffee and tell Alexa to play some holiday music. 



Serves 12


  • 8 cups (loosely packed) of brioche bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes.  (One loaf will give you more than enough)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lb. ham (thickly sliced), diced
  • 12 eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cup grated gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces)


  1. Prepare all of the ingredients so you will be able to quickly assemble the dish.
  2. Grease a 10” x 14” baking dish and throw in the cubed bread.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium to low heat. Add the onions, salt, and sugar. Sauté until they are lightly caramelized (a medium golden-brown color), about 15 minutes. 
  4. Add the ham and cook about 5 minutes more.
  5. Spread onion and ham over the bread cubes and sprinkle the grated Gruyère on top.
  6. Whisk together the eggs, milk, dry mustard, nutmeg, and thyme in a separate mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, ham and onions
  8. Press down on the top gently, so that all the bread cubes get soaked with the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight
  9. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Take the casserole out of the fridge while the oven is preheating.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, or until the edges are bubbling, the top begins to brown, and the whole dish puffs up.  Make sure the entire top is puffed up including the very middle.

Serve with some fresh fruit, or just a tall Bloody Mary.


Categories: Classic American Dishes, Classic Breakfasts, Classic Dishes by Country/Region

Tags: ,

2 replies

  1. Any alternative to mustard for seasoning?! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. Love seeing you back!!!!!!!! xxxxx julie

    Sent from my iPhone


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