From the kitchen if One Perfect Bite...This is a great casserole to have on hand when the holidays roll around. It is simple and inexpensive to make, and any of the variations included here, would be a perfect way to begin a holiday morning. The casseroles are substantial enough to be featured for a lunch or a light dinner as well. We had this for Thanksgiving breakfast and I'm sharing it with you based on the reviews it received from folks sitting at my table. The recipe is straight forward and needs no further explanation, other than to point out that this is a make-ahead casserole that needs to sit at least 8 hours in the fridge before it is baked. I do hope you'll try this. It will not disappoint and it might be perfect for Christmas breakfast. Here is how the casserole is made.
Cheddar-Bacon Breakfast Casserole...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Country Home magazine
4 ounces dry French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes ( 4 cups)
1-3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon (crisp-cooked, drained, crumbled) or 4 slices turkey bacon (crisp-cooked, drained, crumbled) or 1 cup diced cooked ham
2 cups milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley ( flat-leaf)
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1) Toss bread cubes, cheddar cheese, and cooked bacon or ham together in a large bowl.
2) Divide among six 10-ounce individual casseroles or place all of the mixture in one 2-quart rectangular baking dish.
3) Whisk together milk, eggs, parsley, mustard, pepper, and onion powder in a medium bowl. Pour over the bread mixture in casseroles or dish.
4) Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5) Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes for individual baking casseroles (about 40 minutes for 2-quart dish) or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings.
Omit bacon or ham and substitute 6 ounces feta cheese and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese for the cheddar cheese. Stir 1 cup drained and chopped canned or marinated artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, and 2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives (optional) into the bread mixture before putting into casseroles or baking dish. Continue as above.
Mushroom and Roasted Sweet Pepper Variation
Cook 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms and 1/4 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir mushroom mixture and 1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet pepper into bread mixture before putting into casseroles or baking dish. Continue as above.
Sausage and Provolone Variation
Substitute 1-1/2 cups shredded Provolone or Italian cheese blend for the cheddar and 1-1/2 cups chopped fully cooked turkey Italian sausage links for the bacon. Substitute basil for the parsley. Continue as above.
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