Overnight Breakfasts for an Easier Holiday Morning

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If you’re hosting family for the holidays, try one of these overnight bakes for a quick-and-easy breakfast.

Holiday mornings are full of magic and tradition, and for many families, they include a delicious breakfast. That said, it can be a lot of work whipping up a full menu on an already action-packed day. Here’s an easier solution – overnight breakfast bakes. Just do some quick prep the night before, and then pop that baby in the oven right when you wake up. You might even get in a few sips of hot peppermint coffee while it bakes.

Savoury: Classic Ham and Cheese Casserole

Makes 6-8 servings

720 grams (6 cups) cubed day-old French bread
300 grams (10 ounces) ham steaks or leftover ham, cut into cubes
113 grams (1 cup) of shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
500 mL (2 cups) milk
2 green onions, chopped (optional: 1 additional chopped green onion for garnish)
15 mL (1 tablespoon) spicy brown mustard
1 mL (1/4 teaspoon) salt
1 mL (1/4 teaspoon) pepper

  1. Spray a 23x33-centimetre (9x13-inch) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
  2. In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, ham, cheddar cheese and 2 chopped onions. Spread this mixture in an even layer across the baking dish
  3. In the same bowl, lightly whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Add in the milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine
  4. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Use your hands or a large spoon to gently press down on the bread mixture until it’s completely soaked by the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight
  5. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 150 C (300 F). Bake the casserole, uncovered, for about an hour, or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the centre comes out clean
  6. Garnish with additional green onion (optional) and serve!


Sweet: Gingerbread French Toast Bake



Makes 8-10 servings

1 loaf brioche bread, sliced about 2.5 to 3.75-centimetre (1 to 1 1/2 inches) thick (bread can be fresh or up to 2 days old)
113 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 large eggs
375 mL (1 1/2 cups) milk (use more if your bread is old or very crusty)
125 mL (1/2 cup) maple syrup
125 mL (1/2 cup) light, medium or dark molasses
5 grams (2 teaspoons) cinnamon
5 grams (2 teaspoons) ground ginger
5 grams (2 teaspoons) allspice
5 grams (2 teaspoons) ground nutmeg
5 grams (2 teaspoons) ground cloves
A big pinch of salt
Powdered sugar for serving (optional)
Maple syrup or additional French toast toppings (fruit, jam, etc.) for serving (optional)

  1. Line a 23x33-centimetre (9x13-inch) pan with aluminium foil. Lightly coat it with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Add the sliced bread, slightly overlapping. Set pan aside
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly to avoid scrambling the eggs and curdling the milk
  4. Place a Bounty paper towel under the bowl to catch splatters and spills. Add the next 10 ingredients (through salt) and whisk to combine
  5. Using a spouted cup if you have one, slowly and evenly pour mixture over the bread, gently separating the slices with your fingers and pouring it between the slices. It might seem like a lot, but it soaks up overnight
  6. Cover pan with foil, and place it in the fridge overnight
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Remove pan from fridge while oven preheats
  8. Spoon any pooled liquid at the bottom of the pan over the top of the bread, focusing on dry/white patches
  9. Bake for about 20 to 35 minutes, or until done
  10. (Optional) Dust with powdered sugar, and serve with butter and syrup or your favourite French toast toppings (fruit, jam, etc.)


Veggie: Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole




Makes 8 servings

1 bag (20 ounces) frozen hash browns, thawed
10 large eggs
375 mL (1 1/2 cups) milk
15 mL (1 tablespoon) hot sauce (optional)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
15 mL (1 tablespoon) olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
226 grams (2 cups) shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese, divided
7 grams (2 tablespoons) chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

  1. Lightly coat a 23x23-centimetre (9x9-inch) or 23x33-centimetre (9x13-inch) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
  2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook bell peppers until tender (3-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute)
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in hash browns and half of cheese until well combined
  5. Add the hash brown mixture to the baking dish. Pour egg mixture evenly over the top
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight
  7. The next morning, preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
  8. Remove dish from fridge, uncover and top with remaining half of cheese
  9. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the eggs are firm
  10. Garnish with parsley (optional) and serve


Cleanup Tip
Some of the best holiday memories are made over the kitchen sink. Recruit family members to help out with cleanup, and then enlist Cascade and Dawn to get those dirty dishes clean.

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