Christmas breakfast is not usually the first thing on everyone's mind when the holiday rolls around. That all changes very quickly on Christmas morning when this overnight breakfast casserole is about to come out of the oven.
Read on and we will show you exactly how to put it together in just 10 minutes. Add another 50 minutes for baking time and you will be ready to feed a holiday crowd!
You're also going to want to see all of our different egg recipes!
What is this?
This Christmas breakfast casserole is a make-ahead casserole that can be served any day of the year. It's not just for Christmas morning!
A cubed layer of Italian bread is coated with a butter and garlic mixture and then buried under a pound of sausage, eggs, and sharp cheddar cheese. It's is basically a jazzed-up version of our cheese strata recipe.
If I don't have your attention yet, I guarantee that will change as this breakfast casserole bakes and fills the air on Christmas morning. Unless you want half the neighborhood knocking on your door, you may want to close the windows as this bakes. It's that good!
Ingredients and notes
The main ingredients in this Cowboy Christmas breakfast include:
- Bread - Buy a loaf of Italian bread in the store or make your own crusty bread with our number one recipe! This make-ahead breakfast idea is also a great way to use leftover bread.
- Sausage - You'll need bulk sausage (not links) for this recipe. Use your favorite sausage for this Christmas breakfast. You can add some chopped baking (fried or baked first) for some extra flavor. Or, trim it up a bit by using lower-fat turkey sausage.
- Eggs - I recommend large eggs and always try to use cage-free organic eggs if you can find them. To cut back on the cholesterol and fat, substitute half the eggs with egg whites. You won't miss any of the flavor and the fluffy, hearty body of this breakfast casserole is still there.
- Milk - We use whole milk in this recipe but you can substitute 2% for a little less fat. I don't recommend 1% or skin in this dish.
How to make it
(See full the full recipe at the end of this post.)
We'll show you how to make this easy Christmas breakfast by using just a few ordinary kitchen tools.
- Brown the sausage, drain the fat, then cool to room temperature.
- Slice the bread and then brush with a mixture of fresh garlic and butter. Or, you can melt the butter and then add crushed garlic and pour that combination over the bread.
- Place the bread in a single layer, using a 9x13-inch casserole pan.
- Evenly sprinkle the sausage on top of the bread layer.
5. Whisk the eggs and milk together, along with some salt and pepper.
6. Stir in chopped scallions and half of the cheese.
7. Pour the mixture over the sausage and bread, using a spatula to push the slices of bread as they float to the top.
8. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, then freeze or bake as directed below.
Mexican Breakfast Casserole - Use chorizo and black beans instead of sausage. Then, substitute chopped cilantro for the scallions. Serve with a side of your favorite salsa.
Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole- Substitute your favorite non-meat protein.
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole - Use slices of deli ham or chopped-up leftover ham, instead of sausage.
Save time by using store-bought garlic bread. This combines the bread, butter, and garlic!
Common recipe questions
Absolutely! Just take the following steps:
- Prepare the recipe as directed.
- Wrap and seal in air-tight kitchen wrap. Then wrap in a layer of foil. Use some tape to date it.
- Freeze for up to 2 months.
- Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Bake as directed.
More Christmas breakfast ideas
If you're looking for more Christmas breakfast ideas, we have something for every taste. Many of these are make-ahead casseroles and can be enjoyed as a festive Christmas breakfast.
For the breast breakfast on Christmas morning (or any morning,) sink your teeth into one of these!
- Crustless Vegetable Quiche
- Hashbrown Casserole
- Amish Breakfast Casserole
- Almond Croissant French Toast
- Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage with Gravy
- Cranberry-Orange Pancakes with Cranberry-Infused Maple Syrup
Christmas Breakfast Casserole
- ½ stick ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing baking dish
- 1 lb breakfast sausage bulk not links
- 1 loaf 15-inch-long loaf Italian bread (about 4 inches wide)
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 24 eggs large
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large bunch scallions chopped (1 ¼ cups)
- ¼ lb sharp Cheddar coarsely grated (1 cup)
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking dish.
- Cook sausage in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps with a fork, until browned, about 10 minutes. Pour off fat from skillet, then cool sausage to room temperature.
- Cut half of loaf into 1-inch-thick slices and reserve remaining half for another use. Pulse butter and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Spread a thin layer of garlic butter on both sides of each bread slice, arranging bread in 1 layer in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle sausage on top.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until frothy, then whisk in scallions and half of cheese. Pour egg mixture over sausage (bread will float to the top), pushing down on bread with a spatula to help it absorb liquid. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake, covered with a large sheet of buttered foil (buttered side down), 30 minutes, then carefully remove foil and bake until top is slightly puffed and eggs are cooked through in center, about 20 minutes more.
- Let stand 10 minutes, then cut into 12 squares.
- Save time by using store-bought garlic bread.
- Substitute ham for the sausage, if desired.
- Prepare as directed and freeze for up to 2 months before baking.