Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
with winter fruit salad
Filled with bell peppers, eggs, and cheese, this breakfast casserole is a savory dish that works well any time of day. Fruit salad is a great fresh and naturally sweet dish to serve on the side. This meal last appeared in 2017 when we suggested it as a possible Christmas brunch. It would work great again at that meal if you are celebrating the holiday this weekend.
Smarts: After assembling the casserole, let it rest for 20 minutes or as long as overnight. The egg mixture will soak into the bread cubes and give the finished dish a texture that is soft in the middle and crisp on the top.
- Baguette - 6 oz , cubed
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , diced
- Bell peppers, green - 1 , diced
- Onions, medium - 1 , diced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cheese, shredded cheddar - 5 oz
- Eggs - 6
- Milk - 3 cups
- Heavy cream - 1/4 cup
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Oranges, mandarin - 4 , segments (sub canned mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed)
- Kiwis - 4 , peeled and sliced
- Pomegranate seeds - 1/3 cup (look for these removed from the pomegranate shells in the produce section)
Baguette - Slice into ½” / 1.3 cm cubes. Leave the cubes out on the kitchen counter for up to 8 hours. They will hold up better in the casserole if they are a bit dry / stale. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Cook peppers and onions - Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onions and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Assemble casserole - Spray an 8” x 8” / 20 cm x 20 cm square baker with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil. Layer in half the bread cubes, half the cheese, and half the onions / peppers. Add another layer with remaining bread cubes, cheese, and onions / peppers. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt, and black pepper. Pour liquid over casserole. Let stand for 20 minutes or refrigerate for up to 8 hours. (Can be done 8 hours ahead)
Assemble fruit salad - Prep oranges and kiwis as directed. Arrange in alternating layers on a serving plate or in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat oven to 350F / 177C.
Remove casserole from refrigerator and press down on the top to fully submerge bread in egg mixture. Place casserole near the oven as it heats so it comes close to room temperature before baking.
Bake casserole until eggs are set and the surface is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. If the casserole starts to get too brown on top before it is cooked through, loosely cover it with a piece of aluminum foil. (Note: if you baked the casserole directly from the fridge, it may need an extra 5-7 minutes.)
Let casserole rest on top of the warm oven for 10 minutes before serving (it will be firmer and slice more easily if allowed to rest).
Serve casserole with fruit salad on the side. Enjoy!