Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole

Sweet, Savory and Utterly Nostalgic

Of all the breakfast foods, French toast has to be one of my favorites. Sweet and oh-so-decadent, for me indulging in French toast always conjures feelings of nostalgia – memories of slow Sunday mornings or gatherings with family or friends at the local diner. If you – like me – also love French toast, then chances are you would also enjoy French toast casserole.

While FTC can be enjoyed any day of the year for any reason (or no reason at all), I especially love this recipe for the holidays – it’s rich and sweet and everything you’re looking for come Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. It’s also convenient (something the holiday hustle and bustle leaves most of us yearning for) considering you can make it the night before. Just pop it into the oven for a hearty breakfast before leaving to go visit family or – if you’re hosting – for the perfect family-style breakfast that is sure to fill up whoever you have coming over. Making it in the evening only to enjoy the scent of it baking the next morning also makes this dish especially hygge.

Aside from being convenient, this recipe is also incredibly simple and essentially fool proof. It’s simplicity makes it a great dish to put together with children – encourage them to help you crack the eggs and mix the custard (just be sure to handle the sausage-browning yourself). Check out the recipe below:

Ingredients:

Casserole:

  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage
  • 1 loaf crusty French bread (when cut into 1-inch cubes, enough for 10 cups)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • (confectionary sugar)
  • (maple syrup)

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9×13 pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Brown sausage in a skillet until well done. Drain grease and set aside.
  3. Cut bread into one-inch cubes. Arrange one layer in greased baking pan. Sprinkle half of the sausage on top of the bread cubes. Repeat, making another layer of bread cubes and sausage.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt and sugar to make a custard. Pour custard mixture over the bread and sausage.
  5. Cover the dish and let stand overnight.
  6. The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Combine the melted butter, cinnamon and salt to make the casserole topping and pour over the casserole before placing in the oven.
  8. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until the top is toasted and the custard is cooked.
  9. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with confectionary sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

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