Make your Christmas morning breakfast a breeze with this easy, tasty make-ahead sausage, egg and cheese casserole. This easy breakfast recipe can be put together the night before and is sure to impress your holiday breakfast guests!
Whether your family does breakfast before or after you open gifts, Christmas morning breakfast is always such a fun time and a great way to start the day off in a festive way. This make-ahead breakfast casserole takes a lot of the stress out of Christmas morning as all the work is done the night before so all you have to do is pop the casserole in the oven and bake it for about an hour.
For many years after I got divorced I used to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with a friend from college and her family. It kind of became a tradition that included me and her son, who is really into cooking as well, coming up with an egg casserole for Christmas morning breakfast. I think the original version started out with a super easy recipe she gave us to follow but over time her son and I modified it, probably a bit each year. Eggs, sausage, bread (strata-like), onion, cheese, maybe mushrooms, and spices that we threw together the night before so it was ready for Christmas morning.
This is the perfect recipe to add to your collection of recipes for entertaining. Read on to learn more about how to make this Christmas Breakfast Casserole, or jump straight to the recipe to start cooking!
This casserole is the perfect option for an occasion when you have guests for breakfast. Here’s why it works so well:
- This is designed to be a make-ahead dish you you can prep the entire casserole the night before and just pop it in the oven for about an hour.
- It only takes about 15 minutes to put it together, then it just needs to rest overnight and bake the next morning.
The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
- French or sourdough bread: I like sourdough best in this recipe however any crusty bread will work well.
- Breakfast sausage: Bulk ground breakfast sausage, which can usually be found at the meat counter, is the best option for this recipe. You could use breakfast sausage in casings and then remove the casings so you can crumble it but that's extra work!
- Eggs: Large eggs are what you'll want for this recipe
- Milk: The recipe calls for low-fat milk but you could substitute nonfat or whole milk if that's what you have on hand.
- Cheddar cheese: I almost always recommend grating your own cheese as it will melt better than the bagged version.
- Spices: dried sage, sea salt, ground pepper
- Pantry staples: dijon mustard
How do you make a breakfast casserole ahead of time?
The beauty of this easy overnight breakfast casserole is that it takes just a few easy steps to put it together.
- Toast the bread cubes in the oven or toaster oven
- Brown the breakfast sausage until it's nice and crumbly
- Whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings
- Shred the cheddar cheese (you can use pre-shredded to save a bit of time but I always recommend grating it yourself whenever possible)and add to the egg mixture
- Mix the sausage and bread cubes together
- Pour the egg mixture over everything
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
- Preheat the oven and while it’s heating, sprinkle another ¾ cup of cheese over the casserole
- Bake and serve!
Notes from the kitchen
When making an egg-based casserole, the worst thing that can happen is ending up with not quite cooked eggs so you want to be sure you don't undercook this breakfast dish. The best way to check it is to take it out of the oven when you think it's done and insert a knife in the middle. The knife should come out clean and the casserole should be set in the middle. Since the cooking temperature of ovens can vary, you may need to let yours cook for an extra 5- 10 minutes to ensure it's done.
The result is a simple and comforting breakfast recipe that is perfect for the holidays when friends and family are visiting. Happy Holidays!!
What you'll need for this recipe
Kitchen Whisk – A good whisk is a necessity in every kitchen. There are many different types of whisks out there but if you don't want to go overboard with kitchen tools a nice, large balloon whisk like this one will work for most things.
Rectangular Baking Dish – Baking dishes are also a kitchen necessity. There are so many options for baking dishes so I recommend picking something neutral that works for both cooking and serving. A good place to start is with a 9x13 dish like I used for this casserole. 8x8 is another useful size that I recommend for most kitchens.
If you are making this as a weekday breakfast, you don't really need to add anything else but for a holiday breakfast or brunch, I'd add a simple fruit salad or even a green salad.
More brunch recipes
If you are looking for other ideas for your holiday brunch check out these reader favorites:
- Orange Cinnamon Rolls. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls?! That warm, spicy smell fills your kitchen just begging for you to taste them. These Orange Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for any holiday brunch!
- Eggnog French Toast Muffins. Who says creating a delicious holiday brunch has to be stressful? These easy eggnog french toast muffins are just the thing for busy holiday brunches.
Make-Ahead Christmas Breakfast Casserole Recipe
- 4 cups cubed sourdough or french bread
- ⅔ pound pork or turkey breakfast sausage
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Prepare the pan. Coat a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray or oil.
- Lightly toast the bread cubes. You can do this by putting them in a toaster oven for a few minutes or spreading them on a baking sheet and baking in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.
- Cook the sausage. While the bread cubes are toasting, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until crumbly, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you mix the eggs.
- Make the egg mixture. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper and sage together until fully combined. Add ¾ cup of cheddar cheese and stir.
- Prepare the casserole. Add the bread and sausage to the prepared baking dish and mix together. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and sausage.
- Refrigerate. Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.
- Heat the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Cook the casserole. Uncover the casserole and sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup of cheddar on top of the casserole. Bake until golden and the eggs are set, about 60 to 65 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and allow cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
This post was originally published in December 2018. It was updated in December 2022 with some new information and photos. No changes were made to the original recipe.
Leave a Reply