This is the absolute perfect dish to make for company or when you need to serve a crowd for brunch. The prep all happens the night before, then the casserole takes a long nap in the refrigerator so the bread can really absorb the custard. Throw it in the oven in the morning and your work is done!
This breakfast casserole starts with cooking some sausage-any kind you like…spicy or sweet Italian, breakfast or chicken or turkey sausage would all be delicious. Sauté some mushrooms in the same skillet that the sausage was cooked in to soak up all those delicious flavors (okay, and the fat too!). Throw in some kale for color and nutrition and mix it all together. Toss together with ciabatta cubes and Gruyere cheese and pour the rich, eggy custard over top.
I highly recommend allowing this to sit overnight in the refrigerator. If you try to rush this, the custard will not be fully absorbed and you’ll end up with toasty bread cubes and scrambled eggs instead of a bread pudding-like texture (trust me, I’ve done this and while edible, it wasn’t great).
So next time you need to feed a crowd, make this, sit back & relax with a mimosa, and enjoy your company!
Here’s your company’s-coming’ overnight breakfast casserole full of sausage, mushrooms and kale!
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 pound loaf of ciabatta, cut into small cubes
- Olive oil, as needed
- 3/4 pound Italian or breakfast sausage (or anything you prefer), casing removed if applicable
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced
- 2 to 3 ounces baby kale
- 5 to 6 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 8 ounces Gruyere, grated
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add half of the cubed ciabatta.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the sausage, breaking up with a spoon, until cooked through and slightly crispy, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Increase the heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil; once hot, add the mushrooms and sautéfor 7 to 10 minutes, until softened and browned. Return the sausage to the skillet and add the kale, tossing to wilt slightly. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the green onions and 1 tablespoon of parsley for garnish; add the remaining green onions and parsley to the skillet. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the ciabatta in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the Gruyere on top of the sausage. Add the remaining bread cubes in an even layer; sprinkle the remaining sausage mixture on top.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk and cream, whisking to thoroughly combine. Pour the custard in the pan, pressing down lightly to ensure the custard is absorbed into the bread. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°. Sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of cheese on top of the casserole. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the casserole is firm to the touch. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the reserved green onions and parsley on top.