Holiday Casserole – The Best Christmas Brunch Recipe!
Get ready for an easy Christmas morning with our make-ahead Christmas Day Brunch! This holiday breakfast recipe will let you lounge with your loved ones as you await a cheerful ‘Ding!’ from the oven.
Whether you’re celebrating with your family or friends this year, there’s nothing quite like making a special day even more spectacular with a good communal meal. Filled with sausage, eggs, and cheese, our savory breakfast casserole is a community favorite and works really well any time of day. With a fresh winter fruit salad on the side, you can enjoy getting a healthy sweet fix while feeling fancy sipping sparkling mimosas.
“I’ve tried so many breakfast casserole recipes and just couldn’t find one I’ve loved. This is it! Finally! Favorited.”
– Tiffany L.
Between carting presents to the relatives, holding kids back from devouring their stockings, and finding your trusty holiday sweater, there is a lot to juggle on Christmas morning. That’s why this recipe actually benefits from being made the day before and sitting overnight in the fridge. Putting this meal together a day early will not only help your morning go smoother, it will also let the egg mixture soak into the bread cubes for a soft-in-the-middle and crisp-on-top finish that is simply delectable.
Another convenient thing about this brunch dish is that it’s easy to scale up for a crowd or for leftovers that will get you through any period of post-Christmas exhaustion. If you’re hosting a gathering over the holidays, this brunch is perfect for entertaining your friends, satisfying your kids, and impressing your in-laws.
If scaling recipes up or down has never been one of your favorite pastimes, members of our meal plan service always enjoy being able to scale recipes to feed any number of guests with just 1 click! If you’re interested in making your busiest times so much simpler with features like weekly menus, alternative diet options, and automatic grocery lists, learn more about our budget-friendly plans here.
Keep reading to learn how to make a delicious casserole this Christmas and find tips to save money and time during this busy season!
“This was a hit. Everyone loved the casserole. We even had enough leftover for breakfast the next day. First time making a fruit salad like this and it turned out wonderful.”
– Eric T.
Meal Planning Smarts
- Budget Cooking: Since meat is more expensive than veggies, you can make this dish more budget-friendly by replacing the sausages with mushrooms and onions. You can also go with just orange juice instead of the full mimosa if you don’t drink alcohol or want to save some money.
- Time Savers: If you want brunch to come together fast Christmas morning, go ahead and chop the peppers and cook both the peppers and sausage up to 5 days early. You can also assemble the entire casserole 8 hours before you pop it in the oven!
- Leftovers: Having leftovers is always a good idea around the holidays, so scale up the recipe and have breakfast on Boxing Day covered, too. You can also blend up leftover fruit salad into delicious smoothies by just adding yogurt for creaminess or a splash of orange juice to thin it out.
- Learn how to properly chop your veggies and prep your fruit for this recipe with these short video tutorials:
How to Chop and Dice Peppers
Learn how to chop and dice red peppers to use for sautes, stir-fries, salads, and more.
How to Supreme (Segment) Citrus
Learn how to "supreme," or segment citrus.
How to Peel and Seed Pomegranates
Pomegranates are full of antioxidants and a lot easier to prep than you probably imagine - learn how with this video.
- Sauteing your veggies and protein before putting everything into a baking dish not only pre-cooks the ingredients and ensures everything gets cooked at the same time, it also helps to caramelize foods for extra flavor. Use a handy skillet to saute the bell peppers and sausage in this casserole before transferring to a baking dish.
- If you don’t have a square baker dish in your kitchen, it’s time to get one so you’re never far away from a great casserole or cobbler. We love how this one is clear glass so you can easily see your food’s progress!
- A whisk helps the egg mixture blend together easily, so that you don’t get any big egg clumps in the casserole.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools
- Baguette - 6 oz, cubed
- Bell peppers, red - 1, diced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Pork breakfast sausage, ground - 12 oz
- Cheese, shredded cheddar - 5 oz
- Eggs - 4
- Milk - 2 cups
- Heavy cream - ¼ cup
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Black pepper - ¼ tsp
- Apples, any type - 1, cubed
- Oranges, mandarin - 4, segments (sub canned mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed)
- Kiwis - 4, peeled and sliced
- Pomegranate seeds - ⅓ cup (look for these removed from the pomegranate shells in the produce section)
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Poppy seeds (opt) - 1 tsp
- Sparkling wine or champagne (opt) - ½ bottle
- Orange juice (opt) - 2 cups
- Ice (opt) - for serving
- Baguette – Slice into ½” / 1.3cm 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)
- Bell peppers – Dice bell peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cook peppers and sausage – Heat first portion of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, breaking apart, until sausage is browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain off as much oil as possible. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Assemble casserole – Spray an 8” x 8” / 20cm x 20cm square baker with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil. Layer in half the bread cubes, half the cheese and half the sausage / peppers. Add another layer with remaining bread cubes, cheese and sausage / 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)
- 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, 45 to 50 minutes (if you baked the casserole directly from the fridge, it will need an extra 5-7 minutes).
- Make fruit salad while casserole is baking – Prep apples, oranges, kiwis, and pomegranate as directed. Whisk together lemon juice, honey, second portion of oil and poppy seeds. Gently toss fruit in dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Let casserole rest on top of the warm oven for 10 minutes before serving (it will be more firm and slice more easily if allowed to rest).
- If making mimosas, combine sparkling wine / champagne with orange juice in a large pitcher. Fill glasses with ice. Pour mimosas over ice. (If you have any pomegranate seeds left, add a few to each mimosa for a pop of color.)
- Serve casserole with fruit salad on the side. Enjoy with mimosas!
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