Sit down to a leisurely weekend brunch and enjoy one of these light and flavorful breakfast casseroles.
October 04, 2013
1 of 21Photo: Oxmoor House
Up and At 'Em!
The breakfast casserole streamlines a morning routine like few other recipes can. Since most can be prepared in advance, day-of prep time is minimal, and the end result is a mouth-watering dish everyone will adore.
We'll start off with a classic: our Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole.
Pop a prepared casserole in the oven and let it bake while you sip coffee—that’s the way to wake up on a lazy Sunday. Seems like every family has a beloved version of this type of breakfast strata. This one is much lower in fat than most.
This easy get-ahead dish plays off the appeal of spinach-artichoke dip. Assemble everything the night before; in the morning, let the strata stand while the oven preheats, and then pop it in. You don't need to fully blend in the herbed cheese; it's nice to hit little "pockets" of creamy goodness.
Rise and shine to a thoroughly red, white, and blue breakfast. This lower-sugar recipe is a great way to use up slightly hard baguette and any berries you have roaming around your produce drawer. You don't have to let it sit overnight, but a few hours in the fridge will only make the casserole creamier.
This dish has fewer than 20g of total carbs—about half of what you'll find in classic bread-based casseroles. Greek yogurt, eggs, and cheese pack a mighty protein punch, while a touch of bacon seasons to perfection. The strata is best if allowed to soak overnight. Not only does this build in make-ahead convenience, it also allows the bread to fully absorb the egg mixture—yielding a creamy texture inside, while the top bread pieces get delightfully crisp.
If you're not from the Upper Midwest, you may not be familiar with hot dish. Traditionally, it's a casserole of starch (often French fries or tots), meat, and vegetables held together by a creamy sauce. "It's an easy way to feed a crowd," says blogger and cookbook author Molly Yeh, "and it's perfect for the dead of winter because it's so hearty and warm and comforting." Her update uses sweet potatoes flavored with Aleppo pepper. To get a head start, you can roast the potatoes and brown the sausage a couple of days ahead.
Think of this as stuffed French toast in a casserole. Here, sweet cinnamon bread meets juicy pears and the savory bite of Gruyère cheese. You want a pear variety that will hold its shape and won't exude too much moisture as the strata bakes—we liked Anjou and Concorde.
Grapefruit or mixed fruit marmalade will work just as well as the orange marmalade called for in the recipe. Serve the casserole with honey or pancake syrup warmed with orange rind and a splash of orange juice (add one teaspoon rind and two tablespoons juice per 1/2 cup syrup). This easy casserole can be assembled in less than 15 minutes and stored in the refrigerator overnight.
This breakfast casserole is not only low-fat and easy to prepare, but it's also a great make-ahead breakfast or brunch dish. Prepare the casserole overnight, then bake in the morning for a hearty and piping hot meal.
14 of 21Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
Spinach and Feta Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
The simple, scalloped shell made from thinly sliced rounds of sweet potatoes makes this version of a popular brunch (or supper) dish gluten-free. Choose potatoes with comparable diameters to create uniform slices for the easy-to-make crust. A mandoline makes slicing quick and precise, but a sharp chef's knife will work too. You can also slice the potatoes in the food processor using the slicing blade.
You can assemble the spinach and cheese casserole in less than 10 minutes by using preshredded cheeses. The casserole's spinach, cheese, and nutmeg ingredient combination produces a rich layer of flavor that everyone will love. Pair this dish with fresh fruit salad and mini muffins for a lovely brunch.
This prep-ahead casserole, which turns extra dinner rolls and cranberry sauce into a brunch or dessert treat, is especially welcome if you are entertaining houseguests for the long holiday weekend. While we enjoyed the tartness of the Granny Smith apples, any baking apple will do. Serve with apple wedges.
Streusel-Topped French Toast Casserole with Fruit Compote
If you like bread pudding, you'll love this creamy, custard-rich treat featuring slices of French toast arranged in a pie pan and and a layer of sweetened dried fruit. The casserole is topped with a sweet, buttery streusel topping before baking. For a special finishing touch, dollop with whipped topping.