What is an easy breakfast to have ready made for Christmas morning?
There is nothing better than waking up on a special day and knowing you can have a delicious breakfast without any real work. This is especially true on a morning in which you are pulled out of bed at an insanely early hour by tiny, excited children, typically after staying up until the wee hours helping Santa finish up some last-minute gift assembly and wrapping.
Our tradition is to have my family’s cinnamon rolls, a recipe brought over from Sweden by my great-grandmother. Before my snowbird parents headed back up north for the holidays, my daughter insisted we get together with my mom and make cinnamon rolls to give away to friends, teachers, and of course, to have for Christmas morning.
“But Kori,” you say, “I don’t have room in my schedule this week to make a time-consuming yeast dough, and I don’t want to turn my pre-holiday kitchen into a floury mess.”
Who doesn’t have copious amounts of free time the week before Christmas AND doesn’t want to be cleaning errant flour off the kitchen flour?
Don’t worry, I have a solution for you that only requires you take a few minutes from elf duties on Christmas Eve to be ready for a delicious breakfast on Christmas morning. Breakfast casserole!
If you do a quick google search for breakfast casserole, you will find thousands of recipes. 20 Crowd-Pleasing Breakfast Casseroles for Christmas Morning. 50 Best-Ever Breakfast Casserole Recipes. 14 Sweet Breakfast Casseroles. I could add link, after link, after link with ideas.
Please look at those recipes for inspiration. In the meantime, I’m going to simplify things by going all Michael Ruhlman on you, providing you with the basic ratios/temperature/method/timing you need to take just about anything you have on hand and turn it into a breakfast casserole. (Do you have his book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking? Amazon Affiliate Link It is a total game-changer.)
Here is really all you need to know:
4-6 eggs (I like mine eggier)
2 cups milk
Any herbs, flavors, seasonings (for savory or sweet)
Place in buttered casserole or 13×9 inch dish:
1 loaf of bread, preferably a bit stale, either layered with other ingredients (cheese, vegetables, meats, sautéed onions) or cut up in chunks and mixed with those other ingredients.
Pour egg/milk over bread.
Bake covered in 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until puffy and cooked through. Uncover and add cheese or sugary topping (if making sweet casserole), if you’d like, and brown for a few minutes.
While a holiday is certainly a great day to dedicate time and attention to a dish, let’s be honest: most of us are really busy prepping for other meals, taking care of presents, traveling, etc. Breakfast/brunch is not necessarily high on the priority list for the majority of us, and yet, we (ourselves and our families) really need that substantial breakfast to make the day a good one.
Evaluate ahead of time what you will be making for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day meals, and see what you can do to use leftovers in your breakfast casserole. I prefer savory casseroles, since there are so many sweets already associated with the holiday. Leftover turkey/beef/lamb, chunky roasted vegetables or thinly chopped raw versions from a relish tray, even potatoes can be thrown into this dish with gusto. Cheese from the cheese plate—all the little bits from all the different cheeses—work perfectly, no need to go out and buy a fancy cheese just for this dish. Jarred preserved vegetables, like artichoke hearts or roasted red peppers in oil, are a great addition.
Sure, you could also brown up breakfast sausage or cook bacon to add, and those are delicious, “breakfasty” choices. It just isn’t necessary, though, I promise. Find whatever economies in time and ingredients you can, and use what you’ve already got on hand.
And hey, for all those of you who are celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah in this unique, “everything happens on the 24th” year, you can skip the bread and…wait for it…use leftover latkes as your base.
I know, who has leftover latkes? Just humor me.
What I love about a good breakfast casserole is that it can last the whole day for nibbling, and is good either hot or at room temperature. It seems to always be true that, when you are prepping a big holiday meal, everyone but the cook (who is tasting everything) starves when there is nothing around to eat for the rest of the day’s meals. Breakfast casserole solves this problem.
I hope this helps to make your Christmas morning a filling and delicious one. Thanks for your letter! Let me know what you throw into your casserole, and how it turns out.
(As always, should you click on my Amazon Affiliate Link, above, and purchase items, I may receive a small portion of the sales price for those items. Thank you!)