By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
In the Kitchen: Don't forget the Christmas breakfast casseroles

The countdown has begun. There are only a few more days until Christmas. Chances are you have already planned what you are making for Christmas eve and Christmas day dinner, but what about breakfast Christmas morning? 

There is nothing better waking up Christmas morning and knowing breakfast is mostly prepared. Overnight breakfast casseroles are perfect for hectic Christmas mornings. Prepare them the night before, cover and refrigerate. Set the casseroles out on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking — this takes the chill off of them. 

Put a pot of coffee on to brew, boil some water for those who prefer hot tea, and pour some orange juice in a glass pitcher. Pop the casserole into the oven. Set out a bowl of cut up fresh fruit, some croissants and/or muffins and breakfast is ready. For less mess, use some Christmas-themed paper plates. You get to enjoy the morning and cleanup is a snap. 


Egg casserole with mushrooms and Canadian bacon

1 cup Canadian bacon, diced

1/4 cup green onion, sliced

8 ounces mushrooms, diced

1 tablespoons olive oil

7 eggs

5 egg whites

Cheese sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, grated

1 cup panko

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Whisk together eggs and egg whites and set aside. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add Canadian bacon, green onions, and mushrooms and cook until soft, about four minutes. Add eggs, stirring frequently until eggs are just set. 

Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter over medium-high heat and add flour, stirring constantly for a minute. Add salt, pepper and slowly pour in milk, while stirring. Add onion powder and garlic powder and cook, stirring frequently until sauce has thickened, two minutes or so. Add garlic and onion powder and cheese, one handful at a time until melted. Pour cheese sauce over cooked eggs, stirring to combine. Pour mixture into buttered casserole dish, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. 

When ready to bake, remove casserole 30 minutes before cooking. Remove cover. Sprinkle with panko and paprika. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, until heated through. 

•    •    •

French toast casserole

1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch slices

8 eggs

2 cups half and half

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of salt

Praline Topping:

1 ½ sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 teaspoons syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Arrange slices of French bread in a buttered dish, overlapping slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over French bread slices and then cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the praline topping, cut butter into small pieces and then cut in the brown sugar, pecans, syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Before baking casserole, remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. 

Uncover and sprinkle praline topping evenly over all. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes. Serve with maple syrup. 

•    •    •

This isn’t an overnight casserole, but it takes minutes to throw together and is an impressive one pan dish. Your oven does all of the work. 

Sheet pan hash browns and eggs

1 (20-ounce) refrigerated hash browns, shredded

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

1 cup deli ham, diced

6 eggs

4 tablespoons parmesan, grated

2 tablespoons chives, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Scatter hash browns on baking sheet in an even layer. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, olive oil, spices and herbs, salt and pepper. Pour butter mixture evenly over hash browns. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 25 minutes, until hash browns are beginning to brown around edges. 

Remove from oven and using a large spoon, make six wells in the hash browns. Crack an egg into each well and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Sprinkle entire thing with diced ham. Return to oven and cook 10-12 minutes until eggs are cooked to your desired doneness. Sprinkle with chives.