This easy Overnight Breakfast Casserole is quick to prep in the evening and then baked up fresh and delicious in the morning!  Cheese, bacon, bell peppers and green onions are layered with bread and soaked in a seasoned egg mixture.  This is the perfect meal to serve on a holiday morning or for guests.

a slice of Overnight Breakfast Casserole on a white plate with the casserole in the background

A Breakfast Casserole Known By Many Names

I have eaten this casserole on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember.  My mom always made it when I was young and I looked forward to this casserole every year at Christmas Breakfast!

We have always called it wife saver but it’s also known as a strata which is basically bread and eggs with yummy add ins.

It’s great because it’s really easy to make and it’s made the night before (or at least 3-4 hours ahead of time). In the morning just put it in the oven to cook while your family is doing other fun activities (like opening stockings or egg hunting!) or even if you have a house full of guests to feed!

Overnight Breakfast Casserole in a casserole dish

Cutting or Leaving the Crust

I find a lot of breakfast items are on the sweeter side like pancakes and waffles but I’m a savory girl so this is my favorite. Since we have a large family, I usually make this and a sweeter Overnight Apple Pie French Toast for my kids (or sometimes Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast).

I think every family seems to have a slightly different version of this meal.

My mother in law adds a crunchy topping to hers (and uses brown bread) while my sister cuts off the crusts and leaves her slices whole. I always leave the crusts and cube my bread since I really can’t tell the difference and let’s face it, less work is better.

Overnight Christmas Breakfast Casserole on Plate

Casserole Preparation & Add-ins

You can certainly add in whatever you like, ham or sausage are great in this as well!  We’ve added everything from ham and asparagus to artichokes and mushrooms (pre-cook the mushrooms so they don’t get watery). Of all the versions I’ve had, this one is definitely my favorite.

It’s so easy to put together and a great way to feed breakfast to a crowd so I often make it when we have guests over!  If you’re the kind of person that likes to eat breakfast for dinner, this is a super simple prep ahead meal and if you are lucky enough to have any leftovers, this is great reheated too!

Note:  It’s best to take the casserole out of the fridge first thing and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  If you are cooking two pans, baking time will increase by about 20-30 minutes.

More Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love

Overnight Christmas Breakfast Casserole on Plate
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Overnight Breakfast Casserole with Bacon

Delicious Overnight Breakfast Casserole with bacon, green onions, bell peppers, and cheese.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients  

  • 12 slices egg bread or any type of bread will work, cubed
  • 12 slices crispy bacon crumbled (or 1 cup diced ham)
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper finely diced
  • 4 cups grated cheese cheddar works well
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon each dry mustard salt & black pepper

Instructions 

  • Cube bread and leave out overnight or place in the oven at 300°F for about 10 minutes to dry slightly. (Do not brown or toast it).
  • Combine eggs, milk, & seasonings.
  • Layer ½ of the cubes in a greased 9×13 pan. Top with ½ of the bacon, green onions, red peppers and cheese. Repeat layers one more time.
  • Pour egg mixture over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 3 hours).
  • Remove from fridge and let sit on the counter while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake covered with foil 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (If you are baking 2 pans increase cooking time to 60-80 minutes).

Video

5 from 59 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 377 | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 805IU | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 400mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Hi Holly!

    I am planning to make this tomorrow night and bake Saturday morning. I will have to leave out the red bell pepper to adapt it to my family’s preference, but don’t want to miss the flavor. I am considering adding paprika instead, how much would you recommend? My trick for subbing onions is to used tiny dried, minced onion and no one has complained so far! :-)

    1. I love the onion tip, thank you for sharing! I haven’t tried it but if it’s mild paprika, I would use between ¼ to ½ teaspoon. If it’s smoked paprika or a stronger variety, I would use a bit less.

  2. It was excellent. After halving it I took it out of the oven 10 minutes sooner, using your knife trick. It was perfect. Thank you and I’ll be making this a lot more.5 stars

  3. I’m having your casserole for Mother’s Day this year. I halved the recipe because there’s only two of us. I’m wondering if I should bake it the same length of time. If you don’t answer, because it’s Mother’s Day, I’ll keep an eye on it and give it my best guess.5 stars

    1. Happy Mother’s Day Sherry! I make a smaller strata that is similar to this and I bake about 30 minutes covered and about 10-15 uncovered. A butter knife in the center should come out clean and be hot to the touch.

      Enjoy, this is my favorite breakfast recipe of all time!

  4. I would like to make this for Dinner tonight….Can I mix together Put in fridge for 3 hrs. then bake it? I love all of your recipes & most are very simple. Thanks ☺️

    1. Yes, as long as the bread has time to soak up all of the egg mixture (I usually recommend at least 4hrs). You might like to toss or gently fold it once after a couple of hours so it helps to soak through.

  5. Holly, I followed your recipe to the T to serve 6 guests on Christmas morning. IT WAS A TOTAL FAILURE and an embarrassment to me! The bread was soggy/mushy, and the casserole had little taste with exception of the cheddar cheese. I will own that it was a mistake to prepare a new recipe for the first time on Christmas Eve. However, your promise “to provide simple, easy, and tested recipes that both work and taste great” assured me that little, if anything, could go wrong! A huge lesson learned on what should have been a special brunch.

    1. Oh no, how disappointing for you. I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this, it is hands down my favorite Christmas recipe (and the only recipe I “need” at Christmas). I have made this every year for as long as I can remember.

      The bread does get soft as this is a breakfast strata and it becomes ‘bread pudding’ like in texture.

      If it was really soggy or mushy, perhaps it needed more time to cook. Was your bread dried or slightly dried before adding the egg mixture? This recipe has really great reviews from other readers so I am not sure what went wrong for you.

      1. Holly,
        You should absolutely include in the description of this casserole that it has a “bread pudding” texture as I’m not sure anyone would expect that. As for the cubed bread slices, I let them dry out for 11 hours so they were not soft at all when included in the recipe. Also, after 55 minutes of cooking, I tested the casserole twice with a knife & a toothpick, and the tested area was completely dry. As mentioned, I followed your instructions to the “T”. I will never again try out a new recipe (especially on guests) until it has been tested first by me. Betty

      2. Hi Betty, yes, a strata is very much like a savory bread pudding. I’m really sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it. I have personally made this recipe, like Holly, about a couple hundred times (no joke, every Christmas, and whenever we have overnight company). It sounds to me that it turned out exactly as expected, but maybe you don’t prefer this type of breakfast dish. Perhaps you’d prefer a breakfast hash or shakshuka? These baked eggs are also great for serving company (and are easy to try out for one as well!). I love making Hollandaise Sauce to serve on them too :).

      1. This recipe was GREAT and a major hit with my family. I’m not sure what Betty expected from a strata? Holly, I appreciate the time and effort you put in to sharing these delicious, FREE recipes.5 stars

  6. Hello! I’m wondering if you could give me a little more direction on how much bread to use? Slices seem to vary so much in size! Do you think a standard French loaf would be of similar quantity? Or would you have an estimation of how many cups cubed? I want to make sure I have the right amount so it’s not mushy or dry! Thanks!!!