I don’t post a lot of savory dishes, but since I’ve made this twice in the past week I figured I’d share. Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake is yet another make-ahead casserole you can bake and serve right away, or assemble and bake later. This one is particularly good, as it is rich and cheesy and not too egg-y. It’s also a great way to use leftover bread.
You can make this in a 9×13 inch pan or do what we do and scale it down to 1/3 and bake in a loaf pan. Also, you may find you like Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake better after it has been baked, cooled and then reheated. Like lasagna, it gets better as it sits.
For this recipe I’ve used spinach and asparagus. Use whatever vegetables you like! I also used Challah, but French bread would be equally good.
- 6-8 cups cubed Challah bread or French bread (14-16 oz)
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups diced ham (or 1/2 inch cubes)
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach or asparagus (optional)
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Italian blend cheese
- 6 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup regular or fat free half & half
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (or just use shredded)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Arrange the bread in an even layer, pressing down
- In a skillet, cook the onion in the olive oil just until soft, then add the ham (and asparagus if using) and continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes or until ham starts to brown around the edges. If using spinach, add the spinach towards the end and cook just until it wilts..
- Mix together the eggs, milk, and half & half. Stir in the cheese, then pour over the bread.
- Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and pepper.
- Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes. However, for best results let cool slightly, chill overnight, then re-heat. The casserole has a better shape and texture when cooked and gently reheated.