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Christmas Morning Breakfast Bake


This luscious breakfast fits the bill and, best of all, will satisfy adults and kids alike. Brew a big pot of coffee: It's a meal your guests will want to linger over.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Everyday Food, December 2011


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces Canadian bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound baby spinach (10 cups)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 9 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 cups 1 1/2-to-2-inch cubes Italian bread (from a 1-pound loaf)
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)


  1. Butter a 3-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Add bacon, onion, and garlic and cook until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Gradually add spinach to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Scatter half the bread in dish and top with half the spinach mixture and half the cheese. Top with remaining bread, spinach mixture, and cheese. Pour egg mixture into dish and gently press bread to submerge. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to overnight).

  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Uncover dish and bake until bread is golden brown and custard is just set, 45 to 50 minutes (cover with foil if browning too quickly). Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

Tips for Cooking with Kids: Let kids tear the bread into pieces instead of slicing it into cubes. Others will enjoy whisking the eggs and milk together and assembling the casserole.

Reviews Add a comment

  • kenlytrigmeco
    1 JAN, 2017
    This was a huge hit Christmas morning!! For the bread I used, from Whole Foods, their Italian artisanal white bread, cut in to cubes, and toasted it. This bread is quite dense so I had to use a few more eggs and milk mixture. I used turkey sausage in lieu of the Canadian bacon and it turned out scrumptious! I allowed the ingredients to marinate over night and baked until set the next morning. It was light and soufflé like! I highly recommend this delicious dish!
  • toddameyergm
    29 NOV, 2015
    Easy and delicious recipe, we make it every Christmas and Easter. This can be easily modified to suit your taste. Make sure to use good quality thick cut bacon, also any hearty bread will do, again an opportunity to customize the recipe.
  • Ani31
    26 AUG, 2015
    I made this today for an office breakfast potluck and it was very well received. I also had some concern about making this recipe after reading the first review, but it is clear to me that the first reviewer did not follow the recipe correctly. I used Trader Joe's Ciabatta Bread and otherwise followed the recipe exactly, including using sufficient salt, pepper, and fresh nutmeg. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed if you make this and actually follow the recipe.
  • daliafeldman2937306
    15 DEC, 2013
    This breakfast bake has become a family tradition in my house. My whole family loves it, and I especially love that I can prepare it the night before and it bakes while we open our gifts in the morning. It's always perfect and delicious!
  • larakingshipp
    4 JAN, 2013
    Yummy! Lovely presentation and very easy. Filled the 8.5x11 dish to the brim but settled by the morning. Smelled wonderful in the oven and tasted great. I am not a breakfast casserole lover as they tend to be too heavy but the spinach and gruyere were great in this. Will definitely make again. Thanks!
  • Natalia
    26 DEC, 2012
    Wow, what a great dish. was a little hesitant after reading the first review, but if you think about it, how can nutmeg, garlic and bacon have no taste? I let it sit overnight, baked it, and it rose up and was a beautiful souffle. The gryere adds a special wow in my opinion since it's a little bitter, a little sharp. I also added regular bacon to the canadian bacon. will definitely make this again and highly recommend this recipe.
  • Angie LaVanish
    25 DEC, 2012
    This was a great dish! Did not have Gruyere Cheese and substituted with Aged Swiss. Also used regular bacon ;). I will be making again!!!!
  • california girl
    12 NOV, 2012
    Tasteless and very dry. Made this exactly as the recipe was written and was so embarrased to serve this to my guest tonight. Stayed up late to write this review, hope to save others the disappointment!