My Easter this year looked quite a bit different than usual! It’s not the first time I’ve ever spent a holiday alone but it was the first time I’ve felt so isolated! That was until I realized that it was probably a pretty strange and weird holiday for most of us in the US and the world…so I know I’m not alone in this! Rather than a big ham, I had this beautiful brunch dish: Eggs Benedict Breakfast Casserole. Since it was just me, I only made and photographed a small pan of it. The recipe, below, is for the full version.
If you love Classic Eggs Benedict (I do! I do!) you’re going to love this super easy, no-effort version! It has all the flavors and none of the timing issues and/or fussiness. There’s the English muffin, Canadian bacon, eggs, and of course, the Hollandaise Sauce! And there might be a little bonus when you make your Eggs Benny in a casserole form for those of you who aren’t down with the poached egg in the classic version. Now you have no worries!
About Eggs Benedict Breakfast Casserole:
This is a super easy make the night before casserole. Back in the day, we called these “stratas” but you might just think of this as a savory bread pudding. There’s the bread of course, in this. Either English muffins or a good sturdy bread like sourdough or maybe some kind of heritage bread. I actually prefer bread in this instead of the English muffins, and if it’s stale bread, all the better!
Then everything, the eggs, a little milk (I love that this recipe doesn’t need cream), a few spices, and of course your Canadian bacon or ham, gets mixed together, dumped in a casserole dish, and baked off the next day. We’re still on shutdown here in Minnesota so I just used a little ham instead of the original Canadian bacon, and I only used about a quarter of what’s called for. And it was still fabulous! You can use more, of course. Just make sure you have some on top to get all crispity crunchety. It’s just about the best part!
And if all that isn’t good enough, what takes this brunch dish to the next level is the hollandaise sauce. Raise your hand if you’re like me and think anything that goes with hollandaise and whatever is served is just an excuse to have that lovely, buttery, lemony sauce? Yep, the fat kid speaks!! The hollandaise really isn’t optional in this recipe, btw. It’s just so much better with it! You might want to make more than the standard recipe if you like Hollandaise!
You can use my more traditional super easy foolproof Blender Hollandaise Sauce, but I’ll be posting the recipe next for the Hollandaise shown in the photos. That recipe, Easy Hollandaise Sauce, cooks the eggs first, eliminating any food safety concerns. Check out the gorgeous color from the organic eggs I used – and no, it’s not orange juice, lol!
Making Eggs Benedict Breakfast Casserole:
If you’ve made breakfast casseroles like this, you could probably do it in your sleep (and actually it does rest overnight so really you are!) but I have a few hints and helps if this is your first time.
First of all, butter the pan if possible rather than using spray or oil and lay it on so it’s on the thick side, so it’s really visible. That’s going to meld to the bread and brown it up as the casserole bakes giving you crispy edges! The best!
Use either English muffins or use a good bread and lightly toast it. I’ve made casseroles like this where I haven’t toasted the bread but toasting improves the texture. It allows all the liquid to soak up and the bread, although it’s hard to tell in the photos, remains more distinct, not a solid mass. As far as the amount, if you sub in bread for the English muffins, you’ll want a pound loaf. If you trim off the crust you’ll want to use a little more bread, about 4 to 5 slices or so.
In your largest bowl, mix up the eggs first (always pop the yolks and whisk them first, then add any other ingredients; it makes it so much easier to blend everything in). Whisk in the milk then the few spices and mix in the Canadian bacon, saving a bit for the top. Spoon/pour into the casserole (it’s nice to clean up the sides of the casserole if you’ve sloshed or slopped on it) cover with foil and pop it in your fridge.
The next day (usually you don’t want to go over 12 hours w/o baking it) bake it covered, then uncover to finish and brown, and tada! If you’ve never made Hollandaise, never fear! It’s fast and easy. You can use a packet if you want, but homemade really is best! Either make it a little ahead and keep it warm or make it as the casserole bakes.
While Canadian bacon is the classic in my neck of the woods (maybe because we’re close to Canada?) although Wikipedia claims otherwise. This recipe is just as good with ham, which can be a less expensive option. Making this with any leftover holiday Ham you’ve bought at a low is always going to be a great budget saver! If you’d like to see more recipes that can use leftover ham, check out my post 12 Days of Ham (because I started with 12 and there’s the song – but now there are over 50 recipes there!)
English muffins unless you find them on a great sale (look for them to be on sale sporadically and especially around “brunchy” holidays like New Years, Easter, Mother’s day and toss them in your freezer) can be a little pricy. A good bread is a great budget option, and since this recipe works so well with state bread, bonus for a save!
Eggs are often on sale around just about every holiday. Both your Buyers Club & Aldi will have great everyday prices on eggs but don’t usually approach a great grocery sales price. Depending on your fridge space, stock up when they’re at a low. Eggs keep well for a good five to six weeks after the “buy by” date and are best stored in the original container on the bottom shelf, not the door.
If in doubt about an egg’s age, gently place it in a container of water. If it lays flat it’s very fresh, if it starts to tilt up, it’s getting a little age on it. If it floats to the top, it’s probably past it’s prime. If an egg floats, that doesn’t mean an egg is “bad” (that’s a myth) it just means that over time the egg inside the shell gets denser and shrinks and since nature abhors a vacuum, the air inside increases. That makes the egg lighter. It has its own little life preserver built-in and that makes it float. Under “normal” circumstances I discard floating eggs. These days, it’s more of a judgment call. Check out the American Egg Board, the folks known for their “Incredible Edible Eggs” ads for more information.
Eggs Benedict Breakfast Casserole
Make with English muffins or bread, with Canadian bacon or Ham, but whatever you do, don’t forget the Hollandaise!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 55 minutes + overnight
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast or Brunch
- Cuisine: American
- 6 English muffins, split and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- salt to taste (about a teaspoon, less if your Canadian bacon is very salty)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- a good pinch cayenne
- 12 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) Canadian bacon, thinly sliced, then chopped, divided
- Hollandaise Sauce
Toast English muffin pieces on 2 sheet trays in a 325 degree F. oven for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Basically toast until dry, no need to get any color on them. Set aside to cool. In the meantime, grease a 3 quart casserole (13×9″ works well) heavily and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk and whisk, then the spices and mix in. Add about 3/4’s of the Canadian bacon, then the bread cubes. Mix well (clean hands work) and pour into casserole. Top with remaining Canadian bacon and gently press it down. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight, usually no longer than 12 hours.
When ready to bake, Preheat oven to 375 dress F. Remove casserole from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, covered, 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is lightly browned and crisp. If the top is brown before casserole is finished, lightly cover with foil.
Serve immediately with Hollandaise sauce.
Nutrition: 1 piece: 286 calories, 19g fat (10g saturated fat), 256mg cholesterol, 535mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 14g protein.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Bread, Breakfast or Brunch Dish, Canadian Bacon, English Muffins, Ham, Hollandaise Sauce, leftover ham
I’ll be sharing this week both at Fiesta Friday #324, coshosted by Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons and at the Weekend Potluck.
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