Breakfast Casseroles: an Art not a Science

Let's talk breakfast casseroles for a moment... typically I just say throw together some eggs, breakfast meat, bread, cheese, maybe veggies? And BOOM! Delicious... then you find an actual breakfast casserole RECIPE (wha!?) and it changes your life.

Two disclaimers:

1. Don't attempt if you don't have access to GOOD bagels. I was spoiled my last three years in DC and lived a few blocks away from TWO quality bagel spots. Needless to say, I haven't recreated this recipe since leaving cause grocery store freezer bagels just won't cut it. 

2. This does require an overnight soaking. Trust me. I've tried to be "quick about it" and nah... no good. SHOULD you make this casserole you will understand.

This is the beauty of this beast, it is crunchy and toasted bagely on top and yummy eggy baked goodness on the bottom.

 Before the baked deliciousness entered the oven! So much color and flavor for a breakfast casserole! 

Before the baked deliciousness entered the oven! So much color and flavor for a breakfast casserole! 

This recipe is from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. She is a blogger turned cookbook author, and you should cook everything she tells you to. 

Ingredients:

8 cups of bagels cut into 1-inch cubes (I use 6-7 bagels)

8 ounces of cream cheese COLD and cut into small bits (aka one block of cream cheese... and you can go lighter by using neufchatel cheese)

1/4 medium red onion, halved lengthwise, and SUPER thinly sliced into quarter moons

1 1/2 cups small tomatoes, preferably grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half OR quartered if they are on the larger size

8 eggs

2 1/3 cups milk OR half-and-half (I typically do a mix of the two)

1 tsp table salt

freshly ground pepper

Prepare the casserole!!

Spread a third of the bagel cubes into a 9x13 baking dish. Dot the bagels with a third of the cream cheese bits and 1/3 of the red onions + tomatoes. Repeat in two more alternating layers. Whisk the eggs with milk, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bagel and cheese mixture... this is when you can turn the bagels to face up certain ways so they are pretty for a nice picture! Cover tightly with plastic wrap and REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT!!!

The next morning, remove the casserole from the fridge then set your oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven is ready, pop it in and bake UNCOVERED in the middle rack. This will take about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook through. The top should be golden brown, the casserole should have puffed up a little bit, and you should be able to insert a knife without any liquid (like when you make sure your cakes are cooked through). 

You can serve this as is, or with lox and sprinkle of capers. 

Y'all, this will be the hit of brunch parties or baby showers or you will just love yourself a little more for having prepared it. DELISH.

GO! Make haste! Find good bagels and let this bad boy rest overnight and have a yummy Christmas week/New Year's breakfast treat!