Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding

I think I found the skele­ton of this recipe almost 14 years ago in the once free Kraft “Food & Fam­i­ly” mag­a­zine.  I was about 25, work­ing full time, new­ly mar­ried and need­ed some meal ideas that were cheap and easy. I had nev­er had any­thing like this before and from the first time I made it — I was hooked!

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Over the years, as I have tweaked into some­thing quite dif­fer­ent, but every time I start assem­bling this dish I can still pic­ture the page at the back of the mag­a­zine that start­ed my love for mak­ing tasty, easy meals -my way. I always serve it Christ­mas morn­ing, but  am always look­ing for anoth­er rea­son to whip it up. 

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There are sev­er­al things that make this recipe so great. First, you can use any type of bread you pre­fer, sweet or savory, dense or fluffy, fresh or stale. 

Look­ing for a gluten-free brunch option? Don’t run away at the site of bread cubes! 

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These Huevos Rancheros Break­fast Cups are crazy good and super easy ((and you’ll nev­er miss the gluten — I actu­al­ly for­got to tag them as GF when writ­ing the recipe, they are that good!))

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Sec­ond, you can use any type of meat, faux meat or even a tasty mix of sautéed veg­gies. I used bacon & cooked break­fast sausage — both of which I cooked pre­vi­ous­ly and froze for my stock­pile. Cook­ing meats ahead in bulk and freez­ing real­ly helps me get a tasty meal togeth­er in short order. ((which I have a lot of — short order that is!!))

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Let’s pause and talk about bacon for a sec­ond. For a twist to your nor­mal bacon recipe, con­sid­er mak­ing a bulk batch of oven roast­ed can­died bacon. Oven roast­ing bacon is my favorite way to cook raw bacon ((and by favorite, I mean LEAST messy and MOST crispy)). By adding brown sug­ar & cracked black pep­per, you’ve cre­at­ed some­thing that could be sold on street cor­ners. This easy, and addic­tive recipe is HERE.

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Third, any cheese you love will work great in this casse­role. This time, I used a com­bi­na­tion of cream cheese & two types of sharp ched­dar. IT.WAS.SO.GOOD!!

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Last, I love adding canned chopped green chilies. They are an unex­pect­ed fla­vor in a break­fast casse­role & work real­ly well. Fine­ly chopped bell pep­per or jalapeño would work nice­ly too depend­ing on your heat pref­er­ences.

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So, here is my ver­sion break­fast casse­role. I just love it! But in all hon­esty, I nev­er make it exact­ly the same twice. I most recent­ly made this to be served Christ­mas morn­ing. I par­tial­ly assem­bled it on Christ­mas Eve and put the fin­ish­ing touch­es on it and baked it up in the midst of wrap­ping paper frag­ments and delight­ed yelps.

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I make this through­out the year (not just  Christ­mas) — as a mat­ter of fact, this needs to go on the menu for my week! I love this recipe because I always have a vari­a­tion of all of these ingre­di­ents on hand: 2 day-old crois­sants, cin­na­mon bread, bagels, crusty sour­dough, pep­per jack, moz­zarel­la, gou­da etc… they will all work glo­ri­ous­ly.

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As always, this is how my dish looks when my herd is fin­ished with it! A sure sign of deli­cious­ness. If you know me at all, you know my peeps don’t eat yucky food just to be nice. So this HAS to be good!!

 

This is def­i­nite­ly one of those recipes that con­jure up many years of meal mem­o­ries with my fam­i­ly — from being a new wife, to a new mom­ma — to a mom­ma of big hairy kids who roll their eyes at me. I hope it becomes a food mem­o­ry for your fam­i­ly too!

And don’t for­get about dessert — “Mom’s BEST Banana Pud­ding” is sure to please your din­ner guests!

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Just a few sim­ple ingre­di­ents and 2 sur­pris­es make this banana pud­ding the last recipe you’ll ever need!

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Big Coun­try Break­fast Bread Pud­ding
Serves 12
The per­fect break­fast & brunch dish! Crispy and creamy, salty and sweet — and just when you think it can’t get any bet­ter, that sub­tle heat sneaks in and forces you to get a sec­ond help­ing.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
401 calo­ries
5 g
230 g
33 g
20 g
17 g
152 g
683 g
2 g
0 g
13 g
Nutri­tion Facts
Serv­ing Size
152g
Serv­ings
12
Amount Per Serv­ing
Calo­ries 401
Calo­ries from Fat 297
% Dai­ly Val­ue *
Total Fat 33g
51%
Sat­u­rat­ed Fat 17g
87%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyun­sat­u­rat­ed Fat 2g
Monoun­sat­u­rat­ed Fat 11g
Cho­les­terol 230mg
77%
Sodi­um 683mg
28%
Total Car­bo­hy­drates 5g
2%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sug­ars 2g
Pro­tein 20g
Vit­a­min A
19%
Vit­a­min C
4%
Cal­ci­um
34%
Iron
8%
* Per­cent Dai­ly Val­ues are based on a 2,000 calo­rie diet. Your Dai­ly Val­ues may be high­er or low­er depend­ing on your calo­rie needs.
Ingre­di­ents
  1. 1 loaf of brioche, cubed
  2. 1 c. heavy cream
  3. 1/2 c. milk (skim is fine)*
  4. 9 eggs
  5. 1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies (option­al)
  6. 2 c. + 1 c. (reserved) shred­ded sharp white ched­dar
  7. 1 c. fresh­ly grat­ed parm (or an addi­tion­al cup of ched­dar — or anoth­er type of your favorite cheese)
  8. 4 oz light cream cheese, cubed ((option­al))
  9. 10 oz. browned break­fast sausage ((option­al))
  10. 5 strips of apple­wood smoked bacon, cooked till crisp and chopped ((option­al))
  11. Salt & fresh ground pep­per about 1/2 t each (or 1 t of McCormick’s Mon­tre­al Steak­house blend)
Instruc­tions
  1. Spray a 9“x13” extra deep bak­ing dish and place about 1/2 to 2/3 of the bread cubes in the dish. Next, crack eggs into a lar­gish mix­ing bowl, add cream, milk, s&p and whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mix­ture over the bread cubes mak­ing sure to reserve about 1&1/2 c. for lat­er.
  2. Spread green chilies on top of bread. Sprin­kle 2 c. of shred­ded cheese even­ly. Light­ly press the bread down to aid in absorp­tion of the egg mix­ture. Top with cream cheese, break­fast sausage and bacon if desired. Cov­er and refrig­er­ate over night along with remain­ing egg mix­ture and cheeses. Bag up the extra bread for use in the morn­ing.**
  3. Pre­heat oven to 375°. Remove bread pud­ding from fridge and top with remain­ing bread, pour reserved egg mix­ture over the bread and sprin­kle remain­ing cheeses even­ly over the top. Sprin­kle a bit more s & p.
  4. Bake on mid­dle rack for 45 — 55 min­utes — or until the cen­ter is firm, cov­er the bread pud­ding with foil about halfway through the cook­ing time and then remove for the last 5 min­utes or so. If you see the bread in top is get­ting dark at any point in the cook­ing process, loose­ly cov­er the dish with a foil tent until cook­ing is com­plete.
  5. Serves 12
Notes
  1. **If you want to make & serve it all at the same time ((say for din­ner)), just skip the over night soak­ing step. Instead, pre­heat the oven, place a lit­tle more than half of the bread in the bot­tom of the dish. Pour 2/3 of the egg mix­ture over the bread and allow it to soak into the bread for 10 min­utes or so. Add, cheeses, meats and chiles. Top with remain­ing bread cubes, cheese and a dash of s & p. Fol­low cook­ing instruc­tions as detailed above.
Adapt­ed from Kraft Food & Fam­i­ly Mag­a­zine
beta
calo­ries
401
fat
33g
pro­tein
20g
carbs
5g
more
Adapt­ed from Kraft Food & Fam­i­ly Mag­a­zine
Food for a Year: https://foodforayear.com/

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Oh, and if you need the per­fect fan­cy brunch drink, try this recipe for Sweet Almond Tea! It will be a hit for sure.

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Check out my Food for a Year Shop, where you will find many beau­ti­ful vin­tage kitchen trea­sures includ­ing hand-embroi­dered linens,

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gor­geous serv­ing pieces like this vin­tage Roy­al Bayreuth cake plate

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and many kitchen util­i­ty tools.

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All these lovelies and many more are for sale in my lit­tle shop, new trea­sures are added often — so book­mark the link and vis­it me often.

27 Comments

  1. Ciera says:

    I made this for Christ­mas morn­ing last year and it was tru­ly the best break­fast casse­role I have ever eat­en. I was in love! Sad­ly I some­how for­got about it dur­ing the year. I am about to throw it togeth­er again for tomorrow’s Christ­mas break­fast. I am super excit­ed to enjoy it again! Thank you so much for the recipe!

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    • Emily says:

      Hi Amy — Yes, you can use bagels. I think they will result in a denser casse­role — not exact­ly what I con­sid­er a bread pud­ding tex­ture-wise. Also, they make need to soak in the egg mix­ture for a longer peri­od of time.
      If you try it, let me know how it works!

    • Emily says:

      Yes, I would half every­thing except I would use 5 to 6 eggs and a lit­tle bit more than half of the milk. Place the bak­ing pan on a parch­ment lined bak­ing sheet just in case it over­flows a lit­tle that way you can catch any drips. Thank you for ask­ing!

  3. Hayley Pedersen says:

    This looks per­fect — I am going to make this for Christ­mas break­fast! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂 And I am in love with the green plate the Rudolph Nose cook­ie is on — when you get a moment (read: after the hol­i­day cra­zies) can you let me know who makes it?

    Thanks again for all the amaz­ing­ness!

    • Emily says:

      Hi Hay­ley, thank you so much, please let me know how it works for you after you make it! I am glad you are enjoy­ing the blog!
      And — I can so relate about the dish. I am a long-time dish­es lover. Let me tell you where I got this plate:: Good­Will in Berke­ley Cal­i­for­nia! I am email­ing you the pho­to of the back of the plate — sad­ly there is no mak­er mark — just num­bers. I will be on the hunt for where it came from and let you know if I fig­ure it out! ((you do the same for me if you solve the mys­tery))
      Mer­ry Christ­mas!

    • Emily says:

      Hi Nik­ki, I have not tried it that way before and a few things make me think it would not turn out as good as using the cook­ing method I shared in the recipe. One thing that makes this Coun­try Break­fast Bread Pud­ding so yum­my is the mix of creamy egg-cus­tard soaked bread on the bot­tom and crunchy, toast­ed brioche on top.
      I think the slow-cook­er would steam the top, leav­ing it all one tex­ture. Also, this only takes 40–50 min­utes to bake, so I won­der if it would over cook if left to cook over night.
      Those are just my first thoughts, it may be fan­tas­tic! If you try it ket me know how it goes!

  4. Pingback: Christmas Morning Country Breakfast Bread Pudding ((in a jar)) - Sinkology

  5. Patty says:

    dumb ques­tion, but where did you buy your case­role pan from? I’ve been look­ing for some­thing like this to hold all my jel­lies and jams for morn­ing tea.

    • Emily says:

      That isn’t a dumb ques­tion at all 😊! I wish I had two of them, I use it all of the time. I bought it ((unfor­tu­nate­ly for both us us)) in San Diego while on vaca­tion there 5 years ago at a Crate & Bar­rel out­let store. I had to cart it through the air­port and car­ry it on the plane, haha! So, I am guess­ing they aren’t around any­more. Maybe on eBay??

  6. HWThompson says:

    Just made this for the first time. Big hit among my men folk despite the fact that it stuck to the bot­tom and formed a browned crust — hard to get off despite the fact that I used a non stick -brown- 9x13”
    pan, baked it for 50 min­utes. What did I do wrong?
    Thanks much.

    • Emily says:

      So glad to hear it was a hit! I have found that it real­ly does best if placed in a porce­lain or glass dish — but should work if you pre­pare the met­al pan first by either but­ter­ing or spray­ing (I pre­fer not to use spray on non­stick but rather to but­ter). Because you had such trou­ble, I would rec­om­mend cut­ting a piece of parch­ment to fit into the bot­tom of your pan next time before adding the ingre­di­ents. You may need to reduce the cook­ing time by a cou­ple of min­utes too. Thank you again for let­ting me know you liked it!

  7. Allane says:

    I am won­der­ing why all the ingre­di­ents are not com­bined at once. Is there some kitchen sci­ence I don’t know about, or does it taste bet­ter if some ingre­di­ents are not soaked togeth­er so long? Just curi­ous.….
    Def­i­nite­ly going to make it your way, it sounds per­fect!

    • Emily says:

      Hi — thank you for ask­ing. I have found that by sep­a­rat­ing it in this way allows for the cus­tard soaked por­tion to become per­fect­ly creamy and almost pud­ding like as it bakes. Top­ping it with the remain­ing bread, cus­tard & cheese right before it goes into the oven adds a won­der­ful crunch from the un-soaked bread that toasts as it bakes. The com­bi­na­tion of the crunchy top and the creamy under­neath is where the real mag­ic occurs ((at least I think so)). If I did it all at once I would not have that vari­a­tion in tex­ture. I hope that helps!

      • Emily says:

        Thank you! I can’t wait to hear how that sub­sti­tu­tion works — I am sure it will be tasty! if you get a chance, shoot me anoth­er com­ment to tell me what you think. 🙂

  8. Linda says:

    I would love to make this, but with left over buns/bread. Do you have an approx­i­mate weight or cups of cubed bread this would be? Thanks!

    • Emily says:

      I used an approx­i­mate 1 pound loaf. I cut the loaf into 2″ chunks so mea­sur­ing in cups would be hard. I would say if you have a sin­gle lay­er of pieces on the bot­tom of the dish, top with cheese and meat, pour some of the egg mix­ture & then top with anoth­er sin­gle lay­er of bread and remain­ing egg and cheese that would be per­fect. Hope this helps!

      • Linda says:

        Thanks so much for your prompt reply. I will use your rec­om­men­da­tions, and def­i­nite­ly give this a try!

  9. Ashley Mann says:

    I liked this recipe! Nice to find a break­fast bread pud­ding type recipe that’s savory instead of full of sug­ar, and I’m sure many would appre­ci­ate that it’s meat­less. The green chiles real­ly make the dish!

In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"

 
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