This wonderfully savory make-ahead breakfast casserole is brimming with vegetables. It’s perfect to feed a crowd on Christmas morning or at a festive brunch.
I won’t bury the lede. We’ve become obsessed with this casserole. It all started with some leftover stuffing cubes from Thanksgiving. The really good kind where Whole Foods dries out all their little bits of leftover bakery bread, from sourdough to pumpernickel, and hands it to you in a bag that lasts approximately forever (like definitely until Christmas — not asking questions).
We’re not inherently a casserole family. I feel about 40 years too young and altogether not midwestern enough to aspire to something like that. It’s not that we don’t like family-style dishes baked lovingly in the oven and served alongside a simple green salad. We TOTALLY like that kind of food. Speaking for myself, I probably like it a little too much from time to time. But when I hear the word “casserole,” I think of someone else. I don’t know — deep food thoughts for the day.
And yet. Here we are with this happy-making CASSEROLE. (I might call it Breakfast Strata in private, okay?) It’s brimming with vegetables — onion, shiitakes, Christmas-colored peppers and broccoli. It’s super-savory. It’s pretty good for ya, considering. And it tastes SO good.
I can think of two scenarios where this dish would be the answer to your wildest dreams. (No presh, Umami Girl.) First: Christmas morning, or any morning when you have sleepover guests and don’t feel like cooking breakfast to order. You can make this dish a whole day in advance and take it out of the fridge when you wake up in the morning. It bakes in 40 minutes, during which time you’re free to be doing absolutely whatever else you like.
Second: this would be a fabulous anchor point for a festive and casual brunch, any time of year but especially around the holidays. Here’s what I would do:
The Perfect Casual Holiday Brunch
At this time of year, and especially this year, I love the idea of creating an event where guests feel cozy and totally low-key, where everyone can spend time together just feeling merry and without a lot of expectations. All you need is:
Food: Something savory and something sweet. If you’re making this casserole, how about serving it with a simple green salad, a big bowl of fruit salad, and some muffins or Lotta Jansdotter’s cinnamon rolls. don’t be shy about asking guests to bring something.
Drinks: Good coffee and one signature cocktail. For brunch I always gravitate toward seasonal champagne cocktails (these can be as simple as adding a splash of pomegranate juice to a glass of bubbly) or my favorite Bloody Mary recipe.
Music: My favorite trick is to ask the occasional guest to make me a new Pandora station. It’s a great way to expand your listening repertoire.
Invitations: Paperless Post has some great online holiday party invitations this year that look pretty and classy without creating a lot of work or environmental burden. (And while you’re at it, I like their holiday card line as well, especially the ones marked (RED), where they donate 25% of proceeds to help fight AIDS.)
Activity: Totally optional, but I LOVE the idea of putting out a little coloring station so kids can send holiday cards to our troops through the Red Cross Holidays for Heroes program.
That’s it! NBD. Have fun. Talk to you soon.
P.S. Affiliate links follow.