Loaded with ham, turkey and gooey cheese, this Monte Cristo Breakfast casserole is the best brunch dish ever. No need to make it in advance because you can easily assemble it in minutes and bake it right before your guests are ready to eat.
I know, it’s good Friday and I’m posting about ham and turkey but let’s look at this as last minute preparation for Easter Sunday. I don’t think I posted any fish recipes for you at all during lent so this has probably clued you in a bit on my feelings of sacrifice. I like to eat all the things…..no matter what day it is. And even though I used to give up meat and chocolate and coffee, I actually forget about it now that I’m older. I have no excuse really…except that I haven’t been to church since my son was baptized. Shame away, my friends. I can take it.
I do love Easter though and I did go to church growing up all.the.time. So, I’m not totally clueless and I know what it’s all about. But for me, it’s always been about the food. Really. Easter is my favorite holiday of all because of the traditions we’ve made with my family surrounding food. I come from a large Polish family so we’re blessed with piles of pierogie, kielbasa, and FRIED CABBAGE!!! Gah! I can’t even stand it, it’s making me so hungry. We also eat later in the day…like a lunch/dinner thing. Let’s call it lunner. So we need a hearty breakfast first, to keep us going when we’re swarmed with relatives we haven’t seen in months. I like to make a casserole for breakfast because it requires minimal hands on time and I can bake it while I get ready for the day. This Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole is pretty killer. In my opinion…it’s better than the sandwich.
As usual, I found all my ingredients at ALDI so it was very inexpensive to make. ALDI even has their own french bread which was perfect for this casserole because it’s hearty and can sop up all the custard without turning to mush. I used their deli turkey and black forest ham with a healthy dose of shredded swiss cheese. Then you just whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt and pepper. Once you assemble the casserole you pour the mixture over the bread and bake. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar before serving and pour a bit of warmed raspberry preserves over top. This is so wonderful to serve any overnight guests…except they may never leave. So maybe you don’t want to make it for your guests. It depends on how much you like them I guess.
If you like Monte Cristo Sandwiches, you will LOVE this Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole. It would be great served with a side of fruit or this Winter Citrus Salad. Make this a showstopper by cutting and serving family style at the table…that gooey cheese deserves a round of applause. I’m totally serious. Happy Easter (or Passover), my friends! I hope it’s filled with good food and full bellies.
Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole
- 1 loaf Specially Selected French Bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 8-10 slices Premium turkey breast
- 8-10 slices Premium black forest ham
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Happy Farms Swiss Cheese
- 2 cups Happy Farms Half and Half
- 5 Goldhen large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- 3/4 cup Berryhill Red Raspberry Preserves
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, place half the bread in an even layer to cover the bottom. Sprinkle half the cheese over the bread and top with the turkey. Top the turkey with the ham and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place the remaining bread on top of the cheese and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the half and half, eggs, salt and pepper. Pour the entire mixture over the bread being sure to coat everything. Press down on the casserole with a place so all the bread begins to absorb the mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is puffed and golden brown.
- While the casserole bakes, heat the preserves in a small saucepan until syrupy.
- When the casserole is done, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and top each serving with a spoonful of the raspberry preserves.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by ALDI. All opinions and statements are my own….as always. 🙂