Easter Brunch Bake

This weekend is Easter, and for many, it’s tradition to have a big family brunch sometime over the long Easter weekend.

I love this Easter Brunch Bake. It reminds me of a savory bread pudding, and it has all your favourite brunch ingredients in one dish. It’s really simple, and you can actually make it the night before, and then bake it the next day and serve it straight out of the oven. It’s rich and yummy, and you could serve it very simply as-is, alongside a simple salad.

easter brunch bake

You can do this two ways: you can make it in a big casserole dish so that it feeds a crowd, or you can make smaller, individual portions if you have dietary restrictions among your guests. I make this one with caramelized onions and chopped ham or bacon, but if you’re making them individually, and someone is a vegetarian, you could omit the meat and add in chopped tomatoes or sauteed mushrooms to give it more substance.

It’s the kind of brunch where you can actually hang out with your guests and not be trapped in the kitchen the entire time slaving over the stove.

Easter Brunch Bake

(recipe adapted from The Kichn)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups bread–ideally you want to use day-old challah or sourdough. If you have fresh bread, chop it into cubes, and then let it sit on the counter in a bowl for a while
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated old cheddar
  • 6 slices of bacon or ham, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Method:

  1. Caramelize the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, or 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and stir well to coat with the oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar, and then allow to cook slowly over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden brown. This will take 10-15 minutes.
  2. In the mean time, grease a large casserole dish (or many small ones) and loosely pack them with the bread cubes.
  3. Layer the caramelized onions on top of the bread cubes, then the cheese, then sprinkle over the ham or bacon.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, mustard and nutmeg. Carefully pour the beaten egg mixture over your bread/cheese/onions. You can push the bread down a little with your hands if you need to, to make the bread absorb the egg.
  5. Cover tightly and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day, about an hour before serving, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. You may want to remove the casserole dish from the fridge prior to this to allow it to come up to room temp. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the top is brown and bubbly, and a knife stuck into the centre of the custard comes out clean.

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