Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole
A breakfast casserole is convenient for a crowd, but if it's so bland and mushy no one wants to eat it, that's no help for the host.
Why This Recipe Works
Even when staled in the oven overnight, the white bread in our Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole soaked up too much custard and turned to mush. Using toasted Italian bread greatly improved the texture. Substituting whole milk for half-and-half or cream kept the casserole light and fluffy, while keeping the amount minimal ensured the dish remained firm.
We used enough cheese and sausage to flavor the dish, but not so much that we were left with a greasy, soggy mess. Extra-sharp cheddar cheese helped make up for flavor lost from using less sausage. Some Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole recipes we tasted contained pockets where certain ingredients tended to congregate. To solve this, we staggered the bread, sausage, and cheese mixtures in multiple layers. Building the casserole with care helped ensure every bite had flavor.