Croissant French Toast Casserole
I’ve made loads and loads of French toast casseroles over the years. Known by other names like savory bread puddings or stratas, they all have a bread component. I tend to reach for challah, a sturdy egg bread, but have used cinnamon bread and now croissants. Paired with Italian sausage and sage, this was one stupendous brunch recipe over the holidays. Both boys and the hubby gave it rave reviews. When I sent some leftovers home with our oldest, Bill was a little concerned that I’d send TOO much in his care package!
A friend (Hi, Mary!) shared this New York Times recipe on her Facebook page. It looked so cheesy and tempting that I knew I’d be making it ASAP. Much as the family would love this every week, the cheese, the croissants, and the cream make it a special occasion breakfast. It’s definitely worth the caloric splurge!
- 1 pound croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch scallions, white part sliced thinly
- ¾ pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 8 eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up the sausage until mixture is browned and crumbled, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, toss the croissant pieces and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1½ cups cheese, salt and pepper.
- Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly. Pour the custard over the croissants. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Bake until casserole is golden brown and set, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.