Breakfast Casserole With Spinach, Ham and Cheese

During the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years’, we cook more than any other time of year. We try our hand at new recipes of cookies, pastries and cakes, while not forgetting family favorites. Our kitchen are abuzz with activity and we make sure that the table is brimming with elaborate main dishes, roast turkey, roast beef, ham, etc. We also don’t forget all kinds of fancy salads and appetizers. The only meal that is often forgotten is breakfast. Who has time for breakfast when there are so many other things to do. Unfortunately for our family members, they are usually left on their own, to scrounge around in the refrigerator or the kitchen cupboards and try to find something edible to tide them over til the big feast. Does this sound familiar?

Here is is wonderful solution. This amazingly delicious breakfast casserole, that you can assemble the night before or even a few days ahead of time, will be a pleasant surprise to your family and I guarantee once you try it once, you will be making it all year long. This is also my secret weapon when I have overnight guest.

This creamy, flavorful casserole is full of breakfasty goodies – eggs, ham, cheese and spinach – all soaked in to French bread. You can add all kinds of other fillings or substitute for your family’s preferences – sausage, roasted peppers, green peppers, different types of cheese, mushrooms and herbs. 

 

I like using a French baguette for this dish. You can use any French or Italian bread. Cut the crust off the bread and slice it into 1/2 inch slices. Toast the bread in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, flipping it over halfway through. Meanwhile, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet, heat on medium high heat. Add the shallot, season with salt and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes, until the spinach is warmed through. (First squeeze out all the moisture from the spinach. It will be A LOT).

Add the ham. Set aside. Pour in the wine into same skillet to deglaze the pan. Stir with a whisk or a wooden spoon to get all the lovely fond off the bottom of the skillet. Cook on high heat until the wine has reduced to half as much. Cool slightly.

Place a layer of bread in a buttered 8×8 inch casserole dish. Spread half of the filling on top of the bread. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of mozzarella on top of the spinach mixture. Repeat with a second layer of bread, and top with the remaining spinach mixture. Sprinkle with another 1/2 cup of cheese. Whisk the eggs, half and half and reduced wine in another bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 pepper.

Pour over the casserole.

Top the casserole with plastic wrap, laying it right on top of the casserole. Place a weight on top of the casserole. I used a the same sized baking dish and put some canned tomatoes on top. Keep it overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the plastic wrap off the casserole. Sprinkle with another 1/2 cup of cheese.Keep the casserole at room temperature for about 20 minutes. That’s to bring the dish to room temperature, so the glass doesn’t burst and also to bring up the temperature of the ingredients, so it doesn’t have to bake too long. Bake for approximately 40  minutes.

Breakfast Casserole With Spinach, Ham and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1½ loaves of French or Italian bread
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 1-2 shallots, minced
  • 5 oz frozen spinach
  • ⅓-1/4 cup ham, diced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • salt, pepper
  • 1½ cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 6 eggs
  • 1¾ cups half and half
Instructions
  1. Cut the crust off the bread and slice it into ½ inch slices.
  2. Toast the bread in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, flipping it over halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet, heat on medium high heat. Add the shallot, season with salt and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes, until the spinach is warmed through. (First squeeze out all the moisture from the spinach. It will be A LOT).
  5. Add the ham. Set aside.
  6. Pour in the wine into same skillet to deglaze the pan stir with a whisk or a wooden spoon to get all the lovely fond off the bottom of the skillet. Cook on high heat until the wine has reduced to half as much.
  7. Place a layer of bread in a buttered 8x8 inch casserole dish.
  8. Spread half of the filling on top of the bread.
  9. Sprinkle about ½ cup of mozzarella on top of the spinach mixture.
  10. Repeat with a second layer of bread, and top with the remaining spinach mixture. Sprinkle with another ½ cup of cheese.
  11. Whisk the eggs, half and half and reduced wine in another bowl with salt and pepper. Pour over the casserole.
  12. Top the casserole with plastic wrap, laying it right on top of the casserole. Place a weight on top of the casserole. I used another same sized baking pan and put some canned tomatoes on top. Keep it overnight in the refrigerator.
  13. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Keep the casserole at room temperature for about 20 minutes. That's to bring the dish to room temperature, so the glass doesn't burst and also to bring up the temperature of the ingredients, so it doesn't have to bake too long.
  14. Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

14 Comments

  • Natalya Wilson

    thank you for the recepie Olga…. it is the most delishious breakfast dish I have ever try… Hope I will do as good of a job as you do, when I will try to do it at my house (when kitchen going to be ready)…

  • Nina

    Hi, Olechka!

    Can I use a canned spinach for this recipe?
    Thanks, I wanna try it but no spinach at my home. What do you think?

    Have a nice and blessed day.

    • olgak7

      Hi Nina,
      I have never cooked with canned spinach myself, so I can’t really say if you can use it. The only thing I can suggest is to make sure that you drain as much liquid from the spinach as you can before using it.

  • Su

    Just made this for Christmas breakfast and it was a huge hit! I used fresh spinach and ham from the night before. Ciabatta for the bread, left the crust on. And we had shredded gruyere/swiss from Trader Joe’s. Delish!!! Will be making it again for sure.

  • Larisa

    Made this yesterday and we had today. My husband absolutely loved it and our two-year old and five-year old cleaned up their plates also! I didn’t have French bread so used the LaBrea Torta bread and ommited the reduced vine since I only have red vine vinegar. Also added two little diced tomatoes to the mix. Was delish! Thanks again for sharing your recipes!

  • Nataliya

    Got this ready for the morning and I omit the wine, hoping it will still taste great! Olga also I have a question, why do you cut off the top crust of the french bread? I used the sandwich rolls instead of french bread, didnt have it on hand. Thank you.

    • olgak7

      I hope you enjoy it, Nataliya:).
      The only reason I cut off the crusts is because I prefer the texture of the casserole without the crusts. You can leave the crusts on, if you prefer.

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