10 months ago

Ham and Gruyère Egg Casserole

A hearty, satisfying egg bake from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate, made with ham, Gruyère cheese, leeks and big chunks of French bread. Assemble the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning for an easy weekday breakfast. Great for holiday brunch, too.

There are two types of people: morning people and not-morning people. I happen to be one of those people who truly loves getting up early for a jump-start on my day. Whether it’s to get a workout in, to do some work before I start my all-day-mom gig, or just to enjoy a cup (or two) of coffee in the peace and quiet. There’s something about the morning that is sacred to me.

My husband, on the other hand, not so much. He will stay up way later than he should and snoozes his alarm until the latest possible minute that he can get away with. After a quick rinse in the shower he fills his to-go mug with coffee, grabs a yogurt or granola bar and is out the door.

It just baffles me because, along with being a morning person, I need a serious breakfast. My husband can get through his morning with a granola bar but I definitely need something heartier. Usually it’s a big bowl of oatmeal or avocado toast with an egg on top, but I’ve started a new habit that I’m catching onto.

That habit is baking a breakfast casserole early in the week and eating it all week long. The thing I love about doing this is that not only can I throw whatever meat, cheese and veggies I have on hand in the casserole, but it’s practically a no-brainer every morning. Better yet, I don’t have to think about what to feed my kids for breakfast, either. Just reheat and eat!

This Ham and Gruyère Egg Casserole is my newest obsession when it comes to my weekly breakfast casseroles. It has smoky ham, nutty Gruyère cheese, leeks and big chunks of French bread. I topped it all off with a simple combination of eggs, milk and some Dijon mustard, and breakfast for the week was finished! Well, after some time in the oven.

Another great thing about this egg casserole is that you can prep the entire thing the night before. So if you want to make it for a weekend breakfast/brunch or for Christmas morning when you’ll have other things to occupy your time, you can make it all the night before and then just pop it in the oven when you get up. Now that I think of it, this could be the perfect solution for those of you not-morning people. You can snooze your alarms a few more times because you won’t have any breakfast prep to do.

So, whether you’re feeding your family on Christmas morning or the troops before they head out the door to school, this Ham and Gruyère Egg Casserole will definitely please all of the bellies!

Ham and Gruyère Egg Casserole

10-12 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 45-55 minutes

Ingredients
1-pound loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, thoroughly cleaned, white and light green parts sliced and chopped
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces diced ham
8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
8 large eggs
2 ¾ cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add leek and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add in chopped spinach and stir, cooking until wilted. Remove from heat.
  5. Layer half of the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish.
  6. Top with half of the ham, half of the leek/spinach mixture and half of the cheese.
  7. Repeat with bread, ham, leek/spinach and cheese.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper.
  9. Pour evenly over baking dish.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  11. In the morning, set out the baking dish for 30 minutes.
  12. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  13. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and egg casserole is baked through. Serve and enjoy!