Croissant Breakfast Casserole

For this year’s New Year’s Eve prep for New Year’s Day brunch with champagne and the Rose Parade, I made Breakfast Croissant Casserole. Using toasted croissants are the base which then have savory browned sausage, sage and melted cheese with egg. As I did, you can prepare this the night before a special breakfast or brunch, then pop it in the oven an hour before you plan to serve it for your party of 8-10 people.
Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people

Instead of sausage, you can substitute  sautéed mushrooms, and other vegetables like chopped red peppers for color. Or further dress this up with ham, crab, shrimp, etc. For cheeses Gruyère gives a great nutty flavor but you could substitute Manchego or a mix of Parmesan, or classic sharp cheddar or a mix with mozzarella, whatever you want.

Since my croissants were on the smaller side, I thought it might be fun to have a center croissant piece so everyone can see what kind of bread base is being used. This is completely optional to do – you can just tear all the croissants for an even cook.
Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people

Or if you want to do a full dish of baked croissant sandwiches, don’t tear any of them up, and instead of mixing the sausage and bread pieces you’ll essentially be assembling mini sandwiches with the sausage and cheese, so have an extra cup of cheese on hand. And, make sure you watch the croissant sandwich version when cooking at the end step carefully so they don’t overbrown. Butter croissants work best, and cover in the cooking process if the bread is browning faster then the egg is cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 6 regular croissants or 12 mini croissants
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little extra more for greasing baking dish (or use olive oil spray)
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced, greens reserved separately from white parts
  • 1/2 pound crumbled sage Italian sausage meat (or add finely chopped sage to your sausage meat after you’ve cooked it). You can alternatively use spicy sausage instead
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk or use a mix that is half milk, half cream (2 cup of milk, 1 cup half and half or whipping cream)
  • 8 ounces Gruyère or your choice of cheese, shredded (about 2 cups of shredded cheese). You will reserve 1/2 cup of cheese for topping, 1 1/2 cup cheese is used in the casserole.
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder

Directions:

  1. Split the croissants all in half lengthwise spray with a bit of olive oil. If presentation wise you want some croissants whole in the middle as I did, set a couple aside and do not toast those pieces. (As you’ll see from my photos, I experimented by toasting some and not, and the ones I didn’t toast turned out better as they didn’t get so dark). Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 450 F to toast, watching them carefully so they do not burn since ovens may vary. After they cool (probably will be ready after the sausage step 2 below)  tear all the toasted croissants into large bite-size pieces and set aside. You can also not toast them at all, but toasting it gives an extra depth of flavor I think.
    Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people
  2. In a pan on medium high heat, warm the 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the white parts of the 4 sliced green onions and all sausage meat. Brown the sausage, making sure to keep the sausage broken up as you stir so you can distribute it easily all around the casserole later. Remove from heat and let cool (possibly while now tearing up your toasted croissants).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the 6 eggs, 3 cups milk and cream, salt and pepper all together.
  4. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Distribute evenly the torn toasted croissant pieces and then the sausage mixture in the dish. If you are going to do center whole croissants in the center as I did, place only the bottom half down in the center and spoon a little crumbled cooked crumbled sausage on that half almost like assembling a sandwich. Sprinkle evenly everywhere the 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add a little extra couple pinches of cheese to the center halved croissants,  and put the top of the center croissant on now.
    Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people
  5. Pour the egg and milk mixture into baking dish, including on top of the whole croissants if you have any. Push all the croissants down gently a bit to help get them into absorbing the liquid, be they the torn pieces or center halved croissant. Cover the dish and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
    Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people
  6. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sprinkle evenly the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese over the top of the casserole. Place into the oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 45 minutes.
  7. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with sliced green parts of the green onions before serving.

What do you like to make ahead of time for a group brunch?
Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people Recipe for Croissant Breakfast Casserole with egg, sausage, cheese, toasted croissant, easy to prep the night before and satisfies 8-10 people

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Comments

  1. This looks really good. I love croissants and the fact that you can make it ahead and then it’s ready to go the next day is a big plus!

  2. This is adorable! I bet it was a big hit for brunch!

  3. Melissa Chee says:

    This looks unique and delicious!

  4. That sounds delicious!! We do an indulgent creme brûlée French toast for Christmas Day (that we prep the day before). Haven’t started a New Years morning breakfast tradition yet, but this would be a lot of fun! I love these big casserole breakfast dishes.

  5. This sounds great! My go-to for group breakfast is french toast casserole, but I need to try your recipe next time!

  6. I’m not a fan of casseroles for the most part but I love the idea of using croissants! Such a creative spin, and I think the buttery flakiness of the croissants would soak up so much of the delicious flavor from the other ingredients. Brilliant!

  7. Oh my goodness! This looks SO yummy! I love that you used gruyere cheese and a bit of mustard.

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