One of my family’s favorite breakfasts for dinner is my French toast casserole. It’s a great way to use old bread, it can be prepped in advance or whipped up last minute, and I always toss in whatever fruit I have on hand and top it with a dollop of yogurt.
My son loves helping me make it, so it’s also a fun option to bake with the kids.
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- 8 oz. (about 8 slices) bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- 1 cup chopped fruit, fresh or frozen
- Confectioner’s sugar, for topping (optional)
- 1 cup vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
- Maple syrup, for topping (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the bread, nuts and fruit to the egg mixture. Stir gently until just combined and all of the pieces of bread are saturated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the casserole has puffed up and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve while still warm, topped with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Note: The casserole can be made in advance and reheated before serving. Simply let the casserole cool to room temperature after baking and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the casserole for up to two days or freeze for up to one month. Reheat the chilled casserole in the microwave or oven before serving.
Where to eat breakfast for dinner
For a classic diner-style breakfast in Chicago, The Diner Grill, is a good choice. Another option, for something out of the ordinary, is Left Coast, with locations in Lincoln Park and the Loop. I’m a big fan of their buckwheat pancakes.
Handpicked by Jenny McCoy
Jenny McCoy is a pastry chef, mom to a 6-year-old and is opening Buck Russell’s Bakery and Sandwich Shop in Wilmette this fall, in partnership with Ballyhoo Hospitality. Follow more on Instagram or visit buckrussells.com.
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