Spinach, Herb + Parmesan Breakfast Casserole

Spinach, Herb + Parmesan Breakfast Casserole - offbeat + inspired-10

I debated about what to call this dish. I tried to come up with a different word than “casserole”, but to be honest it was really the most fitting term. When I was growing up, my mom made incredibly flavorful casseroles. Yet for many people, the word “casserole” conjures up an image of a pile of mushy, mystery ingredients you were forced to eat as a kid before you could leave the table. If the latter sounds familiar, I hope this recipe will help change your mind.

The idea of the casserole has been around for a while and originally referred to just the baking vessel itself. As an American meal, casseroles became extremely popular around the 1950s. They’re a simple, economical way to feed a family and can be made with nearly any ingredient, especially leftovers.

I think it’s time to celebrate casseroles – both the homey, comforting versions many of us grew up with as well as new, fresh flavor combinations. This version was created from what I had available in my kitchen, including leftover bread and lots of vegetables and herbs. I love the final product I’ve shared in the recipe below, but I also encourage you to experiment. Wander around your local farmers’ market and come up with a version based on what’s in season. Add some cooked bacon or sausage, mix and match the cheeses or forgo the bread altogether. Create your own variations on this theme and applaud the iconic, one-dish wonder that is the casserole.

[Recipe at the bottom!]

Spinach, Herb + Parmesan Breakfast Casserole - offbeat + inspired

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Spinach, Herb + Parmesan Breakfast Casserole
Yields 8-10 servings

12 large eggs
2 ½ cups milk
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup chopped red onion*
3 ounces baby spinach
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
½ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
5-6 cups day-old bread, cut into bite-sized cubes
A bit of butter to grease the baking dish

1. Butter a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add all of the other ingredients except the bread and mix well.

3. Add the bread cubes and stir together so that the egg mixture soaks into all the bread cubes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

4. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Periodically press down a bit on the bread to make sure all the cubes are soaking up the custard and you’re not left with dry pieces.

5. Bring the casserole to room temperature before baking and preheat the oven to 325. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 50 minutes, uncovered, or until the egg custard sets and the top is slightly browned.

6. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then serve and enjoy!

*Quick Tip: For a bit more sweetness, saute the onions in a little oil before adding them to the casserole.

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Comments

  1. Sounds wonderful! I’ll try something similar in the morning :).

  2. Your recipe sounds a lot like a strata. In any case it sounds delicious, thanks for sharing. ☺

    • Yes! It’s very similar to strata or a savory bread pudding. The only difference is that this recipe doesn’t really involve layering ingredients like a strata does. I just mix ’em all up together. Glad you like it! 🙂

  3. Made this for Father’s Day brunch and it was really good – thank you for sharing!

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