Crockpot Egg Casserole
In some iteration of my wildest dreams, I walk downstairs every morning to find a beautiful, filling, and wholesome breakfast prepared and waiting for me. The plates are white, the napkins cute and colorful, and a trendy bud vase filled with fresh blooms is at the center of the table. While I won’t be living out my tablescape fantasies anytime soon, I do have a recipe that is the closest thing I can imagine to feeling like you have a personal breakfast chef: Crockpot Egg Casserole!
I was about to type “a recipe that will make you feel like you’ve ordered room service” instead, but since the optimal location for cooking a slow cooker egg casserole overnight is probably your kitchen, the analogy didn’t quite apply. I do regret that you will have to walk from your bedroom to the kitchen to enjoy it. I promise the slight inconvenience will be worth your effort!
Unless, of course, you want to live risky and actually plug the crockpot into an outlet in your bedroom. THAT would be a true in-room dining experience.
I’ll leave the final location for this healthy crockpot breakfast to your discretion. No matter which outlet you choose, you can stir this recipe together the night before and set it to slow cook on low, and in the morning you’ll have a restaurant-worthy breakfast ready to be served!
As someone who wakes up every morning ready to eat right NOW (and who wouldn’t trust herself to follow a recipe until coffee has restored her to a basic level of functionality), I relish make-ahead breakfast recipes like this easy crockpot breakfast casserole.
During the week, I keep it simple with overnight steel cut oats (for a hot version, see these overnight slow cooker steel cut oats). Weekends, however, leave me craving something heartier and more indulgent.
An overnight crockpot breakfast with bacon, gooey fontina cheese, and vegetables for color + justification of extra servings? That is my idea of a Saturday or Sunday morning lived to the fullest.
Ben and I don’t go out for breakfast or brunch often, in part because I usually love the breakfasts we cook at home more. Making your own brunch is an easy way to save money, and since breakfast recipes are generally super simple, you don’t need much experience to pull off something restaurant-worthy anyway.
I also love to avoid long weekend brunch wait times, which I find to be the most painful of all restaurant waits. No one has eaten yet that day, so by the time we’re seated, have debated the menu and placed an order, and the food has arrived, a few of us (ahem, me) tend to be fairly feisty.
This Crockpot Egg Casserole is all the reasons I love making brunch at home—it’s easy, ultra delicious, and begs to be eaten in PJs—without the one thing I don’t like about brunch (waiting on it). Since it cooks overnight, it’s ready to serve when you’re ready to eat.
Making the Best Overnight Crockpot Egg Casserole
This overnight breakfast recipe is a super-loaded, savory version of a crockpot breakfast French toast. Like overnight French toast casseroles (this overnight blueberry French toast being a personal favorite), it uses cubes of bread and is topped with a mixture of eggs and milk.
Instead of sweet or fruity ingredients, however, this Crockpot Egg Casserole swaps ingredients that you’d see in a classic egg bake, frittata, or omelet.
- Cheese. Use one “melty” cheese and one “crumbly” cheese for a nice variation of textures and flavors. I opted for fontina for the melty cheese and feta for the crumbly. For the melty, cheddar, Swiss, or mozzarella would be excellent choices. For the crumbly, I suspect goat cheese would be exquisite.
- Vegetables. I gave the recipe a Mediterranean twist with artichokes (the canned kind are ultra convenient and perfect here), spinach (frozen chopped spinach keeps it quick and easy), and a sweet red bell pepper.
- Bacon. Guaranteed to make any day feel like the weekend and the house choice. You can swap crumbled sausage or cubed ham if you like. For a vegetarian version, simply omit it. This crockpot egg casserole with bread is plenty hearty without meat too.
- Bread. A baguette or artisan sourdough loaf is my favorite. If you use a whole-grain option, make sure the taste of the wheat isn’t too pronounced or it will overtake the more delicate flavors of the vegetables and cheeses. (Many breakfast casseroles swap frozen potatoes for the bread. Personally, I love the fluffy, custardy, decadent texture you get with bread and bread alone, so I took the crockpot egg casserole no hash browns approach.)
- Dijon Mustard + Cayenne. A little of each adds depth and gives the egg casserole a true “I could be eating this in a restaurant” effect.
Crockpot Egg Casserole Recipe Tips
- For easy cleanup, I absolutely recommend using a slow cooker liner like this to make sure the eggs don’t stick to your slow cooker. You can pick up the liner by its sides and lift the whole casserole directly onto a serving plate or a casserole dish if you’d like to keep it warm in the oven.
- If you have day-old bread, use that. If you don’t, simply toast the bread cubes in the oven for a few minutes to dry them out. This ensures the bread is primed for soaking up the yummy egg mixture.
- Cook on LOW. If you try to cook the casserole on high, the outside edges of the eggs will burn, the insides won’t cook all the way through, and you may be forced to abandon ship and stand in line for brunch elsewhere.
- Every slow cooker is different! Mine (this is very similar to the model I own) finished at right about 7 hours. Check early to be safe—if you want to sleep longer, you can always wake up and take a peek at the casserole, pull it out if it’s done (or reset the timer if it’s not), then roll back into bed until you are ready to eat. Once you have the cooking time down for your particular crockpot model, you’ll be able to time it perfectly going forward.
- If you do need to pull the casserole out before you are ready to serve it and it cools off, you can rewarm individual servings in the microwave or place the whole thing in a baking dish, cover it with foil, and warm it in the oven.
- For a gluten-free version, swap gluten-free bread.
(Almost) room service, at your service!
Crockpot Egg Casserole
- 6 slices center-cut bacon — cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper — seeded and 1/4-inch-diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium shallot — finely chopped (about 1/4 cup) or 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 12 large eggs
- 2 cups nonfat milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 4 lightly packed cups 3/4-inch-cubed day-old baguette — about 6 1/2 ounces
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach — thawed and squeezed as dry as possible
- 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts — drained, roughly chopped, and patted dry
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese — or similar melty cheese, such as provolone or mozzarella
- 4 ounces block-style feta — crumbled
For easy cleanup, line a 6-quart slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner and coat the liner with nonstick spray.
In a large cast-iron skillet or similar large, thick-bottomed pan, sauté the bacon over medium low, until the fat has rendered and the bacon pieces are crisp, about 10 minutes. (Resist the temptation to rush it, or the bacon will burn.) With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet.
Return the pan to the stove and heat over medium. Add the bell pepper and shallot. Cook until the pepper is softened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne until the whites and yolks are completely incorporated and the eggs are slightly foamy.
Assemble the casserole: Arrange the bread cubes in the bottom of the slow cooker in an even layer. Top with half of the bell pepper mixture, then half of the spinach (break up any clumps to scatter it over the top), artichoke hearts, and fontina. Repeat with the remaining bell peppers, spinach, artichoke hearts, and fontina. Top with the feta.
Carefully pour the egg mixture over the top. If needed, use the back of a large spoon to push down the bread and cheese so that they are mostly submerged in the liquid. Sprinkle the bacon on top.
Cook for on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the eggs are set. Remove the casserole (still in the liner) from the slow cooker and transfer it to a large plate. Let cool in the liner for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the liner. Slice and serve.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 of 8) — Calories: 321, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 308mg, Carbohydrates: 23g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 22g
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