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 will make you feel 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!
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 easy crockpot breakfast casserole recipes like this one.
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.
How about making an overnight crockpot breakfast with bacon, gooey fontina cheese, and vegetables for color + justification of extra servings? I don’t know about you, but that is my idea of a Saturday or Sunday morning lived to the fullest.
Why I Love This Easy Egg Casserole
Ben and I don’t go out for breakfast or brunch often, in part because I usually enjoy 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.
You won’t have to wait on this easy crockpot breakfast casserole. The prep happens in the night before, so in the morning, it’s ready the moment you are!
What is a Crockpot Casserole?
- A crockpot casserole is just like any other casserole you would make in the oven, but it’s cooked low and slow in the crockpot instead. It also requires less hands-on tending than baked casserole recipes.
- For a breakfast crockpot casserole, you can prep everything the night before, and a healthy crockpot breakfast will be waiting for you when you wake up.
Making the Best Overnight Crockpot Breakfast 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 is savory. It uses ingredients that you’d find in a classic egg bake, frittata, or omelet.
- Eggs. What can you do with lots of eggs? Well, this recipe uses 12 (!!) large eggs, so making crockpot egg casserole is certainly my first choice.
- 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 cheese, 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. While egg casserole with bacon is my favorite, you can swap crumbled sausage or cubed ham if you like.
- 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.
- Line your slow cooker with a disposable liner. You’ll be glad you did this.
- Sauté the bacon on the stove, then remove to a paper-towel-lined plate. Keep 1 tablespoon drippings in the skillet.
- Add the pepper and shallot to the pan, and cook until softened.
- In a big bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, and spices until incorporated.
- Layer the bread, sautéed vegetables, and melty cheese in the slow cooker. Top with even more cheese.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture over all of the ingredients, and sprinkle the bacon on top.
- Cook for 7 to 8 hours on LOW. Remove the casserole to a plate (still in the liner). Let cool, then remove the liner. Slice and serve. ENJOY!
- To Make Gluten Free. Swap gluten-free bread for the regular bread.
- To Make Vegetarian. For a vegetarian egg casserole, omit the bacon, and sauté the vegetables in olive oil instead. This crockpot egg casserole with bread will be plenty hearty without the meat.
- You can also try this delicious Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole.
Healthy Egg Casserole Recipe Tips
- 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.
- Toast the Bread. 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.
- Check Early. Mine 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.
How do You Store Egg Casserole?
- To Store. Store egg casserole in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat casserole in a casserole or similar baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also gently rewarm leftovers in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate until warmed through.
- To Freeze. You can freeze an egg casserole! Place leftover casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can also wrap individual portions and freeze them so that you can thaw one portion at a time. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Make Ahead. If the casserole finishes before you are ready to serve it, 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.
What Can You Bring to a Breakfast Potluck?
While this crockpot egg casserole is perfect to bring to a potluck by itself, here are a few suggestions of what else you could bring with it:
- Bacon. For the ultimate meat-lovers breakfast, serve some Baked Bacon with this casserole.
- Potatoes. Egg casserole with potatoes would be delicious. These Crockpot Breakfast Potatoes are always a hit at a potluck. You could also serve egg casserole with hash browns on the side.
- Biscuits. Serve your crockpot breakfast casserole with biscuits (like these Easy Drop Biscuits) for a delicious, extra-filling spread.
Recommended Tools for Making Slow Cooker Egg Casserole
- Slow Cooker. This version switches to “keep warm” to deter overcooking.
- Slow Cooker Liner. Helps keep the casserole from sticking to your slow cooker.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to tell if your casserole is done.
(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.
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