Overnight French Toast Casserole is an easy make-ahead breakfast recipe perfect for easy weekend mornings or to feed a crowd. Mouthwatering ingredients like strawberry preserves, cream cheese and fresh berries will make this a new favorite!
Updated May 17, 2018
I love a long weekend especially when I have special recipes on hand to make it easier and more fun. My priority is spending time with friends and family, not slaving in the kitchen. Warmer weather makes it easy to pop things on the grill without much effort, saving lots of prep time and clean-up for lunch and dinner.
Breakfast should be just as easy shouldn’t it? With this Overnight French Toast Casserole it IS!
I’m sharing a family favorite today that is perfect when hosting a houseful or just wanting a Sunday brunch feel without the slaving to make it happen. A make-ahead breakfast casserole is the ticket, especially when it can be made the night before.
I originally shared a holiday version of this eggnog (Overnight Strawberry-Eggnog French Toast Breakfast Casserole). It makes breakfast festive and delicious with a special holiday flavor signature of eggnog.
Tasting Notes for Overnight French Toast Casserole
Easily made either with gluten or gluten-free bread, the combination of the baguette, strawberry preserves, Neufchatel (light cream cheese) and an egg-milk mixture does not become soggy overnight as one might imagine.
Instead it bakes up with a crunchy, toasted bread top covering a bread pudding underneath. Candidly my family is happy to nosh on this for any meal of snack when I make it.
The flavor is irresistible. The homey flavor of strawberry preserves combine with the tangy light cream cheese, nutmeg, brown sugar and berries with the custardy texture of the bottom layer for a comfort food breakfast recipe you’ll love.
A Good Baguette Is Key for a great Overnight French Toast Casserole
The texture of a baguette as opposed to regular bread is the secret to this delicious recipe! It allows the overnight soaking and still holds it’s structure (thought the bottom layer softens when baking in an appealing way), and the top crisps perfectly.
Traditional bread would not provide the same result largely due to the texture of the outside layer of the baguette which is firmer and covers more surface area of the bread.
How to Make Overnight French Toast Casserole – Step by Step:
Strawberry preserves are briefly microwaved to acheive a consistency that can be drizzled. Half the amount of cubed baguettes are added in a single layer to a lightly buttered 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish.
Cubed Neufchatel or lower fat cream cheese are spread evenly over the bread followed by even drizzling of the preserves. The remaining bread is spead on top.
Eggs, spices and half and half are whisked together and poured evenly over the top of the bread. Berries and brown sugar are distributed over the top; the casserole is sealed and chilled overnight or up to 24 hours.
The casserole is baked for 20 minutes covered and an additional 10-15 uncovered. After cooling for a few minutes the Overnight French Toast Casserole is served with warm syrup!
More Easy Crowd-Pleasing Breakfast Recipe:
- Christmas Breakfast Enchilada Casserole: an Easy Breakfast Casserole All Year Round!
- Overnight Gluten-Free English Muffin Breakfast Casserole
- Overnight Lemon Muffin Breakfast Trifles
If you’ve tried this Overnight French Toast Casserole recipe or any other recipe on BoulderLocavore.com please don’t forget to RATE THE RECIPE and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
Overnight French Toast Casserole in Red, White and Blue
Total Time NOTE: the time noted is for compiling the casserole and cooking ;it does not include the chilling time.
- 1 cup Strawberry Preserves
- 9 cups French bread baguette cut into 1 ½ inch cubes (approximately one 13 ounce baguette) I used 3 Udi’s gluten-free French Baguette
- 1 8-ounce package Neufchatel Cheese or lower fat Cream Cheese , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 large Eggs
- 2 cups Half and Half
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg , freshly grated if possible
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 cup fresh Raspberries (frozen and thawed berries may be used)
- 1 cup fresh Blueberries (frozen and thawed berries may be used)
- Lightly butter a 13x9 inch baking dish.
- Place the strawberry preserves in a bowl and microwave for a minute until they are fluid enough to drizzle; set aside.
- Spread half of the bread cubes in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Evenly distribute the Neufchatel or cream cheese cubes over the bread. Drizzle the warmed preserved evenly over the bread and Neufchatel.
- Distribute the remaining bread cubes over the top of the mixture.
- Whisk together the eggs, half and half, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour evenly over the casserole.
- Sprinkle the berries over the top of the casserole, followed by the brown sugar. Seal tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered an additional 10-15 minutes until the casserole sets at the bottom.
Note: if needed place the foil loosely back onto the top of the casserole for the last 5 minutes so the bread does not over brown.
- Remove from oven allow to cool for a few minutes and serve. May be served as with traditional French toast with syrup if desired (it's great and sweet enough without it too!)