Mix-and-Match Brunch Casserole

Customize this favorite for your guests: It's a foolproof crowd-pleaser.

Photograph by Kana Okada


1. Choose Your Bread 
Cut bread into 1-inch cubes to make 6 cups. (Day-old bread works best.)

*Country white
* Semolina, crusts removed
*Sourdough, crusts removed
*Hot dog buns
*Croissants
* Potato bread
*Challah
*Baguette

2. Prep Your Cheese
Shred or crumble 2 cups total.

*Cheddar
*Swiss 
*Monterey jack
*Pepper jack
*Goat cheese
*Muenster
*Fontina

3. Pick Your Veggies 
Prepare 1 1/2 to 3 cups total.

*Onions, sliced and caramelized
*Plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
*Zucchini, chopped and sautéed 
*Butternut squash, peeled, chopped and roasted 
*Broccoli florets, blanched and chopped
*Frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and sautéed 
*Bell peppers,chopped and sautéed 
*Kale or spinach, chopped and sautéed 
*Mushrooms, sliced and sautéed 

4. Choose Your Meat (Optional)
Prepare 1 to 1 1/2 cups (choose 1).

*Bacon, cooked and crumbled
*Sausage, cooked and crumbled
*Ham, diced
*Rotisserie chicken, shredded
*Kielbasa, diced and sautéed 

5. Make the Custard

Whisk 10 eggs in a large bowl with 3 cups half-and-half and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Whisk in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any of the following:

*Grated parmesan
*Canned green chiles, drained and diced
*Olives, chopped and patted dry
*Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, chopped and patted dry
*Herbs (basil, chives, cilantro and/or parsley), chopped
*Scallions, chopped

6. Bake the Casserole 
Scatter half of the bread in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups cheese, then add the vegetables, meat and remaining bread. Pour the custard on top; cover with plastic wrap and let stand 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight (bring to room temperature before baking). Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Uncover; sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until slightly puffed and just set, 40 to 50 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.