Overnight Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole
This easy Ham and Egg Casserole is a delicious, sweet, savory, make-ahead breakfast casserole featuring ham, cheese, and cubed bread.
There is something about sweet and savory combinations at breakfast. From Candied Bacon Maple to Breakfast Sliders to this Ham and Egg Casserole, these recipes satisfy both your sweet and salty cravings and are perfect for brunch.
From the salty ham to the sharp cheddar to the sweet cinnamon raisin bread to the rich egg custard, this Ham and Egg Casserole is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, and unbelievably delicious. And it is incredibly easy to make.
In fact, this simple egg casserole with ham only takes a few minutes of prep work, but what truly makes it perfect for holiday brunches or hosting out-of-town guests, is that all the work is done the night before you intend to serve it.
Making this Overnight Ham and Egg Casserole one of the easiest brunch recipes to entertain with. Your only duty will be to brew the coffee, and possibly assemble some Bellinis while your casserole bakes. Easy-peasy and delicious!
Notes on Key Ingredients
This ham and egg breakfast casserole is an excellent example of how you can use leftover ingredients to create something new and divine. It is a great dish to put leftover ham, whether using leftover Instant Pot Honey Baked Ham or Baked Ham, and stale bread to use. The stale bread will absorb the egg custard better and the ham is given new life in this sweet and savory breakfast casserole.
- Bread: You can use any type of bread you like, and stale bread or bread that is slightly dried out is best. I love using sweet bread, such as Cranberry Walnut Bread or Cinnamon Raisin Bread, as both options lend a subtle sweetness to the dish that pairs beautifully with the savory ham and sharp cheese.
- Ham: Use either leftover Instant Pot Honey Baked Ham or Baked Ham, or cubed ham steak. If you don’t have ham on hand, cooked, crumbled maple breakfast sausage is a great alternative.
- Cheese: I recommend using sharp cheddar, Colby, or Swiss cheese for this breakfast casserole, as they all have a great melty factor and contrast well with the ham and sweet bread. It is also important to note that it is best to grate the cheese yourself, as it will melt more uniformly than pre-grated cheese that is coated in anti-caking agents.
- Dijon Mustard: A little bit of Dijon adds a nice kick to the egg custard. Use either brown or Dijon mustard, not yellow mustard, for the best results.
- Maple Syrup: Just a touch of pure maple syrup will marry the ham, eggs, and cheese together. If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, replace it with brown sugar.
- Half and Half: For a rich, creamy custard use half and half. If you don’t have half and half on hand, whole milk or a combination of milk and heavy cream will work in its place.
- Nutmeg: I recommend using whole nutmeg and grating with a Microplane. Whole nutmeg’s flavor is superior to dried ground nutmeg, and it lasts indefinitely in your pantry.
How to Make Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole
- Grease a large casserole dish with butter. This will help the casserole not stick to the baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, mustard, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined. Set aside.
- Cube the bread of your choice into ½-inch cubes and then spread the cubes out into an even layer in the greased dish.
- Sprinkle the ham evenly over the bread and then top with the shredded cheese.
- Pour the egg casserole over the layers, and then using your hands, lightly push the ingredients down to submerge them in the egg mixture.
- Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight, or for up to 18 hours. This will give the bread time to absorb the egg mixture and all the flavors marry together.
- When ready to bake the egg casserole, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature and the oven preheats. This is crucial, as you don’t ever want to put a really cold dish into a hot oven, as it can crack due to the extreme change in temperature.
- Once the oven is fully preheated, remove the plastic wrap from the casserole dish and bake the Ham and Egg Casserole until the eggs are set.
- Serve warm with additional maple syrup if desired.
Short on Time?
This ham and egg breakfast casserole is best assembled in advance, which will allow for the bread to absorb the egg custard and all the flavors to really marry together. I recommend refrigeration for at least 6 hours.
However, if you do not have time to refrigerate the breakfast casserole overnight you can opt to bake it immediately after assembling it. To do this, be sure to firmly press the bread into the custard to “help” it absorbs the egg mixture and then bake for 10 minutes less than directed, as it will not be chilled. The result will be a more eggy casserole.
- Gluten-Free Modifications: If you need this breakfast casserole with ham to be gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free bread, and be sure your ham is gluten-free as well.
- Cranberry/Raisin Addition: If you want to have cranberries or raisins in this breakfast casserole without using raisin or cranberry bread, layer about ⅓ cup of raisins or cranberries with the bread, ham, and cheese before adding the egg custard.
More Breakfast Casserole Recipes
If you tried this recipe for a Breakfast Casserole with Ham, I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know how much you enjoyed this recipe!
Overnight Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole
This recipe makes a delicious make-ahead breakfast casserole made with ham, sharp cheddar cheese, and a sweet and savory egg custard.
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Butter a 2-quart or 9×13 casserole dish.
Evenly spread the cubed over the base of the casserole dish. Top evenly with ham and cheese. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together eggs, half and half, maple syrup, mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and ham. Use your hands to gently push the bread into the egg mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 18 hours.
In the morning, remove the casserole from the fridge while the oven preheats to 350 degrees F.
Once the oven has preheated, remove the plastic wrap from the casserole and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with maple syrup if desired.
Gluten-Free Modifications: If you need this to be gluten-free, use your favorite Gluten-Free Bread and be sure your ham is gluten-free as well.
Half and Half Notes: Feel free to use a combination of milk and cream in place of half and half. You can also use all milk or all cream if that is what you have on hand.
Ham Substitutions: Use your favorite cooked, maple breakfast sausage in place of the ham if desired.
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to warm through.
Freezing Casserole: Bake the casserole in a freezer-safe pan (like a foil disposable pan) and cool completely. Wrap well in foil and freeze. Defrost in refrigerator overnight and then bake, uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 137mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1.4mg
This post was originally published in 2017 but updated with new photos and a video in 2022.