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This easy French toast casserole is a crowd-pleasing option for a holiday breakfast or brunch! It’s quick to prepare, with only 10 minutes of prep time and no need for overnight chilling. With cubes of French bread soaked in creamy cinnamon-infused custard and a crunchy toasted pecan topping, this French toast casserole is seriously everyone’s favorite brunch recipe!
French toast casserole is one of my favorite recipes to make when I’m hosting a brunch. Unlike traditional French toast, a French toast bake doesn’t require you to stand at the stovetop flipping bread, which means more time to enjoy company. Plus, it’s a whole lot easier to serve a crowd!
This easy French toast casserole is also a great option if you’re hosting a last-minute get-together because you don’t need to make it in advance—just assemble it and pop it in the oven! With its rich custard, crusty French bread, and lots of cozy cinnamon, it’s guaranteed to be a hit.
Table of contents
- Recipe At a Glance
- Ingredients Needed to Make This Quick French Toast Casserole
- How to Make French Toast Casserole
- Tips for Making the Best French Toast Bake
- Popular substitutions & additions
- How to Store & Reheat French Toast Casserole
- Frequently asked questions
- more breakfast recipes:
Recipe At a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: American (French toast isn’t really French—it’s an American invention!)
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Maple
Skill Level: Easy
- Healthier Version: Because I don’t use cream or butter in this recipe, and instead add a whole cup of Greek yogurt to the custard, it’s a lighter version that has added richness with more protein.
- Make Ahead or Bake Right Away: If you’d like, you can make this healthy French toast casserole the night before and then bake it, or you can assemble it and bake it immediately.
- Fuss-Free Breakfast: Don’t worry about flipping single pieces of French toast on the griddle all morning. Free up your time by baking all the French toast together!
- A Crowd-Pleaser: Everyone loves this easy French toast casserole, and it serves 12. If you’re serving other main dishes along with the French toast, you can get even more than 12 servings out of it!
Ingredients Needed to Make This Quick French Toast Casserole
- French bread: One loaf of bread cut into cubes.
- Eggs: This is a rich custard, so we use 8 eggs to soak into the bread while baking.
- Dairy: For this French toast breakfast casserole, we use a 2:1 ratio of milk and Greek yogurt that will be whisked together with the eggs and other ingredients. I love the addition of yogurt for its slight tanginess and thicker consistency.
- Pecans: You can use any nut you like, and since they’ll be chopped, you can buy the less expensive pieces instead of whole nuts.
- Flavoring: To the French toast batter, mix in maple syrup for sweetener, and vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to enhance the flavor.
How to Make French Toast Casserole
If you’re planning on making this healthy French toast casserole in advance, assemble it through Step 6, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Assemble the French Toast Bake
- Add the custard ingredients to a bowl.
- Whisk everything together until the eggs are beaten and incorporated.
- Add the cubed bread to a large baking dish.
- Pour the custard mixture over the cubed bread.
- Gently toss the bread with the custard to ensure it’s all coated.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top.
Top with pecans and bake your casserole
- You can let the custard soak into the bread for a few minutes if you like a softer French toast casserole or add it straight into a preheated oven to retain more of the texture of the bread.
- Bake until the edges of the French toast casserole are golden, the top is crunchy, and the center is soft and puffy.
Tips for Making the Best French Toast Bake
- Use crusty bread to avoid soft, mushy French toast. If you don’t have any stale or crusty bread, I would recommend toasting the bread after cutting it into cubes. Toasting it draws out the natural moisture in the bread. This will help achieve the best texture.
- Leave the crust on the bread. This will add a crunchy-crisp texture to the French toast casserole. I think even picky eaters who hate bread crust won’t mind it when it’s crispy and drizzled with maple syrup!
- Give it a good gentle mix. Since we’re not going to chill the French toast overnight, it’s important to make sure that the custard mixture is well-incorporated into the cubed bread. Don’t leave any dry cubes!
- Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated. You can even blend them in a mini blender, and then pour them into the custard. Unincorporated streaks or blobs of egg white will have a strong eggy flavor.
Popular substitutions & additions
- Add fruit. This French toast casserole is easy to change up with seasonal fruit. Try apples or pears in the fall, berries in the spring, and fresh peaches in the summer.
- Change the spices. Apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, nutmeg, and other warm spices are excellent in this quick French toast casserole recipe.
- Make it nut-free. Swap the pecan topping with pepitas or streusel for a nut-free option.
- Try another bread. In addition to French bread, you can use a baguette, brioche, sourdough, or challah.
How to Store & Reheat French Toast Casserole
Store any leftovers in an airtight container. You can reheat individual slices in the microwave, but the best way to reheat is to pop the baking dish back in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes. This will warm the French toast through and re-crisp the top.
How long will French toast casserole last in the fridge?
Leftover French toast bake will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze French Toast Bake?
Yes, you can freeze this healthy French toast casserole in an airtight container, freezer bag, or wrapped in the baking dish for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
Frequently asked questions
You can make the batter up to 24 hours ahead of time. You can also prepare the entire dish in advance if you have very thick and crusty bread that will hold up to being soaked for hours. If you do, keep it covered in the fridge.
If your French toast casserole turned out soggy, it’s likely because it either soaked too long in the custard or because the bread you used was soft and either fresh or untoasted. If you use tender bread like challah or brioche, it should be either stale or toasted.
Baked French toast casserole is lightly sweetened, but you may want to add additional sweetener by dusting it with powdered sugar or serving it with maple syrup. For something fancier, pair your French toast bake with creme anglaise—you can make a cheater’s version by melting vanilla ice cream!
This easy French toast casserole is the ultimate holiday breakfast when you want to serve up something sweet and memorable! It will definitely be making an appearance at our annual Christmas breakfast. Skip the hassle of standing by the stove all morning and pan-frying individual slices of French toast. This gives you more time with your family!
more breakfast recipes:
- Stuffed French Toast
- Strawberries Stuffed French Toast
- Pecan Overnight French Toast
- French Toast Sticks
- Sheet Pan Pancakes
- Banana Pancake Dippers
- Pink Pancakes
- Vegan French Toast
- Blueberry French Toast Casserole
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French Toast Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 13×9-inch baking dish
- Place the bread cubes in the greased baking dish; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour evenly over the bread cubes. Use a spoon to carefully coat all the bread cubes with the batter.
- Top the french toast with the chopped pecans. Then drizzle more maple syrup over the pecans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top starts browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent the casserole from drying out.
- Let stand for 5 minutes to cool. Serve with maple syrup if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.