If you value the first meal of the day, it's worth looking beyond the usual suspects. While a midweek early breakfast may not be the time to experiment in the kitchen, it's well worth it on the weekend or if you are hosting guests for brunch. Pancakes and omelets are all fine and good, but Tasting Table recipe developer Tess Le Moing goes a step further. Her savory breakfast bagel casserole is a delicious alternative that provides all the same goods: bacon, eggs, cheese, and bagels. Once you get the hang of this easy concoction, you'll be able to customize it with your favorite types of cheese and bagel varieties.
Le Moing shares, "I'm in love with the way it looks! When I Googled 'bagel casserole' all the recipes cut the bagel into smaller pieces to the point that you couldn't tell it was a bagel. They looked like any other bread pudding." Instead, Le Moing took matters into her own hands. "When I serve a bagel casserole, I want to see bagels! So I thought keeping them in a half-moon shape would make for a more visually pleasing presentation." Indeed, this hearty morning dish is packed with contrasting flavors and textures, while simultaneously dazzling diners with its good looks.
Read more: 55 Breakfast Recipes To Start Your Day
Gather The Ingredients For This Savory Breakfast Bagel Casserole
For this recipe, pick up bacon slices and soften some butter. This recipe makes perfect use of stale bagels, though Le Moing notes that you can toast fresh ones if you can't wait for them to naturally dry out. "Slice them as instructed in the recipe and bake them in a 350 F oven for 5 to 10 minutes until just toasted. You want them dried out but not browned," she explains. Any type of bagel works here, and Le Moing lists: "Sesame, poppy, whole wheat, cheddar, you name it!"
Next, you'll need sliced cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese to pair with bacon and eggs), whole milk, and eggs. Finally, to season the dish Le Moing calls for salt, pepper, and everything bagel seasoning. However, she points out that you can skip the everything bagel seasoning if you are using everything bagels. Serve this with your sides or sauces of choice, or follow Le Moing's suggestion and bring out the ketchup.
Cook The Bacon And Prep The Cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 F, then place the bacon strips on a baking sheet. Once the oven reaches temperature, transfer the tray to a rack and bake for about 20 minutes or until the bacon reaches optimal crispness. Line a plate with a paper towel, then use tongs to place the bacon on top to absorb the grease. Next, cut the bacon and cheese slices in half to prep them for assembly.
Assemble The Dish With The Egg Mixture
Next, you'll need to slice the bagels first in half crosswise, then again to make half-moon shapes. Spread the softened butter over every slice, then place the pieces butter-side down in a cast-iron skillet. Carefully arrange the bagels so the pieces are snug next to each other. Then, place a slice of bacon and cheese between each piece of bagel, letting them show so the cheese melts in the oven.
Add the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and whisk the contents until the mixture is smooth. Pour it over the bagels in the pan, ensuring that the egg mixture is spread evenly throughout. "Because they're arranged in a spiral, they're half submerged in the egg and half exposed to the heat of the oven," Le Moing notes and adds, "So, the texture of the bagels [is] the perfect balance of soft and crunchy." Finish it off with a sprinkling of everything bagel seasoning, then cover the skillet and transfer it to the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight (in the morning, you will be extra happy the work is already done).
Bake The Savory Bagel Casserole Then Serve
Once you're ready, check that the oven is at 350 F and bake the casserole for 40 minutes until the eggs are set and start to puff up. Remove the skillet from the oven and let the contents cool down for 10 minutes or so, before doling out the portions.
"You can serve this on its own with coffee and ketchup," Le Moing suggests, "Or for a more special occasion, you could serve it with a fruit salad, hash browns, and mimosas!" Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. "You can reheat leftovers in the microwave, or in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes," Le Moing instructs.
Savory Breakfast Bagel Casserole Recipe
Prep Time: 45mCook Time: 1hYield: 4 ServingsIngredients
6 slices bacon
6 slices cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter, softened
3 stale bagels
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon everything bagel seasoning
ketchup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Place the bacon on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until it's reached your desired crispness.
Use tongs to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Cut the bacon strips and cheese slices in half.
Slice the bagels in half, crosswise, then slice them again into half-moon shapes.
Butter all the bagel slices and arrange them as shingles around the cast iron skillet, buttered-side down.
Nestle 1 piece of cheese and 1 piece of bacon between each bagel, allowing them to peak out in places.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Pour the mixture evenly over the bagels, cheese, and bacon, then sprinkle everything bagel seasoning on top.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
Bake the dish for 40 minutes at 350 F until the eggs are set and puffy.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving it with ketchup, if desired.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.