Bacon Crouton Breakfast Casserole
Who knew? Croutons are my new secret weapon in my quest to make new and interesting breakfast casseroles. As I made this dish, I felt like I was on the show Chopped. I didn't have high expectations - thinking I was using a mystery ingredient in place of something more fitting. I couldn't have been more wrong. This casserole was fantastic! It had just the right amount of bacon. The croutons softened, but still held their shape. The vegetables added the perfect amount of freshness. Someone in the test kitchen said, "It reminds me of pizza... I'm not sure exactly why." I understood what they meant. This dish was even better as reheated leftovers, just as pizza often is. I loved this recipe and I'll make it again for sure. (This recipe was submitted in 2007. It was tested and photographed in August 2015.)
- 6 slices of bacon - cooked and crumbled (retain a couple teaspoons of bacon grease)
3 Tablespoons butter - melted
1 and 1/2 cups croutons
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 large eggs - slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup green or red pepper - diced
2 green onions - chopped
1 handful of mushrooms - sliced
1 and 1/2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper - to taste
How To Make a Bacon Crouton Breakfast Casserole
Over medium-high heat, saute the pepper and mushrooms in the retained bacon grease. Cooking until tender. Drain over paper towels. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare a medium-small baking dish (like 7x7 inch) with a light coating of cooking spray.
Layer the croutons in the bottom of the dish and drizzle evenly with melted butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, crumbled bacon, 1/2 of the cheese, peppers, onion, mushrooms, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour this mixture over the croutons. Top the casserole with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until eggs are set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the casserole stand 10 minutes. Cut into equal portions and serve warm.
Cooking Notes From Mr Breakfast
I deviated from the submitted recipe just slightly. I replaced the green onion with 1/4 cup chopped white onion which I sauteed with the green pepper. Rather than mixing most of the ingredients together, I created layers: 1) butter soaked croutons; 2) vegetables; 3) bacon; 4) cheese; and 5) the beaten egg mixture. I don't think that it impacted the outcome very much. I mostly did that for the pictures.
I used an 8 x 8-inch pan. I believe it would have been better in a 7 x 7-inch pan as the recipe indicates. My pieces were just a tad too flat.
You could use really dry bread in place of the croutons, but if you have seasoned croutons like garlic or herb, use those. It makes this familiar family dish taste fancy and people will ask you what your secret is.
Mr Breakfast would like to thank The Boss for this recipe.
Recipe number 2118. Submitted 8/23/2007.