Casseroles are the working parent’s dream because they’re extremely friendly for meal prep, are easy to make, and they feed an army. Come on, your mom always had condensed soup cans on standby, eagerly waiting to be mixed with other cans of whatever she had on hand, right? Usually, it was green beans or tuna, and when mixed with rice or egg noodles, you had yourself a meal. These days, when making casseroles for meal prep, I like to use fewer cans and more fresh ingredients for a complete meal that’s not only easy and affordable but also fresh and healthy. This make-ahead everything bagel breakfast casserole is an elevated, modern breakfast casserole that uses everyone’s favorite breakfast food: everything bagels.
How Do I Meal Prep a Breakfast Casserole?
The first thing I like to do when making this breakfast casserole for meal prep is getting the everything bagels ready. This recipe is a fantastic way to use stale bagels (they don’t have to be everything bagels, and you can use other day-old bread), because if they are on the dry side, they will soak up more of the lovely egg mixture. It makes for a creamy, custardy texture, and that way you don’t have to throw away your stale bagels. If you don’t have day-old bagels, you can dry out fresh ones by cutting them up and baking them on a sheet pan for 12-15 minutes at 300° F.
After your meal prep your bagels, get your other ingredients ready. Since this is for breakfast, I wouldn’t say I like to use anything too complicated. Some fresh and healthy bell pepper, ham, scallions, cream cheese, and cheddar are my favorites and taste delicious with the everything bagels. Cutting the ingredients into 1/2-inch cubes are the perfect size for this breakfast meal prep. I love that you don’t have to cook anything separately, as the veggies will soften in the casserole. There is also no added oil, so this is a very nutritious casserole with eggs and fresh vegetables.
The only other thing you have to do for this casserole meal prep is make the custard, which is just egg mixed with half and half or milk, shredded cheddar, and some seasonings. After mixing your custard, you can assemble the casserole. Just grease a baking dish, layer in your bagels, vegetables, and ham. Evenly pour over your custard and dot with cream cheese. Cover in plastic wrap, refrigerate, and that’s it. Your casserole is meal prepped, and all you have to do is wait for the bagels to soak up the custard. The breakfast casserole has to sit for at least 2 hours, but it can be made the night before serving, which is why it’s so great for meal prep. It’s perfect for special occasions.
Make-Ahead Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
3 everything bagels, split and cut into 1-inch cubes*
Nonstick cooking spray or butter, for greasing
8 ounces ham, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
10 large eggs
1 cup whole milk or half and half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon everything bagel seasoning*
*day-old bagels are best because since they are drier, they soak up more of the custard than fresh bagels. You can make fresh bagels stale by baking in a 300° F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until dry and slightly crisp.
*If you don’t have everything seasoning, you can make your own by combining equal parts white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, and dried garlic flakes, with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
Meal Prep the Casserole:
Grease 9x13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or half and half, cheddar, salt, pepper, and cayenne, until well combined.
Place the bagel cubes in the greased casserole dish in an even layer. Evenly layer the ham, bell pepper, and scallions over the bagel cubes.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole contents, using clean hands or a rubber spatula to lightly press the bagel cubes, encouraging them to soak up the custard.
Evenly place the cream cheese cubes over the casserole, then sprinkle with everything seasoning.
Cover the casserole with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Bake the casserole:
When ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 375° F. Remove the plastic wrap, and allow the casserole to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Bake the casserole for 45-55 minutes, or until the casserole is puffed and set and the edges are golden brown.
Let cool for 15 minutes, before cutting into slices, sprinkling with chopped scallions, and serving.
This make-ahead everything bagel breakfast casserole is one of my favorite ways to make breakfast for meal prep. It’s not only super easy to meal prep, but it feeds 8 people generously, and the leftovers are just as good as a serving right out of the oven. I make it not only for weekday breakfasts, reheating individual slices in the morning, but also when I have company and need to feed a crowd. Breakfast is essential for getting your day off to a good start, so don’t forget to have some meal prep recipes in your back pocket for those extra busy days.
This Make-Ahead Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole is the perfect answer to portion-controlled, fresh and healthy meal prep. If you live in Southern California and want more meals like this delivered to your door, My Healthy Penguin is a delivery service that takes the guesswork out of meal prep and healthy eating. Delicious, wholesome meals are delivered to you every week, making your journey to a healthier lifestyle a lot smoother and more consistent. Check out this week’s menu to get started and jump on the healthy meal prep bandwagon.
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