Christmas morning is always a feast for the senses. The smell of the tree, the hum of holiday music, and now, the rich and welcoming smell of a fresh-out-of-the-oven casserole.
From an updated ham and cheese casserole — filled with fluffy eggs, pancetta, and Gruyére cheese — to a sweeter take, like lemon-scented baked French toast — here are 20 breakfast casseroles to make and serve at this year's Christmas brunch.
Sweet Breakfast Casseroles
This creamy, gooey, crunchy, and slightly savory casserole is a far cry from your standard French toast. It practically begs to be front and center at your next brunch.
This beautiful breakfast strata will win you over with its apple-cinnamon filling and not-too-sweet cream cheese glaze on top.
Whether you serve this rich, seasonal breakfast treat straight from the oven, or plate it up at room temperature for the late risers in the family, this is the kind of breakfast that makes Christmas morning a little more special.
Sometimes you need a breakfast that's just simple, straightforward, and plain delicious. This brioche French toast — layered with lemon zest and custard, and baked until puffy, golden, and silky-smooth inside — is just that.
Sweet and rich, with flaky layers of bread and cinnamon-flavored cream cheese sandwiched together, this casserole is just as good as a tray of hot cinnamon rolls.
Savory Breakfast Casseroles
This is one to memorize, folks, and to pull out for in-laws and overnight guests. Rich, eggy, and incredibly delicious, it may just be the very best brunch casserole you'll ever make.
When you're looking for an easy, hearty way to put breakfast on the table this holiday season, this eggy casserole — loaded with potatoes and bacon — is just the ticket.
Vegetarian breakfast casseroles often go extra-light, with fresh green vegetables or a smattering of herbs in the eggs. Well, not this one; this is a hearty vegetarian breakfast casserole with rich, deep flavor.
Filled with thick chunks of bread, crumbled sausage, eggs, and cheese, this is the kind of warm and cozy breakfast casserole that makes a cold Christmas morning especially bright.
This breakfast casserole is smart and delicious. It's everything you love about a Spanish tortilla — sliced potatoes, fluffy eggs, and bright pepper — baked into a simple gratin.
Meet the polenta breakfast bake — a no-stir, practically hands-off way to make a hearty breakfast that will last you all week.
Brie is the magical ingredient that makes this a truly memorable breakfast. As the cheese cooks, it melts to create a rich and gooey "sauce" for sautéed mushrooms and custard-soaked bread.
Traditional omelets are tricky when you're feeding a crowd, which is exactly why we love this baked Denver omelet — a pan of fluffy eggs baked with onions, colorful peppers, and ham.
Sausage lends just the right amount of light spice to this make-ahead breakfast casserole. And if you really want to get one step ahead, the frittata can be prepared and frozen until you're ready to bake it.
This is the kind of savory and satisfying egg bake that has something for everyone: meat, vegetables, and creamy goat cheese.
Chilaquiles is a savory Mexican breakfast dish. Think of this version as a cross between nachos and a breakfast casserole. It's topped with eggs, melted cheese, and cool slices of avocado.
This breakfast casserole is brimming with ham, cheese, and fresh herbs. It's tender and custardy on the bottom, with a crouton-crunch on top, and finished off with a bright red pepper sauce.
A savory bread pudding (sometimes also called a strata) hits all the marks for a hearty one-dish meal: starch, meat, and vegetables all in one.
Prep this savory strata ahead of time, so all you have to do on Christmas morning is pop it in the oven.
Balance out all those candy canes and chocolate candies with this veggie-heavy strata. It's got slices of sourdough bread, a simple egg-based custard, and a produce aisle-worth of veggies.
(Image credits: Faith Durand; Rebekah Peppler; Nealey Dozier; Kimberley Hasselbrink; Casey Barber; Alana Chernila; Erin Alderson; Megan Gordon)