The One Thing That Makes Any Egg Casserole *Much* Better

published Jan 24, 2020
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Breakfast casseroles — including dishes like stratas and egg bakes — are brilliant for so many reasons. You can use up leftovers, or veggies from the crisper drawer that look a little sad. Egg casseroles feed hungry crowds or make meal prep faster (hello, nutritious breakfast for the week). My favorite trick for making better egg casseroles is actually something I learned while working in bakeries. Practically every bakery worth its salt that serves quiches, egg stratas, or baked egg casseroles does this, I guarantee. And the best part is, it doesn’t take any extra work. What is it? After mixing up the custard, they let it rest before making the casserole.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Why Resting Custard Makes Better Egg Casseroles

All egg casseroles are bound together with a custard mixture that is eggs and some dairy (whole milk, cream, and half and half can be used) whisked together. In working in bakeries large and small, I noticed that almost all of them prepare the egg and dairy mixtures for their quiches in advance. Mixing up a basic eggs-and-dairy mixture means that a bakery or restaurant can make a variety of different egg dishes with the same mix by adding different vegetables to each crust or pour it over stale bread. Some places take the concept a step further using the same basic custard for egg casseroles too, so each day a baker mixes up the custard and stashes it in the fridge for the next day’s egg bakes.

When this mixture has time to rest, the fat and proteins can distribute more evenly making for a smoother, more even egg bake. What’s more, this rest gives the custard time to soak in any bread you’ve added to your casserole, and evenly coat vegetables and meats, so everything bakes up into a cohesive and delicious casserole.

If you’re making an egg casserole at home, you don’t need to batch the custard in advance but your casserole will be better — creamier and more evenly cooked — if you can build it the night before, let it rest in the fridge, and then bake it the next morning!

Your turn: Do you have a favorite egg casserole? What’s your go-to recipe or trick? Tell us in the comments below!