~ This crazy-delicious, ooey-gooey-wonderful French Toast Breakfast Casserole has all the classic flavors of peanut butter and jelly … in a decadent yet healthy breakfast casserole! It’s a total family favorite, and so easy to throw together at the last minute, or even the night before. The perfect make-ahead breakfast casserole for holiday brunches and lazy family weekends! ~
This Recipe Is: • Make Ahead • Vegetarian •
All right, class … let’s have a show of hands …
How many of you packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch practically every single day of your school-age life?
Oh, yes! Look at all those raised hands!
The average kiddo eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating from high school. Huh! Who knew?
And that doesn’t even count all of those kid-at-heart people who go right on packing good ol’ PB&Js once they land jobs and brown bag it at the office! Perfect example – Gretchen still munches a peanut butter and jelly sandwich almost every day.
So easy, so quick, and oh-so yummy! Total comfort food favorite. Never.Gets.Old.
So what happens when crowd-favorite peanut butter and jelly meets up with another comfort food superstar, the make-ahead breakfast classic … French toast casserole?
Match made in heaven. Seriously … sparks fly. Tummies grumble. Mouths water.
This French toast casserole takes our old friend, peanut butter and jelly, to all sorts of new levels. It’s PB&J all schwanked up, wearing pearls and diamonds and possibly a princess tiara. KiddingNotKidding.
And then there’s the French toast part of the equation. ‘Nuff said. That’s obviously awesome. Because, you know … it’s French toast.
To really put this stuffed French toast over the top, we add a sweet, creamy-dreamy strawberry topping and piles of fresh fruit.
This is stealthy power food that tastes like a decadent indulgence. It’ll keep your body fueled up for hours, while your brain synapses just keep firing healthy-yummy thoughts and plotting the next chance to eat this breakfast casserole again.
Maybe best of all … it can be made ahead!
Yep, you heard me right! But let’s all say it again together … made ahead! This concoction of supreme fabulousness can be whipped together at the last moment, or (all together, one more time, class …) made ahead, the night before. Easier than easy!
If you hang around THK much, then you know I’m a huge sucker for easy, make-ahead, healthy breakfast casseroles, especially around the holidays or when I’m entertaining overnight guests.
My family’s big Easter brunches always involve at least one sweet and one savory breakfast casserole. Nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen when there are eggs to hunt!
So, I guess you know why I’m sharing this quick overnight breakfast recipe today. It’s perfect for Easter brunch! (And also the perfect Christmas morning casserole, the perfect lazy-Saturday-in-our-jammies breakfast, and the best-ever what-should-I-feed-our-houseful-of-hungry-overnight-guests solution.) You’ll be making it all the time!
- 12 slices whole wheat sandwich bread (see note)
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (we use creamy)
- 3/4 cup 100% fruit seedless strawberry jelly (see note)
- 12 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups nonfat milk
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For serving: Strawberries and Cream Topping, sliced strawberries and bananas, or other berries
- In a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray, lay out 6 slices of bread in a single layer.
- Spread the bread evenly with peanut butter and then with jelly.
- Top with the remaining 6 slices of bread.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour egg mixture evenly over "sandwiches" in pan.
- If baking immediately: Preheat oven to 375°F while preparing casserole. After pouring egg mixture over top of "sandwiches," allow casserole to sit for 5-10 minutes before baking, to allow the "sandwiches" to begin absorbing the egg mixture. If making the casserole ahead: After pouring the egg mixture over top, cover the casserole with foil and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Bake casserole at 375°F for about 50 minutes, or until egg mixture is cooked thoroughly and is no longer runny. Allow casserole to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve topped with Strawberries and Cream Topping and fruit.
Bread: In order for this to fit perfectly in a 9x13 pan, you want to purchase sandwich-sized bread, not some of the overly large breads on the market. Not to worry, though – if all you have is larger slices and they don't quite fit, simply trim them a bit. Also, we recommend checking the ingredient lists when you purchase whole wheat sandwich bread, and looking for organic brands or ones labeled as all-natural, in order to avoid the high-fructose corn syrup and other sometimes-surprising, questionable ingredients that they may contain.
Strawberry jelly: If you're purchasing a typical 10-ounce jar of jelly, then you should have just about the perfect amount in that one jar to use ¾ cup for the filling of this French toast casserole, and then use the remainder to make the Strawberries and Cream Topping.
Make ahead tips: As directed, this casserole can be prepped several hours or the night before baking. In addition, once baked, it reheats beautifully for additional breakfasts throughout the week. Store the casserole separately from the Strawberries and Cream Topping.