Looking for the perfect make-ahead breakfast casserole? This healthy vegetarian egg casserole recipe may just be the ticket! Prepared Mediterranean-style with vegetables, shallots, fresh herbs and other favorites like feta, olives, and artichoke hearts. It is loaded with flavor and texture!
Super versatile, you can make this egg casserole your own by changing up the veggies or even adding a meat of your choice. Be sure to grab my tips, freezing instructions, and what to sides and salads to serve along for your next brunch.
Do you love hosting brunch, but don't care for all the early morning fuss? I can totally relate!
I love having overnight company, particularly over the holidays. There is just something about a big family slumber party in cozy holiday pajamas. But it can be challenging to feed a crowd, particularly for breakfast or brunch. Who wants to wake up early, tiptoe around, slice and dice all the things, then clean up a big mess before guests are ready for breakfast?! Not me!
Even if I'm just having a few girlfriends over for brunch, things are much less stressful in the morning when I have some make-ahead items that can be ready without too much work.
You'll love this healthy, protein-packed egg casserole. It's delicious and satisfying to serve for brunch or a light dinner, and I have a list of tasty salads and sides to serve along!
Vegetarian Egg Casserole with a Mediterranean Twist
So much texture and flavor in one beautiful vegetarian egg casserole. What's in it? We can break this egg casserole recipe into two simple components, really:
1. Fluffy Flavor-Packed Egg Mixture
As with most egg casseroles, we start with a mixture of eggs and milk. I like to hit the egg mixture up with flavor right from the start. Dry oregano, sweet paprika, and a tiny pinch of nutmeg work to add depth and flavor without at all overwhelming the egg casserole. To augment the eggs, adding some heft to the egg casserole, I use only three slices of toast that are cut up into small squares. (Use whole wheat or whole grain bread for a Mediterranean diet-friendly casserole.)
Important Tip: I mentioned the egg mixture is "fluffy." How? This is a tip I learned from my mom, who taught me how to make the fluffiest omelets. The key to fluffy eggs is adding a tiny bit of baking soda or baking powder to the egg mixture, this creates air pockets. Baking powder is easier to use; you can add a bit more and it doesn't rely on eggs acidity. Also, and this is a personal preference, I believe baking powder tames the heavy "eggy" taste and makes for a more tasty egg casserole.
2. A Combination of Fresh Veggies, Herbs, and Mediterranean Favorites
I see things like this egg casserole as an opportunity to use up what fresh ingredients I have on hand. I love a combination of mushrooms, tomatoes, shallots and green peppers.
Fresh herbs are a staple in Mediterranean cooking. This time I used parsley, but fresh mint, basil, or dill will work also.
From there, I add a few more Mediterranean favorites: creamy feta, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts. The combination of fresh flavores, with the salty feta and marinated olives and artichokes hits all the beautiful Mediterranean notes for me.
Tip: Raid your fridge for what veggies, herbs or other items to use up. If you have a handful of baby spinach, add them. And If you do need to add some cooked meat of your choice, that will work too. (Just be sure the meat is already cooked before adding to this casserole.)
How to Make this Egg Casserole Recipe:
1. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F and prep your ingredients
Position a rack in the middle. And while your oven is heating, prep your ingredients (cut up the bread, slice the shallots, dice tomatoes, slice mushrooms, chop up your fresh herbs etc.)
2. Prepare the Egg Mixture
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and milk. Add ½ teaspoon baking powder (remember, this will give the egg casserole a bit of air so it's nice and fluffy.) Season with salt and pepper, and add your trio of flavor-makers: oregano, paprika, and a pinch of nutmeg. Whisk till everything is nicely combined
3. Add bread, veggies etc. to the egg mixture and combine
Add the bread pieces first and mix, then add the shallots, tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, feta and parsley. Do NOT add the sliced green peppers yet.
Using a wooden spoon, give everything a stir into the egg mixture until well combined.
4. Transfer to a Casserole Dish and Top with Sliced Peppers
Brush a 9"x 13" casserole dish with a bit of good extra virgin olive oil. Transfer the egg mixture into the casserole dish. Give the casserole dish a gentle shake or use your wooden spoon to even everything out. Arrange the sliced bell peppers on top (they look pretty when the egg casserole is done.)
Bake your egg casserole for about 35 minutes or until cooked through and firm (eggs at the center of the casserole should be nice and set.)
Can you prepare this egg casserole ahead of time?
I mentioned earlier that one of the things I really like about this vegetarian egg casserole is that you can prepare it ahead of time for a large brunch party. Here are a couple of ways to prep ahead:
1. You can prepare and even assemble the egg casserole in your baking dish, but do NOT bake. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 night. In the morning, set it at room temperature for a few minutes so it's not super cold when you're ready to bake it. Bake as instructed.
2. If you'd rather, you can just do the busy work of prepping the veggies, herbs etc. Save them each in separate containers and then assemble and bake the egg casserole (this is my personal preference.)
Can you freeze egg casserole?
If you're wondering about freezing this easy breakfast casserole, you absolutely can. You can freeze it before baking or after it's been cooked. Here's how:
1. To freeze egg casserole before baking: You can prepare this egg casserole and assemble in a casserole dish (up to step #4). Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze until later use. Thaw in fridge overnight and continue with baking (step #5). It does help to bring it closer to room temperature before baking, if you have the time.
2. To freeze cooked breakfast casserole: My personal preference is to cut the cooked casserole into squares or pieces, then tightly wrap each piece with freezer-safe plastic wrap and another layer of foil. This way, you can store individual portions and thaw what you need in the fridge overnight. Reheat in a low-heated oven or for a brief few seconds in the microwave (partially covered.)
Store leftover cooked egg casserole in the fridge in airtight containers for 3 to 4 nights. Or like I mentioned just above, you can freeze individual portions of cooked egg casserole and thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat in a low-heated oven or for a brief few seconds in the microwave (partially covered.)
What to Serve with this Vegetarian Egg Casserole?
This simple vegetarian egg casserole has been the centerpiece to many brunch parties at my house. Next to it I usually serve a couple of bright and festive salads and a simple side or two, depending on how large the party is. Here are some ideas you can consider, depending on the season or occasion:
Breads? Because this breakfast casserole already has a little bit of bread, it's hefty enough without a side of bread. That said, if you like adding a fresh bread option to your brunch table, make this challah bread the evening before and serve it along (it's great with a drizzle of honey to finish the meal!)
Watch the video for this breakfast casserole recipe:
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Looking for the perfect make-ahead breakfast casserole? This delicious and healthy vegetarian egg casserole may just be the ticket! Prepared Mediterranean-style with vegetables, shallots, fresh herbs and other Mediterranean favorites like feta, olives, and artichoke hearts, it is loaded with flavor and texture.
This egg casserole is versatile, and you can make it your own by changing up the veggies or even adding a meat of your choice. Be sure to grab my tips and freezing instructions!
- 7 to 8 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups milk (I used 2% milk)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 slices bread (toast), cut into ½ inch pieces (use whole grain bread for Mediterranean diet option)
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tomato, small diced
- 3 oz sliced mushrooms (any kind), optional
- 4 oz artichoke hearts from a can, drained and quartered
- 2 oz pitted kalamata olives, sliced
- 2 to 3 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1 oz chopped fresh parsley (about 1 cup loosely packed)
- Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek olive oil)
- 1 bell pepper (any color), sliced into rounds
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F and adjust an oven rack to the middle
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, baking powder, salt, pepper, and spices.
- To the egg mixture, add the bread pieces, shallots, tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalmata olives, feta and parsley. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Lightly brush a 9" x 13" casserole dish with extra virgin olive oil. Transfer the egg and vegetable mixture into the casserole dish and spread evenly. Arrange the bell pepper slices on top.
- Place the egg casserole on the middle rack of your heated oven and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and the center of the casserole looks firm (test with a toothpick or a fork).
- Allow a few minutes for the casserole to settle before cutting throgh and serving.
- Prepare Ahead Tips: You can prepare the egg casserole and assemble in the casserole dish (up to step #4). Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 night. When ready to bake, follow with step #5. It does help to bring the egg casserole a bit closer to room temperature before baking. Another option is to simply prep the ingredients and store each in a separate container in the fridge overnight, the next day, you can easily mix the eggs and assemble the egg casserole to bake. I personally prefer this option.
- Can you Freeze Egg Casserole? The answer is yes. Before baking, you can prepare this egg casserole and assemble in a casserole dish (up to step #4.) Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze until later use. Thaw in fridge overnight and continue with baking (step #5). It does help to bring it closer to room temperature before baking, if you have the time.
- Leftovers? Already cooked egg casserole can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 nights. Reheat in a low-heated oven or microwave. You can also freeze cooked egg casserole. It's best to portion the egg casserole into pieces, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze individual pieces. Reheat from frozen or thaw in fridge overnight.
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- Category: Entree
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Vegetarian Egg Casserole, Egg Casserole, Breakfast Casserole
*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in the fall of 2014 and has recently been updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!