Italian Breakfast Bake with Eggs
This hearty casserole is loaded with delicious Italian flavors. We lightened it up by using broth instead of milk. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
- 1 lb. loaf white or rosemary French bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 c. Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. sliced apple wood smoked bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 lg. onion halved and thinly sliced
- 1 (28 oz.) can whole Italian tomatoes drained, chopped and patted dry
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/2 lb. (2 cups) extra sharp cheddar shredded
- 1/2 lb. (2 cups) Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 2 T. snipped chives
- 1 3/4 c. low sodium chicken broth
- 8 lg. eggs
- hot sauce for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, drizzle the bread cubes with the olive oil, toss to coat and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the bread is golden and lightly crisp.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook until any liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes.
- Return the toasted bread cubes to the bowl. Add the contents of the skillet, along with the bacon, shredded cheeses, chives and broth. Stir until the bread is evenly moistened. Season with salt. Spread the mixture in the baking dish and cover with lightly oiled foil.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is crispy, about 15 minutes longer. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using a ladle, press 8 indentations into the bread mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Serve the breakfast bake right away with hot sauce.
- Cook's Note: The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight. You can also substitute 1 pound cooked and crumbled sausage for the bacon.