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This Christmas Morning Wife Saver is the perfect casserole for Christmas morning made with ham and cheese and topped with cornflakes. Just wake up, bake it and enjoy!
Christmas Morning Wife Saver Recipe
I’m so happy to share this recipe with you because it’s the ideal Christmas morning breakfast casserole. I certainly cannot take credit for this recipe, it’s one I got from my friend a few years ago, whose mother used to make this every Christmas morning. I thought it sounded so easy and perfect for Christmas breakfast or brunch.
This recipe is a Christmas classic, and it has become a tradition for us because it’s delicious and the best part of it is that you can prepare it the night before and the next morning all you have to do is bake and enjoy.
This recipe is great because it’s so versatile, you can really personalize it to your taste and preference and add any type of ham you like or skip the ham and add veggies for a vegetarian version.
Why You’ll Love This Christmas Morning Wife Saver
- Simple Breakfast! This easy breakfast casserole recipe is made with basic pantry ingredients and takes just 15 minutes to prep. Then all you have to do is pop it in the oven the next day and serve.
- Comforting Classic! Layers of soft bread, savory ham, sharp cheddar, and seasoned eggs are topped with crunchy corn flakes and then baked to golden brown perfection to create this incredible dish.
- Family Favorite! Perfect for Christmas morning or any holiday, your family is going to love this recipe. You can serve it for breakfast or brunch and the leftovers are amazing.
- Sliced Bread – Acts as the base of the casserole. You can use any type of bread you like and remove the crust if you prefer.
- Sliced Ham – I used black forest ham, but any type of ham will work including turkey ham.
- Cheddar Cheese – Melted cheese just makes everything better. I recommend using sharp cheddar cheese, but you can use any kind of cheddar you like.
- Eggs – It wouldn’t be a breakfast casserole without some eggs. They also give the dish some of its texture and rise.
- Black Pepper – Use freshly ground black pepper if you have it on hand.
- Dry Mustard – A dash of mustard highlights the flavor of the cheddar and the eggs. If you don’t have dry mustard you can use Dijon.
- Chives – These are the green tops of green onions sliced. They add a lovely mild onion taste.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Adds a bit of umami to the dish and salt.
- Hot Sauce – I like to add a bit of heat with a hot sauce like Tabasco. But you can omit the hot sauce or add even more.
- Whole Milk – Any type of milk will work, but I think whole milk creates the best texture.
- Butter – Always use unsalted butter to control the amount of added salt. It needs to be melted in this recipe.
- Corn Flakes – Creates the crunchy topping. You can also use Special K, potato chips or ritz crackers if you don’t have any corn flakes on hand.
This is a simple recipe that was meant to be prepped the day before baking and serving. However, it is possible to bake the casserole on the same day. If you want to do this I suggest letting it rest for one hour in the fridge before it’s baked to give it a little time to soak up the egg mixture.
To start, get your pan prepped and ready to go. So grab a 9×13 inch baking dish and grease it well with butter or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. It must be greased or the casserole will stick to the dish.
To form the base, arrange 5 to 6 slices of bread over the bottom of the baking dish. You will most likely need to cut them to make sure the surface is fully covered. Next, layer the sliced ham over the bread and then top with the shredded cheese.
Now, arrange another 5 to 6 slices of bread over the layer of cheese making sure to cover it completely closing any gaps. You’re basically making a ham and cheese sandwich as the base of your casserole.
Now, let’s turn this into a breakfast casserole! Add the eggs, black pepper, dry mustard, chives, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to a large bowl and whisk everything together. Next, add the milk and whisk everything together once more until well combined.
Then pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole making sure to cover every piece of bread.
Your work is pretty much done! The casserole is ready to go for the next morning. You can now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge.
The next morning, preheat your oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). You want to do this before you finish the last few steps of the recipe so that your oven is ready for baking.
Take the casserole out of the fridge and remove the aluminum foil. Now, melt the butter and pour it evenly over the casserole. Then generously sprinkle the top with crushed cornflakes making sure to cover the entire surface of the casserole.
Once the Christmas morning wife saver is fully assembled, transfer it to the preheated oven and bake it for about 1 hour. When it’s done it should feel set and be lightly browned on top. Then remove it from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes to set. Garnish with more chives before slicing and serving.
Can I Make This Recipe Gluten-Free?
Yes, of course! All you have to do is use gluten-free bread. Another option is to use hashbrown potatoes instead of bread. If you do this I suggest using frozen hash brown potatoes as I do in my Funeral Potatoes recipe.
What Else Can I Add To This Casserole?
You can pretty much add anything you like. Diced onion, green pepper, or jalapeno are all good choices. Crumbled bacon or sausage are other good ones. But regardless of what you add, I suggest layering it on top of the sliced ham and then topping it with the shredded cheese. Also, keep in mind the amount of egg mixture that you have to cover all the layers.
- Use enough bread. The entire bottom surface of the baking dish needs to be covered in pieces of bread. This is true for the shredded cheese layer too. Do your best not to leave any big gaps.
- Whisk the eggs. Make sure you whisk the egg mixture well. This will help to evenly distribute all the seasonings and also create a better casserole texture.
- Let it rest. Allow the Christmas morning wife saver to sit in the pan for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This gives the casserole time to cool off and set.
This casserole will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. To reheat, put the leftovers in the microwave for a few minutes on medium heat or in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for about 10 minutes.
Other Delicious Recipes To Try
- Sausage Potato Breakfast Casserole
- Leftover Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
- The Perfect Shortbread Cookies
- Overnight Breakfast Casserole
- Prime Rib Roast
- 10 slices bread ((remove crusts if preferred))
- 12 slices ham (thinly sliced (I used black forest))
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (sharp, grated)
- 6 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (ground )
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ cup chives (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 3 cups whole milk
- ½ cup butter (melted)
- 1 cup corn flakes cereal (crushed)
- Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish or spray with cooking oil.
- Cut and fit 5 slices of bread to fit over entire bottom of dish. Depending on the size of your bread and casserole dish you might need more bread. Layer the slices of ham then top with the cheddar cheese. Cut and fit the remaining 5 slices of bread to completely cover the ham and cheese.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs with the pepper, dry mustard, chives, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Add the milk and whisk until well combined. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Pour the melted butter evenly over the casserole and sprinkle with the crushed corn flakes over the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven until set and lightly browned, about 1 hour. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- What can I substitute the ham with: You can use Canadian bacon, turkey or chicken deli meat or for a vegetarian version, try adding more veggies like peppers and mushrooms.
- What if I want to bake right away: I recommend letting the casserole rest for at least an hour before baking to allow the bread to soak up the egg mixture.
- What to serve it with: You can serve this drizzled with maple syrup or serve with fruit.
- How to store it: Store leftovers covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- How to reheat it: I would reheat this in the oven in a casserole or baking dish to keep it crunchy for about 15 minutes or until heated through.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.