Buttery croissants lightly toasted, mixed with caramelized shallot, garlic and thyme, baked in a cheesy egg custard, topped with cheese and Italian ham. This easy Breakfast Casserole with Ham and Croissants is the perfect weekend recipe!
BREAKFAST CASSEROLE WITH HAM, PERFECT FOR BRUNCH!
The weekends are perfect for winding down and relishing over a break from a long week filled with hustle and bustle. With this intention, preparing a delicious breakfast or brunch recipe is fitting and this recipe is the perfect antidote.
With simple ingredients, some you may have on hand, this breakfast casserole with (Italian) ham is simple to prepare yet presents a beautiful, elegant dish that will wow your guests. Not to mention, the flavors in this recipe are overly satisfying. The combination of buttery croissants, baked in a creamy egg custard with ham, drizzle a bit of honey before serving and prepare a flavor explosion!
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED
The ingredients needed are simple, household ingredients. As mentioned, what is unique about this recipe is the finished product. Your family and friends will assume you spent hours creating this casserole.
Here is what you will need!
- Croissants. Depending on what your store provides, mini or regular sized croissants work great. It is also important to realize, the staler the croissant, the better! We will discuss this further below.
- Shallot. This ingredient provided a sweet, buttery and garlic note. Similar to caramelized red onions, you won't want to omit this ingredient.
- Garlic. Fresh is best!
- Thyme. The perfect herb for this casserole. It's fresh, nutty and pairs well with the shallot, eggs and prosciutto!
- Water. This is used to blanch your kale or spinach.
- Kale. This ingredient is optional but highly recommended. The texture pairs perfect with the remaining ingredients. Spinach is also a great option!
- Heavy Cream
- Asiago Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Prosciutto. This is one of my favorite smoked meats. You can certainly substitute with several options that we will discuss later in this post.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Salt + Pepper
- Oil (split in half)
WHAT IS ITALIAN HAM (PROSCUITTO)?
Prosciutto is an Italian smoked, dry-cured ham that is savory, salty and smoky in flavor. It is pink/red in color and thinly sliced typically served in various ways such as, pizza, toast, sandwiches, charcuterie, etc.
In this breakfast casserole with ham recipe, prosciutto is used and provides a salty and smoky finish that pairs so well with the listed ingredients. Using prosciutto definitely takes this recipe to the next level and provides a "fancy" finish.
- Try different options of bread! You certainly do not have to stick with croissants, I believe any durable bread should work such as any loafs like Italian or French breads. All things considered, I only tested using croissants so adjust cooking times as needed.
- Caramelize red onion instead of shallots. To clarify, I do have a hard time locating shallots depending on the season and store. You can absolutely substitue with red onions and have the same flavor and texture.
- Kale, spinach or any leafy green will work. I had kale on hand and needed to get rid of extra, but you can certainly use spinach or any leafy green to add a healthy kick to this recipe.
- Most variety of cheese will work. For instance, gouda, white cheddar, parmesan or any bold, "sharp" cheese will certainly work.
- Prosciutto is my favorite smoked meat but if you can't find or need additional options there are several. Canadian bacon or any sliced ham will work. Bacon is also a great choice, just note that it is best that these meats are precooked prior to baking the casserole.
HOW TO MAKE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE WITH HAM
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then, split croissants in half with a knife and place on a lined baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes or until the croissants are browned and toasted.
This step is important and will ensure your casserole is not soggy or mushy.
Now, in a large pot filled with water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil to blanche the kale.
PREP REMAINING INGREDIENTS
While the water comes to a boil, prepare the additional ingredients by roughly chopping the kale, shallot, garlic, and slicing the cherry tomatoes in half. Shred the cheese if using fresh.
Next, in a skillet, use half of the oil and begin browning the shallot and garlic. While the shallot and garlic sautes, add in fresh thyme and water. Continue to store until cooked down.
Another key point is that browning the shallot, garlic and thyme mixture will take at least 10 minutes. Be sure to constantly stir and add water to aide in cooking down the ingredients.
Lastly, once browned, set aside until later use.
Now is a good time to blanch the kale as the water should be boiling. Blanche for 3-4 minutes until wilted and cooked through. Drain and set aside.
LAYER THE CROSSIANTS AND BAKE
At this instant, whisk the eggs, salt, pepper and cream until thoroughly combined.
Then, in a small baking dish, use the remaining oil and grease the dish. This step is extremely important to help make certain the croissants do not stick to the baking dish. After that, add the sliced croissants, layer next the shallot mixture, blanched kale, egg mixture, cheese and prosciutto.
Repeat the layering process and topping finally with cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes and prosciutto.
Bake in the oven for 375 minutes for at least 20 minutes until egg mixture is cooked through.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- It is best to use "day old bread". If the bread is a bit stale or "old" it will help to maintain the casserole, so it does not become mushy.
- Prep the ingredients ahead of time. I personally do not like to make this casserole until the day of so that the croissants do not become soggy.
- Substitute with your favorite cheese. Use brie, parmesan, gouda or any mild/strong cheese that is good for melting.
- Omit the prosciutto and add ham or bacon!
If you love breakfast or brunch, you must try:
Easy Breakfast Casserole with Ham and Croissants
- 6 mini Croissants
- 1 small Shallot
- 1 tablespoon Garlic minced
- 4 sprigs Thyme
- 2 tablespoon Water
- 1.5 cup Kale
- 4 Eggs
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- ½ cup Asiago Cheese
- ½ cup Cheddar Cheese
- 3 oz Prosciutto
- ½ cup Cherry Tomatoes
- Salt + Pepper if desired
- 1 tablespoon Oil divided
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place split croissants on a lined baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.
- In a large pot filled with water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil to blanche the kale.
- While the water comes to a boil, prepare the additional ingredients by roughly chopping the kale, shallot, garlic, and slicing the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Shred the cheese if using fresh. In a skillet, use half of the oil and begin browning the shallot and garlic.
- While the shallot and garlic sautes, add in fresh thyme and water. Continue to store until cooked down. Set aside until later use.
- Blanch the kale for 3-4 minutes until wilted and cooked through. Drain and set aside.
- Whisk eggs, add salt, pepper and cream.
- In a small baking dish, use the remaining oil and grease the dish. Add the sliced croissants and layer the shallot mixture, blanched kale, egg mixture, cheese, tomatoes and prosciutto.
- Repeat the layering process and top with cheese, cherry tomatoes and prosciutto.
- Bake in the oven for 375 minutes for at least 20 minutes until egg mixture is cooked through.