Turn the flavors of the classic sandwich into a great sweet and savory Monte Cristo breakfast casserole. This recipe has layers of ham, cheese, raspberry jam, eggs and more baked into a tasty brunch entrée.
This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin Pork Association. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.
Breakfast casseroles are perfect for holiday brunches or just to celebrate a weekend morning. This Monte Cristo casserole is easy to put together and can be assembled ahead of time, so all you have to do is pop it in the oven and enjoy your family in the morning.
Have you ever enjoyed a Monte Cristo sandwich? This deli staple includes savory ham and cheese between two slices of bread.
The bread is then dunked in an egg mixture and griddled. They are usually served dusted with powdered sugar and a bit of raspberry preserves.
So it is almost a cross between a grilled cheese and French toast. Yes and yes please!
This brunch bake takes that idea and turns it into a casserole. That way you can prep it ahead of time and feed the whole family at once.
It is great for a holiday brunch. Imagine serving it at Easter, Mother’s Day or even Christmas morning. We also love it as a breakfast for dinner option.
Making the casserole
Start by making your sandwiches. I used croissants to make it feel extra special, but you can use slices of brioche or French bread if you prefer
Rather than serving the raspberry jam on the side, I spread it inside. Then layer it up with plenty of delicious shaved ham.
Pork is versatile so there are a lot of great options and they are all delicious! I used a Virginia style ham this time to accentuate the savory side of the casserole, but you can use your favorite kind of ham.
Next comes a layer of cheese. Swiss cheese is the classic, but this is another place where you can make it your own.
Layer the sandwiches in a greased baking dish. I used a square dish for a thicker slice, but you can save some bake time if you make it thinner in a 9×13″ pan.
Now mix together eggs and half and half. I like stirring in some Dijon mustard for another layer of flavor.
I found out how good a little mustard is in eggs when making a ham and asparagus frittata several years ago. Now I use it all the time.
Now cover and refrigerate the casserole for at least an hour but for up to two days. Then just toss it in the oven when you are ready.
Doing the prep work ahead of time allows you to spend time with your family or guests rather than in the kitchen. You get to serve a fun and unique casserole with plenty of ham, cheese and eggs while still getting to make memories with your family.
That is especially important on holiday mornings. So use pork and prep ahead to enjoy a great breakfast and your family!
Like a lot of our favorite egg bakes, this casserole combines sweets and savory notes. You can make some easy changes to accentuate either flavor profile.
For a more savory option, reduce or eliminate the raspberry preserves. Feel free to add more ham and cheese or a sprinkle of black pepper as well.
To accentuate the sweet notes, liberally sprinkle on the powdered sugar. Or play up the French toast aspects of the casserole and serve with a little bit of maple syrup.
The options are almost endless!
Can Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole be frozen?
Yes! If you need to assemble the casserole more than a couple of days in advance, use the freezer to help you.
To freeze an already baked casserole, cool it completely. Cover tightly and freeze. To reheat, thaw completely, and bake covered in the oven at 350ºF until warm.
To freeze an unbaked casserole, cover the dish rightly with plastic wrap then cover the dish with foil and freeze. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake according to the recipe directions.
Starting your day with pork
Almost all of our favorite breakfasts include pork in some way, whether it is ham, bacon or sausage. It just isn’t the same without some sort of tasty meat.
In addition to a good dose of protein, pork is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Pork is an excellent source of thiamin, selenium, protein, niacin, B6 and phosphorus. It is also a good source of riboflavin, zinc and potassium (pork.org).
Plus when you buy tasty pork products from the store you are supporting family farms in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Those farmers are feeding their own families as well, so the pork you are eating is raised with passion and care.
You can read more about pork farmers’ commitment to sustainability and responsible farming at porkcares.org. I’ve worked in the environmental field for over 15 years, so of course this is a point that is near and dear to my heart.
Farmer’s livelihoods depend on the land, so they know the importance of taking care of the planet. They work hard to reduce emissions, keep the water clean, and the soil healthy.
More great breakfast and brunch recipes with pork
A Denver omelet roll may looks fancy, but it is actually super easy to make. It’s loaded with eggs, ham, peppers and more then it is baked in a sheet pan and rolled up into something spectacular.
Sausage and cornbread brunch bake is also a little bit sweet and a little bit savory. It is easy to make and is a hearty meal to start your day off on the right foot.
Bacon and pepper quiche is perfect for brunch or even for dinner. Add a fresh salad and you are in for a perfect meal.
Bake all of your breakfast favorites together in a fun and tasty sausage and waffle breakfast casserole. It’s a little sweet, a little savory and oh so good!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole
- 6 large croissants
- 3 Tablespoon raspberry preserves
- 16 oz. deli sliced ham
- 6 slices swiss cheese
- 7 eggs
- 2 cups half and Half
- 1½ Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Grease baking dish, use a square baking dish for a taller casserole or a 9×13-inch pan for a quicker bake time.
- Assemble sandwiches by cutting the croissants in half. Spread raspberry preserves over one side. Layer with ham and cheese and top with the other half of the croissant.
- Cut the sandwiches in half and arrange in the greased baking dish.
- Whisk together the eggs, half and half and mustard. Pour over the croissants in the pan. Lightly press the croissants into the egg mixture if needed to let them soak it up.
- Cover with plastic wrap then chill the casserole for at least an hour but for up to two days.
- Remove the casserole from the refrigerator when you preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Remove the plastic wrap and cover the casserole with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake fore at least 20 more minutes or until the eggs are set in the center. (If using a 9×13-inch pan, reduce the covered bake time to 30 minutes.)
- Let sit for 10 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar and serving.