I hardly ever eat breakfast because I have the metabolism of a rock and I just am not hungry first thing in the morning, but breakfast foods are among my favorite foods in the world – I mean, BACON! Am I right? That just makes anything better!
French toast also has to be right up there as one of my top three breakfast foods, and what normally happens is that I make all my faves for “breakfast for dinner” which is something we did a lot when I was a kid, and loved it every time! One of the downsides to French toast (and pancakes…and waffles come to think of it!) is that when you are trying to get a whole dinner ready in 30 minutes or less (however long an episode of Puppy Dog Pals runs…) it takes forever to make 2 slices of bread at a time, which is how many fit in my biggest pan. SO, I compromise and make this super easy French toast casserole, which came together in less time than it took the kids to eat lunch, and I was able to pop it in the oven and walk away which is a GREAT feature of any recipe, in my opinion.
So here we go! Below is what I used to make a small round (I think it’s an 8 inch!) casserole dish, enough for two adults and a toddler for dinner with a good amount leftover for lunch the next day. You can easily make this for any amount of people!
A small loaf of crusty bread, cut into cubes. (Italian, French or ciabatta bread work well – I used homemade ciabatta that I knew was additive free!)
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp lemon juice
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
¼ cup sugar (to make sugar free, use stevia or monkfruit)
What To Do:
Take out whatever baking dish you’ll be using and spray it all over the inside with cooking spray, or rub with butter, whichever you have on hand or prefer. Spread half of the cubed bread on the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of half of the banana slices, blueberries and butter. Repeat with the other half of the ingredients.
In a different bowl, whisk eggs together with vanilla, lemon and cinnamon. Add milk and sugar and mix thoroughly.
Place your baking dish on a cookie sheet or plate to make sure you catch any overflow, and slowly pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the bread layers. You can see that I did NOT pour slowly, and lost a bit over the edge there! You can take a spatula or a spoon or your hand and press the bread down a little bit to encourage it to soak up all that goodness.
Cover and chill for 1-2 hours. (If you’re in a rush, you can bake it right away, but the chill and rest time allows all the bread to soak up the egg mixture which makes it taste much better in the long run!)
Heat oven to 400 degrees, and bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on the depth of your pan, etc. Mine was thick and took a bit longer, but if you are using a shallow baking dish it won’t take that long. It is all done when the middle is set, the top is browned and you don’t see any liquid remaining.
Allow it to cool several minutes before serving – I feel like it is sweet enough on its own, but we gave it a generous dusting of powdered sugar, and you can serve with syrup if you have some sugar lovers around your table!