CEiMB: Broccoli-Cheddar Breakfast Bake

Whether it be the CrockPot or some other form of make-ahead cooking, the idea of coming home to dinner waiting or needing minimal effort is incredibly exciting. Am I right? As the main cook in our apartment, I am responsible for dinner 99% of the time. A fact I rarely mind considering that our deal is whoever doesn’t cook is on clean up. Sometimes though, I just want a break. Sometimes the idea of heading to the kitchen just sounds tiring instead of exciting. It’s nice to have tried and true recipes to turn to on those days.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the recipes that claim to be “make-ahead” actually involve a lot of steps the day before. As much as I look forward to a night off, I don’t want to work doubly hard another night to make up for it. What’s so great about this recipe is I didn’t have to. With the exception of cooking up an onion and a little chopping, all I had to do was mix this all in a baking dish and leave it soaking in the fridge for a few hours. Easy.

Now, CEiMB is no stranger to these breakfast bake, strata style recipes, and despite choosing one of them myself, I’ve not yet been a fan. It seems the texture has been off both of the other times we tried something similar. Knowing that, I wasn’t sure what to think of Heide at chez zero‘s choice, but since we are now a broccoli-loving household, I decided to go with it. The texture this time around was much improved. I think cutting the recipe in half and using a smaller, square pan may have helped. It was definitely eggy, not mushy as it has been in the past. The nutmeg gives it a great flavor, and overall we were pretty happy. I particularly enjoyed watching it fall – the center was several inches higher when I first took it out of the oven! If I’m ever hosting a brunch or breakfast-themed party, this will be on the menu.

Broccoli-Cheddar Breakfast Bake

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
Cooking spray
1/2 multi-graind baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup egg beaters
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 10-oz package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
4 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until translucent and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Spray an 8X8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the bread cubes in the dish. In a large bowl, beat the egg beaters, eggs, egg whites and milk until incorporated. Add the onions, broccoli, cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, spreading it around so the liquid saturates the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake until the top forms a light brown crust, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve hot.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week”, p. 52 (or you can visit Chez Zero for the original recipe)
4 servings


February 25, 2010. recipes.


  1. pamela replied:

    Haven’t tried this one yet, but it looks good. I don’t know why I didn’t think about serving it for dinner. It’s a great idea.

  2. Joanne replied:

    We really liked it – not so much the smell as it the eggs soaked in but it tasted good when cooked. We are eggy people so this was right up our alley.

  3. Lauryn replied:

    I need to make this asap!! I LOVE your photo! This looks absolutely delicious!!

  4. Kayte replied:

    I made the half size version and it took a little longer to cook, but turned out fine in the end. I used fresh broccoli that I had steamed and shocked as I thought that would be nicer than the frozen and that worked out well also. Yours looks wonderful. Really really wonderful!

  5. peggy replied:

    Yours looks delicious. I actually didn’t even soak mine overnight – just cooked it right up and it did great. So easy. I love the easy ones, don’t you? Have a great weekend!

  6. Heide replied:

    Thanks for being a good sport and making this recipe along with me! I’m glad you didn’t hate it. :)

  7. maris replied:

    This looks so amazing! I am thinking of brunch now and wish I had something like this in my fridge to just heat up!

  8. Heide M replied:

    This sounds so warming on a cold Michigan morning.

  9. Rebecca replied:

    Yum! The photo looks tantalizing, and this would be the perfect thing to whip up for brunch!

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