This Easy, Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole Will Be a Crowd Favorite on Thanksgiving Morning

Grab your 9x13!

<p>Bailey Fink</p>

Bailey Fink

It seems like every Thanksgiving food comes with a hot-button debate. Do you serve breakfast or skip it? Should you brine your turkey or not? Is it called stuffing or dressing? Dinner at 3 p.m. or dinner at 6 p.m.?

And when it comes to Thanksgiving breakfast, we really can understand both sides. It’s a day filled with eating, so do you want to start eating early—especially if your dinner is more like a lunch? Plus, if you’re cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal—from bird to pie—do you even want to make another food item? But breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you need to keep your energy up for cooking (and, sometimes, all that family time).

So, if you are going to serve breakfast on Thanksgiving, you probably want something simple, big enough to feed a crowd, yet easy enough for everyone to grab for themselves on the way to the couch to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And thanks to Katie Lee Biegel, we have the breakfast for you.

Celebrity television host Biegel recently teamed up with Wonder Bread to develop a breakfast recipe for Wonder’s partnership with Macy’s for the 97th Thanksgiving Day Parade. The recipe she developed was an (admittedly delicious) Caramel Apple French Toast Sandwich, but while she was making it for our Allrecipes team, she mentioned that it could be turned into a make-ahead breakfast casserole as well.

The French toast sandwich—stuffed with cream cheese and caramelized apples—was a scrumptious and indulgent breakfast perfect for Thanksgiving. However, if you don’t have the time to make everyone in your household their own sandwich (we know we don’t), you can also make the French toast into a bread pudding.

While it’s not the kind of bread pudding Ina Garten makes for Thanksgiving—this one is a great breakfast casserole you can prepare the night before and throw in the oven the next morning while you're beginning your Turkey Day prep. And, because it’s a bread pudding, you actually want to make it the night before so the bread has time to soak up all the custardy goodness.

Just like the sandwich, Biegel’s Caramel Apple Bread Pudding is complete with apples, caramelized in warm baking spices, tangy cream cheese, and an egg, milk, and vanilla custard. She has made a similar bread pudding on her Food Network show, “The Kitchen,” but that one was a little more dessert-forward. This one isn’t as sweet—so it’s a good breakfast to tide you over until the pumpkin pie after dinner. Here's how to make it.

Katie Lee Biegel's Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

<p>Bailey Fink</p>

Bailey Fink

Serves: 10-12


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 2 crisp apples (like Gala or Braeburn), peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 15 slices Wonder Bread, cubed

  • 6 large eggs

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 6 tablespoons whipped cream cheese

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup finely crushed corn cereal

  • confectioners’ sugar (optional)

  • caramel sauce (optional)

  • whipped cream (optional)


  1. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until butter dissolves. Stir in apples and cinnamon. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until apples are softened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla extract, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cubed bread and apples, toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight until the liquid is absorbed.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake until golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes.

  5. Dust with confectioners' sugar, top with whipped cream, drizzle with caramel sauce, and serve.

This recipe was developed by Katie Lee Biegel in a partnership with Wonder Bread and Macy’s.

Read the original article on All Recipes.