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Last updated on June 8th, 2024 at 05:59 pm

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Blueberry French Toast Casserole [Video]

Blueberry French Toast Casserole is sweet, rich, and hassle-free. It has lots of juicy blueberries and a fantastic lemon flavor. Make it overnight for a great breakfast the following day; it is perfect to serve a crowd! 

This is the ultimate comfort food for those who love carbs and blueberries. Thick, crusty bread with lots of sweet, juicy blueberries soaked in a creamy, sweet custard and a topping of buttery brown sugar and cinnamon. This breakfast casserole is easy to make because you prepare it all the night before, and all you have to do is bake it the following day. This is also great for when you don’t know what to do with a bunch of stale bread.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole is ideal if you are hosting brunch for a big group. This recipe is so easy! This is a great Christmas breakfast that will surely be a hit among the family. If you are to make individual toasts, it would take you forever! But with this prep-ahead dish, just assemble, bake, and then, cut it up to individual portions. You can top it with syrup, powdered sugar, or blueberries, or try my homemade blueberry sauce with a hint of vanilla.

If you have a loaf of bread that went stale (it happens to all of us), and you don’t know what to do with it, don’t toss it out to the birds! Make this delicious breakfast casserole. This works exceptionally well if the loaf is challah, sourdough, brioche, or French bread. If no stale bread around, just heat your bread in the oven at 200 degrees F for 10 minutes or toast it.

Whip this up and let it soak in the fridge overnight, so all you have to do in the morning is bake it. It is simple and delicious. If you have a larger crowd, make two or three casseroles to serve up to 24 people. It saves well, too. You can keep it for the rest of the day in the fridge in a sealed container or cut it up and put it in freezer bags to store it in the freezer for months. Then, thaw and reheat for a fast and easy breakfast or snack. 

Why you will love this recipe

  • You can serve a lot of people: Whether you have a large family or have over a bunch of friends, you can soak it overnight and just pop it in the oven in the morning.
  • Use up your stale bread: It is better than throwing out your bread when it goes stale.
  • Everyone enjoys it. It is made of thick, crusty bread, sweet, creamy custard, and juicy berries, making it the perfect comfort food.
  • It is easy: You do not have to do anything special to make this easy dish.

What you’ll need to make blueberry French toast casserole:

Special items:

  • Casserole dish – I use a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  • Mixing bowls – To mix up the ingredients.
  • Whisk – For whisking. 

The ingredients for the casserole:

  • Bread – Stale bread, preferably sourdough, challah, French, or brioche.
  • Blueberries – Fresh berries are best for this recipe, but frozen are okay if that is all you have.
  • Eggs – I use large eggs at room temperature for more straightforward incorporation.
  • Milk – I recommend whole milk for extra creaminess.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar is what you need for the right consistency and flavor.
  • Lemon zest – Make your zest for the best taste. It is quick and easy to do.
  • Cinnamon – This makes a big difference in the flavor, too.
  • Salt – I think kosher salt gives this the cleanest taste without additives.

For ingredients the topping:

  • Butter – Melted butter, unsalted, for the right consistency and taste.
  • Brown sugar – Light brown sugar is what I prefer, but you can use dark brown sugar for a richer flavor.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon blends with brown sugar for the perfect warm, sweet taste.
  • Salt – I also use kosher salt here.

For serving:

  • Maple syrup – I always use 100% pure maple syrup for the best flavor.
  • Powdered sugar – Adds a nice light sweetness.
  • Blueberries – Fresh, juicy berries to top the casserole.

How to make blueberry French toast casserole?

  1. Cut the bread: First, cut the bread into cubes and add half of them and half of the blueberries to the casserole dish. Then, add the rest on top of them.
  2. Make the milk mixture: Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and then pour it into the casserole dish. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least three hours or overnight.
  3. Bake: When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and put the rack in the center position.
  4. Make the topping: Then, mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle it over the casserole. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crunchy.
  5. Let rest and serve: Let your casserole rest for 15 minutes before serving with powdered sugar, maple syrup, and blueberries.

Expert tip

Soaking the bread overnight or not

While soaking overnight is perfect, some folks say it is too long for bread to be soaked in eggs and milk. I have heard their bread is too dry, soggy, chewy, and even spoiled. I have never had this problem, but it can happen. So, I want to say that you can make this recipe after letting it chill for just a few hours. You do not have to wait overnight. That is why the recipe says to soak for at least three hours or overnight.

I believe the bread needs a few hours to soak up the custard and cook properly. Otherwise, it will not soak up enough of the mixture, and you will end up with bread just sitting there in liquid, either dried out or soggy, depending on the conditions. The bread has to have time to soak it up before it bakes, or it will just be blueberry sauce with chunks of bread.

Now, when I say overnight, I mean that I put it in the refrigerator around midnight and bake it around seven-eight in the morning. So, it is really only in there for about seven-eight hours. That is the perfect time to soak the bread, and I have proof of that because my casserole always turns out delicious.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Use other berries: This would also be amazing with strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
  • Different fruits: Apples, peaches, pears, or pineapples would also be terrific choices. Mix them up and make a variety.
  • No lemon: Instead of lemon zest, use orange or lime for a different citrus flavor. 
  • White chocolate: Add chocolate chips to the casserole for a decadent touch.
  • Ginger: My husband loves it when I add some ginger for spiciness.
  • French toast sticks: Cut these into strips instead of cubes to make French toast sticks.

Serving suggestions:

  • Ice cream on top is the best way to turn this into a dessert. 
  • The kids love this with a creamy strawberry smoothie.
  • It makes a great dessert to bring to the next family picnic, church gathering.
  • This is perfect for Christmas morning with some white hot chocolate.
  • Serve it fro brunch on Mother’s day.
  • For beverages, serve the kids some blueberry lemonade, and adults can have blueberry margaritas.

Frequently asked questions

What is French toast casserole?

This is a version of regular pan-fried bread; only the bread is cut into cubes and tossed into a casserole dish with blueberries, milk, sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Then, in the morning, you top it with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon before baking it. I usually add more blueberries and a dusting of powdered sugar, but the kids like to add syrup, too. 

Why is my French toast casserole soggy?

It may be from the bread you used. If your bread is too soft, it will not absorb the custard and end up soggy. If you are ready to make your casserole and your bread is still not hard enough, toast it or put it in the oven at 200 degrees F for 10 minutes. Another reason could be that you did not cook it long enough. Try cooking it for another 10 minutes and see if it gets firmer.   

What is the best bread to use for blueberry French toast casserole?

The best bread to use is crusty, stale sourdough, French, brioche, or challah bread. The difference between baked and regular French toast is that when you make baked French toast, you chop the bread up and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to soak up the liquid. That is why you want the bread to be completely dried out and stale or toasted before you use it. It will not soak up enough liquid if it is too soft.

Why is my blueberry French toast casserole dry?

It is hard to dry this dish out because it soaks up the milky sauce all night. However, it could be that you did not add enough liquid or used too much bread. If the ratio of bread to liquid is unbalanced, the bread will end up dry. Another problem could be that you cooked it for too long. In that case, the liquid will get sucked from the bread, making it dry out.

How to store leftovers:

  • Refrigerate: Store it in an airtight container for 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Freezing: You can freeze it in individual portions in freezer bags for three months. 
  • Defrost: Thaw it overnight in your refrigerator for the best flavor.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the microwave for 45 to 90 seconds. 

More breakfast casseroles:

Recipe tips:

  • Ensure your bread is not too soft, or your casserole will be soggy.
  • If your bread is still soft when you are ready to cook, toast it or bake it in the oven at 200 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  • The best bread for this dish is something thick and crusty, like brioche, challah, French, or sourdough. Stale bread is better.
  • Perfect for a crowd, or make extra and freeze it in individual portions to eat later.
  • Ensure you have the correct ratio of liquid to bread for the best results.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Blueberry French Toast Casserole is sweet, rich, and hassle-free. It has many juicy blueberries, bread chunks soaked in a creamy custard and a fantastic lemon flavor.

  • Prep Time30 MIN
  • Cook Time45 MIN
  • Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

For the casserole:

  • 10 cups French loaf sourdough, or challah, the bread should be stale
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For serving:

  • Blueberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Maple syrup

Instructions

For the casserole:

  • Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.
  • Add half the bread chunks and half the blueberries to the baking dish and distribute evenly. Add the remaining bread chunks and the remaining blueberries.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the milk, sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon and combine. Pour the milk mixture evenly over all the bread chunks.
  • Covered and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

For the topping:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and arrange the oven rack in the center position.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray and set aside.
  • Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle the mixture evenly over the casserole.

Bake:

  • Bake the casserole for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crunchier.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with powdered sugar on top, maple syrup, and more blueberries.

Nutrition Facts

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Comments

(8)
Timberly

Timberly

Can you substitute any fresh fruit and still follow the while recipe? Or will different steps need to be taken?


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

You can make this recipe with any other berry!! If you decide to use stone fruit, like apples, peaches, or plums, I would recommend slicing them and cooking them in a bit of butter and sugar. After that, add them to the casserole per recipe directions.

Shay

Shay

Do you make adjustments if you don’t refrigerate it overnight?


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

let it soak for a few hours at least!

Krystel | Frugal Living

Krystel | Frugal Living

I love the tart that blueberries add to a sweet recipe. This is definitely a must try

Lyanna Soria

Lyanna Soria

That french toast casserole looks quite delicious! I've never tried making it that way, this is quite an interesting and tasty recipe.

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