Buttery Breakfast Casserole Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Buttery Breakfast Casserole Recipe (1)

Total Time
1½ hours, plus 4 hours or overnight chilling
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The word “buttery” in the title refers to croissants, which make an especially rich foundation for this golden-topped baked breakfast classic. Toasting the croissants before building the casserole adds caramelized notes that can stand up to the bits of browned sausage, sage and melted Gruyère strewn throughout. Make this the night before a special breakfast or brunch, then pop it in the oven an hour before you plan to serve it.

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Yield:8 to 10 servings

  • 1pound croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
  • 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for baking dish
  • 1bunch scallions (6 to 7), white and light green parts thinly sliced, greens reserved
  • ¾pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 8large eggs
  • 3cups whole milk
  • 1cup heavy cream
  • 8ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1teaspoon black pepper

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

546 calories; 37 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 12 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 27 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 10 grams sugars; 25 grams protein; 694 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Buttery Breakfast Casserole Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.

  2. Step


    In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up meat with a fork, until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.

  3. In a large bowl, toss together croissants and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1½ cups cheese, salt and pepper.

  4. Step


    Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

  5. Step


    When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.



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Cooking Notes


Goodness! Did all you complainers bother to do the math? It's meant to be 8-10 servings. Let's go crazy and call it FIVE instead. What do you end up with in terms of calorically relevant food per person? About 1 croissant, about 3 g oil, about 2.5 oz sausage, approx an egg and a half, a good 1/2 cup of milk, 1.6 oz heavy cream, and 1.6 oz Gruyere. Health food to wolf down on my way to the squat rack? No. A delight to share with my family on our favorite morning of the year? To be sure.

Julie J.

This is the bomb !!! In every good sense I can think of !!!! People need to get over themselves and quit being such naughty children ! If you don't like the list of ingredients, that's your problem. Don't make it and don't criticize it. Life is too short to not savor ever single bite of deliciousness out there. And no, I do NOT weigh over 200 pounds. I believe moderation is important, including moderation....:-)


I did a practice run with sweet sausage and Swiss cheese, It is wonderful. I think the possibilities are endless. Quiche Lorraine style with bacon onion and Swiss. Mushrooms and breakfast sausage. Ham and Broccoli with cheddar, Veggie style with onion, mushroom, green pepper and fresh tomato. Thank You Melisa Clark - I Love You :)


Two suggestions: Toasting delicate croissants at 500 degrees for 5-10 minutes will result in ash. I toasted mine at 350 for 5 minutes. Second: I prepared this Friday night as the blizzard was approaching and woke up Saturday morning to no power. The casserole sat until Saturday night's dinner instead. During that time, the croissants disintegrated into nothing-ness. Still very tasty but the bread would have added nice texture. Don't prepare more than 12 hours in advance is my advice.


So delicious! Did a trial run before I had a house full of guests. Cut the room temp left overs into individual portions wrapped and froze. A month later unwrapped a frozen portion heated at 350° F. For 15 min. Still delicious!


This recipe was a hit the first time I made it for Christmas morning and every time since. I used sauteed garlic and spinach instead of sausage and it was a fantastic substitute!


What a fantastic recipe! Agreed with the comments to cut the milk down to 2 cups. I might also cut down on the top layer of cheese just a bit. We served it with hot sauce and with some fruit on the side.

I made mine around 11 PM the night before serving and it stayed nicely till the next morning around 10 AM when we put it in the oven.


While I'm not a vegetarian, I somehow have the impulse to substitute sautéed crimini mushrooms for the sausage. I also want to challenge her idea that a grainy bread won't work for this. Large rye croutons sautéed in butter, perhaps? Am I crazy? This is not about health - I just like tasting things with depth.


Melissa, please ignore the curmudgeons, but answer the query about the liquid in the photo of the finished casserole. Thank you.


I've made a very similar recipe with these changes: frozen waffles instead of croissants (toast in 350F oven til crispy & golden), maple breakfast sausage instead of Italian; cut back to 1-3/4 cups milk & add 1/4 cup maple syrup--Robust dark grade, which used to be called grade B; and sharp cheddar cheese--Cabot extra chart for preference. It's a family preference, and no wonder: delectable!


Made it as the recipe dictates minus 1 cup milk and with cheddar as well as gruyere because and it was a huge hit. Assembled completely overnight.

Also made it with oven roasted mushrooms with thyme as well as sage for a vegetarian brunch guest. Assembled the croissants and mushrooms at night and added egg dairy mixture in the morning.

Our guests loved both but the mushroom one was the favorite. Might try sausage and mushrooms together next time.


I live in Argentina and croissants are not nearly as buttery here nor did I remember the 4 hrs soak, however I actually skipped my husband's roast pig Xmas eve in order to enjoy this Christmas morn. I used leftover chorizos from the grill the night before and ham since there is no italian sausage and mozz with the Gruyère and since everyone else was full it lasted 24 blissful hours in the fridge. Best part of my holiday, oink oink.

Emily R

Made it over the weekend for brunch. Followed directions to the T with the exception of cooking time. Left it in for a few extra minutes. Probably unnecessary. I do think waiting at least 10 minutes to serve is very important in having it set.

Everyone loved it. Brought some leftovers to lunch.

Trish Stevens

This was fun to make yesterday and it was just devoured by me and my family. I've tried all different versions of breakfast casseroles through the years and this is the best one yet. I think the croissants make the biggest difference with the Gruyere cheese a close second. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!


This was a hit with my family and they are picky eaters. I modified the recipe based on some recommendations. I toasted the crossaints in 350° for 10 mins, I used 2lbs of sweet sausage because my boys are meat eaters. I sautéed the sausage w/ onions & garlic as well. Then I added spinach & diced tomatoes (drained) w/the sausage/crossaint mixture. I used Gouda because they didn't have Gruyere. I also cut the milk down to 2 cups. Baked it as indicated and it was fabulous!


Delicious, made for two Christmases in a row


This freezes and reheats remarkably well! I made over Christmas because I was worried we wouldn't have enough food. Ended up with way too much and froze half of it. Reheated for 30m at 375ish about a month later and it was just as good as straight out of the oven!

Taylor P.

Made this for a New Year’s breakfast to feed a large group. It was a hit, and relatively simple to prepare. I agree with notes around lowering the temp to toast the croissants. The goal is to get them a little crunchy. Other than that note, it was excellent!


Reduce milk to 2 cups instead of 3Watch the toasting of croissants- would do that at 350 and not 500No need to let it soak more than 1-2 hrs. Def on the shorter side. No need to use sage


I toasted my (yummy CostCo) croissants at 500° for 2 minutes only and they were brown. Ripping them is hard—2 pieces for the dish, one in my mouth. The dish is easy, nice to have it made a day ahead, was delicious and reminded me of James Beard’s quiche. It’s rich enough that I may use Half and Half rather than cream next time and add some greens next time.


Use only 2.5 cups milk and make the night before.


Was planning to make this for Christmas morning but instead made 1/2 recipe for New Year’s Day using leftover diced ham instead of sausage. Very tasty and also good reheated. Croissants made nice light texture and lucky me to have fresh sage in the garden!

True Testarossa

I made this for New Year's Day brunch and it was a huge hit! This is def flexible as desired - apologies to purists! A guest of mine doesn't eat pork, so I used chicken italian sausage (2 hot, 3 sweet) and it worked well. Per comments, increased eggs to 10 (large), added mushrooms (~12 oz) sauteed in the same pan as the sausage. Added chopped spinach. Used milk and heavy cream (1 C each), equal parts white cheddar and gruyere. FINALLY, used thickly sliced brioche bread bec that is what I had ;)


I added spinach and loved the addition. This is a terrific breakfast casserole! Always a fave.


Terrific breakfast casserole. I used sage sausage and added a little bit more sage. I also added spinach which is a nice green addition to the scallions.

leigh e

Loved it!! Made it exactly as written. Used 6 croissants but wish I had added one more. It was a little wet for my liking but still very good. I think next time I’d add a couple more croissants. This is a treat. Anyone balking at the rich ingredients needs to remember, everything in moderation. Live your life. Eat, drink, and be merry. It’s a short time we are here and full fat milk and cheese should be celebrated.


Also note- I’ve always toasted the croissants in the toaster (cutting them up into about 6-8 pieces each) but the oven method sounds even easier and I’m sure it would work just as well.

monica c

So mushy, as others said maybe cutting the milk by one cup would help? We try to overcook it to see if it would get more firm to no avail. Ended trying to fry pieces on a pan as scramble eggs :/


Hi Monica, I recommend you cut the milk. I reduced it to 2 C based on some of the comments (used 1 C reg milk and 1 C heavy cream). Casserole turned out a trifle wet, though my guests and I loved it and several guests had seconds. I may add another egg next time (used 10 large per comments) and/or reduce milk to 1.75 C to see if it solidifies more.

Nancy E

Almost like a souffle with the delicate croissants puffing full of cheese and eggs. I'd up the sage a bit next time, but that would be my only change. So delicious and easy to make the day before. Got more votes in my house than Melissa's Spinach and Gruyere Breakfast Casserole, likely because of the buttery croissants and the decadent sausage.

Teddy Dellesky

Made this exactly as directed with the exception of cooking time. Cooked it for 30ish min. more with some broiling at the end. Someone had scooped some before I could take a look. I used the vacant spot to eye the moisture on the bottom of the pan.The combination of ingredients created an amazing, umami-infused flavor. The texture of the croissants and custard was otherworldly.

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Buttery Breakfast Casserole Recipe (2024)


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