This crunchy little bake is really nothing fancy, but comfort food doesn’t have to be, am I right? It’s sort of like a strata or bread pudding, but less moist and custardy. We wanted to focus on crunch. And cheese. Because those are very good things.
Since it is so simple, we went with homemade croutons here. They’re more delicate than the packaged variety and their flavor is all at once more buttery yet more subtle. They’re crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. You could use store-bought ones if you’d like but making your own is easy enough! You start with a nice loaf of crusty bread, cut it into cubes, and toss it in butter and herbs before putting it in the oven to crisp up.
We’ve used a spicy Italian sausage here, but you could really use whatever kind of sausage you’d like. (It’s easier if it’s a pre-cooked variety.) You could even use breakfast sausage for a morning version. All in all, it’s a quick and comforting baked dish that goes along well with all kinds of sides. Enjoy!
Cheesy Crouton Bake
Serves 4-6; 1 hour
- 1 lb cooked sausage, sliced
- 6 cups crusty white bread, cubed
- 2 cups Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8x12-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes in the butter, garlic powder, parsley, and some salt. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until toasted and golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In the large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and mustard until well blended. Add toasted bread cubes and stir gently until coated. Fold in sausage and 1 cup of the cheese.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake 30-40 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!