Healthy Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Yesterday, I showed you all Nick’s birthday muffins, and I’m sure some of you were wondering what that cheesy deliciousness in the background of some of the pictures was.

You’d be wrong if you assumed a measly muffin is enough to satisfy Nick’s breakfast appetite. While not averse to sweet breakfasts (Lucky Charms, in particular), Nick usually prefers savory breakfasts because, well, they’re usually bigger, greasier, and a lot more filling.

So I decided to do a little savory alongside my sweet. I stuck with my healthy route, but this breakfast casserole still has enough protein to fill you up and enough flavor to keep you coming back for more!

The original recipe called for rosemary and gruyere, but Aunt Diane sent me home from California a couple weeks ago with some ground chipotle chili, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it. So I subbed in the chipotle and some sharp cheddar, and the flavor combo was amazing!

Healthy Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

(adapted from Eating Well)

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (you could also use cayenne)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups spinach, wilted
  • 4 cups whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup diced ham steak
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, chipotle and pepper and whisk to combine.

Toss spinach, bread, ham and roasted red peppers in a large bowl.

Transfer to baking dish.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread mix and push down to compact.

Cover with foil. (At this point, you can put it in the fridge overnight, if you’d like. This is what I did, since it takes a while to prepare and bake in the morning.)

Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

The dish was a big success, and the best part? Leftovers! I had a couple mornings off from my egg and toast duty. Definitely a great way to save some time during the week!

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