Celebrate Christmas morning with the ultimate Canadian breakfast casserole. Christmas Morning Wife Saver is made with layers of bread, ham, cheese and topped with an egg, milk and veggie mixture, and cereal topping. Make it the night before, pop it in the oven in the morning and serve with a fruit salad or holiday panettone.
The Holiday Season is more than adventuring the mall, knocking gifts off a list and opening perfectly wrapped presents under the tree. It's a time where the magic of the season is honoured with traditions passed down through generations; special moments that we hold close, adding meaning to our celebrations.
For me and my family these traditions include Christmas morning brunch with tiny foods picked out by me and my sister including jalapeño poppers and mini quiches, and other traditions like my Dad's pepper pot. And for Philip, his family holiday tradition comes by the little name of Christmas Morning Wife Saver.
Growing up with five siblings, Philip's mom Patricia needed a Christmas morning dish that could feed a large group, was easy to prepare, and even easier to serve. Enter Christmas Morning Wife Saver courtesy of the Best of Bridge cookbook. A true wife or mom saver, this Canadian classic was and still is the perfect Christmas morning meal to prepare for family.
What is Christmas Morning Wife Saver?
Christmas Morning Wife Saver is a breakfast casserole made with layers of bread, ham, cheese, bread and topped with an egg, milk and veggie mixture, and a cereal topping.
How to Make Our Christmas Morning Wife Saver
Putting a Chef Sous Chef spin on a 1980's housewife secret, we passed on the traditional white bread of this dish for sourdough, swapped the ham for back bacon, added in jalapeños for flavour, old cheddar for sharpness and sweetened corn cereal to complement this savoury breakfast casserole
Ingredients for Christmas Morning Wife Saver
Sharp cheddar, sourdough bread, peameal bacon, eggs, whole milk, jalapeno peppers, onion, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, butter, honey corn cereal flakes, salt and pepper.
Make a Breakfast Casserole Sandwich
Place 4 slices of bread, crusts removed, on the base of a buttered 9” x 9” oven safe casserole dish. Use an additional 2 slices of bread to fill in any gaps in the base. Layer slices of peameal bacon slices on top of the bread. Sprinkle 2 ½ cups of grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon. Complete the “casserole sandwich" by covering the cheese with another 4 slices of bread.
Make the Eggs and Get Soaking
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 5 eggs, 2 ½ cups of milk, 1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ¾ teaspoon dry mustard, pepper, salt, 1 diced jalapeño pepper, and ½ diced onion. Pour the mixture over the entire casserole, cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight, or up to two days.
Top and Bake
When you get up the next morning, remove the wife saver from the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Melt ½ cup butter and pour over the strata, then top with 2 cups of crushed honey flake cereal. Bake, uncovered for 1 hour. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Helpful Tools and Ingredients to Make Christmas Morning Wife Saver
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Christmas Morning Wife Saver
- 200 g Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded (about 2 ½ cups)
- 12 large slices sourdough bread crusts removed
- 8 slices peameal bacon
- 5 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeds removed and diced (about ¼ cup)
- ½ small onion diced (about ¼ cup)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter melted
- 2 cups honey cereal flakes crushed
- Place 4 slices of bread on the based of a buttered 9” x 9” oven safe casserole dish. Use an additional 2 slices of bread to fill in any gaps in the base.
- Layer the peameal bacon slices on top of the bread. Then sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon. Cover with the remaining bread to make a “casserole sandwich.”
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, pepper, salt, jalapeño peppers, and onion. Pour the mixture over the entire casserole, cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight, or up to two days.
- In the morning, preheat your oven to 350°. Pour the melted butter over the casserole then cover with the crushed cereal.
- Bake, uncovered for 1 hour. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Jane A says
I grew up in Calgary and this was my favourite Christmas dish. You guys made it look so beautiful. Love the addition of Jalapeño peppers!