Make holiday breakfast easy with this easy and delicious Pear Gruyere Overnight French Toast Casserole! Lovely served with bacon or sausage.
I stumbled on this recipe recently and was so intrigued by the flavour combination. Not to mention the easy overnight french toast casserole part :) It’s the season when things like that come in handy!
Pears are one of my favourite baked fruits and the nutty flavour of Gruyere cheese compliments it perfectly. But there’s more. There’s cinnamon raisin bread as the base of this one. It’s all bathed in a milk and egg mixture and left to sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning, simply bake and enjoy.
The flavours of this french toast casserole pair beautifully with something salty – bacon, bacon bacon, sausage or ham.
We actually enjoyed this as “breakfast for dinner”, so don’t hesitate to mix up in the morning and let it sit in the fridge all day, then bake up for dinner.
I used Anjou pears for my dish. They held their shape well and had great flavour.
Use whatever milk (or light cream) you like. I used whole (3%) milk.
You can add a drizzle of maple syrup to serve if you like, though I didn’t really think it needed it.
The original “light” recipe called for 1% milk and egg substitute, if you’d prefer to make the lightened up version.
Gruyere cheese can be pricey, but it takes a relatively small piece for the 1 cup shredded. So don’t feel you need to buy a big piece. You’ll need about 4 oz. It really is the best choice for this casserole, but if you can’t find it, I’m thinking an Emmental cheese would be a nice substitute.
Get the Recipe: Pear Gruyere Overnight French Toast Casserole
- 4 cups sliced peeled Anjou or Concorde pears
- 2 tsp butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp granulated white sugar
- 16-20 slices cinnamon swirl bread, cut in half diagonally
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, about 4 oz
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, or half and half cream
- 5 Tbsp granulated white sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar, or white sugar
- Icing/confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, optional
- In a medium bowl, combine the sliced pears, melted butter and the 1 Tbsp of sugar. Toss gently to coat.
- In a greased 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, arrange half of the bread slices on the bottom of the pan. Spoon pear mixture overtop, then top evenly with shredded cheese. Arrange remaining bread on top.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, 5 Tbsp sugar, eggs and cinnamon. Pour over bread, then press down slightly with the back of a spatula to submerge the bread. Cover tightly and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Remove covering from dish. Sprinkle turbinado (or white) sugar evenly over top. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes to set up. Cut into squares to serve. Serve dusted with icing sugar and/or a drizzle of maple syrup, if you like.
Adapted from a Cooking Light Recipe
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
What a perfect casserole for the holidays, I love these flavors!
Thanks so much, Laura :)
This is my kind of breakfast! I just love pears and they way you’ve folded them into this French toast bake with the gruyere is calling me:) Great idea.
Thanks Milena, I just loved this combination of flavours. Delicious!
This is so pretty and sounds wonderful. I would happily eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Trader Joes has a shredded cheese that’s a combination of Swiss and Gruyere. It’a less expensive than Gruyere but gives a similar flavor profile.
Thanks Chris and great tip about the Trader Joe’s cheese mix. A great alternative!
This is incredible! Truly! Thank you for sharing – we will be enjoying this in our house!! Shared!
Thanks so much, Annie :)
I’m looking at this and all I’m thinking about is how awesome this would be for Christmas morning! Love the addition of cheese in there too – bet it pairs wonderfully with the pear :)
Thanks Dawn and yes, this one is certainly Christmas morning perfect!
I would have never thought to add the Gruyere Jennifer, but I am so intrigued! I bet it’s just delicious. Casseroles like this just go hand in hand with the holiday season, don’t you think?
Thanks Mary Ann and yes, it seems random, at first, but when you taste it, it’s just perfect :) And yes, dishes like this are great for the busy season.
Wow – pears and Gruyère together, what a fantastic combination. This looks so delicious and filled with all the flavors that I love. If we get company during the holidays I’m going to make this. Thanks Jennifer!
Thanks Tricia :) It was a fabulous combination of flavours. Loved it!