This overnight Weekday Protein French Toast Bake is the perfect quick and easy breakfast when the kids just want cereal everyday! I wrote this recipe, not just for a holiday brunch, but for busy weekday mornings! It takes 5 minutes to put together before you go to bed, sits overnight in the fridge, and bakes in 30 minutes in the morning! High in protein with lots of eggs, milk and almond topping, and deliciously kid-approved!
Why We Love It!
- It's fast and easy enough for a weekday breakfast! - This is the best french toast for kids, but mom and dad love it too! Just mix it up the night before, or really anytime the day before and let it sit overnight in the fridge. The bread soaks up all that yummy almond flavored egg and is ready to pop in the oven for those busy school mornings!
- It's a high protein healthier breakfast option! - My kids get seriously stuck in a cereal rut! Although I do top their Cheerios with a scoop of homemade granola, I feel their breakfasts are often lacking in protein and overall heartiness! They are not big fans of eggs on toast, so this high protein french toast bake is a great alternative. It really is just eggs on toast in a different form! Most french toast bakes are loaded with sugar, making them best to save for special occasions. Not here, this is a healthier version, deliciously flavored with almond extract and cinnamon, with just a bit of brown sugar in the almond topping.
- It's delicious and great for special occasions too! - Almond extract is the secret ingredient that just feels like the holidays to me! This french toast casserole is great for brunch with guests too! Directions to make a 9x13 pan that feeds 6 to 8 people are at the bottom of the recipe card. Pair it with a fancy fruit platter and some bacon or sausage and it's the perfect brunch, or even makes a great weeknight dinner!
- If you love this recipe, be sure to check out my Protein Pancakes and Overnight Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Crusty Bread - A crusty loaf of bread is the best for this recipe because it holds up well to the overnight soaking in the eggs and gets soft and delicious! You can use baguette, ciabatta, a French or Italian loaf (although avoid anything with a flavoring like garlic or rosemary), or a crusty sourdough. Regular sandwich bread will give you different results but would work too. I often grab an extra loaf of crusty bread and save it in my freezer. Just pull it out a few hours ahead of time so it's thawed enough to slice.
- Eggs - Protein French Toast starts with lots of eggs! I use 5 in this recipe which feeds 2 to 4 people. You could throw in an extra if you want to bump the protein even more.
- Milk - I use whole milk, another great protein source, but any type of milk or non-dairy milk will work.
- Cinnamon - That classic French Toast flavor!
- Almond Extract - The secret ingredient!! Almond extract gives you an amazing flavor and is perfect for the holiday season.
- Butter - Use 1 Tablespoon of butter to first grease your pan, then use the rest to melt for the almond topping.
- Brown Sugar - Just 2 Tablespoons! Far less than most french toast bake recipes! The bit of sugar gives you a delicious topping, but you could always use less or omit it. You will get plenty of sweetness serving your french toast with maple syrup.
- Sliced Almonds - Another french toast protein boost comes from the almonds baked over the top! You could increase the amount a bit if you want to add protein, and could also substitute chopped walnuts or pecans.
Step 1 - Grease an 8x8 baking dish with butter or cooking spray and line it with bread cut into large cubes. I like to put it in the baking dish first so you can eyeball that you have the right amount.
Step 2 - Whisk together the egg, milk, salt, cinnamon and almond extract and add the bread to the bowl. Mix well until the bread is fully coated in the egg mixture.
Step 3 - Let the bread sit in the egg while you make the topping. In a small bowl, melt butter in the microwave and mix in the brown sugar and almonds with a fork.
Step 4 - Pour the bread and egg mixture bake into the baking dish, press it down evenly with a spatula, and top it with the almond topping.
Step 5 - Cover with plastic wrap, or a reused bread or bun plastic bag works great, and refrigerate overnight.
Step 6 - In the morning, preheat your oven to 375° and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve with maple syrup and berries!
- How to Make a larger 9x13 pan of French Toast Bake - To make a larger batch, just double the recipe, which is about one and a half loaves depending on the style of bread you use. With 10 eggs, a 9x13 pan will feed 6 to 8 people. Bake a bit longer, about 35 to 40 minutes or until egg is not runny.
- What kind of bread is best for overnight french toast? - Because the bread is soaked in the egg overnight, a crusty bread is best because it holds it's shape and doesn't turn to mush. Baguette, ciabatta, French or Italian loaves (unflavored, don't use anything with garlic or herbs!), or a rustic sourdough would all be great. The Take-n-Bake loaves from the grocery store work well for this recipe too. If all you have is sandwich bread, it will work, but I would skip the overnight soak and just make the recipe in the morning and bake right away.
No. If you want to make this french toast casserole the morning you are going to eat it, you can. The longer the bread sits in the egg mixture, the more it is able to soak up the liquid, so even an hour in the fridge is beneficial. If you don't have an hour, it will be ok to make it and bake it immediately, just make sure to really mix the bread into the egg mixture well.
Yes! A gluten free french toast casserole is as easy as substituting your favorite gluten-free bread!
Yes! Make it an Almond Milk French Toast Bake! Substitute the milk in the recipe for any dairy-free milk of your choice.
More Weekday Breakfast Recipes!
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Easy Weekday Protein French Toast Bake
- 4 to 5 cups crusty bread, cut into large cubes (about ⅔'s of a baguette, ciabatta, or any crusty French or Italian loaf)
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
For the Topping
- 1 Tablespoon melted butter
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Butter or spray a square 8x8 baking dish. You can measure 1 Tablespoon of butter, rub the inside of the pan including the bottom and sides, then use the rest for the topping. Cut bread and add it to the baking dish so you can eyeball the right amount.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, cinnamon and almond extract. Add the bread to the bowl and mix and stir until it is completely coated in the egg mixture. Let the bread sit in the milk while you prepare the topping.
- Make the topping in a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the brown sugar and almonds.
- Pour the bread and egg mixture back into the baking dish and sprinkle with the topping. Cover (plastic wrap or a reused bread or bun bag works great!) and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 375° and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve with berries and maple syrup.
- How to make a larger 9x13 pan of French Toast Bake - To make a larger batch, just double the recipe, which is about one and a half loafs depending on the style of bread you use. I filled up a 4 cup glass measuring cup heaping full of bread twice, so about 8-10 cups of cubed bread. With 10 eggs, a 9x13 pan will feed 6 to 8 people. Bake a bit longer, about 35 to 40 minutes or until egg is not runny.
- To check that your french toast bake is done, after 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and give it a little shake. Pull off one of the bread chunks and look for runny egg in the middle. If the eggs are still runny, let it bake a few minutes more.
- If you want to make this french toast casserole the morning you are going to eat it, you can skip refrigerating it overnight. However, the longer the bread sits in the egg mixture, the more it is able to soak up the liquid, so even an hour in the fridge is beneficial. If you don't have an hour, it will be ok to make it and bake it immediately, just make sure to really mix the bread into the egg mixture well.