Like eating an extravagant breakfast with your guests, but hate dragging your groggy body out of bed at the crack of dawn to make it? This overnight breakfast casserole is for you. It’s particularly awesome when you have friends or family visiting, because you whip it together the evening before and all you have to do when you wake up is throw it in the oven.

I love the challenge of veganizing the most non-vegan foods I can find, and recipes in my grandmother’s Iowan church cookbooks, where it’s standard for each recipe to contain at least three kinds of dairy products, really push the limits. My parents serve this dish for breakfast most holidays, and since I hadn’t had it for years, I figured I’d try making my own vegan rendition. My victory here is further proof that you can veganize anything!

This casserole is serious Midwestern home cooking, and it’s probably not for everyone. A bit of perspective before you read the ingredients: the original recipe called for 8 eggs, a cup of whole milk, 1½ pounds of cheese, and a pound of bacon. Nothing like a good ol’ American heart attack on a plate. But I ain’t vegan for my health, so here you go:

 

Vegan Overnight Breakfast Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 16 oz firm tofu
  • ½ c potato flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp curry powder
  • 2 c soy milk
  • 4 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • ⅓ lb vegan cheddar, shredded
  • ⅓ lb vegan monterey*, shredded
  • 5 oz vegan bacon strips, fried
Instructions
  1. Mash tofu with a fork.
  2. Add potato flakes and spices; mix well.
  3. Add soy milk, mix, and set aside.
  4. Lightly grease an 8×8″ baking pan.
  5. Arrange bread to cover bottom of pan.
  6. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.
  7. Crumble bacon and sprinkle over cheese.
  8. Pour tofu mixture on top.
  9. Refrigerate overnight, and bake the next morning in a 350º oven for ~45 minutes.
  10. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing into squares.**
  11. Serve warm and top with ketchup or hot sauce if you’re into that sort of thing.
Notes
*Traditionally this recipe calls for Swiss cheese, but I unfortunately haven’t found vegan Swiss anywhere (Chicago Soy Dairy, are you listening?), so I use monterey instead. Feel free to use your favorite vegan cheeses. **How long you let your casserole cool before slicing will depend on the specific cheese(s) that you use. If the cheese is still liquid, the casserole hasn't had enough time to cool and set up. You want to wait until the cheese has firmed up before slicing.