I don't know of many fantastically easy ways to use up day-old bread other than breadcrumbs, bread pudding, and this scrumptious overnight Skillet Egg Bake. I also appreciate that as long as I add some kind of cheese and some variety of onion, it turns out perfect every time. And it gets gobbled up.
I love making this on weekends or for guests because I can assemble the night before and get up early to pop it in the oven while I'm making the coffee...the house fills with cozy breakfast smells and I basically did nothing strenuous besides turning a knob and opening the oven door.
See the tips and versions below the recipe for ideas- honestly, just use what you have--that's the entire point of this recipe, and make sure to use cheese and onion. ;)
For a dairy-free version, use oat milk and a meltable, vegan cheese.
SKILLET EGG BAKE
Ingredients: 4-5 cups torn day-old bread, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup diced green onion, 1 cup shredded, cooked ham, 6 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, salt and pepper to taste.
1. Grease an oven-proof 9-10-inch skillet with butter, ghee, or oil.
2. Tear day-old bread directly into the skillet, then top with cheese, onions and ham. Give it a good toss with your hands to distribute.
3. Whisk the eggs and milk with salt and pepper until well combined. Pour over the bread. Press down with the back of a spoon to help it absorb. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 8 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 375*F. Remove egg bake from the fridge and let it come to room temperature while the oven is preheating.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, until bread is golden and crusty and cheese is melted. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Version 1: Use Swiss, cooked crumbled sausage and shallots.
Version 2: Use cheddar-jack cheese, bacon and grated sweet onion.
Version 3: Use Swiss, cooked shredded chicken and chopped red onion.
Version 4 Vegetarian: Use Feta, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1 cup chopped spinach, and grated yellow onion.