I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This post has been sponsored by #CollectiveBias and their client to bring you this Kraft #FreshTake recipe with my own thoughts, opinions, and kitchen creations. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!
Easter brunch is a big holiday meal for our family. But the bigger our family (and extended family) becomes, the harder it gets to cook. I don’t want to repeat the Easter I ended up at church with no shoes and eyeliner on one eye. I’m laid back, but that was a low point even for me. An overnight casserole is a fabulous idea to make your life easier—and tastier! This year I experimented with a Kraft Fresh Take meal kit and improved on a recipe I’ve been using and playing with for years. The result was fabulous and stress-free the next morning.
I still remember one Easter when my mom let me help make a bunny cake out of two round pans (one was his face and the other was cut to make ears and a bow tie). It may have been a little worse for the wear with my helping, but the fact that I got to help create something unique and fun meant a lot to me. So in addition to this fresh take on brunch, I incorporated a fun idea for the kids.
Sunday mornings are always hectic since my husband works at church and has to be there early. The idea behind an overnight casserole is that the eggs soak into bread at the bottom and all the flavors have time to settle together. In the morning you can simply pop the whole thing in the oven without doing one lick of work. If your family isn’t big on early breakfast, this meal works perfectly for a later brunch as well.
I made two casseroles: one in a pretty round dish for the adults and the other in a larger pan for the kids. When they were both ready to serve but cooled a little, I gave the kids Easter cookie cutters and let them cut their own pieces in bunny or egg shapes. This made the food fun and let them have a little hands-on experience, even though I actually made the casserole while they were sleeping. With the crunch of breadcrumbs and cheese from the Kraft Fresh Take meal kit, these bite-sized casserole pieces scored big with my kids. The Cheddar Jack with Bacon meal kit had the perfect breakfast flavor profile.
You can find the Fresh Take meal kits in the cheese section at Walmart, which is perfect because most of your ingredients are right in a row: eggs, cheese, and Kraft Fresh Take Cheddar Jack and Bacon. Find a coupon for $1 off when you buy Fresh Take meal kits plus chicken at Walmart! Older bread works really well in these casseroles, so I used bread I had on hand and tomatoes and zucchini to give a pop of color and a fresh taste of veggies. I paired Kraft’s Cheddar Jack with a shredded Monterey Jack blend. Honestly, though—can you go wrong with cheese?
- Half a loaf of older bread (not stale, not super fresh)
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 zucchini, diced
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 package Kraft Fresh Take Cheddar Jack and Bacon meal kit
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 8-inch ceramic pie pan as well as a rectangular glass casserole pan (11x7). Chop or tear the bread into crouton-sized pieces and layer them in the bottom of the pans. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well-combined.
- Stir in the chopped veggies and the cheese and pour over the bread at the bottom of each pan. Keep stirring as you pour to keep an even mixture in each pan so the veggies don't clump up and all fall in one place. Cover each with foil and let sit overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 375. Open the Kraft Fresh Take meal kit and combine the breadcrumbs and cheese in the provided bag. Spread evenly over each casserole. Replace the foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese mixture is browned on top.
- When a little bit cool, serve either sliced cut the larger rectangle pan into shapes with cookie cutters and serve.
With breakfast made ahead of time, the morning routine was a breeze, even when I added in the cookie cutter activity. It only took a few extra minutes and meant that my kids were even more excited about eating because they got to choose their own shapes. Sometimes it’s those little things that make a difference in how my kids respond to food. Where they might normal complain or balk, if they had a hand in the making, they dive right into eating.
I loved the way the breadcrumb mixture from the Fresh Take kit gave the top layer a nice crunch. Breaking up the egg-y texture of the casserole really made the whole dish more successful and that hint of bacon gave it a wonderful smokiness. For a fun serving idea, fill plastic eggs with fresh fruit. I love the playfulness of this, and so did my kids.
Do you have any favorite Easter brunch traditions, recipes, or activities to get the kids involved? How might a meal kit like Kraft #Freshtake help transform a favorite meal? Here’s a link to a printable PDF from Kraft with recipes to use with Fresh Take!