Simple ingredients and totally delicious – this custard-like Christmas Breakfast Oven Cheese Fondue can be assembled the night before and baked while you’re opening gifts.
There’s something about Christmas breakfast that’s just better than all other breakfasts, in my opinion. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia, the excitement of Christmas morning, being surrounded by family, or perhaps a little bit of it all. But there is something certainly special about Christmas breakfast, wouldn’t you agree?
Ok… so this isn’t a cheese fondue as you mostly likely know it. Oven Cheese Fondue has been described as the ‘poor man’s fondue’ – what you would make when you don’t have a lot for dipping and you need to make the ingredients you have stretch. I believe my mom adapted this recipe from her old 1970’s Betty Crocker book, but I can’t be certain as she no longer has a copy.
Growing up, we always had oven cheese fondue Christmas morning. My mom would put it together the night before, and then as we opened presents she would pop it in the oven. By the time all of the gifts were opened Christmas breakfast was ready! To make the event even more special, mom used her fine crystal to serve mimosas. Of course as children we were given orange juice, but nonetheless it was served in crystal stemware. As I got a little older, but still not quite of drinking age, I was finally allowed to enjoy a mimosa along with everyone else; but I always topped off my glass with a bit more champagne when no one was looking 😉 Of course now that I’m an adult and pregnant with a girl due in January, it looks like I’m back to orange juice this year.
The ingredients in this dish are simple, and you may very well have everything in your pantry. However, there does need to be some consideration given to the bread. When selecting a loaf, you may be thinking that you want something of the artisanal variety. But think of the bread as being a vehicle for flavor, rather than adding flavor. Artisanal breads are generally chewy and have larger holes – not ideal for soaking up the surrounding flavors and adding a custard-like consistency. Believe it or not, a simple good-quality white sandwich bread is the best! It’s soft, pillowy, and has a fine hole structure, which makes for better flavor absorption and retention.
Simple ingredients, quickly assembled, and totally delicious – this oven cheese fondue makes a fantastic breakfast not just on Christmas morning, but it also makes for a show-stopper of a dish for any breakfast or brunch throughout the year!
- a pat of unsalted butter
- 10 slices good quality white bread, crusts removed and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- hot sauce, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and rub the butter on the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking dish.
- In a large bowl add the bread, cheese and shallots. In a smaller bowl, combine the beaten eggs and milk, whisk until slightly frothy. Then whisk in the dry mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add the egg and milk mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Gently fold to combine (make sure you don't smash the cubes of bread).
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until the crust is set. Sprinkle with parsley, serve, and enjoy!
Thank you Kathleen for preparing this delicious dish for us Christmas morning.. it was thoroughly enjoyed!
Allison Holt says
I should have asked this before I put it together, but I didn’t. I’ve made it tonight for Christmas morning breakfast yumminess. Question: Has anyone ever doubled this recipe? And how did it turn out. I know some recipes don’t “double” well. Hopefully this is one that does 🙂
Hi Allison! Yes, you can double the recipe. Just be aware that your baking time may increase another 15 – 30 minutes. My recommendation is to bake for an hour and then keep an eye on it and continue to cook until set. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Allison! 🙂
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four says
I love this! I always make baked cheesy eggs when I’m entertaining for breakfast. This looks glorious! And omg – eep!!! Baby girl is coming so soon!! Congratulations! <3
Girl and the Kitchen says
Kat…this is so freaking brilliant! It’s like the cheesiest bread pudding…EVER! So much yum up in here…And yes I love love love Christmas morning (#worstjewever) primarily because I have the day off and the morning to create incredible mums like this 🙂
What part of this dish is fondue? This is an egg bake/casserole. Maybe could be considered a quiche, but it is not fondue. Otherwise, it looks delicious.
Hi Michelle. Yes, it certainly does look like a traditional egg bake, casserole, or even a strata and could fall under any of those categories. However, oven cheese fondue is a real thing with several close recipes available online. I’ve heard it described as the ‘poor man’s fondue’ – what you would make when you don’t have meat or veggies for dipping and you need to make the ingredients you have stretch.
This was something my mom always made when we were kids, so I just gave her a call to find out where the recipe came from. She said she was pretty sure it came from her old Betty Crocker cookbook. Unfortunately she no longer has the book so I couldn’t verify the recipe, but if in fact it did, it has the potential of being at least as old as her copy from the 70’s.
I hope some of this helps! It was fun for me to chat with my mom about it and learn a bit more about where the recipe came from 🙂 Hope you enjoy the rest of your week, Michelle! And thanks for the question!
This looks crazy tasty and almost soufflé-like. Beautiful and I have a bit of Gouda that might find it’s way into this! So happy for you two and the upcoming birth of your daughter, so exciting!
I’ve been thinking of this since seeing on IG. This would make everyone in my family so happy on Christmas morning. Sooo good! And I’m so excited for you…a baby girl! Fantastic news!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Christmas breakfast is definitely THE BEST breakfast of the entire year! Traditionally we would have monkey bread while we opened gifts, then while my sister and I played with our toys my mother and father would start whipping together a fancy breakfast, which most years was Eggs Benedict with Crab Hash. Oh sweet sweet memories. 😉 This breakfast oven cheese fondue would be a welcome addition to the holiday breakfast table, girlfriend! Seriously, I have already printed out the recipe and I am planning on making it for New Year when my mother and MOD come to visit! I mean breakfast + cheese fondue?! I NEED THIS. Pinned as well! Cheers!!!
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
You’ve got me thinking about Christmas Day breakfast now, Kathleen. Usually we just have toast so we don’t spoil our appetite for lunch, but now I’m thinking I should make more effort this year. This would be perfect. As you say, it’s easy with every day ingredients, and sounds delicious!
Sweet and Savoury Pursuits says
This looks so good, love easy to make cheesy egg dishes!
Bam's Kitchen says
Loving this pantry breakfast. The dry mustards a nice punch to this dish and a warm welcome on any holiday morning. Just pinned!
Marissa (@pinchandswirl) says
Just texted this recipe to my mom because it sure looks like Christmas morning breakfast to me! January!!!! So exciting, Kathleen!!
This sounds absolutely amazing..Perfect idea for Christmas breakfast.Pinning cause I need to try this for sure:)
Oh my congratulations! A little girl. Wow, she is so well fed (already). This looks incredible. I love the tradition of starting something like this with my own family and the prep work the day before is right up my alley.
Meg | Meg is Well says
I love Christmas morning and we always would have something sweet for breakfast/brunch but honestly I love the idea of having a savory breakfast! This sounds so different and delicious and I’m a HUGE fan of cheesy meals.
Yes, Christmas morning is the best breakfast because there’s pj’s and presents. This is my kind of breakfast and I can’t wait to make it.
Ashlyn // Dollop Of Yum says
There is truly something special about Christmas breakfast! I’ve never heard of baked breakfast cheese fondue but I definitely will have to try it! Looks delicious. 🙂
Miriam @londonkitchendiaries says
Breakfast is my all time favourite meal of the day and I completely agree with you Christmas morning breakfast is something rather special! What a lovely tradition to make an oven cheese fondue – sound so easy to make as well!
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
This cheese Christmas breakfast fondue looks so pretty and delicious. Love how easy this is and made with very simple ingredients. Loved it, Kathleen.
This is so full of cheesy deliciousness! I do a HUGE Christmas breakfast every year and I need to add this to the list. Don’t worry, I’ll be drinking a mimosa (or three) for you that morning girl. lol! 🙂
Breakfast on Christmas morning is my favorite! Love this beautiful and delicious idea! Pinning to try it!
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says
I totally agree…breakfast on Christmas morning is the BEST! Even though we usually just have something small, I love it, even if it’s just toast and an egg. Maybe nostalgia, like you said. Something special having breakfast on the big day with the tree on and excitement in the air! Hubby and I will pour some coffee and open our gifts. We have a little breakfast ’cause we have a big turkey dinner and we save room for that. Nothing like dinner on Christmas day too. Maybe it’s just all the food on that day, lol 😀 This looks absolutely delicious and anything with cheese is good to me! Pinning and making over the holidays 🙂