By Leslie Kelly

Easiest brunch ever

We all know that irresistible urge to be lazy. But we also want to see our friends. Here's how to have both things at once. Whip up a French toast casserole and let it sit in the fridge overnight, and invite your friends over for brunch the next day. Come brunch time, just pop the French toast in the oven and complete your menu with fruit, mimosas, coffee, or whatever your friends bring to share.

I'll share tips to make French toast casseroles, plus crowd-pleasing recipes to try. Brunch just doesn't get much easier, or more delicious.

French toast casserole on a plate and in the pan.
Credit: Allrecipes Magazine

French Toast Casserole Prep Tips

  • Cut the bread into cubes and let it sit and dry out for at least an hour. That step helps ensure it thoroughly soaks up the custard.
  • Beat the eggs before adding the milk or cream, or milk substitute for the most velvety consistency.
  • Reserve some of the spice to sprinkle on top just before baking. Because cinnamon makes the kitchen smell amazing.
  • If the recipe calls for citrus, try adding the zest of a lime, lemon or orange to brighten the flavor.
  • Cover the casserole with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out in the fridge.
  • For a crispy topping, turn on the broiler for the final 2-3 minutes of cooking, keeping a close eye on your creation.

16 Crowd-Pleasing French Toast Casseroles

"I made this for Christmas morning brunch, perfect to put in the oven and go open presents while it bakes," says Joshua Dunham. "You can top with syrup or whipped cream or nothing at all. I found several different recipes similar to this one, but none had everything I wanted to do with it, so I thought I'd try to make my own. I think it is a very good start, but please, let me know what you think!"

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole
Credit: Happyschmoopies

"This is a delicious breakfast dish that my mother likes to prepare for Christmas breakfast," says JRGLUCHOW. "It is easy to prepare, and sets overnight, so in the morning you just put it in the oven and enjoy."

french toast casserole with side of sausage and fruit
Credit: Sheena

"I made this twice in the same week," says herzeleid. "The first time I took it to brunch at my cousins' house. All of the adults ate it just as it was. No syrup required."

Best Oven Baked French Toast
Credit: Snacking in the Kitchen

Fresh pairs combine with a syrup of cinnamon, ginger, and honey in this French toast casserole. "An awesome new twist to breakfast," says Amanda.

french toast casserole with pears
Credit: CC<3's2cook

"I made this for a group of college students and it was a big hit!" says Paige. "The caramel coating at the bottom really takes this recipe to the next level. I'll definitely make it again!"

"Tastes good for breakfast, just like French toast," says gingem. "It's easy to make too! Serve warm with maple syrup on top."

raisin bread french toast casserole in a baking dish
Credit: ChefV

"French toast casserole is served with a drizzle of warm homemade strawberry sauce," says Tamala Henry.

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast
Credit: lutzflcat

"I got this recipe from my sister in law," says ANTLALA. "She and my brother had it at their gift opening after the wedding. I make it any time we have people staying with us, and it is always a hit. You may sprinkle the top with pecans if you wish."

"Tastes good for breakfast, just like French toast," says STARFLOWER. "It's easy to make too! Serve warm with maple syrup on top."

French Toast Casserole
Credit: Molly

"An easy breakfast to serve when you have overnight guests," says Wanda Galloway. "Serve with syrup, butter and fresh fruit."

Pecan French Toast
Credit: LynnInHK

You'll layer apple slices and pecans with slices of bread and sweet and buttery caramel sauce. "This is a good excuse to eat dessert for breakfast," says mikeandjenn.

Caramel French Toast
Caramel French Toast | Photo by Christina
| Credit: Christina

"Delicious and so easy, it'll become a Christmas morning tradition," says Tillie'sHeadCook. "It needs no syrup. Whipped cream and sliced fruit like strawberries and bananas are great on top!"

french toast casserole with fruit and whipped cream
Credit: Bing

Recipe creator Cutie says, "Save time without the hassle of dipping individual pieces and frying on the stove top. Any kind of sandwich bread will work, and you can add any fruit or cream cheese. I used bananas because it's what I had on hand." This is a versatile French bread bake that allows you to pick and choose what fruit you add.

Easy Baked Banana French Toast
Credit: Leroy in Las Vegas

Indulge in this pumpkin treat on cool fall mornings."This was a really great addition to a brunch menu. It was perfectly spiced and not too sweet, but just sweet enough to not need syrup. The crumb topping is an extra special touch. I found I liked it best with just a dollop of fresh whipped cream to complement the spicy pumpkin flavor," says reviewer CC<3's2bake.

"I made this recipe once for a work potluck breakfast, since I could make it the night before and just bake it while getting ready in the morning. Well, once was all it took and I have not been able to make anything else for all potlucks after that. This is so delicious for a group breakfast or brunch," says reviewer Tracey Banks Ivan. Save any leftover caramel sauce to serve over ice cream later—you're welcome.

Baked Caramel-Apple French Toast
Credit: BakeItUp

This elegant twist on French toast casserole is made with pears, sourdough bread, and almonds. Recipe creator abfabmom calls it "An easy, layered dish that refrigerates overnight so you have more time to spend with your guests in the morning! This recipe makes a lot, so it's great for a crowd."

Pear and Almond French Toast Casserole
Credit: vicki936