Quick and easy french toast casserole plus 5 uses for stale bread

I was at this amazing new-ish bakery recently and couldn’t resist buying a few loaves of their beautiful bread, which was on the pricey side ($5.50 per loaf). I sliced and froze a loaf of sourdough (my husband’s favorite), and heated and served two loaves for dinner that Saturday night. Nearly one loaf had gone uneaten, and it had already been sliced and heated, so I couldn’t freeze it. I made this french toast casserole, which was crazy good. I liked the consistency, which was less soggy and more on the dry side than similar dishes I have made, not too sweet, and the crust softened up beautifully. Also, I heated the leftovers in the oven (not microwave – covered in foil so it wouldn’t dry out) the next morning which was a surprise special breakfast for my kids to kick off the school week.

If you are left with stale bread, here are some other quick uses:

Make bread crumbs: Slice, toast, and pulse in food processor. I freeze these in a zip lock and pull out as needed. Great used to top mac and cheese and other casseroles – no need to thaw.

Make croutons: Cube bread, toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in oven at 350 degrees until lightly browned and crisp. Use in salads and to top soups.

Garlic Bread!: My grandmother’s recipe: Split the loaf down the middle. Combine one stick of softened butter, 3 cloves minced garlic, pinch each of salt and paprika. Spread evenly on each half loaf and sprinkle grated parmesan and additional paprika on top. Pre-slice and bake at 325 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Toast it: Toast is basically stale bread anyway – you can definitely get away with it for a few days.

Grilled Sandwiches: See toast.

Quick and Easy French Toast Casserole

Ingredients (click here for printable recipe)

  • 1 loaf stale bread (I used a French batard but Italian, sourdough, cinammon or good old sandwich white or wheat would be good)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half or  cream
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, cubed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Tear the bread into chunks and place them in the greased pan. Mix together eggs, milk, half and half or cream, sugar, and vanilla and pour the mixture evenly over the bread. In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and mix until the batter comes somewhat together. Sprinkle the flour/sugar mixture evenly over the top of the bread mixture. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, until golden brown. Store leftovers in fridge, tightly covered.

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