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Christmas Morning Wife Saver

Christmas Morning Wife Saver, or as we like to call it: Life Saver. This cheesy egg and ham overnight breakfast casserole is the perfect recipe for Christmas morning! Assemble it the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning.

A Christmas Morning Tradition!

I can’t take credit for this delicious traditional Canadian Christmas breakfast recipe…it was originally created by the ladies of The Best of Bridge cookbooks here in Canada in 1979! As far back as I can remember this dish was a part of our Christmas morning tradition…back when I was a kid, and now I make it for my family. It’s a tried-and-true recipe that has become part of our Christmas routine…everyone wakes, the kids run to their stockings and presents, then when we’re all done opening our gifts, I head to the kitchen to put the Wife Saver in the oven. It’s such a nice, and relaxing way to enjoy brunch on a very busy morning!

a glass baking dish full of Christmas Morning Wife Saver sits on a table decorated with a red and white plaid table cloth

Wife Saver Life Saver

I love the original tongue-in-cheek name of Wife Saver for this breakfast casserole but over time we’ve started calling it Life Saver. Because it really is a life saver that saves the day on Christmas morning! Christmas morning is very busy, so it’s really nice to have this hearty and delicious breakfast assembled and ready to go.

a glass baking dish full of Christmas Morning Wife Saver sits on a table decorated with a red and white plaid table cloth, white dishes and red and white mugs

Make it the night before.

I usually assemble this casserole in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, then it rests in the fridge overnight so we can enjoy it Christmas morning. You can even make it up to 2 days ahead if you’re really pressed for time. Just remember not to add the butter and corn flakes until right before you bake it.

Enjoy!

a glass baking dish full of Christmas Morning Wife Saver sits on a table decorated with a red and white plaid table cloth, white dishes and red and white mugs

Recipe Tips:

  • Bread: I like to use day old (or a few days old) white bread with the crusts removed. In fact the bread should be a little dry for this recipe, so don’t use fresh bread…the casserole may end up too soggy. Tip: Save the crusts to make breadcrumbs for another day!
  • Cheese: Use a flavourful cheese like a sharp cheddar for this recipe.
  • Ham: You can use Canadian back bacon or any deli ham for this dish. Just make sure to use thinly sliced ham.
  • Milk: I like to use whole white milk for this dish. But you can 2% (I wouldn’t recommend 1% or skim)
  • Peppers: Any bell peppers work well in this recipe (green, red, yellow, orange)
  • Baking: You might want to place a baking sheet on a rack under the wife saver as it bakes, because sometimes it can bubble over and make a mess of your oven.
  • Make Ahead Option: You can make this dish 24 or 48 hours ahead of time. Just follow the recipe as below, making sure to add the butter and crushed cereal later, right before you put it in the oven.
  • Leftovers: Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can heat them up in the microwave or oven (the oven will be more crunchy)
  • Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this dish, as egg dishes just do not freeze well…it will be too wet and soggy after baking.

Serving Ideas:

Serve Wife Saver with these delicious side dishes!

Print

Christmas Morning Wife Saver

Christmas Morning Wife Saver is a cheesy egg and ham overnight breakfast casserole that is perfect for Christmas morning!

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Refrigeration Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 9 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: oven

Ingredients

Scale

Casserole:

  • 16 slices white bread, with the crusts removed
  • 16 slices Canadian back bacon or deli sliced ham
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp is most flavourful)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green or red pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • dash Tabasco

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • crushed corn flakes cereal

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9×13 glass baking dish by greasing the inside lightly with butter.
  2. Lay out 8 slices of bread.
  3. Layer the ham over the bread, making sure to cover it.
  4. Sprinkle on all of the shredded cheese.
  5. Lay the remaining 8 slices of bread over the cheese.
  6. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and milk until smooth.
  7. Add the pepper, dry mustard, minced onion, chopped peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Mix well.
  8. Pour the egg mixture over the layered bread/ham/cheese.
  9. Cover with tin foil and let rest overnight in the fridge.
  10. In the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Melt the 1/2 cup of butter then pour it over the wife saver.
  12. Top with crushed corn flakes.
  13. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour (until the top is not jiggly).
  14. You might want to place a baking sheet on a rack under the wife saver as sometimes it can bubble over.
  15. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Keywords: wife saver, breakfast casserole

This recipe has been adapted from The Best of Bridge

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Happy Holidays!

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