This Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast Casserole combines two comfort foods into one. Homemade blueberry jam and pb sandwiches soak overnight in a delicious custard, then is baked to golden perfection.
The Best Overnight Breakfast
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a childhood classic! In this recipe, they get an upgrade by soaking in a classic french toast custard overnight. The sandwiches become soft, tender, and even more flavorful. Then they're baked so the tops get crispy while the insides stay moist. It's the ultimate weekend or holiday brunch!
Not to mention the amazinggg small batch homemade blueberry jam. It adds a beautiful color to the french toast casserole. But also adds sweetness, a little tartness, and a lot of tastiness! Fresh blueberries are key here - they release natural pectin and sugars to create the perfect jammy texture.
Is This Breakfast Healthy?
Yes, this PB&J French Toast Casserole is healthy! It's dairy-free and naturally sweetened. I recommend making the jam yourself so there aren't any funny ingredients. Also, check the ingredients listed in your peanut butter. Mine only has peanuts - that's all it needs!
In terms of bread, sourdough is my favorite. It contains prebiotics and probiotics that aide with digestion. But feel free to substitute with whatever you'd like! Sprouted whole grain bread is great for digestion, fiber, and nutrients. Or use gluten-free bread if you're sensitive to gluten. Any type of bread would work here!
All of the ingredients needed for this recipe are easy to find. You probably already have them in your kitchen!
- Sourdough bread: I love how its tanginess balances out this sweet breakfast. But feel free to use any kind of bread you'd like!
- Peanut butter: Any kind of nut butter would work here, even tahini or sunflower seed butter. I love crunchy for additional texture.
- Blueberry jam: Nothing beats homemade jam. But if you're in a pinch, pick one up from the store.
- Eggs: Forms the base of the custard and provides richness.
- Almond milk: Use any kind of milk you'd like.
- Vanilla extract
- Maple syrup: You don't need a lot in the custard since you'll probably be drizzling more after it's baked.
For the Blueberry Jam
- Fresh blueberries: Fresh is much, much better than frozen. The skins in frozen blueberries are too tough and don't mash well.
- Lemon juice: I like my jams on the tart side. It really brightens up the whole dish!
- Maple syrup: Just a touch since there's already natural sugars in the berries.
How To Make French Toast Casserole
This PB&J French Toast Casserole is really easy! There's some waiting involved but it's soo worth it in the morning!
- Make the jam. Simmer the berries on medium until they reach a thick, jelly consistency. Let cool completely.
- Whisk the custard. Make sure to whisk it really, really well until homogenous.
- Make the sandwiches. Slather on as much peanut butter and jelly as your heart desires.
- Let it soak. Assemble the casserole and let it soak, overnight if possible.
- Bake. Until the tops are golden and liquid is gone.
- Don't bother measuring! We all know how to make PB&J sandwiches! Just make sure there's a good bread to filling ratio.
- Ditch the crusts for the casserole. I like using the insides for as much peanut butter and jam as possible in the casserole. Eat the crusts as a chef's snack!
- Form a single layer in the casserole. This ensures each sandwich cube gets an even soak.
- While the casserole is soaking, swirl the pan every few hours if you can. Then in the morning, tilt the pan and spoon any remaining custard over tops parts that look a little dry.
How Do I Know When The Jam Is Done?
Use your wooden spoon to make a line through the jam in the pot. If it fills in, keep cooking. If it takes a long time or stays apart, it's done! Take it off the heat to cool. You can also check with a thermometer. Once it reaches 220°F, the jam is done.
How Do I Store Homemade Jam?
If you're going to finish the leftover jam in the next 4-5 days, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Since this is a small batch recipe, you don't have to can it. But if you're making more and plan to store for longer periods, you should. Place the jars and lids in boiling waters for 10-15 minutes and use tongs to place upside down on a towel. Try not to touch the inside of the jar or lid to keep it as clean as possible. Fill with jam ¾ full and place the lid on, then let sit upside down for 10 minutes. Store in the fridge for 1-3 months or in the freezer for up to a year.
What is The Best Bread To Use?
You can use any bread you'd like! The most popular for french toast are challah or brioche, but I find they can be too sweet and fluffy for this casserole. I'd recommend a thin slice for better bread to filling ratio.
Can I Freeze The Casserole?
Yes, you can definitely freeze PB&J French Toast Casserole. If you want to freeze it before baking, wrap the baking dish tightly in plastic wrap, then with foil. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight and bake as directed in the recipe.
If you'd like to store leftover casserole, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Let thaw overnight, then microwave it or bake at 375°F for 10-15 minutes to reheat.
Looking For More?
This PB&J French Toast Casserole is the perfect way to start the weekend! If you're looking for more weekend meal ideas, we've got you covered.
- Philly Cheesesteak Pizza
- Healthy Banana Cake
- Kimchi Deviled Eggs
- Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Rabokki (Tteokbokki + Ramen)
PB&J French Toast Casserole
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- ½ cup peanut butter I used unsalted crunchy
- ½ cup blueberry jam
- Make the jam. Add blueberries, lemon juice, maple syrup, and pinch of salt to a pot. Simmer on medium for 30-40 minutes until thick and jammy, stirring frequently. Keep at a rolling simmer and smash blueberries against the side of the pot if they aren't naturally popping. Test doneness by running a line through the jam with your wooden spoon: if it takes a long time to fill back in, it's done. Let cool completely.
- Make the sandwiches. Make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, evenly dividing pb and jam amongst bread slices. You may need more or less bread, peanut butty, and jam. Use a serrated knife to cut into 1" cubes.
- Assemble the casserole. Grease a large baking dish. Stuff sandwich cubes tightly into a single layer. I prefer to not use the crusts and place the cubes vertically (both sides of bread facing up).
- Make the custard. In a bowl, whisk together custard ingredients. Pour into baking dish and swirl. Wrap with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 8 hours, up to overnight.
- Bake. Preheat oven to 375°F. Swirl the dish to soak up remaining custard. Option to tilt the dish and spoon custard over dry tops. Then bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
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