BLT Pain Perdu Casserole


Why make 10 sandwiches when you can make one delicious casserole?

Active Time:
40 mins
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Bake Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 30 mins

We love a good casserole for multiple reasons. Our BLT Pain Perdu Casserole takes that to heart and is designed to maximize comfort and ease. This casserole delivers the flavors of a perfect BLT sandwich in the form of a savory bread pudding that can feed several people at once. Because this dish tastes best slightly warm instead of piping hot, it tolerates being assembled in one spot and perhaps baked and served in another. It holds its form for a few hours, and individual portions reheat well.

The BLT Pain Perdu Casserole is a great recipe for a brunch or lunch gathering. Serve it alongside a fresh green salad with a light dressing to balance out the richness. A custard mixture of eggs, half-and-half, tomato paste, multiple spices adds an abundance of flavor. The recipe calls for sitting for at least 8 hours, and this step is key to make sure all the flavors soak in. Another surprise in this casserole which take the BLT flavors over the top? Gruyere cheese. While not a typical ingredient you find in a BLT sandwich, it adds so much savoriness. The top bread layer of the BLT Pain Perdu Casserole doesn't fully submerge in the custard mixture, so it remains crispy. With its soft bottom layer and the semi-crispy top layer, you've got the perfect bite.

BLT Pain Perdu Casserole

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely


  • 12 ounces crusty dense white bread (such as a French loaf), sliced ¾ inch thick

  • 7 medium (about 2 lb. total) beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into ½-inch slices

  • 1 pound bacon, chopped, cooked until crisp, and drained

  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

  • 12 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 3 cups), divided

  • 8 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic 

  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard

  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 5 ounces arugula


  1. Generously coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cover bottom of dish with half of the bread slices. Top with half of the tomato slices. Sprinkle evenly with cooked bacon and fresh basil. Sprinkle evenly with half (about 1½ cups) of the cheese. Top with remaining bread slices and tomato slices in 1 layer, overlapping edges of bread and tomatoes as needed to fit.

  2. Process eggs, half-and-half, tomato paste, salt, granulated garlic, mustard powder, paprika, black pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne in a blender until smooth, about 20 seconds. (Alternatively, place mixture in a large bowl, and process with an immersion blender until smooth.) Pour egg mixture slowly and evenly over bread mixture in baking dish, letting it seep down into the layers. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours, unwrapping dish twice and firmly pressing down on mixture to help bread absorb liquid.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap baking dish; sprinkle evenly with remaining (about 1½ cups) cheese. Bake until casserole is deep golden and just set (a knife inserted into center should come out moist but not wet), 45 to 50 minutes. Cool until barely warm, about 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

  5. Add arugula to mayonnaise mixture; toss until lightly coated. Serve alongside or on top of pain perdu.

Related Articles