Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
Published Nov 20, 2023, Updated Nov 29, 2023
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This pumpkin french toast casserole is studded with chocolate chips and packed with fall flavors. It’s easy to make, feeds a crowd and can be prepped the night before for a quick breakfast/brunch the next morning.
Take your fall breakfast to the next level with this pumpkin French toast casserole!
It’s dairy-free, naturally sweetened, loaded with fall flavors and studded with chocolate chips. The combo of pumpkin and chocolate = chef’s kiss!
Not only is this French toast casserole delicious, but it’s also easy to make and designed to be prepped ahead of time! Mix everything together at night, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning all you have to do is bake. My whole family is obsessed with this dish, I can’t wait for you to try it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make – With only 8 simple ingredients this recipe comes together quickly!
- Make-ahead – This is the perfect make-ahead breakfast recipe. Just prep everything the night before and in the morning bake and enjoy!
- Delicious – You can’t go wrong with the combo of pumpkin + chocolate. It’s so good!
- Healthy – It’s made healthier than some French toast bakes with maple syrup and almond milk. No butter, heavy cream or white sugar over here!
- Crowd-pleaser – This pumpkin french toast casserole recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at family breakfast, brunch parties or holiday meals like Christmas morning brunch.
- bread – the foundation of this casserole, offering a hearty texture and a boost of whole grain goodness. I used Dave’s Killer Bread 21 whole grains and seeds, but any bread or brand should work well.
- unsweetened vanilla almond milk – brings a subtle vanilla flavor and a dairy-free creaminess to the custard mixture.
- canned pumpkin – the star of the show! Use store-bought or make homemade pumpkin puree. Just make sure you’re using pure pumpkin puree with just one ingredient and not pumpkin pie mix.
- maple syrup – the perfect natural sweetener for this french toast casserole.
- pumpkin pie spice – a blend of fall spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. USe store-bought or make homemade pumpkin pie spice.
- pure vanilla extract – the perfect flavor enhancer.
- eggs – the binding agent that holds everything together and creates that delightful custard-like consistency.
- chocolate chips – add a hint of chocolatey goodness that pairs wonderfully with the pumpkin and spices. I recommend Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips which are allergen-friendly or Lily’s chocolate chips because they are low in sugar and calories.
How to Make
Prep the bread – Start by placing your bread slices on a large baking sheet. Broil them for 2-3 minutes per side until they turn golden brown. This adds a nice texture to your casserole. Once they’re toasted, chop the bread into small chunks.
Mix custard – In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, canned pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice.
Assemble – Grease a 9×13 baking pan and place the bread chunks in it. Pour the egg and pumpkin mixture over the bread, ensuring to spread it around so that the liquid saturates the bread evenly. For an extra touch of sweetness and flavor, sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.
Refrigerate – Cover the baking dish and place in the refrigerator. Ideally, let it soak overnight, as this allows the bread to fully absorb the custard for a richer flavor. However, if you’re short on time, a 30-minute soak will suffice.
Bake – When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until the custard mixture has set and the top is golden.
Serve – Serve warm or at room temperature. For an extra indulgent touch, drizzle more maple syrup over each serving.
- Use a dense, whole-grain bread for the best texture. It holds up well and doesn’t get too soggy.
- Don’t skip toasting the bread! This helps prevent it from getting too soggy.
- This is a great recipe to utilize day old bread!
- Make sure the egg mixture is evenly distributed over the bread. Gently press the bread chunks down into the liquid to soak up the goodness.
- For optimal flavor infusion and texture, let the casserole soak overnight. If short on time, a minimum of 30 minutes will work.
Substitutions & Variations
- Bread Choices: The recipe calls for Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds, but feel free to use what you have on hand. A dense, hearty bread works best. Something like a whole wheat or multigrain loaf would be a good substitute.
- Gluten-Free Version: I haven’t tried using gluten-free bread with this recipe, but I’m sure it would work out just fine! If you decide to try this for yourself, please let us know in the comments.
- Milk Options: Unsweetened vanilla almond milk adds a nice flavor, but any non-dairy milk like soy or oat milk can be used. If you’re not avoiding dairy, regular cow’s milk is just as effective.
- Pumpkin Puree: Canned pumpkin gives a lovely autumnal flavor, but if you’re feeling adventurous, homemade pumpkin puree can add a fresh twist. Just avoid using pumpkin pie filling, as it’s usually sweetened and spiced already.
- Sweetener: Maple syrup provides a natural sweetness. If you don’t have maple syrup, honey or agave nectar are good substitutes.
- Egg-Free Version: Since we’re using five eggs to give this French Toast Casserole its structure, I wouldn’t recommend trying to use a substitute.
What to Serve With Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
If you’re serving this pumpkin French toast bake for a weekend brunch or holiday brunch here’s what I recommend serving with it:
- Quiche – get your savory fix with this dairy-free spinach quiche or this kale and feta crustless quiche.
- Meat – for some protein make a side of breakfast sausage and/or bacon. For a vegan option try this tempeh bacon.
- Fruit salad – I love this fruit salad with mint or this simple fruit salad.
- Coffee – make my cold brew or this pumpkin spice latte for the ultimate fall experience.
- Cocktail – make these mimosas or bellinis for a fun adult beverage.
Storing & Reheating
Refrigerator – Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Freezer – If you want to store for longer than a week, I recommend storing in the freezer! Store in an airtight container or freezer bag and store for up to three months.
To reheat – No matter how you store them, the reheating process is important! I like to heat individual slices in my toaster oven, but you could also use a traditional oven or the microwave if you’re short on time. For the oven or toaster oven, heat on 300-350°F until the French toast is warm.
Popular Breakfast Recipes
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Be sure to check out the full collection of breakfast recipes on EBF!
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
- Add bread slices to a large baking sheet and broil 2-3 minutes per side or until golden. Chop bread into small chunks.
- Whisk together almond milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish, add bread cubes, pour on egg mixture, spreading it around so the liquid saturates the bread. Sprinkle on chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have time to let it soak overnight you can get by with 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover with foil, bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or until custard mixture has set.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with more maple syrup for drizzling.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.