Butternut Squash Baked Challah French Toast

Looking for delicious baked French toast? This baked challah French toast is insanely yummy and provides 10 grams of protein per serving.

butternut squash challah casserole in a casserole dish

Butternut squash in French toast? Yes, please! This healthier oven-baked French toast is made with challah, an egg bread that is wonderfully moist and chewy.

Read on to find out how to make this baked challah French toast for your own friends and family. It’s an overnight French toast, meaning you’ll let it sit in the fridge overnight and then pop it into the oven once it’s ready to be baked!

ingredients needed to make French toast including challah bread, eggs, spices, maple syrup, butternut squash

Ingredients

You’ll need a few ingredients to make this baked challah French toast:

Challah bread: This is the main ingredient of this baked French toast. Challah is an egg bread and is absolutely delicious.

If you’ve never tried challah bread, it’s one of the tastiest breads out there. I grew up eating it during the Jewish holidays with my family. It’s not exactly like French bread or brioche. Because it has a base of egg, I think it’s even tastier!

If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can substitute in gluten-free challah.

Eggs and egg whites: These help bind all the ingredients together and add protein to the breakfast.

Pureed butternut squash: I love baking with butternut squash, as it adds so many vitamins and minerals––as well as fiber.

The butternut squash puree adds so many vitamins and minerals to the dish––as well as filling fiber. I like to use a canned butternut squash to make the recipe even easier to whip together.

Milk: When you let the French toast sit overnight, the challah will sop up the milk. If you follow a dairy-free diet, you can sub the milk for unsweetened almond milk.

he egg-milk mixture is a must for getting creaminess in the French toast.

Vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg: What would a baked challah French toast be without lots of warming spices?

You’ll find that the brown-sugar-cinnamon mixture adds a delicious sweetness to the overnight French toast.

Pecans: These add crunch, as well as healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

Raisins: These add additional sweetness and cut down the use of sugar in the recipe. I love cooking with raisins because they add sop up the moisture of the liquid and they’re wonderfully chewy!

close up of French toast casserole

Step-by-step instructions

If you love French toast, you’re not alone. But maybe you want a special version that will really wow your friends and family. This butternut squash French toast is just that.

sliced challah bread in a casserole dish

To make this breakfast recipe, you’ll need to grease a baking dish with cooking spray. Then, you’ll slice a loaf of challah bread into one-inch pieces and place it in the baking tray.

egg mixture being whisked in a large bowl

Then, you’ll mix together the eggs, egg whites, butternut squash, milk, vanilla extract, brown sugar, spices,

raisins and pecans added to egg mixture

pecans, and raisins.

egg mixture stirred until well combined

Stir until well combined.

egg mixture poured over top of challah bread in a casserole dish

Next, you simply pour the mixture over the bread.

plastic wrap covering bread and egg mixture

Cover with saran wrap. You’ll leave it covered in the fridge overnight.

top down view of baked French toast casserole on a wooden plank

This recipe is on the healthier side of things because it contains less sugar and saturated fat than many French toast recipes out there.

Then, when you’re ready to bake your French toast, simply top it with more pecans, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit, and bake for about 30 minutes!

To me, the overnight French toast is plenty sweet on its own. But if you’d like, you can drizzle it with pure maple syrup.

side view of French toast in a casserole dish

Recipe FAQ

Why is my French toast casserole soggy?

French toast casserole gets soggy when it has too much liquid or when it sits for too long––or both. To prevent it from getting soggy, do not use any milk or other liquid beyond what the recipe calls for and let it sit for no more than one night before baking.

Additionally, the right type of bread is key––it should be sturdy and spongy, so that the liquid can be better absorbed. Challah, brioche, and croissants are perfect for this.

It is also a good idea to use bread that is a little stale and cut into 1-inch cubes, which can help the French toast mixture absorb without the sogginess.

Is brioche or challah better for French toast?

This is a personal decision. Both taste amazing in French toast, and both are eggy yeast breads. However, bricohe has a richer taste.

Both types of bread are full of flavor and have a sturdiness to them that absorbs French toast mix well.

Challah does not contain any dairy. On the other hand, brioche is made with butter and tends to have a richer flavor. It is really up to you as far as what type of bread you use to make French toast!

What can I do with a loaf of challah?

In addition to making this baked challah French toast, you have so many options. You can cube the bread to make homemade croutons, or you can serve it with jam or honey.

What is challah bread good for?

Challah is a yeast bread that is made with eggs and oil instead of butter. It’s great for making sweet recipes and dishes like French toast and bread pudding.

It can also work for making sandwiches and bread-based casseroles (like this baked French toast!). Another option is to make the bread into homemade croutons, or serve the bread with jam or honey. 

How do you reheat French toast casserole?

To reheat French toast casserole, simply place the casserole dish in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit. Leave it in the oven until it’s warmed through, which will take up to 20 minutes. 

French toast casserole in a dish on a wooden board

More butternut squash recipes

To me, nothing screams fall more than butternut squash. To help you fill your quota of the seasonal find, here are more delicious recipes to try!

top down view of challah French toast casserole

Sources

  • Wow, It’s Veggie?! 
  • Everyday Family Cooking     
  • Erica’s Recipes   
  • By the Forkful 
  • Reid Homestead
  • Twists and Zests
  • Fearless Dining
  • Curry Trail
  • Chisel & Fork
  • Mommy Wonders
  • Veggie Fun Kitchen
  • Strength & Sunshine
  • Backyard Bohemian
  • Lemons and Zest
  • Marathons & Motivation
  • Laura Fuentes, author of Clean Treats for Everyone   
  • Babaganosh
  • Cultured Table 
  • Profusion Curry
  • Alena Menko
  • A Sweet Alternative
  • The Rising Spoon
  • Karen’s Kitchen Stories
  • Wholesome Family Living
  • Fannetastic Foods
  • The Clever Meal
  • Flavor the Moments
  • Amanda’s Cookin
  • Baby Savers
  • Coffee.Fit.Kitchen
  • Eating Richly
  • A Food Lover’s Kitchen
  • A Life of Happenstance
  • Tikkido
  • Le Petit Eats
  • Sula and Spice
  • Julie Kay Andrews, RD, co-author of The 28-Day DASH Diet Weight Loss Program
  • Squirrels of a Feather
  • Two Pink Peonies
  • India from Indiana
  • The Spice Train
  • Handmade in the Heartland
  • Cara Harbstreet, RD, author of Healthy Eating for Life
  • Melissa Altman-Traub, RD
  • Not Entirely Average
  • Happy Kitchen
  • Tasting Page
  • Recipes from a Pantry
butternut squash challah casserole in a casserole dish

Butternut Squash Baked Challah French Toast

Looking for delicious baked French toast? This baked challah French toast is insanely yummy and provides 10 grams of protein per serving.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 290 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 Challah bread gluten free, if necessary
  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • cups pureed butternut squash
  • 1 cup 2% milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup pecans, divided
  • cup raisins
  • cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Spray a 9-by-13-inch ceramic or glass baking dish with olive oil spray. Slice bread into 1-inch pieces; place in baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, beat eggs and egg whites. Mix in pureed squash, milk, vanilla extract, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, and nutmeg. Crush ½ cup pecans and mix into squash mixture, along with raisins.
  • Pour mixture over bread pieces, making sure all pieces are covered.
  • Seal tightly with saran wrap and place in fridge overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  • Remove saran wrap; crush remaining pecans, and top evenly over mixture.
  • In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar with remaining cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over mixture.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until batter is firm. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 10gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 250mgFiber: 2gSugar: 18g
Keyword Challah, French toast
Did you make this recipe?Mention @amydgorin and tag #plantbasedwithamy
Looking for delicious baked French toast? This challah French toast casserole is insanely yummy and provides 10 grams of protein per serving.
Breakfast / Brunch | Holiday | Oven / Toaster | Pescatarian | Plant-Based Eating | Recipes (Organizational) | Vegetarian |

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