This Is The Best Thing You Can Do Before Christmas Morning

make ahead christmas breakfast

My sentimental streak makes me prone to bouts of nostalgia, especially when it comes to Christmastime. It’s all too easy for me to look at past Christmas mornings through rose-colored glasses, especially the ones from back when all my kids were still little!

Every year without fail, they would be up at the crack of dawn to sneak into each other’s rooms and theorize about what presents Santa might have left for them. (Granted, they couldn’t really go anywhere else because of our strict “no one goes into in the living room until Mom and Dad say so” policy, but I thought it was very endearing all the same.) :-)

On the other hand, there’s a more pragmatic side of me that remembers all too well how exhausting those same Christmas mornings used to be! I never got enough sleep the night before, opening presents would invariably devolve into uncontrolled chaos, and afterward I would sleepily shuffle off to the kitchen to start making breakfast.

These days, Christmas mornings are a much more peaceful affair, and not just because my adult kids have gotten better at taking turns when opening presents. There’s one practice in particular that I’ve adopted in recent years that has made my Christmas mornings easier, and that’s assembling a make-ahead breakfast the night before!

I now have several Christmas-worthy make-ahead breakfast recipes in my collection, my only regret is that I didn’t start doing it sooner! If you’re on breakfast duty this year, I thought I’d share those breakfast recipes with you today so that we can all enjoy a delicious stress-free breakfast on Christmas morning! :-)

5 Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes That Make Christmas Morning Easy

make ahead christmas breakfast

1. Grandma Nystul’s Breakfast Casserole

Like most Norwegian American women in the Upper Midwest, my mother-in-law Dorothy has a vast number of casseroles and hot dishes in her recipe collection. Her “breakfast casserole” (the only name I’ve ever known it by!) has become a Christmas morning staple in our household, and it only takes me a few minutes to assemble the night before.

This casserole features diced bread, cubed ham, shredded cheese, and eggs, forming a complete breakfast that simply needs to be thrown in the oven and baked! My boys top it with ketchup while my daughter prefers hot sauce, but I like it just as is it is!

Get the recipe for Grandma Nystul’s Breakfast Casserole here.

make ahead christmas breakfast

2. Overnight French Toast Casserole

While the previous option is an ideal savory casserole, you might be looking for something a bit more indulgent. (After all, if there’s one occasion that justifies blurring the lines between breakfast and dessert, it’s Christmas!) :-)

For the sweet-toothed among us, look no further than this easy and delicious French toast casserole. Instead of cooking up individual slices the traditional way, you just layer it all together in a casserole dish the night before and bake it off in the morning. Easy!

Get the recipe for Overnight French Toast Casserole here.

make ahead christmas breakfast

3. Chili Relleno Casserole

Back on the savory side of things, this casserole is an easy win with anyone who appreciates the flavors of the Southwest. It is (somewhat loosely) inspired by chile relleno, a Mexican dish of cheese-stuffed peppers that are dipped in an egg batter and then pan fried.

Featuring layers of green chiles, eggs, and salsa, this casserole is easy to make ahead and then bake the next morning. Mexican flavors and breakfast always make a winning pair, even on Christmas morning! :-)

Get the recipe for Chili Relleno Casserole here.

make ahead christmas breakfast

4. Cinnamon Rolls

We love a good cinnamon roll in the house, and Christmas morning is the perfect special occasion on which to enjoy them. And the good news is that pretty much any cinnamon roll recipe can be made as a make-ahead or overnight affair!

After filling, slicing, and arranging the rolls in your pan, just cover the pan with plastic wrap and store in your fridge overnight. The next morning, unwrap the pan and place it in your cold oven with a shallow pan of hot water. Let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes, then take them out, preheat, and bake. You’ll be feasting on warm, gooey cinnamon rolls in no time!

Get the recipe for my mom’s Perfect Cinnamon Rolls here.

make ahead christmas breakfast

5. Overnight Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Nothing warms you up and sticks to your ribs on a cold winter morning like a warm bowl of oatmeal. In addition to being nutritious, steel-cut oats are great as an overnight breakfast because they typically need to soak for a while to get nice and tender.

This recipe uses a bit of slow cooker magic to produce perfectly cooked oatmeal with pears, golden raisins, and warm baking spices throughout. Comforting and delicious, yet effortless to make? That’s the stuff of Christmas breakfast dreams!

Get the recipe for Overnight Slow Cooker Oatmeal here.

What’s your favorite make-ahead breakfast?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • If you have a crowd for Christmas morning you MUST HAVE a real coffee maker (not a pod system), fruit salad in the fridge ready to go, and a big Christmas casserole that bakes up while the wrapping paper is flying.

  • Oh, Jillee…those cinnamon rolls of yours made my mouth water!! Yummm! You bring back many wonderful family memories from mornings past! Many times we had very large gatherings at my parent’s home after each of our individual families had opened all of their gifts in their own homes. I specifically remember our last huge Christmas with my mom. She made it an evening event (so we had dinner), the beautiful tree was lit and everything looked like a window in a department store. She gave all of us (adults…she had something else for the kids) a gift. She told us that when we opened it if we didn’t like it, we could trade with someone else. (some were new, some were used misc. things from her home!) BUT, she said, each gift had money stashed in it. Some help $1, some $5, some $10, $20, $50 and ONE had a $100! Long story short, I got my mom’s old tennis shoe, with $100 in it! There was so much fun and laughter filling that night! And little did she know (or maybe she did know) she was giving us absolute treasures of hers to have to this day. After our family fun, my father had a beautiful Christmas prayer and we all had an amazing dinner! Isn’t it wonderful how our parents could and would make holidays so very special, our minds would be filled with vivid memories forever! It also helped me when planning memories for my own children.
    May God bless all of you during this holiday season! Stay happy, healthy, and SAFE!!! :-)

  • We’ve done the Christmas casserole with the sausage and bread crumbs. My mom makes a homemade wassail for Christmas morning and just puts the frozen Cinnamon rolls out to rise the night before. I actually used to make them from scratch on Christmas Eve until my mom discovered the frozen ones – so I wouldn’t knock myself out while the family was waiting. We also have hot cocoa packets out. My mom is usually running around like a crazy lady trying to get things ready for our fancy potato casserole from scratch for Christmas dinner. Which is why we’ve Just always done a simple breakfast for the at home family and visiting siblings from out of town.

    • Easy is always best. Don’t fuss in the kitchen, make the oven, the coffee maker, the crock pot or the Instant Pot do the work for you and RELAX with your family. Happy Holidays to all of us. Especially to all the fine women who make it special.

  • I discovered a recipe for a strata (mine has cooked sausage rather than ham) which has made Christmas breakfast so much easier over the years. My family loves the tradition of strata and cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast and if there are leftovers (very rare) I enjoy it reheated for lunch at work.

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