If you have ever had the bacon gruyere egg bites at Starbucks, then you will know what I mean when I say this cottage cheese egg bake is just as fluffy and creamy as those! But! This fluffy egg casserole with cottage cheese is a heck of a lot cheaper and so so simple to make at home!
Our reader Hazel had this to say: "This is really good! Fluffy and flavorful. Better than Starbucks egg bites!" ★★★★★
I'm a sucker for those darn Starbucks egg bites. I mean they seem like the healthiest option to grab on busy mornings along with my matcha latte and they sure are tasty! Unfortunately, they're packed with fat and aren't cheap.
Anyways, for the longest time, I thought you needed to somehow steam eggs to get them that fluffy and still hold their shape. However, what I learned is you just need my arch nemesis - cottage cheese. I truly am not a fan of cottage cheese on its own, but my gosh does it make the best egg bake!
Fast forward to some recipe tweaks with a few simple ingredients and this egg casserole with cottage cheese has all the flavor of the bacon gruyere egg bites with half the work and is way cheaper! So even though I still struggle to even open a can of cottage cheese, I'm going to walk you through how to make this budget breakfast casserole with cottage cheese because the world needs to know about this great recipe!
And for some breakfast pairings and other main dishes to go with your egg bake - try these!
Ingredients and Substitutions for Egg Bake
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted.
Eggs: I know eggs are expensive these days, but I promise it's still cheaper to make this than going through the Starbucks drive-through.
Substitutions: Sorry, no substitution for this in an egg bake.
Cottage Cheese: I used 2% cottage cheese for this recipe, but any type of cottage cheese will work just fine!
Substitutions: Ricotta can probably be used but it'll be higher in fat. You can also try using a flavored kind to mix it up!
Gruyere: Gruyere is my new favorite cheese! It's like parmesan meets mozzarella. It's a swiss cheese with a nutty flavor that tastes amazing with salty bacon! You can find it in the deli section of the grocery store by other aged cheese.
Substitutions: Parmesan, an Italian blend, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, or mozzarella cheese will all work in this egg bake. I do recommend using freshly shredded cheese for the best melting results.
Flour: The flour here is needed to stabilize the whipped eggs. Because we blend everything together, we are generating a lot of air bubbles that can collapse while being baked if not stabilized with flour.
Substitutions: Any type of white flour can be used. I have a feeling a 1:1 gluten-free flour will also work just fine but it hasn't been tested. I don't recommend wheat flour, coconut flour, or almond flour because they absorb too much liquid.
White Onion: The onions in here end up slightly caramelized during the baking process and add a wonderful sweet note to the egg bake.
Substitutions: A yellow onion or shallots will work in place of the white onion.
Bacon: Of course we need bacon for a bacon gruyere egg bake with cottage cheese!
Substitutions: I like to use standard bacon for this so it gets nice and crispy while being baked. However, you can use turkey bacon or thick cut if needed. You can also use breakfast sausage for a different flavor profile.
Spices: Keeping it simple here, we just use salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Substitutions: Sorry, no substitutions for these. You can omit the red pepper in a pinch.
Add Ins: You can try mixing the egg bake recipe up with green onions, green chilies, red bell pepper, garlic powder, or chili powder.
How to Make The Best Egg Bake
Step one: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Step two: Make the bacon by placing it in a single layer on a sheet tray lined with foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle the diced onions on top of the bacon. Bake the bacon for 15 minutes or until crispy. Once the bacon is done, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Step three: While the bacon cooks, Add the eggs, cottage cheese, flour, half of the Gruyere cheese (the not shredded half), salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to a blender.
Blend for 45-60 seconds, until the mixture is fully combined and no chunks of gruyere or cottage cheese remain. You can also do this in a medium bowl and whisk eggs with the cottage cheese and everything else, but the texture will not be nearly as fluffy and smooth. And if using this method, you will need to shred all the gruyere to fully incorporate it.
Step four: Once the bacon is done and cooled enough to handle, dice or crumble it into bite-sized bits.
Step five: Pour the egg mixture into a casserole dish or other 8x10 or similar size oven-safe dish (pie pan, cake tin, cast iron skillet, etc). Sprinkle the bacon and onions over top of the egg mixture. Use a spoon or other utensil to mix everything together so the bacon and onions are evenly distributed.
Step six: Top the egg mixture with the shredded gruyere cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center is just set.
Note: You can test this by gently touching the center. It should feel firm, but if you gently shake the pan, the egg bake should still move like jello. If the center is still too soft or liquidy, continue to cook, checking every 2-3 minutes.
You can also broil the bake for the last 5 minutes to get the cheese nice and golden brown. See our notes in the recipe card for baking smaller portions or with different size pans.
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
Need to bake this easy breakfast casserole in a different size baking dish? No worries! Baking time will only vary if the thickness is different. If your dish is less than 2” or you are using muffin tins, reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes to start and work your way up until the bake is set. If your dish is thicker than 2”, then increase the cooking time to 50 minutes and continue to add time as needed.
Facts and Common Questions
While very similar, egg bakes and frittatas do have some slight differences. An egg bake uses eggs as a binding agent with fixings mixed into it. On the other hand, a frittata is the result of pouring an egg custard over filling ingredients and then baking.
Probably because you didn’t use cottage cheese! Joking! Rubbery egg casseroles are usually a result of including too many high-moisture mix-ins like bell peppers.
To avoid this, be sure to saute or bake any high-moisture vegetables before mixing them into the eggs. This will dry them out and reduce the rubbery texture.
I like to compare egg bakes to jello. When they're done, they should barely jiggle when the pan is moved and be mostly solid or spring-like when touched.
You can also use a thermometer to check that the center is 160 degrees. Just remember that it will continue to bake slightly after being removed from the oven. An egg bake will continue to rise up to 5 more degrees after being removed from the oven so keep that in mind when checking the temperature with a thermometer.
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
This cheesy egg bake is great for saving in the fridge or freezer as one of your make-ahead breakfast casseroles. It can be made to enjoy throughout the week for breakfast meal prep or stored in the freezer for a rainy day or a friend in need.
Fridge: To store in the fridge, let the bake come to room temperature and then cover with foil, plastic wrap, or a lid. Keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.
When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave for 1 minute per slice, in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes as a whole tray, or in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes per slice.
Freezer: Let the bake cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and either a well-fitted lid or aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
When ready to eat, cover only in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Then, remove the foil and continue to bake for 30 minutes until it is completely heated through.
Or, let thaw overnight in the fridge before you want to serve it. Then, bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until heated through.
Cottage cheese is a low-calorie, high-protein source of essential nutrients. It comes in a variety of fat contents and makes a great snack (when you can’t taste it and mix it into a healthy egg bake with cottage cheese…). It also contains less lactose than milk or yogurt making it a little easier for dairy-sensitive folks to handle. (source)
More Joyful Recipes!
Try these other egg recipes!
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
- 9 eggs
- 16 oz Cottage cheese 2%
- 8 oz Gruyere Cheese **See notes for substitution options
- 6 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ½ white onion
- 5 slices bacon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Make the bacon by placing it in a single layer on a sheet tray lined with foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle the diced onions on top of the bacon. Bake the bacon for 15 minutes or until crispy. Once the bacon is done, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- While the bacon cooks, Add the eggs, cottage cheese, flour, half of the gruyere cheese (the not shredded half), salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to a blender. Blend for 45-60 seconds, until the mixture is fully combined and no chunks of gruyere or cottage cheese remain.
- Once the bacon is done and cooled enough to handle, dice or crumble it into bite sized bits.
- Pour the egg mixture in a casserole dish or other 8x10 or similar size oven safe dish (pie pan, cake tin, cast iron skillet, etc). Sprinkle the bacon and onions over top of the egg mixture. Use a spoon or other utensil to mix everything together so the bacon and onions are evenly distributed. *For different sized pans, see notes below for cooking time.
- Top the egg mixture with the shredded gruyere cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center is just set. You can test this by gently touching the center. It should feel firm, but if you gently shake the pan, the egg bake should still move like jello. If the center is still too soft or liquidy, continue to cook, checking every 2-3 minutes. You can also broil the bake for the last 5 minutes to get the cheese nice and golden brown.