Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes. Reduce heat; cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in bacon.
Arrange 3 cups bread in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with half of onion mixture. Repeat layer with remaining bread and onion mixture.
Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through eggs) in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture, and top with the cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Let the casserole stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Uncover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
I'd give this a five except I think it's my changes that bumped it up there. First, I substituted sharp cheddar for swiss and added 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, and gold as well as red peppers. Big flavor boosters that made this dish really delicious. Made 2/3 of the recipe and baked in 8x8 inch pan. Husband ate two servings, I had one, and I'll have the last one for breakfast. We ate this for dinner with steamed broccoli and some sauteed asparagus with lemon and garlic.
I made this recipe a few nights ago for the first time-- it was delicious! Flavorful, comforting, and satisfying. I made it in accordance with the recipe, substituting soy milk and cheese for the dairy. Assembled it first thing in the morning, had it in the oven by 6:00 and on the table by 7:00. It wasn't completely cooked in the center, so we ate around the edges (it made plenty), and then finished cooking the center the next evening in the microwave. Made excellent left-overs! Served with marinated tomato salad. Would be a fantastic brunch dish!
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