Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast From ‘Breakfast for Dinner’

March 11, 2013


Italian Stuffed French Toast.jpg

There’s a good chance I’m not the first person from whom you’re hearing about this book. And that’s for very good reason. Breakfast for Dinner is one of the few cookbooks I’ve opened and immediately wanted to make about a hundred different things. Which is saying a lot because that basically means every recipe. I actually had a feeling I’d be obsessed before I even got it since it was written by Lindsay Landis and her husband Taylor Hackbarth. You may remember Lindsay from the The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. Anyway, she’s awesome, inventive, and just plain ridiculously talented. And then, no lie, I got the book, held it in my hands, and immediately fell in love. Because it’s one of those books that just feels good in your hand. Which is a thing. Also, it might have had something to do with the burgers on the cover. Who really knows.

Breakfast for Dinner Cookbook.jpg

Other than that, I guess not much explanation is needed on why this book is awesome. I mean, everyone knows breakfast for dinner is the and Lindsay and Taylor prove that it doesn’t just mean scrambled eggs or some pancakes. I could probably list every single recipe from the book, but a few that I want to try ASAP are the Habanero-Cheddar Bread Pudding, Bacon Fried Rice, Grapefruit Risotto with Scallops (HELLO), Breakfast Sausage Ravioli, Bloody Mary Tomato Soup, Bacon Old-Fashioneds, and pretty much every other single recipe.

I decided to start with the Italian Stuffed French Toast, which made me realize that not only are these recipes impressive, but they’re pretty simple to whip up. Which means you can make them for dinner after a long day of work… Or actually make them for breakfast or brunch. I will admit this recipe does appear to be a lot more difficult than it is — Mostly because it has three ingredient groups. But part of that is because I opted to make my own marinara sauce (Lindsay and Taylor’s recipe is SO easy!) and breaking the ingredients into three sections is just easier. I promise you’ll fly through this one.

Ricotta Filling:
Breakfast for Dinner
Print this recipe!

  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 4 C (6 oz.) loosely packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 C whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1 T chopped fresh basil (or 1 t dried basil)
  • 1 T chopped fresh oregano (or 1 t dried oregano)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Italian Stuffed French Toast Ingredients.jpg

French Toast:
FromΒ Breakfast for Dinner
Print this recipe!

  • 1 loaf soft French bread, cut into 8 1-1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Italian Stuffed French Toast Ingredients 2.jpg

Homemade Marinara Sauce:
From Breakfast for Dinner
Print this recipe!

  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 T chopped fresh basil (or 1 t dried basil)
  • 2 t chopped fresh oregano (or 1/4 t dried oregano)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper

Homemade Marinara Ingredients.jpg

Start by making the ricotta filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Italian Stuffed French Toast Garlic.jpg

Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes.

Italian Stuffed French Toast Spinach.jpg

Let cool and then coarsely chop.

In a small bowl, combine chopped spinach mixture, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, basil, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Italian Stuffed French Toast Spinach and Ricotta.jpg

If you’re making your own marinara sauce, I would pause here and jump down below to get that done. Otherwise, keep going!

With a serrated knife, cut a horizontal pocket in the side of each slice of bread and gently fill with 1-2 T of ricotta filling. Press closed.

Italian Stuffed French Toast Stuffing.jpg

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl or shallow baking dish.

Italian Stuffed French Toast Eggs.jpg

Heat 1 T oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working with one slide of bread at a time, quickly dip into egg mixture, flipping to coat both sides. Then place bread in the hot oil. Repeat with 2-3 more slices, making sure not to overload the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Repeat with remaining slices, pouring more oil into the pan if you need.

Italian Stuffed French Toast Pan.jpg

For homemade marinara sauce: Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

Stir in garlic and cook for another minute.

Homemade Marinara Onions.jpg

Add tomatoes and their juices, 1/4 C water, herbs, salt, and pepper and stir together.

Let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tomatoes begin to break down and sauce thickens.

Homemade Marinara Simmering.jpg

Serve french toast on a plate with marinara spooned over.

Italian Stuffed French Toast 2.jpg

And you’re ready for breakfast! Or dinner! Or whatever the heck this meal is. But seriously, did you see how easy that was? And essentially you could make the ricotta filling ahead of time and chill it. And make the marinara sauce ahead of time, too. You could even slice the bread ahead of time. Basically, you could wake up in the morning or come home from work and just stuff a little filling into the bread and fry them up.

Italian Stuffed French Toast 3.jpg

And this was an absolutely delicious savory spin on french toast! Want to know a secret? I used to hate ricotta cheese because when I was a kid, I once ate lasagna for 5 days in a row and then got horribly sick. But I’m coming around again and how can you not love ricotta cheese when it’s stuffed into french toast?

Italian Stuffed French Toast 4.jpg

The only thing that would make this meal better? If it was served with a nice big bacon old-fashioned. Which is pretty much one of the best ideas ever.

Italian Stuffed French Toast 6.jpg

Thanks, Lindsay and Taylor for adding another fabulous cookbook to my library. I’m already anxiously awaiting your next one, which I have very high expectations for… No pressure πŸ™‚ But for now, I’m going to be quite busy enjoying Breakfast for Dinner every night for the foreseeable future!

Italian Stuffed French Toast 7.jpg

What’s your idea of the ideal breakfast for dinner?


Disclosure: Quirk Publishing sent me a copy of Breakfast for Dinner, but I’m not being compensated for my opinion on the book and I mean every single word I said about it!

Tagged With β†’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’

25 Responses to "Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast From ‘Breakfast for Dinner’"

  1. Odetta says:

    This sounds like the best book ever! Breakfast is the best and your French toast looks like the perfect “anytime meal.”

  2. Emily says:

    No way! I made the same thing and I’ll be on my blog on Wednesday! Delicious!

  3. What a fantastic savory “breakfast for dinner”! love the idea of this cookbook – definitely will need to take a look through it.

  4. I just got their cookbook too and that’s one of the first things I want to make from it. Looks so incredible.

  5. Joanne says:

    Breakfast for dinner is definitely my FAVORITE meal of the day. I would eat it every day if it was socially acceptable. This french toast looks awesome! Love the filling. I need it in my life in addition to that cookbook!

  6. I love it! I may just make these as appetizers for my dinner party this weekend πŸ™‚

  7. Ummmmm, yum! I just hosted a brunch yesterday – I wish I had this recipe beforehand. It looks delish. Breakfast for dinner is a definite staple in our house.

  8. Shannon says:

    this sounds awesome, and i’m kinda jealous i didn’t think of this one first πŸ˜‰ definitely can’t wait to check out this cookbook–i LOVE breakfast!

  9. I love the idea of a savory french toast for dinner (or regular sweet french toast for dinner works too haha). I just ate lunch but already thinking about what breakfast food I can make for dinner tonight!

  10. This looks great! I received a copy of this book as well and made the Habanero-Cheddar Bread Pudding – SO good. I dog-eared about 20 pages of other recipes I want to make from this book, too!

  11. I need to get my hands on this cookbook! We always have breakfast for dinner. My favorite night of the week. πŸ™‚

  12. Gia Grossman says:

    Clearly I need this book in my hand ASAP. And this french toast in my mouth!

  13. leslie says:

    I must live under a rock, because I have not seen this book! I do love the whole concept of it and this savory French toast sounds delightful!

  14. Pam says:

    What a great idea! It looks amazing.

  15. Megan says:

    I love that book. I keep looking at it and there’s a million things I want to make, including these. And now I’m kicking myself for not remembering this recipe when I had leftover ricotta (from making lasagna) last week!

  16. Jen says:

    So Hubby doesn’t like breakfast for dinner. In fact, he despises it. Makes me very sad. I eat eggs for dinner every time he’s not around because I miss it so much. I’m thinking I could get this book and use it to change his mind…

  17. Meghan says:

    This looks SO good! I prefer savory options to sweet when it comes to breakfast or breakfast for dinner.

  18. Claudia says:

    I love, love, love this! Breakfast for dinner makes me warm and fuzzy all over. Translating French toast to Italian is inspired. Must find this book! Grand review.

  19. Barbara says:

    I’m all for breakfast for dinner! We do it often. There’s something comfortable about it. What a great idea for a cookbook…must look into it.

  20. Erica says:

    I saw this recipe in the book and SO wanted to make it! Looks amazing. Drool. Such a creative cookbook. Love!

  21. I really need to get this book, breakfast for dinner is basically my favorite thing. This recipe looks delicious!

  22. It doesn’t get much better than breakfast for dinner :-). I have to get my hands on this book. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  23. Susan says:

    What a delicious variation of French Toast. This would make a wonderful dinner!

  24. Lindsay says:

    Your version looks fantastic! πŸ™‚ So happy to hear you are enjoying the book, it means so much to us. πŸ™‚

  25. Kate says:

    After seeing this recipe here, I couldn’t get the thought of this dish out of my head. Made it last night and it was seriously one of the most delicious things I’ve ever cooked. Having leftovers for lunch and dinner today and I’m not complaining a bit. My parents enjoyed it and kept naming other family members whom I should make this dish for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *