This easy stuffed French toast is the perfect way to use Thanksgiving leftovers! Sandwich some leftover cranberry sauce with a bit of brie cheese between a few slices of challah or brioche bread, dunk it in a quick egg mixture, and pan fry it up for a delicious post-holiday brunch.
If you haven't had stuffed French toast before, hold onto your hats: this recipe is about to be your new brunch BFF.
The tart, bright notes from the cranberry sauce here cut through the richness of the brie and the sweetness of any powdered sugar or maple syrup for a really beautiful balance of flavor. It's the perfect blend of sweet and savory!
Still swimming in extra turkey, potatoes, and more? Check out our Thanksgiving leftovers recipe collection!
Our basic order of operations
This stuffed french toast recipe is ultra simple and very forgiving. Here's a quick overview:
Make "sandwiches" by layering a bit of cranberry sauce and a few slices of brie between two pieces of bread. (We prefer a good challah or brioche bread for the best french toast!)
Whisk a quick egg mixture together in a shallow bowl - just eggs, milk, a splash of vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture and flip to coat both sides. Let the challah soak for a minute or two on each side to help it absorb plenty of the batter!
Cook! Melt some butter in a nonstick skillet (or a large griddle) over medium heat, then add the egg-coated bread sandwiches and cook until golden brown on both sides. You'll likely need to work in batches here - transfer cooked French toast slices to an oven-safe plate and store in the oven at its lowest setting (200° F or below) to keep them warm while you finish cooking all the pieces.
Serve with maple syrup and a bit of powdered sugar and dig in!
Three tips for excellent stuffed french toast
This is a pretty forgiving recipe - but like any classic French toast, there are a few best practices that will take it from good to great:
- Use slightly stale bread - Homemade French toast is a perfect place to use day-old or slightly dried out bread. Not only is this a great way to use up bread that’s a little past its prime, but somewhat stale bread will absorb more of that creamy custard than fresh bread will. More creamy, custard-y batter = more soft and fluffy French toast!
- Spread the fillings in an even, single layer. You want a bit of cranberry sauce and brie in every bite of this french toast, so make sure you distribute the filling evenly across each slice of bread! Fun fact: We also tested this recipe by slicing a pocket in a single piece of bread and stuffing the fillings inside that pocket (we thought it might look more fun and dramatic) - but you ended up with one giant glob of filling that only made it to a few of the bites! Not good.
- Use ghee (clarified butter) for frying if you have it. If you don't have any ghee on hand, no worries: just use butter and a bit of neutral oil for frying (and only use a tiny bit). The solids in butter can burn easily, which results in a bitter taste. To get a buttery flavor with no burning, add a splash of a neutral oil (like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil) to the pan along with the butter. Whatever you choose, use it sparingly: You don't need a ton of fat to cook French toast, especially if you use a good nonstick pan - and too much butter or oil can make your French toast soggy.
Riffs and Substitutions
- Mix up the type of bread. Use thick-cut sandwich bread, crusty bread, brioche, or sourdough in place of the challah here.
- Add a bit of cinnamon or a splash of whiskey or rum to the egg mixture for extra fall flavor.
- Instead of brie, you can use a few dollops of mascarpone or cream cheese. (For a sweeter spin, make a quick, sweet cream cheese filling by mixing a bit of softened cream cheese with a bit of cinnamon or vanilla extract and a scoop of powdered sugar. Use a spoon to drop a few dollops of this cream cheese mixture across each bread slice).
- Add your favorite toppings. We topped the French toast in these photos with a dusting of powdered sugar and some maple syrup (try our whiskey maple syrup for a fun twist!)
- Swap the cranberry sauce for apple butter, nutella, peanut butter, your favorite jam or jelly, or pumpkin butter! You can also use sliced fruit or fresh berries here in place of the cranberry spread - strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, and pears are all good.
- Add toppings like fresh berries, candied walnuts, or sugared pecans for an elegant twist.
- For extra protein, layer a few slices of crispy bacon, cooked breakfast sausage, or even leftover turkey into each French toast sandwich.
Pro tip: Still have cranberry sauce left over after making this recipe? Freeze it in an airtight container for up to 5 months! When you want to use it, thaw it in the fridge overnight.Print
This easy stuffed French toast is the perfect way to use leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving!
- 8 slices challah or brioche bread
- ½ cup cranberry sauce
- 4 ounces brie, sliced
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- Maple syrup and powdered sugar, for serving (optional)
- Spread cranberry sauce over one side of each piece of bread. Divide brie evenly between half of the bread slices, then top with the remaining pieces of bread (cranberry side down) to form a sandwich.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
- Press a sandwich into the egg mixture. Let it soak for about a minute, then flip and repeat on the other side.
- Heat a small spoonful of ghee in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Use a fork to lift the sandwich out of the egg mixture; let any excess egg drip off. Transfer to the hot skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until bread is golden brown and eggs are cooked through. If your sandwiches are especially thick, you may want to tip each sandwich on its side for a few seconds to ensure the egg mixture along the crusts is also browned and cooked through. Note: Depending on the size of your skillet, you will likely have to work in batches here.
- Repeat this process - soaking each sandwich in the egg mixture and cooking until golden brown - until all French toast is cooked. Add more ghee between batches as needed.
- Serve immediately with maple syrup and powdered sugar.
This is a very forgiving recipe - feel free to eyeball the exact ingredient amounts here! If your cranberry sauce is especially tart, you may want to spread it over just half of each sandwich (as opposed to on both sides). Don't worry if your brie doesn't slice evenly - just eyeball it as best you can!
Use bread that is a few days old or slightly stale if you can - it will absorb the egg mixture more effectively, giving you a more custard-y french toast texture. If you can, use bread that's sliced on the thinner side - between ¼" and ½" thick - since you'll have two pieces sandwiched together. (In other French toast recipes, we like to use a thicker, 1"-thick slice of bread.)
Additions and Substitutions. Use cream cheese or mascarpone instead of brie. Use apple butter, jam, nutella, or fresh fruit in place of cranberry sauce. Add a pinch of cinnamon to the egg mixture if you like.
If you don't have ghee (clarified butter), use regular butter PLUS a few drops of a neutral oil (like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil) - the neutral oil will help prevent the milk solids in the butter from burning and turning bitter as the French toast cooks.
Can I save leftover French toast? We recommend eating this French toast as soon as it's cooked; it gets pretty soggy when it's kept in the fridge or freezer and the texture just isn't as good.
Keywords: breakfast, brunch, holiday, thanksgiving