Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

We love this twist on the classic French toast, made with savory garlic bread toast and irresistible spinach ricotta filling. It’s like a big, hearty, family-style meal all in one deliciously stuffed package.

Reprinted from the book Breakfast for Dinner by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth. Copyright 2013 by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth. Published by Quirk Books.

Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast

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    Ingredients

    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 cloves garlic 1 loaf soft French bread, cut into 8 1 1/2 inch-thick slices
    4 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach Pepper, to taste
    1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese 3 large eggs
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup whole milk
    1 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

    directions

    Prep: 30 min Total:
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    • 1

      For the filling, heat oil (2 tbsp) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

    • 2

      In a small bowl, combine chopped spinach mixture, ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, basil, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. With a small serrated knife, cut a horizontal pocket in the side of each slice of bread. Gently fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling and press closed.

    • 3

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

    • 4

      Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 slice of bread at a time, quickly dip into egg mixture, flipping to coat both sides. Add to hot oil. Repeat with 2 to 3 more slices, taking care not to overload pan. Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining slices, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to plates, spoon warm marinara sauce over top, and serve.

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