- 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
- 12 slices Italian, sourdough or rye bread (1/2 inch thick)
- 6 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1-3/4 cups 2% milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend or part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 teaspoon basil until blended; spread onto six bread slices. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining bread. Spread outsides of sandwiches with butter. Arrange in a greased 13×9-in. baking dish.
- In a small saucepan, combine tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining basil; cook and stir over medium heat 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl; gradually whisk in a third of the milk mixture. Stir in remaining milk mixture; pour over sandwiches. Sprinkle with Italian cheese blend.
- Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Test Kitchen Tip When this casserole comes out of the oven it’s best to let it sit for the full 10 minutes if not a little longer. You’ll end up with a rich, creamy texture very similar to a breakfast strata or a savory bread pudding.
1 sandwich: 485 calories, 29g fat (17g saturated fat), 137mg cholesterol, 918mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 23g protein. Originally published as Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Bake in Taste of Home February/March 2015
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