This sausage and egg breakfast strata has lots of savoury flavour from sausage and cheese, which contrasts beautifully with tart, sweet cranberry. It’s a delicious breakfast casserole, perfect for a holiday brunch!
I don’t know about you, but I love brunch. I mean, what exactly is brunch? As Jerry Seinfeld once said “So what’s the deal with brunch? I mean if it’s a combination of breakfast and lunch, how come there’s no lupper or no linner?”
All I know is that people go cray cray over brunch.
Growing up, I don’t recall brunch being a thing. Now, it’s like all the cool kids go for brunch.
And you could totally wait up to an hour at popular spots. No thanks. I think I’ll stay home in my pajamas with all the coffee, please and thank you.
I love meals that are easy, hearty, comforting and you could drink a billion cups of coffee whilst waiting for it to cook. Know what I mean?
Enter this super tasty sausage and egg casserole; so perfect for Christmas morning brunch. It would be awesome to make and take over to a friend’s house for a brunch potluck!
What Is Strata?
Strata is a layered casserole dish usually involving bread, eggs, and cheese. You can pretty much add in whatever you like to make it yours. Though, today I’m sharing a sausage and egg strata recipe.
Basically, think bread pudding, only on the savoury side of things.
Similar breakfast or brunch dishes would be quiche or frittata.
Quiche, however, usually has a pastry base with an egg filling (kinda like a breakfast pie). Frittata is typically eggs (and whatever toppings) baked in a pan with no pastry base or bread.
For this easy breakfast bake, sausage, bread, milk, eggs, cheese and a few other players come together in perfect foodie harmony for a delicious egg casserole that’s gonna knock your socks off.
Aside from cooking the sausage and quickly wilting the spinach, everything comes together in one dish and into the oven it goes. Easy!
How To Remove Sausage From Casings
You will want to remove the sausage from their casing prior to cooking them. What you are left with is a mixture akin to ground beef or pork, texture-wise.
Fry it up nice and crispy and it’s perfect in this strata casserole dish. How do you remove the sausage from their casings?
- Cut up through the centre of sausage with scissors.
- Gently peel off casing and remove sausage meat.
- Use in this recipe!
How To Make Breakfast Strata
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Place bread cubes in 9-inch x 13-inch greased baking dish.
- Add cooked crumbled sausage and cranberries.
- In a bowl, whisk together egg, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Combine with cooked spinach and cheese and pour over the bread mixture. Press down to encourage the bread to soak up the egg/milk mixture.
- Top with additional cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate the strata for 30 minutes to an hour (so the bread absorbs more liquid), then remove from the refrigerator and bake.
Should It Be Covered While Baking?
Yes, it should. Though, after 30 minutes uncover and continue baking until cooked through and the cheese is melted.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- Make sure you use day old bread. If your bread is too fresh, it won’t suck up the milk/egg mixture as well. If using fresh bread, though, you can easily dry it out. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes and then proceed with the recipe.
- Ensure that after cooking the sausage, the grease is drained well. You don’t want that added grease to your strata recipe. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
- After cooking spinach, squeeze out excess moisture so it doesn’t make your strata super wet
- The cranberries add a festive pop of colour and tartness, which contrasts lovely against the savoury sausage and cheese. However, if you aren’t a fan, you can omit, but I highly recommend them. Plus, the green from the spinach and red from the cranberries makes this dish super festive!
- I topped this breakfast strata with crispy sage, but that’s totally optional.
- I’ve also made this with croissants for an even richer flavour (or you can use a mixture of bread and croissants). Just make sure that it is day old or dried out a little.
- Italian sausage was used here, but maple breakfast sausage works lovely too!
- Rather not use spinach? Try kale or Swiss chard (just cook a little longer before adding to the casserole).
- For the cheese component, cheddar was used. Mozzarella, Gouda or Havarti are yummy as well.
What To Serve With Strata
Though this sausage egg strata recipe is super hearty all on its own, if you want to make things even more substantial, pair with:
Hope you love this breakfast strata as much as we do!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you. Hope your bellies are full, your heart is happy and you share lots of laughter and good times with family and friends over the next couple of weeks.
If you make this easy breakfast casserole, be sure to leave a comment below!
Breakfast Strata With Sausage (Breakfast Casserole)
- 1 pound Italian sausage (pork sausage), sausage meat removed from casings (about 4 sausage)
- 3 ounces baby spinach, about 3 handfuls (or 85 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces day old bread cubes , about 10 loosely packed cups
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided (2 cups)
- ¾ cups cranberries, frozen or fresh
- baking spray or butter , to grease baking dish
- Crispy sage leaves, garnish to taste (optional)
- Heat a 10-inch or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add crumbled sausage and and cook, stirring every so often, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until fully cooked through (the sausage should no longer be pink and be browned all the way through). Drain grease. Transfer sausage to a plate and set aside.
- Add spinach to skillet with ¼ teaspoon of salt and nutmeg and cook, stirring often, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet, squeeze out excess moisture, and roughly chop. Set aside.
- Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Add bread cubes. Top with crumbled cooked sausage and cranberries.
- Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add milk to eggs, along with remaining ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Add spinach and 1 cup of cheese to egg mixture. Stir to combine.
- Pour egg mixture over bread cube mixture. Press down with your hand so the bread absorbs the egg mixture. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before baking (this allows the bread to absorb the egg/milk mixture; I typically like to go for the full hour).
- Remove the strata from the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the strata, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Carefully remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the top of the strata is golden brown, puffy and set in the centre (a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the strata should come out clean).
- Garnish (if desired) with crispy sage leaves. Cool the strata for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- Make sure your bread is day old. If your bread is too fresh, it won’t suck up the milk/egg mixture as well. How to dry out bread? Place on a baking sheet in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes and then proceed with the recipe.
- Ensure that after cooking the sausage, the grease is drained well. You don’t want that added grease to your strata recipe.
- After cooking spinach, squeeze out excess moisture so it doesn’t make your strata super wet.
- The cranberries add a festive pop of colour and tartness, which contrasts lovely against the savoury sausage and cheese. However, if you aren’t a fan, you can omit.
Nutrition (estimate only)
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!