This sausage and egg breakfast strata has lots of savoury flavour from sausage and cheese, which contrasts beautifully with tart, sweet cranberry. A delicious make ahead 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?”
I don’t know, Jerry, I just don’t know (’cause we’re on a first name basis over here. Ha!) 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 as you ponder the weekend whilst waiting for it to cook. Know what I mean?
Enter this super tasty sausage and egg casserole (and how perfect for Christmas morning brunch?)
What is Strata? What Goes In a Breakfast 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 make ahead 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. Nothing to it! Speaking of sausage…
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.
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 recipe!
How to Make It
1: Place bread cubes in 9 inch x 13 inch baking dish that has been greased with baking spray or butter.
2: Add cooked crumbled sausage and cranberries.
3: Combine wet ingredients with cooked spinach and cheese and pour over sausage/cranberry/bread mixture.
Tip: Press down to encourage the bread to soak up the egg/milk mixture.
4: Top with additional cheddar cheese.
Tip: Let sit 20 to 30 minutes so the bread absorbs more liquid.
5: Then, bake for about 50 minutes and enjoy!
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Can I Make Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can prepare this easy breakfast casserole recipe the night before.
Prep it up to step 4 (as above), cover and refrigerate.
The next morning, remove from the refrigerator, let sit 10 to 15 minutes, preheat oven and bake.
Should It Be Covered While Baking?
Yes, it should. Though, after 30 minutes uncover and continue baking until cooked through, cheese is melted and bubbly brown.
Other Helpful Tips
Make sure your bread is ‘day old’ or stale-ish. 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 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. Use a clean tea towel or fine mesh sieve.
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. This is a great recipe for fried sage leaves.
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 is yummy as well.
Make It A Meal!
Though this sausage egg strata recipe is super hearty all on its own, if you want to make things even more substantial, pair with these –
- Skillet Potatoes – Smashed baby potatoes are generously coated in olive oil and plenty of herbs. They’re roasted until crispy on the outside and tender inside.
- Hot Chocolate – Who doesn’t love a good homemade hot chocolate recipe, especially as part of a holiday brunch? This one is creamy, rich and made with real chocolate.
- Blueberry Bread Pudding – Want a dessert to go with that brunch? This fruity bread pudding is chock full of juicy blueberries and zesty lemon.
- Or you may enjoy these other delicious brunch ideas.
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.
Until next time take care and chit chat again soon,
Make this easy breakfast casserole? That’s awesome! Love it if you left a comment below. Many thanks!
Breakfast Strata with Sausage (breakfast casserole)
- 1 pound sausage , removed from casings
- 3 ounces baby spinach (about 3 handfuls)
- 8 ounces bread cubes ('day old'. I used french bread. About 10 loose cups)
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups low fat milk (I used 1% milk fat)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt , divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 nutmeg
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese , shredded and divided (about 2 cups)
- 3/4 cups cranberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 tsp fresh sage (chopped)
- baking spray or butter (to grease baking dish)
- In a pan on medium heat cook crumbled sausage for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain fat and remove sausage from pan. Lay to one side. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add spinach to pan with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and nutmeg and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan, squeeze out excess moisture and roughly chop. Lay to one side.
- Grease 9" x 13" baking dish. Add bread cubes. Top with crumbled cooked sausage and cranberries.
- Whisk eggs. Add milk to eggs along with remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add spinach and 1 cup of cheese to egg mixture. Stir to combine.
- Pour over bread cube mixture. Press down with your hand so the bread absorbs the egg mixture. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Let sit 20 to 30 minutes before baking.
- Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Carefully remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes. Garnish with crispy sage leaves (optional). Enjoy!
- Make sure your bread is ‘day old’ or stale-ish. 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 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. Use a clean tea towel or fine mesh sieve.
- 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.
- I topped this breakfast strata with crispy sage, but that’s totally optional.
- You can prepare this breakfast casserole the night before. Prep until ready to bake, cover and refrigerate. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator, let sit 10 to 15 minutes, preheat oven and bake.
- More recipe tips and variations in body of post above.