This Sausage Cranberry Breakfast Strata has lots of savoury flavour from sausage and cheese, which contrasts beautifully with tart, sweet cranberry. A delicious meal, perfect for holiday brunchin’!
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 it. 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 pjs with allll 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 cranberry breakfast strata (and how perfect for Christmas morning?)—>
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 strata recipe.
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 casserole, sausage, bread, milk, eggs, cheese and a few other players come together in perfect foodie harmony for a delicious make ahead breakfast 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 a Breakfast Strata
- Place bread cubes in 9 x 13 baking dish that has been greased with baking spray or butter.
- Add cooked crumbled sausage and cranberries.
- Combine wet ingredients with cooked spinach and cheese and pour over sausage/cranberry/bread mixture.
- Press down to encourage the bread to soak up the egg/milk mixture.
- Top with additional cheddar cheese.
- Let sit 20-30 minutes so the bread absorbs more liquid.
- Bake for about 50 minutes and enjoy!
Can you Make Strata Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can prepare this easy breakfast casserole recipe the night before. Prep it up to step 4 and refrigerate. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator, let sit 10-15 minutes, preheat oven and bake. So, this one is a great make ahead breakfast!
Should Strata be Covered While Baking?
Yes, it should. Though, after 30 minutes uncover and continue baking until cooked through, cheese is melted and bubbly brown.
Tips for Making this Sausage Casserole Recipe
- 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 F 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.
- 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 how to.
Other Breakfast Recipes you May Enjoy –
Variations for this Breakfast Casserole Recipe
- 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 kale? Try spinach or swiss chard.
- For the cheese component, cheddar was used. Mozzarella is yummy as well.
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 🙂
P.S. If you think this breakfast strata will make your belly happy too, please be sure to hit that little Pin button. Many thanks, you guys! XO
Sausage Cranberry Breakfast Strata
- 1 lb sausage -removed from casings
- 3 oz baby spinach -about 3 handfuls
- 8 oz bread cubes -'day old'. I used french bread. About 10 loose cups
- 8 eggs -I used 'large'
- 2 cups low fat milk -I used 1%
- 1/2 tsp salt -divided
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 nutmeg
- 8 oz cheddar cheese -shredded, about 2 cups and divided
- 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 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain fat and remove sausage from pan. Lay to one side. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Add spinach to pan with 1/4 tsp 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 tsp 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 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 F 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.
- 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 it up to step 4 and refrigerate. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator, let sit 10-15 minutes, preheat oven and bake. So, this one is a great make ahead breakfast!