An overnight breakfast casserole, Sausage Cheese Strata is comfort food at its finest! It comes together quickly and is easy to customize for specific tastes!
This is a brunch favorite around these parts for so many reasons:
- It’s really affordable
- It’s incredibly easy to customize with different add-ins
- None of the ingredients are too crazy and you probably have most of them on-hand already
- You make it the night before so the morning you want to serve it, all you have to do is pop it in the oven
- It’s really filling so you don’t need to serve too much else with it!
What is Strata?
Even if you’re thinking you’ve never heard of a strata, you’ve probably eaten it before without actually realizing it.
It’s a layered casserole that’s usually served at breakfast or brunch. Bread and eggs are the main ingredients and are pretty much the staples of any strata recipe.
Think of stratas as a mix between a quiche and a frittata but with the addition of bread. You can make vegetarian stratas or you can add meat for a heartier meal.
How to Make Sausage Cheese Strata
Start by cooking a pound of ground sausage in a large skillet. Cook until it’s no longer pink. Remove sausage to a plate and drain the grease from the pan, leaving about 1/2 tablespoon to fry the onions in.
Then add 1 cup diced onion to the pan and saute until translucent and cooked through. Add the sausage back into the pan and stir into the onions for about a minute or two. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, add the following:
- 8 eggs
- 2.5 cups of milk
- 1/2 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Whisk everything together really well. Then add 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and stir into egg mixture.
Next, grease a 13×9 pan. Fill it with about 6 cups of bread cubes.
Then evenly spoon the sausage and onion mixture all over the bread cubes. Last, pour the egg cheese mixture over the whole dish.
Now here’s the key to making a strata (and one of my favorite parts!), you really shouldn’t make this right away. You need to give the bread cubes time to soak up all that egg/milk mixture.
So cover your dish with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge. Ideally, you should put it in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours. I know some people have only left it in the fridge for an hour and they still end up with a great dish, but the texture is different.
So plan ahead and refrigerate this the night before you want to make it.
The next morning, set it out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before you need to make it.
Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 40-50 minutes until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the center tests done. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes before you cut it.
Tips for Making Breakfast Strata
- You can add all kinds of veggies to this dish to customize it: mushrooms, asparagus, chopped peppers, broccoli, etc.
- You can also switch out the meat if you want and substitute it with chorizo, ham or bacon. Or you can just leave the meat out completely and make a vegetarian strata.
- Feel free to add additional seasonings to suit your taste: chives, parsley, everything but the bagel seasoning, season salt in place of the regular salt, a little nutmeg.
- You can also make your strata and freeze it! Before baking, wrap the casserole dish well and place in freezer for up to 3 months. To use it, thaw in refrigerator overnight and then follow the directions in the recipe.
Sausage Cheese Strata
- Grease a 13x9 pan and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium high heat until no pink remains. Remove sausage to a plate. Drain fat from pan, leaving about 1/2 tablespoon.
- Add diced onions to skillet and saute for about 5 minutes until translucent. Return sausage to skillet and stir into onions for a minute or two. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, dijon, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Whisk until well combined. Stir in cheese to egg mixture.
- Add bread cubes to prepared pan. Evenly spread sausage mixture over bread crumbs. Pour egg mixture over the entire dish.
- Cover and place in fridge overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours.
- When ready to make, remove dish from fridge and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-50 minutes, uncovered, until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
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