4/9/13

Breakfast Casserole: Strata {Recipe}

I have been meaning to post this recipe for several weeks. This is a family favorite weekend brunch favorite.  Years ago, before we were Orthodox, I had a rotating breakfast menu for Sunday that included make ahead casseroles.  Put it together Saturday evening, and pop it in the oven while everyone is getting ready for church.

Now we don’t eat breakfast on Sunday mornings, so I don’t make these as often. This is my favorite strata to take to our Bible Study potlucks (back when I could attend, you know when we had two vehicles!).  It’s also perfect for holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Pascha (Easter).

I love that this recipe is so versatile. I can use different types of breads or meats.  I could add peppers and onions (I never have, but I could!), I could even play around with different cheeses.  I usually just stick with French bread, sausage or bacon and cheddar cheese!

Our Family Favorite Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole

Note: I prepare this the night before and let it sit overnight. For *best* results let sit in fridge for at least 4 hours.  I just find it easier to prepare the afternoon/evening before because we tend to want to it eat it early enough in the day that I don’t have hours to let it sit in the fridge!

You’ll need:

  • 6-8 “regular” slices of your favorite bread or about 3/4 of a loaf of crusty French bread.  (I usually use French bread)
  • 1 pound of breakfast meat (choose one or mix and match) 
    • sausage cooked and crumbled (this is our favorite!)
    • bacon cooked and diced (made into bacon bits or just use 1/2 cup real bacon bits/crumbles)
    • cooked ham, diced
  • 6-8 eggs (we’ve found that 6 eggs works well, but sometimes we’ll use 7 to keep the number left in the fridge even LOL)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (ground mustard powder)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups of grated/shredded cheese (amount depends on how cheesy you want it! I don’t measure, I just add enough until it looks right which would be somewhere between 1 and 2 cups :D )

Putting it together!

  1. Tear bread into bite size pieces and layer in a greased 9x13 pan (or use the whole loaf of French bread and use an 11x15 pan)
  2. spread the meat over the bread.  I like to kind of toss the meat with the bread as I like the meat more evenly distributed but traditionally it would be just a layer on top of the bread.
  3. “Sprinkle” the cheese over the bread and meat
  4. beat eggs with milk and add mustard, salt and pepper
  5. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread/meat/cheese layers.
  6. Cover and place in fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours

Baking the Casserole

Do NOT preheat the oven.  You can bake covered or uncovered.  My original recipe only has a note about “you can bake covered in foil but place parchment paper between food and foil” I use a plastic lid that comes with my 9x13.  I just remove the cover and bake the strata uncovered. I think if I didn’t mix the meat with the bread I’d want to cover the casserole for at least part of the baking time to keep the meat from getting cooked too much.  Turn oven to 350 degrees, place casserole in oven and bake for about 45 minutes.

Casserole is done when it is browned, puffy and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve with fresh fruit for a lovely brunch.  Grapes, Strawberries, or Melon are my favorite side dish fruits.

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2 comments:

  1. This looks yummy. I think I'll make it for breakfast tomorrow. I will, however, leave out the breakfast meat since my teen has decided to go vegetarian.

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  2. I have not made it without meat myself, but I know others have and it has turned out well!

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