This breakfast strata is the hearty, savory, cheesy breakfast casserole you never knew you needed!
This easy breakfast strata recipe starts with chunks of bread loaded with sausage and cheddar cheese. An easy egg mixture is poured overtop to soak into the bread before baking until golden.
The best part? Just like our fave breakfast casserole recipe, this can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning!
What is a Breakfast Strata?
Perfect for brunch or Christmas morning breakfast, a strata is best made ahead of time!
- Stratas are bread-based (almost like a bread pudding) not to be confused with a frittata which is an egg-based dish.
- This savory breakfast strata recipe starts with bread (any kind!) and adds some flavorful mix-ins. It’s all topped with an egg mixture that soaks into the bread before baking.
- Strata casseroles are best made ahead of time so the bread can soak up the egg mixture.
- This recipe is a great way to use up leftover bread, meats, veggies, and cheese!
Ingredients for Breakfast Strata
Bread – Bread is the base of this recipe and the good news is that any kind of bread will work! Even better if it’s stale and kind of dried out! Try focaccia, crusty bread (like sourdough), wheat bread, leftover biscuits, or even hamburger buns if that’s what you have on hand.
Egg Custard – Use large eggs or egg substitute and milk and cream (heavy or light, this recipe is forgiving). A dash of Dijon mustard or even a little Tabasco brightens the flavor of a strata casserole.
Sausage – I use crumbled breakfast sausage in this recipe but crispy bacon or diced leftover ham work.
Flavorful Additions – Diced bell peppers are colorful and add flavor! Add other herbs and veggies, or even leftover vegetables.
Cheese – Choose cheeses that have bold flavors like cheddar, Gruyere, feta, blue cheese crumbles, parmesan, or a mix of all three!
If using vegetables that have a lot of water content (like mushrooms or zucchini), be sure to cook them first so they don’t release liquid into the strata.
More Great Flavor Combinations
Try these tasty flavor combinations and take the guesswork out of making a breakfast strata casserole:
- Bacon, mushroom, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
- Gouda, ham, cranberries, chopped kale, white cheddar, and a little bit of thyme.
- Asparagus, fontina or goat cheese, chives, and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Sweet potato, Italian sausage, caramelized onion, provolone and a bit of rosemary.
How to Make Breakfast Strata
This is an easy make-ahead recipe, following these steps.
- Cook sausage and peppers per the recipe below.
- Whisk the egg mixture and pour over the bread and add-ins.
- Spread into a casserole dish and rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.
- Bake as directed.
Storing Breakfast Strata
- Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and reheat on the stovetop on medium heat or in the microwave.
- Strata can be frozen in an airtight container for about 4 weeks, but it will be watery once it’s thawed and will reheat best in the oven.
Best Make-Ahead Breakfast Casseroles
Did your family love this Sausage Cheddar Breakfast Strata? Leave us a comment and a rating below!
Sausage Cheddar Breakfast Strata
- ½ pound sausage
- ½ cup red or green peppers diced
- 6 cups bread cubes slightly dried
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup light cream or half and half
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat until no pink remains, drain the fat and return the sausage to the pan. Add the peppers and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk eggs, milk, cream, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder in a large bowl (add ½ teaspoon black pepper if desired).
- Add the bread, peppers, sausage, and half of the cheese to the egg mixture. Toss to combine and let rest for 5 minutes. Toss again until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the mixture to a greased 2 qt baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover, top with remaining cheese, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until set in the middle.
- Rest 10 minutes before cutting.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Made for Christmas Day brunch. Was a hit with everyone!
So glad they loved this recipe!