This strata is a wonderful make-ahead dish for a special, festive breakfast. A strata is a bit like a casserole with distinct layers of bread, vegetables, cheese, and sausage in every slice. Everything is prepared and put together the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is put the strata in the oven to bake. I have found that a make-ahead dish like this means a holiday morning can be relaxing for everyone! This strata is full of flavor and tasty vegetables, making it both nourishing and delicious.
TIP: Feel free to adjust the vegetables that you add. If you’re not a mushroom person, add something else instead, such as roasted red peppers. Or use a different melting cheese, such as mozzarella, Cheddar, or Monterey Jack.
Sausage, Gruyere, and Mushroom Strata
Recipe makes 8 to 10 servings. Total time 10 hours and 35 minutes. Active time 35 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
- 10 ounces baguette
- 1 1/2 pounds pork breakfast sausage, removed from casings
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound sliced baby bella or white button mushrooms
- 12 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 12 large eggs
- 3 cups half-and-half
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
- Use the butter to grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Set aside.
- Brown the sausage over medium heat in a heavy skillet. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it cooks. When fully cooked, turn off the heat and spoon the sausage into a large bowl, leaving the oil from the sausage in the pan. Add the onion, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pan and continue to cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Add the onion to the bowl with the sausage.
- Sauté the mushrooms in the same pan with an additional 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mushrooms are fully cooked, 5 and 7 minutes. Add to the mixture in the bowl.
- Add the spinach, 2 tablespoons olive oil (if needed), and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook about 1 minute, until wilted. Press down on the spinach to drain as much liquid as possible. Roughly chop the spinach on a cutting board and add to the mixture in the bowl.
- Mix the sausage, onion, mushrooms, and spinach and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs until the yolks and whites are combined, then add the half-and-half and beat the mixture until it is uniform in color. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and whisk for 1 more minute.
- Pack the bottom of the baking dish with half of the bread slices. Pour half of the sausage mixture over the bread layer, making sure it is evenly distributed. Layer half of the cheese on top of the sausage mixture. Make a layer on top with the rest of the bread, then with the rest of the sausage mixture. Cover the top with the remaining cheese. Slowly add the egg mixture, pouring as slowly as you can to make sure it is evenly distributed through the pan.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325℉. Take the strata out of the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature.
- Remove the plastic wrap and bake the strata for 1 1/2 hours, until it is puffy, golden brown, and bubbling. If the top browns too quickly, cover it loosely with foil and continue to bake until the strata looks puffy. The strata will settle a little bit while it cools. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe first featured on Ranch To Table Season 3 Episode 1: A Ranch Holiday on the Magnolia Network.