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Author Notes: I'm all about ease when it comes to brunch. Its great fun to start the day off with friends (and mimosas), but to be honest, a girl needs her beauty sleep. Enter breakfast strata. The whole thing is prepared the night before, which ensures ample sleeping in. Pop it in the oven while you work on your first cup of coffee and wash the sleep out of your eyes (don't forget to brush your teeth). Your guests will think you slaved all morning. I won't tell... —Meredith Shanley
- 8 cups crusty Italian bread, cubed
- 3 cups milk
- 10 eggs
- 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced into strips
- 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage, diced and cooked
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 handfuls fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Coat a large saute pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium.
- Saute onion until soft and lightly colored. Add spinach, wilt completely.
- Squeeze spinach to remove excess water, season with salt and pepper. Remove to paper towels.
- In same saute pan, again coated with cooking spray, saute peppers about 7 minutes until soft, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, beat together milk, dijon, eggs, salt and pepper.
- In a buttered 9x13 baking dish, layer 1/3 bread, 1/3 cheese, and 1/3 each of chicken sausage, spinach, and peppers. Repeat two more times so that you have 3 layers. Pour egg mixture over top.
- Cover, chill in fridge overnight.
- In morning, preheat oven to 375. Remove strata from fridge about 30 minutes prior to cooking.
- Bake in oven until bubbly and set, like a bread pudding. Should take about 1 hour. Allow to rest about 5 minutes, cut into squares and enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brunch Eggs
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