Make Ahead

Eggless Strata with Butternut, Sausage, Kale and Fontina

November 19, 2012
5 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4 for dinner, 8 as a side
Author Notes

My husband, though very cute, is one of those crazy people who will only eat eggs at breakfast. To that end, this recipe is a riff off a strata that my brother and I prepare for Christmas brunch every year. In this version, the egg mixture is replaced with chicken stock, resulting in a fluffy, juicy dish perfect for a winter dinner, or holiday side. —lisina

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Lisina is a private chef living in Michigan.
WHAT: A cross between bread pudding, stuffing, and strata, it's the ultimate in eggless comfort food.
HOW: Toss together roasted squash, pork sausage, kale, and cheese with crusty bread; moisten it all with stock, then bake until crispy on top and creamy in the middle.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Soaking the bread in chicken broth instead of eggs creates a base that is custardy yet light. The kale adds a satisfying crunch against the softness of the bread and the squash, and there's enough sausage to add flavor and texture, but not so much that it overpowers the dish. Fontina cheese delivers a nutty and buttery flavor—and despite its egglessness, we think any leftovers would be extremely delicious the next day with a fried egg on top. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1/3 pound pork sausage (I used a simple salt-and-pepper blend)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 large bundles of kale, ribs removed, chopped
  • 3 thick-cut slices of day-old, hard-crusted bread
  • 1 pint good chicken stock (preferably homemade), or more if needed
  • 1 pint shredded fontina
  • Olive oil (as needed)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Butter to grease gratin dish
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Peel butternut, remove the seeds, and chop into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for 40 minutes, until cooked through and golden. Allow to cool.
  2. In a sauté pan, brown the sausage, breaking it up into bite-sized chunks. When it is nearly cooked, add the shallot and cook for about a minute before deglazing the pan with the white wine. Let the wine cook down, and remove the sausage mixture from the pan. Allow to cool.
  3. In the same pan, add the kale and season with salt. Let the kale cook down, remove from pan, and allow to cool.
  4. Cut the bread into large chunks, about 1 1/2-inch cubes. Add them to a large bowl and ladle the chicken stock over top. Let the bread soak up the chicken stock, adding more if needed. The bread should be fully saturated with the stock.
  5. Add the cooled squash, sausage, and kale to the bread and mix. Add the fontina, reserving a generous handful, and toss everything together.
  6. Reduce oven heat to 350° F. Butter a gratin dish and add the strata mixture. Sprinkle the remaining fontina over top. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and turn on the broiler. Cook under the broiler for 2 to 5 minutes, watching VERY CAREFULLY to make sure it doesn't burn. When the top is golden, remove from oven and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Darlene
  • Dagny Holt
    Dagny Holt
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Jenya | BlueGalley
    Jenya | BlueGalley
  • Risottogirl

19 Reviews

Darlene October 29, 2020
Delicious and endlessly adaptable to whatever you'd like to toss in. I added garlic with the onions and using what I had on hand, gruyere instead of fontina and chopped collard greens instead of kale. Most importantly, I will never toss out a rock hard baguette again. It worked perfectly in this recipe after soaking up all the broth.
Marc R. January 11, 2020
Droool. Squash is so good on it's own let along with this supporting cast. I've made this one a few times and have-not-will-not get tired of it. A little tweak here and there to try different flavours. I've just prep-cooked my kabocha squash and will collect kale & leeks from the garden for this version. Throw a nice cheese in there with the other bits and good things are cooking!
j February 5, 2018
If you wanted to make this vegetarian, would you substitute something for the sausage? or just omit that third main ingredient? Thanks!
Michelle S. October 5, 2017
Using my left over crostini, I lined my casserole dish w the still round, crusted breads. I poured 1.5 cups of chicken stock, and allowed the bread to fully absorb. Not having sausage or a shallot, I put a Tbl. of Olive oil in pan and cooked about 1/2 cup chopped red onion. Then I added the wine, allowing it to cook down for a minute. Next, I added my two pkgs of baby kale, to cook down. I added then, the roasted squash and cheese, and placed on top of bread before going in oven as directed. Wonderful dish but bet it is also very good w the sausage!
Dagny H. January 22, 2016
Can someone give me a better approximation (weight or cups of cut pieces) of how much squash goes in this recipe?
lisina January 22, 2016
Oh, maybe 3 cups? 4? It doesn't have to be exact. Don't get too hung up on it, it will come out ok.
Dagny H. January 23, 2016
Thanks, that helps a lot! I have squash left from the garden but they range from extra-large to toddler-sized. In my two person household opening up one of those things requires commitment and a detailed action plan!
lisina January 23, 2016
HAAAAAAA!!!! My 1 yr old LOVES roasted squash, but as you point out, it's not exacly single serving friendly. When I have a huge one, I roast it all at once in cubes, and then I freeze what I don't need. It only takes a couple minutes to defrost in the toaster oven for him or if I need it for a recipe. If I were you I'd roast it all, then add as much squash as you like to the strata, then freeze the rest!
LeBec F. January 21, 2016
Congrats for the really big FINALIST win, lisina. You and your brother must be so proud! I predict that hundreds of households are going to tinker with and enjoy this in the near future!
lisina January 22, 2016
Thank you!!
LeBec F. January 16, 2016
haha! That's so great that you are in the final round! Your bro must be psyched as well! I can't remember when I last saw 2 finalists so worthy!
Jenya |. January 15, 2016
Hi Lisina, congrats on the recipe. Love the ingredient combination and I really want to try the egg version as well! My husband is / was kind of similar about the "eggs only for breakfast" when we met, but all it took was a perfectly poached egg over a frisee salad with warm bacon dressing ;)
lisina January 19, 2016
Congrats to you too, Jenya! I can't wait to try yours--i LOOOOOVE a whole wheat crust!!!
LeBec F. January 1, 2016
haha! I knew this was a winner. And I'm going to be a tester. Would you believe, I have all the ingredients already! Congrats on this round, lisina :-)
lisina January 1, 2016
Oh no way, how funny!!! And, thank you!
LeBec F. December 27, 2015
lisi, I LIKE this! You certainly have my mental wheels going with this one! I'm used to regular egg -soaked stratas and I have never even considered chicken stock as an egg alternate. Tell me about your choice of fontina- I really love the creamy nutty mildness of it but I wonder about Parm in this for more punch. And white beans? what are your thoughts?
lisina December 27, 2015
Love the idea of the beans! If you wanted to add some parm, I would do it in addition to, rather than instead of, the fontina. Parm will give it that nice salty bite, but it doesn't melt and stretch the way fontina does, so you'd lose that ooey-gooiness. You could substitute another semi-hard melty cheese like aged cheddar or gouda which will have a stronger flavors than fontina.
Risottogirl November 15, 2015
What does a "pint of shredded fontina" mean? Enough shredded fontina to fill a "pint" container?
lisina November 16, 2015
yeah, like two cups. i'm not really sure why i wrote the recipe that way :)