Make Ahead

Strata with Sausage and Greens

December 10, 2013
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I love strata not only because it's a "kitchen sink" dish that lets you use up lots of things that may be lying around (slightly wilted greens, random nubs of cheese), but also because it always look so lovely, and you can serve it right from the pan. You also do all the assembly the night before, and then just bake it before you're ready to eat. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • Unsalted butter (for the baking dish)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 large bunch kale, spinach, or chard, stems removed, washed, dried and roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
  • Salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 1/2 cups cubed stale bread (3/4-inch)
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyère
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino
  1. Generously butter a 3-quart baking dish and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat and add the sausages. Sauté until browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove the sausages to a cutting board and let them cool a bit. Chop the sausages roughly and set aside.
  2. Add the shallots and a generous pinch of salt to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. (If they start to brown, turn down the heat.)
  3. Add the greens to the pan, along with another big pinch of salt, and cook until they are just wilted but still bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Set the pan aside, off the heat.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, nutmeg, and pepper until smooth.
  5. To assemble the strata, spread half of the bread cubes over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the sausage, and then spread half the greens over the sausage and bread. Sprinkle half of each of the cheeses evenly over the greens. Repeat with a second layer of each of the remaining ingredients. Carefully pour the egg mixture over everything in the dish. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
  6. Take the strata out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Heat the oven to 350° F, uncover the strata, and bake it for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through (you can test it with a toothpick, or jiggle it to make sure the egg is set). Let the strata cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • tessga
  • ItsBrooksie
  • Anne Weedo
    Anne Weedo
  • Cheri Mayell
    Cheri Mayell
  • Manhattan Tart
    Manhattan Tart

39 Reviews

Ellyn H. December 29, 2020
I've been making this recipe on New Year's Eve to enjoy on New Year's Day for five years straight. Usually, I am feeding it to a horde of hungover friends, but this year I'll just be making it for myself and I'm very grateful for the nostalgia attached to it. It's the perfect dish for impressing your friends without having to be spend all your time in the kitchen.
feastofgreen April 15, 2019
Could I make this 2 days ahead of serving? Make on Friday, cook/serve Sunday?
Karen April 15, 2019
It will probably taste better, I increased the amount of Dijon mustard and omitted the nutmeg...
Ensure you seal the baking dish very well so it doesn’t dry out.
Ensure your
feastofgreen April 15, 2019
Rebecca October 28, 2018
Is it possible to make this—or at least a riff on it—without dairy? That probably sounds ridiculous, but what might you suggest replacing the milk and cheese with if I wanted to make that?
Gary S. April 1, 2019
Rebecca - I think you could make something a bit different but still good if you skip the dairy. I'd swap in chicken or veg. stock and you'll have something closer to what the French call a Panade. I'd add some sauteed onions in addition to the shallots (sauteed mushrooms would be good too) and rather than stir in the eggs you might try nesting cracked whole eggs in the panade. Could be quite pretty, and yummy. Bon courage!
Rebecca April 1, 2019
Adding eggs sounds delish! Thanks for the idea!
Veronica H. December 26, 2017
Finally made this for Christmas breakfast after bookmarking it for years. This recipe is delicious as-is. The ratio of bread to liquid and toppings is spot-on, and the mustard lends a nice flavor. Definitely making this again!
ghainskom February 18, 2017
Two loaves of bread on a sunday are definitely too much for a week in our 2-adult 2-kid household so I had to recycle a loaf of hazelnut bread with this dish. I personally liked the crunch that the hazelnuts added. Great dish to upcycle stale bread.
tessga January 14, 2017
made this for our christmas day breakfast, it was really yummy.
yuzhrrr January 4, 2017
Was a big hit with friends. One was a vegetarian, so just left the sausage out on one side and that worked fine.
ItsBrooksie February 3, 2016
I made this for dinner with a dear friend and it was very good. Big thumbs up from my friend. Small nit that portions of it could have been wetter (probably some flaw of mine in following the recipe), so next time I might add more milk.
Anne W. December 19, 2015
This was so well received by my coworkers when I made it for a breakfast! I did sub turkey sausage because some of us don't eat pork. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and everyone commented on the savory flavors, ratio of veg to bread and cheese. This recipe is a keeper!
Cheri M. July 25, 2015
Looks scrum my, I note you said it could be frozen after baking, but to reheat would that be from frozen or defrost first then cook?
Manhattan T. April 7, 2015
I've made a lot of stratas ("strati?") over the years and this one was the best. The ratio of bread to goodies was spot on, and the end result was filling, colorful and appetizing to look at -- not to mention absolutely delicious. I used a pound of sweet Italian turkey sausage, a bucket of fresh spinach and some fresh rosemary (maybe 2 sprigs) and thyme (maybe 1 Tbs.). I used about 1/2 C. of heavy cream and the remainder 2% because that's what I had on hand; I used Fontina and Havarti for the same reason. The 9x13 Pyrex filled up beautifully, and the cooking temp & time were perfect. Made the day in advance and pulled out before leaving for Easter services to take off some of the chill, Easter morning was easy and CLEAN, as all clean-up occurred the day before. Will happily make this again. It was fabulous!
Merrill S. April 9, 2015
So glad you liked it!
Manhattan T. March 31, 2015
Would love to make this for Easter but am wondering if anybody has made this in a Pyrex 9x13 and, if so, is it thick/high enough? Thanks!
yuzhrrr January 4, 2017
Yes, I made it in a Pyrex 9X13. It was a tight fit, but in the end... perfect.
Park R. February 14, 2015
I used a pound of maple pork sausage and used two tablespoons of Canadian maple syrup to caramelize the meat before adding to the dish. Everyone loved it! I really liked the texture of the kale too.
Emily January 12, 2015
I used a bit less bread - maybe 5 cups - and only let sit for 1/2 hour before putting it in the oven. Worked perfectly. Also drizzled a tbsp of maple syrup over the top - tasty!
bryan December 30, 2014
I would recommend not using chard, which in my case overpowered the other ingredients in the dish. Kale or spinach can be tamed; chard is a wild beast.

As annoying as this is, I have to make a suggestion: be careful with the salt. The cheeses offer enough on their own, I think. I ended up with an almost intolerably salty strata. I followed the recipe carefully. There are variables here, though--the bread, cheese, and sausage one chooses can make a big difference in the taste of the final dish.
Gita1 December 10, 2014
Wow - This was really good. I used challa bread. Could see making this with different vegetables other than spinach. Thanks.
Peter G. November 13, 2014
The best thing about a Strata? You can use the basic technique and vary the meat, veggies and spices. My favorite is with sausage, spinach and roasted red peppers, seasoned with fresh rosemary and thyme
Tracie November 6, 2014
could i substitute the milk here or almond milk ?
Merrill S. November 6, 2014
I've never tried it myself so I can't recommend it. This would be a good question for our Hotline!
Misty September 14, 2015
Just jumping in here, I think that would be a good option if it is not flavored, as in with vanilla or sweetened; since this is a savory dish.
Shmyla November 5, 2014
What kind of bread do you suggest using?
Merrill S. November 6, 2014
You can use pretty much any kind of bread -- for example, challah will give you a puffier, airier strata, while something like a pain au levain will make a slightly denser strata with a sourdough flavor.
Rachel October 14, 2014
Do I have to refrigerate before I can cook? I just stumbled onto this site and want to make this tonight for dinner! :)