Red Pepper and Sausage Breakfast Strata

Breakfast has never been so easy with this Red Pepper and Sausage Breakfast Strata. Make it the night before and pop it in the oven the next morning. It is the perfect breakfast or brunch recipe for a special occasion or for a busy week ahead.

A large piece of a red pepper and sausage breakfast strata on a plate with a fork.

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It is always good to have a go-to recipe or two in your roster for special occasions. Something that looks fancy and complicated but really isn’t. Something that will really wow your family or special guests.

Well, this sausage breakfast strata recipe is just the thing for a special breakfast or brunch! Simple ingredients are made special in this easy to make breakfast casserole that can be prepared the night before, then simply popped in the oven and ready in under an hour!

This recipe makes enough for 8-servings and uses a whole dozen eggs. I eat eggs nearly every day. Usually, I have 6 or so hard-boiled for snacks in the fridge, make them scrambled for breakfast, over easy for toast dipping and my breakfast sandwiches.

This red pepper and sausage strata recipe with sausage and red pepper is just another one of my favorite ways to eat eggs.

What Makes This The best strata recipe?

  • Easy to Prepare in Advance: You can make this recipe for strata the night before and just bake it in the morning, making breakfast a breeze.
  • Looks Fancy, but Simple to Make: It seems like a fancy dish, but the recipe is straightforward, so you can impress your family or guests without stressing out.
  • Great Combo of Flavors: The Italian sausage, Fontina cheese, red pepper, and onions create a tasty mix of savory and a bit of sweet.
  • Make it Your Own: You can change things up by using different bread, cheese, or sausage to match what you like.
  • Perfect for Making Ahead: This recipe makes 8 servings, so it’s great for meal prep or feeding a crowd.
Ingredients for  a breakfast strata recipe on a white countertop

Ingredients for Red Pepper and Sausage Breakfast Strata

  • Eggs – A dozen large eggs. They not only provide a great source of protein but work to hold this breakfast casserole together.
  • Crusty bread – I find Ciabatta or French Bread is the best to use because they both have a thicker exterior and soft hearty interior that hold up well to being soaked in liquid without falling apart. The bread should be cut into bite-sized cubes and dried either by letting sit out for a few hours or baking in an oven on low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Milk – You can use any type of dairy milk or unflavored almond milk, soy milk, or your favorite dairy-free variety.
  • Fontina cheese – Is a milk Italian cheese that goes perfect with the Italian sausage.
  • Mild Italian sausage – An added protein and the spices in the Italian sausage are a great way to simply season the entire dish!
  • Red pepper – Compliments the Italian sausage and Fontina cheese perfectly.
  • Onions – I prefer to use yellow onions when cooking and they are the most common but you can also substitute with Vidalia onions as well which will add a slightly sweeter flavor.

See the recipe card below for exact quantities.

Substitutions and Variations

I love this combination of flavors in this sausage breakfast strata, but there are tons of ways to make it your own. Here are some ideas:

  • Bread Swap: Substitute Ciabatta or French bread with your favorite crusty bread.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different cheeses like Gouda, Provolone, Emmental, Gruyère.
  • Sausage Choices: Use your preferred sausage – mild, medium, spicy, or even breakfast sausage or chorizo.
  • Vegetable Substitutes: Swap red peppers with green peppers, spinach, kale, mushrooms, or a combination for added variety. You can also add diced tomatoes, zucchini, or olives for added texture and flavor. Mix in sun-dried tomatoes for a tangy twist.
  • Herb Infusion: Enhance the flavor with fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or chives.
  • Spice It Up: Adjust the heat level by adding crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce. You can even include diced jalapeños for an extra kick.
  • Change Up The Meat: Try using different meats like bacon, ham, or turkey sausage.
  • Sweet and Savory Blend: Add a touch of sweetness by incorporating caramelized onions or even a fruit like diced apples or dried cranberries.
Two pieces of a breakfast strata on a table near a casserole dish with cheese nearby.

How to make Red Pepper and Sausage Breakfast strata

  1. Start with cubing a crusty Italian or French bread into bite-sized pieces. For this recipe, I have used 6 cups of cubed bread for a 9 X 11 deep casserole dish. I have filled the dish to the top with the fresh bread cubes to measure the amount needed.
  2. To dry the bread in the oven, preheat the oven to 250 F. Cube the bread and place on the baking sheet evenly leaving some space between the pieces for the heat to circulate. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until bread is dried. You do not want the bread to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  1. Remove the outside casings from 2 Italian sausages. Place in a pan over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until it is no longer pink breaking it into small crumble-like pieces while cooking. Transfer the sausage to a bowl.
  2. Then add 1/2 cup of diced onions and 1 1/2 cups of sliced red pepper and saute until both are softened and the onions are translucent. You shouldn’t need to add any oil to the pan because there will be a little fat remaining from the cooked sausage but if you do a tsp or two of olive oil will do.
  1. Add the dried bread cubes, sausage, red peppers, onions as well as 2 cups of shredded Fontina cheese and mix until combined.
  2. Add the bread and cheese mixture to a greased 9 X 11 casserole dish.
  1. In a large bowl add 2 1/2 cups of milk and a dozen eggs. Whisk until well mixed.
  2. Slowly pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread mix inside the 9 X 11 deep-sided casserole dish. It will seem impossible because the dish looks already packed but trust me. The egg mixture will pour into all the empty crevices to fill in all of the empty spots created by the dried bread cubes. The bread will also absorb some of the liquid giving this breakfast recipe a light, fluffy custardy texture that will have you swooning!
  3. Then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  1. Cover the casserole with foil and place it in the fridge overnight. This will give the bread time to soak in the egg mixture. If you are in a hurry, letting it rest for a minimum of 1 hour will do.
A dish covered with aluminum foil
  1. The next morning or when you are ready and the casserole has had time to soak up all that eggy goodness, preheat the oven to 350 F and then bake for 25 minutes covered with the foil still on. Then, remove the foil and continue to bake for another 25 minutes or until the center is set and no longer jiggly and the center of the casserole reaches a temperature of 160 F.Remove from the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
A breakfast casserole close up in a red dish.

Tips

  • Don’t skip drying the bread. Drying the bread helps to create a more solid foundation for when the liquid is added. When the bread is dried it will look a lot smaller but it will expand again when the egg and milk mixture is added. Having the bread toasted already helps to keep the bread from being too soft and falling apart in the liquid which leads to a mushy breakfast casserole.
  • Casserole size. This recipe calls for a deep sided baking dish that should be a minimum of 2.5 – 3 inches deep.
  • Prepare the baking dish. Make sure to grease the dish before adding the contents to avoid sticking.

Storage

After baking any leftovers need to be put back in the fridge within 2 hours. Covered and stored in the fridge a breakfast strata will last for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze the strata recipe once it has been cooked fully and cooled but never freeze before cooking. Once cooked fully and cooled you can cover with foil and then wrap tightly in saran wrap or use a container with an airtight lid and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat thaw in the fridge overnight and then place back into the oven to reheat. You may want to sprinkle with some extra cheese on top to get it all melty and gooey again.

For information on storage of egg strata casseroles click here.

An overhead shot showing a piece of an overnight breakfast strata near a red casserole dish.

Red Pepper and Sausage Breakfast Strata FAQs

What is the difference between a strata and a quiche?

A strata is like a savory bread pudding with layers of bread, eggs, and other ingredients baked together. It often includes meat, cheese, and vegetables. On the other hand, a quiche is a savory pie with a pastry crust filled with a mixture of eggs, cream, cheese, and various ingredients like vegetables or meat.

Can this sausage breakfast strata be made ahead of time?

Yes, this Red Pepper and Sausage Breakfast Strata can be made ahead of time. Prepare it the night before, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, bake it in the morning.

Can I make this strata recipe into muffins?

Yes, you can adapt this strata into muffins. Mix all the ingredients well and spoon the mixture into greased muffin cups. Adjust the baking time until the muffins are set and reach a safe internal temperature.

Try Another make ahead breakfast recipe:

A large piece of a breakfast strata with sausage and red peppers on a plate with a fork.

Red Pepper and Sausage Breakfast Strata

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
Eggs, Italian sausage, Fontina cheese, red peppers and onions create a delicious make-ahead breakfast casserole with a light fluffy custady texture that will have you swooning!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 551 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven
  • 9 X 11 Deep sided casserole dish
  • Large sautee pan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Large Bowl
  • Chopping Knife
  • Measuring Cups
  • Cheese grater
  • Aluminum Foil

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups Italian or French crusty bread like Ciabatta cubed
  • 1 lb Italian sausage (approx 2 links) casings removed
  • ½ onion diced
  • 4 oz sliced red pepper
  • 2 ½ cups Fontina cheese shredded; divided
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 250 F. Cube the bread and place on the baking sheet evenly leaving some space between the pieces for the heat to circulate. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until bread is dried. You do not want the bread to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the outside casings from 2 Italian sausages. Place in a pan over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until it is no longer pink breaking it into small crumble-like pieces while cooking. Transfer the sausage to a bowl.
  • Add a 1/2 cup of diced onions and 1 1/2 cups of sliced red pepper and saute until both are softened and the onions are translucent. You shouldn't need to add any oil to the pan because there will be a little fat remaining from the cooked sausage but if you do a tsp or two of olive oil will do.
  • Add the dried bread cubes, sausage, red peppers, onions as well as 2 cups of shredded Fontina cheese and mix until combined. Then add the mixture to the 9 X 11 greased casserole dish.
  • In a large bowl add 2 1/2 cups of milk and a dozen eggs. Whisk until well mixed.
  • Slowly pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread mix inside the 9 X 11 deep-sided casserole dish. Top evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Cover the casserole with foil and place it in the fridge overnight. This will give the bread time to soak in the egg mixture. If you are in a hurry letting it rest for a minimum of 1 hour will do.
  • The next morning or when you are ready and it the casserole has had time to soak up all that eggy goodness bake for 25 minutes covered with the foil still on. Then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 25 minutes or until the centre is set and no longer jiggly and the centre of the casserole reaches a temperature of 160 F. Remove from oven and let rest 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 551kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 31gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 346mgSodium: 971mgPotassium: 415mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1300IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 370mgIron: 2mg

Notes

Storage: 
After baking any leftovers need to be put back in the fridge within 2 hours. Covered and stored in the fridge a breakfast strata will last for up to 4 days. 
You can also freeze this recipe once cooked in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven to serve.
Substitutions:
Provolone, Emmental or Gouda are all great substitutes for Fontina cheese.
Italian Sausage can be replaced with any of your other favourite sausages.
 
 
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Breakfast stratas are the best! Such a great way to use up what you have on hand. This one has a delicious combo of flavors with the sausage and pepper. YUM!

  2. 5 stars
    I was looking for a make ahead breakfast for Thanksgiving and this is perfect! I almost always have everything I need to make this in the fridge!

  3. 5 stars
    I love hot and savory breakfast so this tasty sausage strata is right up my alley! Glad it can feed a crowd, too!

  4. 5 stars
    Ohhh this would make the perfect brunch dish for the holidays! Love that all the prep is the night before.

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing step by step recipe in detail. It makes it easier to try. Bookmarking it.

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