Sausage & Pepper breakfast strata

Breakfast has never been so easy with this Sausage & Pepper 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.

This post is sponsored by Egg Farmers of Ontario. I have been compensated to sponsor this recipe but -as always- all opinions are my own. This recipe has been created for World Egg Day to be celebrated on October 9, 2020.

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 breakfast strata recipe is just the thing for a special breakfast or brunch! Simple ingredients 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!

INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS

  • 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 – Any type of milk will work but I would not recommend any sweetened or flavoured milk in this recipe or it will alter the flavour. The milk and eggs when soaked with the bread give this dish a fluffy almost custardy texture.
  • Fontina cheese – Is a milk Italian cheese that goes perfect with the Italian sausage. Gouda, Provolone, Emmental or Gruyère will work just as well. Maybe even a mix of a few!
  • Mild Italian sausage – An added protein and the spices in the Italian sausage are a great way to simply season the entire dish! Substitute it with your favourite sausage mild, medium or spicy or perhaps even breakfast sausage or chorizo. If using breakfast sausage you may wish to add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of black pepper and a 1/2 tsp of Italian Seasoning to this dish to add additional flavour to this recipe that would be missing without the Italian sausage.
  • Red pepper – Compliments the Italian sausage and Fontina cheese perfectly and add some veggies to the mix. Substitute with green pepper, spinach, kale or mushrooms. Or add a little bit of them all!
  • 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 flavour.

This recipe makes enough for 8-servings and uses a whole dozen eggs. The perfect way to celebrate World Egg Day coming up. This year it will be celebrated on October 9, 2020.

I myself 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. I love a good breakfast sandwich.

If you think about it, eggs are in so many things. Almost every cake, donut or pastry known to man. There is no wonder why there is an entire day set aside each year to celebrate them!

This strata recipe with sausage and red pepper is just another one of my favourite recipes. Eating Ontario eggs is a great way to show support for the more than 500 Egg farmers of Ontario that supply us with this healthy, affordable and versatile food.

How to make A sausage & Pepper breakfast strata

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.

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. No one wants that.

how to dry 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.

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.

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.

Add the dried bread cubes, sausage, red peppers, onions as well as 2 cups of shredded Fontina cheese and mix until combined.

Add the bread and cheese mixture to a greased 9 X 11 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. 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!

Then sprinkle 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 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 the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Does the bread need to be dried?

No. You can make this recipe with fresh bread but if you do you should bake it straight away or you risk the bread getting too moist and falling apart. This will leave you with a pile of mush.

How deep should the casserole dish be?

This recipe calls for a deep sided baking dish that should be a minimum of 2.5 – 3 inches deep. Make sure to grease the dish before adding the contents to avoid sticking.

How long is a breakfast casserole good for?

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.

Can you freeze a breakfast strata?

You can 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.

OTHER MAKE AHEAD BREAKFAST RECIPES

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

Sausage & Red Pepper Breakfast Strata

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 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Breakfast Recipes, Breakfast Strata, Egg Recipes, Strata
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories:

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
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 4 oz sliced red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups Fontina cheese shredded; divided
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 1/2 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.

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.
 
 
Tried this recipe?Mention @thedeliciousspoon or tag #thedeliciousspoon in your post!
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.

PIN IT FOR LATER!

Similar Posts

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating