The last thing you want to do when you wake up on Christmas morning is cook. So make your breakfast the night before. How does egg, spinach, sausage and cheese sound?
I’ve made this Christmas breakfast strata recipe a few times, and I will say it benefits from an overnight stay in the fridge. If you cook it right away, the bread just doesn’t puff up as much as it could, giving it that souffle-y like texture. This year, I made two versions: one dairy-free, one loaded with parmesan. Both were delicious. You don’t even miss the cheese.
- 1 loaf day-old French baguette
- Olive oil
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach
- 1 pound breakfast sausage (bulk or removed from casings)
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 dozen eggs
- 2 cups milk (we use Lactaid whole milk)
- 2 cups shredded Parmesan (or a combination of Italian cheeses)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Cube the baguette and place it on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until bread is crispy but not browned.
- While the bread is toasting, cook the spinach in the microwave according to the package directions. Once it's cool enough to handle, wring out as much water as you can. Set spinach aside.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add about 2 tablespoons olive oil, let it heat up, then add breakfast sausage. Brown sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Remove sausage to a plate.
- Add more olive oil to the pan, if necessary. Add onions, salt and pepper, and saute, scraping up the brown bits of sausage, for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Shut off the heat.
- Whisk together eggs and milk, add salt and pepper.
- Assemble the strata: Into a 9-inch by 11-inch casserole, scatter a layer of toasted bread. On top of that, scatter cheese, then spinach, then sausage. Repeat, layering the bread, cheese, spinach and sausage. Pour the egg-milk mixture over and shake the pan to let it settle.
- Cover the strata and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 350 F. Let it come to room temperature (if you have time) for about 45 minutes. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. The strata should still feel quite moist if you press on it with your fingers (it will continue to cook after it's out of the oven). You can also cook for 1/2 hour, take it out, then reheat it for 15 minutes just before serving.
- Let cool, then serve warm or at room temperature.
- To make dairy-free, simply omit cheese. It's just as good! You can also add mustard seed, nutmeg, thyme or other herbs and spices to suit your pleasure.