Ever since I saw The Family Stone 10 years ago, I’ve been making egg strata for Christmas breakfast.
Did you see it? Remember that part where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character spills her egg strata all over the kitchen floor and has a breakdown? Ah, good times. Let your freak flag fly!
Not only did I love that movie, but I also loved the idea of making a decadent breakfast the day before in order to eliminate all the fuss in the kitchen on Christmas morning (when chances are, you’ve been up late the night before).
When I was a kid, my family xmas tradition involved getting up early with my sister, opening our stockings while our parents slept and then being forced to eat a full breakfast at the table before we got to open the presents under the tree. I’d be tortured with anticipation.
I realize now that was the best part.
Now, I couldn’t imagine a Christmas without a full breakfast. It just isn’t right if you ask me 😉
Enter: Breakfast Strata. As an adult, it saves much-needed time and sanity on that busy morning (or any morning for that matter).
I’ve made many incarnations of this dish. I’ve made it with and without turkey sausage (back when I was eating meat more often) and with or without dairy. In all honestly, this is a dish that kinda needs dairy to work its magic (IMHO). So, I’m including it in this recipe, but you totally don’t have to.
If you know me, you know my motto by now and I am not an all-or-nothing gal. It’s the holidays, after all, and this is what I’ll be having for Christmas breakfast. Sure, it’s a little decadent and that’s ok by me!
Of course I use organic, eggs from pasture-raised hens and I opt for goat cheese as it is easier to digest. I’ve also substituted out the traditional white loaf of bread for a sourdough variety because that’s how I roll. I actually think it tastes much better with these kinds of ingredients.
Even though it does have dairy by way of goat cheese and butter, I opted for non-dairy milk to reduce the overall dairy load here. You can use regular milk if you want (just make sure it’s organic). And FYI, the mustard really kicks this baby up a notch.
Although this is a decadent dish, it’s also really healthy! Eggs are full of brain-boosting choline and there’s a reason spinach was Popeye’s fave veggie: it’s full of vitamin C, iron, magnesium and, yes, even has protein.
Like most of the recipes I post, it can be tweaked easily to your liking because it’s pretty much foolproof. I kept this one relatively simple and just did a straight-ahead spinach-and-feta mix, but you can use any veggie you like!
This can be made the day or night before. You simply put the whole thing in the fridge and let it rest until the next morning. When you wake up, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temp for about 15 minutes, then pop it in the oven while you enjoy your morning (especially if you have rambunctious, screaming kids…you will thank me for this).
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 5 cups cubed “stale” bread. (I used sourdough red fife)
- 5-6 cups tightly packed baby spinach
- 1 large, chopped red onion (any kind will do)
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 10 eggs
- 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 cup crumbled goat feta
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Note: to make your bread cubes stale, you can either leave them out overnight the night before you do this recipe or, simply put them in the oven on a low heat until they are dry and slightly crispy.
- Grease glass/ceramic casserole dish with coconut oil
- Melt butter on medium/high heat add onions and reduce heat to low while onions simmer for about 10 minutes and get a little browned
- Add spinach+ pinch of salt stir until spinach is wilted and remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk eggs, mustard, milk and ½ tsp salt + pepper in large bowl
- Place 1 layer of bread cubes in tray and top with layer of spinach mixture and ½ your cheese. Repeat.
- Pour egg mixture over the bread and spinach in the casserole dish.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- NEXT DAY:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Remove from fridge and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Bake, uncovered, until puffed and golden on the top (about 50 minutes – 1 hour)
- Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving
Have you made an egg strata before? What ingredients do you love to use? Will this revolutionize your holiday experience or what? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Happy holidays! Eat your breakfast ☺