Master Recipe: Egg and Cheese Strata
(Overnight Breakfast Casserole)
When this make-ahead brunch favorite emerges from the oven, puffy and bubbling, everyone wants to dig in! Adapt the basic formula by swapping in your favorite cheeses, herbs, and whatever cooked vegetables you have in your fridge.
- 12 slices bread (or a 1-pound loaf peasant or Italian bread, crusts trimmed), cut into cubes
- 3-4 cups shredded cheese (for best results, use a blend of 2 or more cheeses, such as Cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, or Jack)
- 1-1½ cups sautéed chopped vegetables, such as mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, or a combination
- 1-1½ cups crumbled cooked sausage, or 8 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
- 4 cups milk
- 8 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs (try thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, or a combination)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Grease a glass or ceramic 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Scatter bread cubes in the dish; sprinkle evenly with the cheese, chopped vegetables, and sausage if using.
In a medium bowl, beat milk, eggs, mustard, herbs, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over bread and cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake, covered, 40 minutes; uncover and bake 15-20 minutes more, or until lightly browned and bubbling, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.