Friends, I am taking the holidays "off" this year.
It's much needed. Hosting and filling your home can be so invigorating, but also can be intense.
I've asked M to heading out of town for the holidays for a few years, and here we are about to board a cruise ship for the next week. We'll be in San Juan, Puerto Rico for Christmas Eve and St. Thomas for Christmas Day.
Since I won't be able to make my Christmas brunch staple for myself and my loved ones, I need you all to make it for me. I promise it won't disappoint.
This Gruyere and Maple Sausage Strata take a bit of prep work [READ: a couple of pans and steps prior to assembly]. I have zero doubt in my mind that it isn't worth it for anyone that loves the cozy feelings one gets from a French Toast, but prefers savory over sweet -- AKA Me.
You could mix just about anything into a strata, but I have some basic ingredients as the vegetable mixture with pops of fun flavors coming from the gruyere and maple sausage.
The best part about this dish is that it could easily be made and prepped, even 48 hours prior. This means that you could make it on the evening of the 23rd and tuck it into the refrigerator until Christmas morning. No need to be the only one in the kitchen while everyone else is anxious to open stockings or wake up hours before everyone else.
Whether Christmas Brunch is your favorite meal of the holiday, or just a necessary step to making it to dinner Gruyere and Maple Sausage Strata is a filling and comforting dish to start off the day.
If you make my Gruyere and Maple Sausage Strata, please be sure to leave a comment and give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment.
And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I'd love to see this recipe on your tables this holiday season!
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter (divided)
- 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
- 4 oz crimini mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 2 bunches fresh spinach or kale (coarsley chopped)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp water
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 5 eggs
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 16 oz maple breakfast sausage
- 1 loaf sourdough bread (cut into 1" cubes)
- 1 cup gruyere (shredded)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms. Saute until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add in spinach/kale and basil along with 1 tablespoon water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until greens are wilted, approximately 2 minutes for spinach and 4 minutes for kale. Set aside to cool.
- Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Break the maple sausage into small chunks and cook until browned. [If sausage is in links, remove the sausage from their casings]. Drain on a paper towel once browned.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs until well combined. Mix in the half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper.
- Grease a 9x13 dish. Cut bread into 1" cubes and layer half of the bread to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Spread the vegetable mixture over the bread and top with 1/2 of the cheese. Layer the remainder of bread on top of the vegetables and cheese layer. Top with sausage crumbles and remainder of cheese.
- Pour the egg mixture over the entire dish. Press lightly on any areas where the bread is not submerged in the egg mixture. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and spread the cubes evenly over the top of the strata.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking dish in a larger roasting pan and fill the pan with hot water half way up the side of the baking dish.
- Bake 50-60 minutes or until top is slightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
- You can sub the half-and-half for whole or even 2% milk. It just wont' be quite as rich.
- I know this recipe says to cover and refrigerate for at least two hours to let the bread absorb the egg mixture, but I have baked this immediately before and had it turn out just slightly different -- not enough to not make it if you are in a hurry.