Make-Ahead Meals: Cheese Strata with Sausage, Kale and Caramelized Onions

make-ahead cheese strata

The best weekends start with ease – sipping a fresh cup of coffee, enjoying breakfast and relaxing after a busy week. The last thing we want to do is spend the morning in the kitchen in order to get breakfast on the table. Luckily, not all great breakfast recipes require you to make them in the morning and eat immediately. Make-ahead breakfasts are the perfect way to enjoy a home-cooked brunch without the stress.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of versions of make-ahead meals in the form of breakfast casseroles, bakes and stratas. Many include mixing chunks of bread with breakfast meats and seasonal vegetables, and pouring egg over the top before you stick it in the refrigerator to bake the next morning. They are perfect for a family breakfast, weekend brunch entertaining or during the holidays.

This Cheese Strata with Sausage, Kale and Caramelized Onions is great for all occasions. Breakfast sausage, caramelized onions, kale and cubes of bread are melted between layers of Wisconsin fontina and parmesan cheese and doused with a savory egg mixture. Cover the baking dish and let it set overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, let the strata warm to room temperature while you heat the oven to 350°F, bake for 50-55 minutes and enjoy!

make-ahead cheese strata


Cheese Strata with Sausage, Kale and Caramelized Onions
By Annalise, Completely Delicious

Servings: 8
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 pound pork breakfast sausage
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
2 cups kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped. packed
9 cups (about 1 baguette) French or Italian bread, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin parmesan cheese, grated
2 3/4 cup whole milk
9 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking Directions:
In sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.Remove casings from sausage, if necessary, and cook until browned. Drain on paper towel. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and onions to pan and cook over low heat until onions are soft and caramelized, 15-20 minutes. Add kale and cook until wilted, stirring frequently.
Butter 9×13-inch baking dish. Distribute 1/3 of bread cubes in bottom of dish. Top with 1/3 of sausage and kale-onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 of fontina and parmesan. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.
In large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over baking dish, making sure all bread cubes are moistened. Press mixture down so it lays flush with top of baking pan.
Cover with sheet of buttered foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Bring strata to room temperature; heat oven to 350°F.
Bake, uncovered, 50-55 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.