Add time (and extra sleep!) back into your mornings with this Overnight Breakfast Sausage Strata Recipe! A deliciously hearty breakfast casserole that comes together FAST and lets the fridge and oven do the rest of the work.
It’s a hearty breakfast bread pudding loaded with cozy flavors and great for a lazy weekend or to bring to brunch with friends! I’ve included detailed instructions, step-by-step photos, and a video to walk you through the recipe!
This Breakfast Strata With Sausage Is So Easy!
What if I told you that you can sleep in AND have a delicious breakfast in the morning? You’d be all in, right? Meet the breakfast dish that makes those dreams come true with this Sausage Strata Recipe!
And no, you won’t be sacrificing flavor to do so! Instead, this breakfast dish is LOADED with flavor that may even have you crawling out of bed early in anticipation of devouring it!
The ground breakfast sausage and pure maple syrup fill the dish with familiar flavors of breakfast while chunks of bread, melty cheese, and a beaten egg mixture finish the strata off.
Simply take 15 minutes to prep the dish the night before and then slide it into the oven to bake off the next morning!
What Is Strata?
Strata is an American casserole dish that’s commonly enjoyed for breakfast or brunch. The one-dish meal typically involves cubed-up bread, meat, vegetables, and cheese with a beaten egg mixture poured over the top.
I got this recipe from a friend; she called it sausage bread pudding, and I absolutely loved it the first time I had it. I’ve made it several times since and improved the original recipe with maple syrup, thyme, garlic, and extra butter. It’s now a holiday breakfast staple in our home – even my 3-year-old gobbles it up!
Breakfast Strata Recipe Ingredients
- Sandwich bread
- Ground breakfast sausage
- 100% Pure maple syrup
- Salted butter
- Fresh thyme
- Yellow onion
- Garlic paste
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Large eggs
- Half & half
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
To keep the balance of this strata recipe it’s important to note that at least 27 ounces of sandwich bread is needed. I love making mine with King’s Hawaiian Bread however you can use regular white bread if you’d like.
From there the recipe is pretty forgiving and flexible. If you have unsalted butter on hand instead of salted then go ahead and use that instead, the same goes for 100% pure maple syrup and regular store-bought syrup.
You can even mix up this dish by tailoring it to your taste buds in terms of vegetables, meat, and cheese. Feel free to add in other sauteed vegetables such as peppers, spinach, kale, or mushrooms.
Though we love this strata with Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage you can also make it with turkey breakfast sausage. You can even mix in diced ham and chopped bacon for a meatier variety!
How To Make Breakfast Strata With Sausage
Step 1: Remove the crust from the sandwich bread and cut each slice into cubes. Then, transfer the bread cubes into a large mixing bowl and set it aside.
Step 2: Cook the ground breakfast sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour the 100% pure maple syrup over the cooked sausage in the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes.
Step 3: Transfer the syrup-coated sausage to the large mixing bowl with the bread.
Step 4: Reduce the heat and sauté the sprigs of fresh thyme and chopped yellow onion with butter in the same skillet. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
Step 5: Stir in the garlic paste and cook for an additional minute. Then, discard the sprigs of thyme.
You can find garlic paste in the produce department near the herbs or make your own.
Step 6: Transfer the mixture from the skillet into the bowl of bread and sausage.
Step 7: Add shredded cheddar cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Stir the strata mixture together to thoroughly combine.
It is best to use freshly shredded cheese, but you can use pre-shedded if preferred. I love this rotary shredder – it shreds cheese so fast and makes for extra gooeyness!
Step 8: Transfer the bread and sausage mixture into a greased baking pan, spreading the mixture out so it evenly covers the pan.
Step 9: Beat together the eggs, half & half, sea salt, and ground black pepper together in a new bowl.
Step 10: Pour the egg mixture over the bread and sausage mixture in the pan.
Step 11: Cover the pan and transfer it to the fridge to chill for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
Step 12: Once chilled, place the strata into the oven to bake until it’s slightly puffed up and the top has begun to turn golden brown.
Step 13: Slice, serve, and enjoy the breakfast strata with sausage!
Keep scrolling past the recipe card for storage and serving tips as well as Frequently Asked Questions!
Overnight Breakfast Strata
- 27 ounces sandwich bread We use King's Hawaiian Bread
- 1 pound ground breakfast sausage we use Jimmy Dean brand
- ⅓ cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 yellow onion chopped, about ¾ to 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese A ½ cup of extra shredded cheese can be added
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Remove the crust and cut the 27 ounces sandwich bread into 1-inch cubes; do not use the end pieces. Each slice should turn into 9 cubes. We use King's Hawaiian Bread, but you can use regular white bread; you'll need about 26 slices.
- Add the cubed bread to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add 1 pound ground breakfast sausage to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook it through.
- Pour ⅓ cup 100% pure maple syrup over the sausage and cook for 1 to 2 additional minutes before transferring to the large mixing bowl with the bread.
- Reduce heat to medium, add 4 tablespoons salted butter, 4 sprigs fresh thyme, and the chopped 1 yellow onion, and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon garlic paste and cook for 1 additional minute, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn. Discard the sprigs of thyme.
- Transfer to the mixing bowl and add 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese and ½ cup chopped fresh parsley and stir/toss to combine.
- Transfer the bread and sausage mixture to the prepared baking dish and gently press the mixture down into the pan so it's nice and even.
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, beat together 6 large eggs, 2 cups half & half, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper with a fork.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture in the pan.
- Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the strata for 40 to 50 minutes until it has puffed up slightly and the top is beginning to turn golden brown.
- Slice and serve immediately. Feel free to serve with additional syrup.
- We have tested this recipe with King’s Hawaiian, Country White, and Brioche bread. All worked great.
- Feel free to make this with bacon instead of sausage.
What To Serve With Breakfast Bread Pudding
This breakfast bread pudding is best served warm with a drizzle of 100% pure maple syrup!
You can also compliment the strata and serve it with sides such as a bowl of fresh fruit, yogurt topped with granola, and of course, a mug filled with your favorite coffee or tea.
If you’re serving breakfast bread pudding at brunch, you could make other delicious breakfast options for friends and family to choose from as well! Cinnamon rolls, Bloody Marys, Everything Breakfast Cookies, or even another savory option such as my delicious Biscuit and gravy casserole!
How To Store This Sausage Strata Recipe
To store leftover sausage strata you can transfer slices into an airtight container or tightly wrap the baking dish. Leftovers should be kept in the fridge to enjoy within 3 to 4 days.
You can also bake Sausage Strata ahead of time and then store it in the freezer to enjoy later. To do this, make and bake the recipe according to the recipe instructions.
Then, once the strata is completely cooled you can tightly wrap the baking dish, as long as it is freezer-safe, with multiple layers of aluminum foil. Individual slices of the strata can also be frozen in airtight containers.
The breakfast strata can then be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Sausage Strata FAQs
What the difference between a casserole and a strata?
Since a casserole is a one-dish meal that’s baked and served from a baking dish there really isn’t a difference between that and a strata.
How long can strata soak?
This breakfast strata should soak for at least two hours or preferably overnight for the best flavor and texture! I wouldn’t soak it in the fridge for more than 48 hours.
Why does strata have to sit overnight?
Allowing the strata to sit overnight in the fridge gives the bread more time to soak up the wet ingredients to make a more flavorful dish.
Is strata like quiche?
While both a strata and a quiche have egg custard fillings, they differ. A strata is made with layered bread, and the custard is poured over it, giving it bites of bread throughout.
Whereas a quiche is made with a pie crust and the custard filling is poured into it.
How far in advance can you prep strata?
A strata can be prepped a day ahead of time. Ideally, this breakfast strata recipe would be made in the afternoon or early evening and then popped in the fridge to bake off the next morning.
Where does breakfast strata come from?
The home of Strata is right here in the United States! It’s said that the earliest recipe for strata was written by Juniata L. Shepperd in a cookbook called “The Handbook of Household Sciences” which was published in 1902.
Can I freeze strata?
Yes, freezing strata is a great way to have breakfast prepped ahead of time! You can even make one to deliver to a new mother or someone who may need a hand with a meal in their busy season of life.
To freeze, first allow the baked strata to cool completely. Then tightly wrap the baking dish with multiple layers of aluminum foil as long as the dish is freezer-safe.
If the dish isn’t freezer-safe, transfer slices of the strata into an airtight, freezer-safe container. Then store the strata in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When I make freezer meals, I love using aluminum foil pans! This makes for easy storage since they’re freezer-safe as well as easy to clean up once the dish has been reheated and enjoyed.
Does strata reheat well?
Yes, Strata reheats well! To reheat individual slices, I recommend doing so right in the microwave, you can also reheat in the oven.
However, to reheat the entire casserole from frozen, transfer the strata from the freezer into the oven at 350 degrees F and bake for about 45 minutes or until warmed completely through.