Stratas are one of my favorite make-ahead brunch dishes. Basically a savory bread pudding, they are a filling and delicious combination of eggs, cheese and bread. I typically make a strata loaded with veggies and whole grain bread (link to recipe for spinach and sausage strata). However, an entire casserole dish worth of savory bread pudding is something I typically reserve for when we have friends over for brunch.
Delicious, make ahead savory breakfasts
August’s Recipe Redux challenge is to develop a healthier, protein-packed, savory dish for breakfast. Mornings in our house are rushed, so I knew I wanted to create a grab-and-go breakfast or a quick-to-reheat lunch. I decided to create individual portions of a protein-packed strata loaded with veggies and delicious sharp white cheddar cheese.
This savory bread pudding is filled with rainbow chard, sautéed red onion, red bell pepper and sharp white cheddar cheese with a crispy crouton-like top. I used a favorite whole wheat bread to make the strata a little healthier and replaced some of the milk with greek yogurt to increase the protein content. The result is a cheesy, flavorful and delicious breakfast. Each strata contains just under 200 calories, a serving of vegetables, and 11 grams of protein.
Any strata starts off with a simple egg and milk mixture that the bread is soaked in. I replaced some of the milk with greek yogurt to increase the protein content in the individual strata. The eggs, milk, yogurt and bread mixture then soaks overnight in the refrigerator.
Whenever I make strata, I load it full of vegetables. Rainbow chard is plentiful at our local farmers market in late summer and it is often a centerpiece in our weekend meals. I removed the greens from the rainbow chard stalks, chopped leaves and stalks separately, and then sautéed the chard stocks with a chopped red onion. The chard greens were then added, sautéed until wilted, and then the whole mixture was ready to combine with the egg and bread mixture.
To assemble the strata, the egg and bread mixture, sautéed veggies, red bell pepper and cheese were combined and evenly distributed into 12 tulip style baking cups (in a cupcake pan). I prefer the higher sides of the tulip cups over traditional muffin cups for these strata because they puff while cooking.
The strata then bake for 35 minutes in a 375°F oven, which is much faster than a traditional strata (bonus!). Let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.
I typically bake the strata the night before and just reheat individual servings in the microwave (just a few seconds… start with 20) for a quick grab-and-go meal.
- 4 cups grainy whole wheat bread cut into 1-cm cubes
- 8 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk I have used both 1% or whole, and both work well
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoons dijion mustard
- 1 bunch rainbow chard greens and stalk separated and chopped
- 1 red onion diced
- 1.5 cup sharp white cheddar cheese grated
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, yogurt, and mustard until combined
- Add bread cubes, stir until entirely coated with egg mixture
- Cover and refrigerate overnight
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
- Remove egg and bread mixture from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature
- Sauté chopped diced red onion and rainbow chard stalks until softened, about 5 minutes
- Add chopped chard greens and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until fully wilted
- Transfer sautéed veggies to a large bowl
- Add red bell pepper, cheddar cheese, and egg bread mixture to sautéed veggies, mix to combine
- Distribute mixture into pre-buttered tulip style baking cups
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until fully cooked. Strata will appear puffed, the center will no longer jiggle, and the top will be toasted and resemble croutons
- Let cool for 10 minutes prior to serving
*Note: Bell peppers are a vegetable that I choose to purchase organic. Read more on pesticides and produce.
Nutrition information (per serving, assuming 1% milk):
- 196 calories
- 1 g added sugar (from the bread)
- 1.4 g fiber (from the chard, red bell pepper, bread, and onion)
- 11 g protein (from the cheese, egg and greek yogurt)
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