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Sausage and Mushroom Breakfast Strata

Sausage Mushroom Strata 1500x609

Featured in The Applegatarian. 

"I've been making this dish, which I adapted from a recipe in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, for Christmas Day brunch for about eight years. It takes a lot of pressure off the host.
 I go to my sister Nadia's house and prep everything there on Christmas Eve. She pulls it out of the fridge and bakes it Christmas morning. 
We serve it with bacon, sausage links, croissants, fruit salad, and mimosas, and break open English Christmas crackers for additional entertainment-a really fun family gathering." 
Stephanie Clark, Applegate Applications Development Analyst

Total Time: Less Than 15 Mins


  • 8 ounces French or Italian bread, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering the pan 
  • 8 ounces fresh breakfast sausage
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1¾ cups half-and-half
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Spread the sliced bread on a baking sheet and bake, flipping halfway through, until dry and crisp on both sides, about 20 minutes. (Alternatively, leave the bread out overnight to dry out.) Spread the softened butter on one side of the toasts. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until browned and crumbled, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and the liquid has been released and evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to
  3. a bowl.
  4. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the wine, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it. Simmer until the wine is reduced to about ¼ cup, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Arrange half of the bread buttered-side up in a single layer. Sprinkle half of the sausage mixture over the bread, followed by half of the shredded cheese.
  6. Repeat with the remaining bread, sausage, and cheese layers, reserving½ cup cheese.
  7. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, pepper, and reduced wine until smooth. Pour evenly over the bread and sausage layers. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and set another baking dish or plate on top. Set a few heavy weights (such as cans of food) on top; the object is to press the layers so that they are submerged in the egg mixture and soak it up. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  8. Before baking, let the strata stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove the weights and plastic wrap. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top.
  9. Bake until the strata is golden and puffed all over and the edges are pulling away slightly from the sides of the baking dish, 50-55 minutes. Let rest on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.
  10. Notes: Gluten-free bread may be substituted for the French or Italian loaf. Chicken stock may be substituted for the white wine. The recipe can be doubled: Use a 13 x 9-inch pan and increase the baking time to 55-65 minutes.