Laid Back Brunching: Mushroom, Sausage + Cheddar Breakfast Strata

Most of us tend to rush around at such a frenetic pace — so when the weekend comes, I love taking things slow.

At the heart of our laid-back weekend, a make-ahead brunch that can be prepped in advance and requires very little work (or clean up) on a weekend morning.

My go-to brunch with friends dish is a savory Mushroom, Sausage & Cheddar Strata. A strata is sort of like a savory bread pudding, loaded with bread cubes, eggs, milk and cheese. From there you can add an endless variety of vegetables and protein. My favorite combination is a traditional sauté of mushrooms, onions, green peppers and breakfast sausage.

I prep my strata ingredients on the day before, place everything in a colorful, covered casserole dish (I love this one from Le Creuset) and stick it in the fridge. On Saturday or Sunday morning, I pull the strata from the fridge as soon as we wake up and give it an some time to warm up before throwing it into a preheated oven. That gives me enough time to make a fresh pot of coffee and toss together a platter of fresh fruit.

When the strata is puffed and golden, I pull it from the oven, arrange everything on pretty tea towels for a casual look and invite guests to enjoy at their leisure. Pajamas are encouraged. Afternoon naps are required. Nobody goes anywhere or does anything other than enjoy the day and it’s perfect.

Wishing you a fun and leisurely brunch!

Mushroom, Sausage & Cheddar Breakfast Strata

Servings 1


  • 1 lb. pork breakfast sausage
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 slices crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Brown sausage in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, breaking into small pieces. Drain off any fat and transfer sausage to a plate and set aside.
  2. Pour olive oil into skillet over medium heat and add onions, mushrooms and peppers. Sautee, stirring occasionally until peppers and onions are soft and mushrooms are beginning to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk, mustard, salt and pepper and beat to blend. Set bowl aside.
  4. In another large bowl, combine bread cubes, sausage and mushroom/pepper mixture. Pour in egg mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Pour mixture into a buttered 9x13 inch casserole. Dot top with butter and sprinkle cheddar evenly over top. Cover casserole and refrigerate overnight.
  6. In the morning, remove strata from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Remove lid and bake strata in preheated oven for 1 hour until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.
Keyword Bakeware, Breakfast and brunch, Cheese, Comfort foods