If you’re having company over for the holidays, don’t let meal prep get your tinsel in a tangle. Instead, prepare this make-ahead strata for an easy pop-in-the-oven meal when it’s time to feed the crowd.
This Caramelized Onion & Spinach Strata is such an easy way to get breakfast or brunch on the table without sacrificing your own time to enjoy the company. You can prepare this the night before and bake for 45 minutes before guests are ready to eat.
The best part about making strata is that — aside from the custard ratio — you can really add in as much or as little as you want to customize the flavor. Here are a few ideas to please your palate:
- Get festive: Sauté diced red pepper or chop roasted red pepper for a classic holiday color combination.
- Added protein: Cook some ground breakfast sausage if you’re serving a meat-eating crowd.
- Fridge forage: Sauté chopped mushrooms, asparagus bits, diced scallions or whatever is left in the crisper drawer to add more veggie punch. Just avoid too many watery veggies, as they’ll release moisture that will keep your strata from setting.
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach, packed
- 10 eggs
- 2½ cups half and half (or whole milk)
- 1½ cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- 8 slices country style bread, cubed (about 4 cups)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Ghee oil or cooking spray
- Fresh-grated parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions and cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Set onions aside.
Add spinach to the skillet and wilt. Mix onions back into the spinach and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, add 10 eggs and 2½ cups half and half to a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
Spray a 9-by-13 baking dish with ghee oil or cooking spray.
Add ¾ of the cubed bread to the pan in an even layer. Top with shredded monterey jack and onion and spinach mixture.
Top with the rest of the bread cubes and pour egg mixture over the top, ensuring bread is all coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to overnight.
When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove cover from strata and bake for 45 minutes, or until egg is set and strata has a crispy top and edges. Serve with fresh-grated parmesan cheese (optional).