This easy strata recipe is a rich, savory egg-based gluten-free breakfast casserole layered with your choice of bread, cheese, meat, and veggies. Let the flavors meld overnight then bake in the morning, for a hearty, flavorful breakfast casserole made to serve a crowd! This recipe is super customizable and ingredients can be easily swapped to fit your dietary needs! You can make it with gluten-free croutons, regular croutons, or leftover crusty bread!
This gluten-free strata recipe is an effortless breakfast dish and the ultimate comfort food. Its savory flavor is a welcome departure from sweeter breakfast options like pancakes or waffles. I love the crispy bits of bread on top and the contrast of the soft and fluffy inside. Bites of creamy goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes take the flavor from good to downright delicious!
Reasons This Gluten-Free Strata Recipe Works
- Perfect make-ahead meal! There’s no stress involved when it comes to making strata. It needs at least an hour to absorb the flavors anyway. So prep the night before and just bake and serve the next day! It’s the perfect overnight breakfast casserole.
- Great for holidays and special occasions! Strata is perfect for entertaining guests. Because the prep can be done the day before, you can relax with loved ones while it bakes to golden perfection in the oven. Whether it’s Mother’s Day brunch or a Christmas breakfast, this is a great option to serve.
- A tasty way to use up leftovers! A meal like this would be great the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can use leftover chicken, turkey, or ham. It’s also a great way to make use of stale bread like cornbread or croissants.
- Super versatile! You can add anything and everything into the strata. It’s a great way to tap into your culinary skills and experiment with flavor combinations.
What is strata?
A strata is a slow-baked layered egg casserole that includes bread. The bread and additional optional ingredients like protein and veggies are soaked in a seasoned egg mixture and then baked until golden and crisp. Although it is often compared to other baked egg recipes like quiche and frittata, strata is different as it always includes bread.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Butter or nonstick cooking spray: Use this to grease the pan.
- Leftover crusty bread: Tear it into 1-inch pieces. Toast the bread in the oven for 10 minutes to dry it out if needed. I like to use my Homemade Gluten-Free Croutons.
- Spinach: Use this or another leafy green, like kale.
- Chicken: I use shredded, cooked chicken breasts but you can add any precooked meat you like.
- Cheese: Use goat cheese or feta broken into pieces. Adding a blend of shredded cheese on top is also a good option.
- Tomatoes: I use sun-dried tomatoes. The sun-dried tomato pesto is completely optional but enriches the tomato flavor.
- Scallion: Thinly sliced.
- Canned coconut milk: I use coconut milk but you can add heavy cream, or half-and-half if you prefer. You just need a thick liquid that will make the egg mixture creamy and custard-like.
- Eggs: You’ll need 6 large eggs for this strata recipe.
- Milk: Use your milk of choice. (I use oat milk)
- Cheese: A bit of parmesan cheese added to the egg mixture helps to elevate the flavor
- Seasonings: You’ll need sea salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, a pinch of ground nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and parsley.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
How to Make Gluten-Free Strata (Breakfast Casserole)
MAKE THE EGG MIXTURE. Add the liquid ingredients, spices, herbs, parmesan cheese, and eggs to a large bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
LAYER THE STRATA. Grease a half-quart baking dish (8in x 8in x 1.5in) with butter. Add the chicken and bread. Pour the liquid mixture on top. Use a spatula to fold the bread into the mixture to make sure all the ingredients are coated.
Add in the sun-dried tomatoes, dollops of sun-dried tomato pesto (optional), and small chunks of goat cheese.
REST. Cover and chill for an hour so that the bread soaks up the eggs. Then, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the strata from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before baking, about 10 minutes.
BAKE. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 more minutes, or until the strata is puffed, golden brown at the edges, and set in the center. Broil on high for 1-2 minutes to brown the top. Allow the strata to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips To Nail the Recipe
- Don’t use fresh bread in this strata recipe. Stale bread, croutons, or crusty bread soaks up the liquid and becomes soft and fluffy when baked with the eggs. Fresh bread would become too mushy.
- Strata can soak overnight or for up to 12 hours. The longer the better. (This recipe doesn’t require a long soaking time but can be soaked overnight if you prefer.)
- Cooked strata puffs up like a soufflé. You can insert a toothpick in the center to tell if it’s done. If it’s runny, then it needs more time.
- Don’t leave cooked strata out for more than two hours.
Optional Add-ins and Substitutes
- MEAT: Bacon bits and sausage crumbles are obvious choices for this yummy breakfast bake but any premade or leftover meat would work too. You could shred leftover Thanksgiving turkey for a tasty twist.
- VEGETABLES: Kale, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms are all great veggie options.
- BREAD: You can whatever kind of bread you prefer, just make sure it’s dense. I’ve seen strata recipes that use brioche, sourdough, or French bread. For gluten-free strata, I suggest gluten-free croutons, gluten-free cornbread, or gluten-free garlic bread, torn into pieces. Alternatively, you can use store-bought croutons or stale (gluten-free) bread.
- CHEESE: Any good, melty cheese will work. Try gruyère, cheddar cheese, gouda, pepper jack, Monterey jack, mozzarella, or parmigiano-reggiano.
What’s the difference between frittata and strata?
Frittatas are an Italian-style omelet whereas strata is a casserole. And while frittatas tend to be flat and dense, stratas have a fluffy consistency due to the inclusion of bread.
Can you freeze strata before baking?
No. The egg custard in this strata recipe makes it not ideal for freezing either before or after baking.
Do you have to let strata sit overnight?
No. This strata recipe only needs to sit for an hour so if you don’t have time to let it set overnight, that is not a problem at all.
How do I store leftover strata?
Store leftover gluten-free strata in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave. Otherwise, warm up leftovers in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes.
I Hope You Enjoy This Gluten-Free Strata Recipe!
If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.
More Breakfast Egg Recipes To Try!
- Vegan Breakfast Quesadilla with Southwest Tofu Scramble
- JUST Egg Quiche with Asparagus
- Veggie-Loaded JUST Egg Scramble
- Plant-Based Spinach Artichoke Frittata
- Easy Breakfast Egg Muffins
Easy Strata Recipe (Gluten-Free)
- Butter or nonstick cooking spray for greasing pan
- 8 ounces Leftover bread torn into 1-inch pieces (such as gluten-free or regular bread, bagels, french bread, or croutons) about 2 ½ packed cups
- 1 1/2 cups Spinach packed
- 2 Cooked chicken breast, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups) (or use 8-10 oz of protein of choice)
- 4 ounces Goat cheese or feta broken into pieces
- 1/3 cup Sun-dried tomatoes (cut into pieces if large)
- 3 tablespoons Sun-dried tomato pesto optional
- 1 Scallion thinly sliced
- 6 Large eggs (or 12 egg whites)
- 1 1/2 cups Non-dairy or Regular Milk of choice (I use oat milk)
- 1/2 cup Canned coconut milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half I use canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more as desired
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley chopped
- 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper optional
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
Prepare The Strata
- Combine the liquid ingredients, spices, herbs, and eggs in a bowl.
- Grease a half-quart baking dish (8in x 8in x 1.5in) with butter. Add the chicken and bread. Pour the liquid mixture on top. Use a spatula to fold the bread into the mixture to make sure all the ingredients are coated.
- Add in the sun-dried tomatoes, dollops of sun-dried tomato pesto (optional), and small chunks of goat cheese.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour so that the bread soaks up the eggs, or overnight if time permits.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the strata from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before baking, about 10 minutes.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 more minutes, or until the strata is puffed, golden brown at the edges and set in the center. Broil on high for 1-2 minutes to brown the top. Allow the strata to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!