Take breakfast to a new level with our loaded bacon + peppers breakfast strata! Oozing with a variety of cheeses, fresh peppers, thick-cut bacon, collard greens, onions and more, this loaded strata says, breakfast is served!
Loaded Bacon + Peppers Breakfast Strata
Lately, I’ve noticed a very delicious trend, BRUNCH! Brunch is everywhere and it isn’t the go-to “de facto” meal reserved for Sundays anymore. Nah, the exclusivity of this grand sabbath affair is no more, it’s a foodie free for all, and brunch can be had any day of the week as well. This is the best news ever! Well, at least to a die-hard foodie fan like me! That’s why we’re so geeked over brunch as of late. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a bountiful late afternoon repast replete with a posh salmagundi of the very best dishes culled from breakfast and dinner? The possibilities are pretty much endless and the brunch rules regarding what can and cannot be served are loosey-goosey as a hitman’s moral compass. But I digress, so what we’re doing over here in The Worthey Kitchen is putting together our Loaded Bacon + Peppers Breakfast Strata, and like the adjective in its name proclaims it is jam-packed with all sorts of goodness.
This breakfast recipe starts with 10 farm fresh eggs from our favorite local farmers Susan and Joann, who run Dowker Farm.
Then we add equal parts heavy whipping cream and whole milk, we made this one so rich and creamy and that’s a good thing.
Tossing in two cups of cheese, one cup grated Grana Padano and a cup of grated Asiago, these are both intensely flavorful cheeses and they both pair well with the eggs, bacon, and vegetables. This is an incredible brunch or dinner one pan wonder.
It is almost impossible to go sideways when adding lots of crispy thick-cut bacon to just about any recipe. We threw in over a pound of irresistible bacon and I don’t think anyone will mind at all, well maybe the vegetarians and vegans but we won’t let them know, we’ll just keep this little secret between you and me, right?
Make sure to melt two tablespoons of extra creamy butter and brush the bottom of the 9″x13″ pan before adding the bread cubes.
Make sure to brush the pan with a olive oil and melted butter mixture doing so will decrease the strata from sticking to the pan, who wants that? No one.
If you’re making breakfast strata having a crusty artisan bread is essential, for this one we’re using one of our favorites, Breadsmith’s legendary Honey White. We cut it into 1″ squares and used nearly 5 cups. The bread helps ensure a firm and filling loaded breakfast strata.
Stratas are a great way to use up extra produce hanging out in the fridge. The Worthey’s don’t like wasting food so we used the last of the collard greens, a bunch of tri-colored peppers, half of a Spanish onion, a half bag of shredded carrots, and several stalks of green onions. The versatility of this dish is endless, and it’s an easy way to make abandoned produce shine and get some delicious redemption.
I made quick work of four cloves of garlic, and there are very few savory dishes that aren’t elevated by a bit of garlic thrown in for good measure. Normally, I would saute the garlic but this time I didn’t. However, I did carmelize a large sweet Vidalia onion. That makes up for the garlic faux pas, right?
This is an incredible medley of veggies and the color overload is visually stunning, like the saying goes, “Eat the rainbow,” right?
You won’t believe how fragrant this recipe is, even before it hit the oven it is a foodie treasure to behold. I think we’re onto something.
And when we stir in the crispy thick-cut bacon it’s a done deal, this is without going to be crazy delicious, no doubt about it.
And this is our Loaded Peppers + Bacon Strata before it hits the preheated 350-degree oven, and it’s already looking mega hot!
This is just all kinds of good-looking, and if your one to eat with your eyes, sorry you may be in over your head. But don’t worry, you can eat your way out. I think sautéing all of the veggies beforehand makes a huge difference, well, minus the garlic.
As the strata was cooking in the oven the whole house was smelling like a foodie paradise. Our boys kept asking if dinner was ready. And when I pulled this baby out of the oven I didn’t have to call the boys down for supper, these guys came washed and ready to eat. Bless their hungry lil’ hearts.
How to make a Loaded Breakfast Strata
- 10 farm fresh eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 2 cups collard greens, shredded
- 1 cup Grana Pandana cheese, grated
- 1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
- 6 stalks green onion, chopped
- 1 small Spanish Onion
- 2 cups tri-colored peppers, sliced thin
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 cups artisan bread, cut into 1″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons sweet cream butter
- 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Cut, slice, chop, and mince all of the veggies ahead of time, the night before would be ideal, it will speed the process when putting it together for breakfast or brunch the next day.
- Same goes for the cheeses, grate them the day before and store them in a ziplock bag.
- Fry a pound of bacon, and place the bacon on top of a plate or bowl lined with paper towels. When the bacon is cool enough to safely handle crumble it up
- Using a bread knife or a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut the Artisan bread into 1″ x 1″ squares, cut enough to equal 5 cups. The bread can also be prepped a day or more ahead.
- Remove the eggs from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Crack eggs into a large bowl, add heavy cream, whole milk, a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns.
- Add the shredded cheeses and gently combine with the egg, heavy cream, and milk mixture.
- After all of the veggies are sauteed, and cooled, fold the bacon and veggies into the egg mixture as well.
- Brush the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ high-walled baking dish with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and two tablespoons of melted sweet cream butter.
- Add the cubes of bread into the dish and spread them evenly.
- Pour the egg, cheese, bacon, and veggie mixture over the bread cubes, shake the dish gently to make sure the ingredients are evenly spread.
- Place the dish onto the center rack in a 350-degrees preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to stand for 15 minutes.