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NOURISHMENT – Recipes for Success

Vegetarian “Sausage” and Spinach Strata

By Elle Penner, MPH RD

Stratas make a perfect main for boozy brunches and those breakfast-for-dinner days we all secretly love. We’ve been eating this vegetarian “sausage” and spinach strata on repeat the past few Meatless Mondays.

Without sacrificing the goodness of a cheesy, carb-laden casserole, this vegetarian strata incorporates frozen meatless crumbles in place of traditional pork sausage, providing comparable flavor and protein but without the meat and saturated fat.

This dish takes just 15 minutes to assemble thanks to bagged shredded cheese, frozen chopped spinach and frozen meatless crumbles. So yes, you can still pull off a nutritious weeknight meal despite having skipped Sunday meal prep, but you also can assemble it up to 24 hours in advance if you want to knock one thing off your morning to-do list before even going to bed.

If you’re skeptical of meatless sausage, this strata might just change your mind. My husband is proof! Found in the veggie burger section of the grocery store, meatless crumbles now come in a variety of flavors, with several brands offering gluten-free, soy-free and vegan variations to accommodate a variety of dietary preferences.

Whether you bake it for brunch, reheat it for a fast weekday breakfast or prep it in advance for a fast weeknight dinner, this simple and versatile strata won’t disappoint!

Vegetarian “Sausage” and Spinach Strata

SERVES: 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 12 ounces frozen meatless crumbles
  • 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed to remove excess water
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2¾ cups milk of choice
  • 2½ cups (7.5 ounces) shredded cheese like Gruyere, Swiss, cheddar and/or mozzarella
  • 1 cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces hearty bread (like sourdough) sliced into ½- to ¾-inch cubes (about 8 cups)

DIRECTIONS

Note: This strata can be baked immediately or refrigerated up to overnight. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook onions until they begin to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in meatless crumbles and spinach and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, mustard, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until incorporated. Add milk and whisk again until combined.

Lightly grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish and combine both shredded cheeses in a medium bowl.

Spread ⅓ of bread cubes in bottom of baking dish. Next, add ⅓ of spinach mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat twice more, adding remaining 1½ cups shredded cheese to the top layer.

Pour egg mixture over strata. If you are not baking strata immediately, cover it with aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover with foil again until done baking. Allow strata to set for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Video and photo credit: Elle Penner, MPH RD

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Author

Elle Penner, MPH RD

Elle Penner is a registered dietitian and former lead dietitian at MyFitnessPal, turned full-time writer, recipe creator, photographer, blogger and mama. Her favorite things include her camera, carbs, sweaty workouts and her son.

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