Healthy (One-Pan!) Vegetarian Breakfast Strata (GF option)
This healthy vegetarian breakfast strata comes together in one pan and cooks up quickly! It’s one of our favorite weekend breakfasts, and it’s also a fabulous clean-out-the-fridge dinner. It has no heavy cream and uses far less cheese than most strata recipes, but you won’t miss them. The secret is in using cottage cheese, which provides creamy richness without weighing things down. This version incorporates leeks, garlic and spinach, but feel free to get creative with other veggies! Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers and/or onions are all favorites. I designed this recipe so that it can be assembled and baked immediately, but you can also assemble it in a baking dish then refrigerate it overnight before baking if you prefer. For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free baguette. Hood Cottage Cheese with Chive is a two-for-one cost saver, but if you can’t find it use plain cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon of minced fresh chives.
Servings: 6 people
- 3 cups 1-inch baguette cubes (regular or gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 10- ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry (*see the notes below)
- 8 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 cup Hood Cottage Cheese with Chive
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the bread is golden and crisp in spots, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the bread to a plate. Wipe out the skillet.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leek, garlic and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the spinach and bread cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until smooth. Whisk in the cottage cheese and half of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bread in the skillet, and nudge everything around to evenly coat. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over top.
Bake the strata until it’s puffed, golden, and the eggs are set, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
- If you don't have a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, you can cook the bread and vegetables on the stove and then build the strata in a baking dish. If you want to assemble the strata the day before, toast the bread and cook the vegetables; let them cool completely; then build the strata in a baking dish and refrigerate it overnight.
- It’s important to squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible so that it doesn’t water down the strata. Wrap the spinach in a clean kitchen towel or between several layers of paper towels, and squeeze it with your hands over the sink until most of the liquid is gone.
- The strata can be served warm or at room temperature. Leftovers are delicious the next day (reheat them in a toaster oven or the microwave).