Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

Seeing as it’s late summer, my garden is absolutely overflowing right now.  It’s not overflowing in the mid-summer “this is so new and exciting” kind of way.  It’s overflowing in a little bit of the overwhelming kind of way.  I’ve got tomatoes for days, more summer squash than I know what to do with, and basil that just won’t quit.

So whenever I hit this point, and I just don’t know what to make with all the garden bounty I tend to throw it all together into some sort of make ahead breakfast.  Hello, summer squash & pesto breakfast strata 🙂

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

I feel the same way about breakfast strata as I do about frittata or any other baked egg dish, and that is very positively.  You can add almost any savory ingredient you want to them and they’ll be delicious so it’s a great way to use up any excess cheese or vegetables you happen to have around.

The thing that gives strata a leg up over frittata in my opinion is that the bread is baked right in with the rest of the eggs.  It’s a true one pan meal, and I’m so thankful for it on busy weekday mornings.

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 cups chopped summer squash and/or zucchini
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 16 oz loaf of bread
    • I like to use half seeded whole grain and half country loaf for a nice texture contrast
  • 3 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ – ¾ cup pesto
    • Either store bought or homemade is fine
  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup milk

Start by preheating the oven to 425 and prepping the squash for roasting.  I like to roast the squash prior to adding in to the strata for better texture and flavor.  If you’re making your own pesto, go ahead and do that now (be mindful of the garlic since this is a breakfast strata).

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

Coat the squash with avocado oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and divide evenly over two large baking sheets.  Roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes, or until one side is golden and caramelized.

While the squash roasts, finish making your pesto, grate the cheese, and finish tearing the loaf into cubes.  The bread for this can be approached in a couple of ways.  First is the type of loaf – I like using a mixture of seedy whole grain bread and some sort of white country loaf for texture.  You could also add more flavor to the strata by using an artisanal loaf (like a paremsan rosemary loaf, or something like that).

Second is whether or not you want to crisp up the bread prior to combining in the strata.  I personally don’t, but if you’re letting the strata rest overnight it can help to keep the bread from disintegrating into the egg mixture.  Totally your call.

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

After 15-20 minutes remove the squash from the oven.  If you’re toasting your bread, go ahead and do that now while your baking pans are dirty.  If not, proceed with breakfast strata assembly.

Coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and begin layering the strata.  Your strata layers go: bread + squash + pesto + cheese + bread + squash + pesto + cheese.

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

So, start by layering half the bread on the bottom, followed by half of the squash.  Drizzle half of the pesto over top of that first layer and finish the whole thing with half the cheese.  Then repeat for the second layer.

Finally, whisk the eggs and milk together with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a large bowl or measuring cup.  Pour the egg mixture evenly over the strata.

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

Cover the strata and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight.  Once it rests, bake it in a 400 degree oven for 35-45 minutes.  The cheese should be golden and melted on the top and the eggs should be cooked through in the middle.

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

The bottom layer of the strata will be light and eggy and the top layer will be a little bit crunchy.  The pesto helps to flavor the strata throughout.  Garnish with some fresh basil and enjoy.

This reheats wonderfully in the microwave (something that can’t always be said for all egg dishes), so slice up a piece and reheat for breakfast all week long.

Bon appétit!

Summer Squash & Pesto Breakfast Strata

A comforting vegetarian breakfast casserole perfect for a crowd

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chopped summer squash and/or zucchini
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt divided
  • ½ tsp black pepper divided
  • 1 16 oz loaf of bread
  • 3 cups white cheddar cheese shredded
  • ½ - ¾ cup pesto
  • 12 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 and coat the squash with avocado oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and divide evenly over two large baking sheets.

  2. Roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes, or until one side is golden and caramelized.  While the squash roasts grate the cheese and tear the loaf of bread into bite sized cubes.  

  3. Coat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray and begin layering the strata.
  4. Layer half the bread on the bottom followed by half of the squash. Drizzle half of the pesto over top of that first layer and finish the whole thing with half the cheese.

  5. Repeat the layering process for the rest of the strata.  

  6. Finally, whisk the eggs and milk together with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a large bowl or measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the strata.
  7. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight. 

  8. Once it rests, bake it in a 400 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. Garnish with some fresh basil and enjoy.

 



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