Spicy Breakfast Strata with Chorizo


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This spicy breakfast strata is a delicious breakfast casserole that can be made-ahead and is freezer-friendly which makes it a host’s dream come true (just like another favorite, my vegetable frittata).  A spicy kick from chorizo is balanced by sharp cheddar cheese and bread cubes. Always a hit with guests, this is a family brunch favorite.

breakfast casserole in a baking dish

There is a fancy grocery store near my office that I sometimes stop by when I need some particularly hard-to-find ingredient (read: overpriced and imported) that I will inevitably carry around in my purse all day long.  (This sometimes results in disaster like that time I broke an entire bottle of kalamata olives.)

On Thursday I stopped by the fancy grocery store for Sloane’s ridiculously good (and local!) chorizo and impulse-bought two U.S.-import peaches for $10.  Worst carbon footprint ever, and I’m not even sorry.  You won’t see a peach recipe here anytime soon because, for $10 you better believe I ate those peaches straight-up with juice running down my chin.

But the chorizo was destined for this beauty.  Although we’ve tried hard to get ourselves back into our weekend breakfast routine with pancakes or bagels or some other leisurely Saturday fare, we’re still often dealing with baby-imposed distractions that result in burnt toast and cold coffee.   But if you’ve been to our house for brunch since the girls were born (or come by any time soon…sorry to ruin the surprise all you future brunch guests), you’ll know this dish.  We’re not high on creativity these days, but we know a good breakfast dish when we see one.  And this breakfast casserole, adapted from Bon Appetit, is the real deal.  We prep it a day in advance, let it soak in the fridge overnight, and toss it in the oven 30 minutes before people are due to arrive.

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spicy breakfast strata on a white plate

30 minutes before people are due to arrive, I’m also likely running around the apartment, still in my pajamas having not yet brushed my teeth, with a baby in my arms, shoving toys in random bins.

But pulling that spicy breakfast strata out of the oven in all its savory glory is like magic – ta da (!), we’ve totally got our act together around here.  😉

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breakfast casserole in a baking dish
4.38 from 24 votes

Spicy Breakfast Strata with Chorizo, Red Pepper, and Cheddar

A make-ahead breakfast casserole favorite with a spicy kick from chorizo. (Eggs, cream, cheese…what’s not to like?)
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • Mixing Bowl
  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish
  • Nonstick Skillet


  • 6 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups Milk (I use 2%)
  • 1/2 cup sliced Green Onions (about 3 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 large Red Bell Pepper, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch wide-strips
  • 1 1 pound loaf Rustic French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (loosely packed)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9 x 13 baking dish. Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl; sprinkle generously with pepper. Set aside.
  • Place sausage in large nonstick skillet; push to 1 side. Add bell pepper to other side of skillet. Sauté over high heat, breaking up sausage with fork, until sausage is cooked through and bell peppers are brown in spots, about 7 minutes.
  • Arrange half of bread cubes in prepared dish. Pour half of egg mixture over. Sprinkle with half of cheese, then half of sausage-pepper mixture. Repeat layering. Let stand 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight, occasionally pressing on bread to submerge.
  • Bake strata until puffed and brown, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.


Adapted from Bon Appetit


Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 224mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1755IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 330mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $9.00
Calories: 421
Keyword: baked breakfast recipe, breakfast casserole, brunch, egg, entertaining, make ahead, make ahead breakfast
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.38 from 24 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    I just made this dish using crossiants in place of the french bread as it was marked down 50% off at my local grocery store! Because I know crossants are generally a sweeter bread, I used a 5% cream I had in the fridge I use for my coffee (making it even more cost effective not having to buy whipping cream). I was short one egg so I cut the milk by half. I also didn’t have green onions. I used yellow onions. I opted for the 20 min soak method and despite all of my subs I loved this dish!! YUMO. Will make again.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Jess and Frank! YUMMM!! We just made it through Hurricane Florence (Tropical storm when it reached NC) and although we had a generator we ran for 2-3 hours twice a day for a garage freezer, the 3 lbs. of bulk chorizo in the door was mostly thawed. Hence the search for chorizo recipes. So happy I found your version of this Bon Appetite recipe. I put this together last night and only made a few substitutions based on what I had available: 1/2 white onion instead of green onion, some jarred roasted red peppers, and I add garlic to almost everything (used 3 cloves) so not exactly the same but doubt the flavor is much different. The attendees of my 7 am meeting this morning were treated to a hot, delicious casserole! Because there were leftovers since we had a small group, the guests at the hospitality house where my office is, got leftovers. I have shared your link and the printed recipe for the non-computer-literate requesters. Truly outstanding and a keeper for sure!! Thank you!!