If you love a hearty weekend breakfast, but don’t want to spend your Saturday morning cooking, a good overnight breakfast casserole recipe will save the day. This Sweet Potato and Apple Breakfast Strata recipe is savory and sweet, perfect for holiday entertaining. Try this easy make ahead breakfast casserole with a drizzle of warm maple syrup and a rash of bacon or ham for a heavenly start to your holiday.
I admit it. This egg strata recipe was an afterthought. I was focused on remaking my savory sweet potato casserole and in my zeal — I ended up with leftover sweet potato and apple that had already been peeled and sliced. There wasn’t a ton, but I had enough, along with a bit of gruyere cheese and french bread that was also leftover to make this easy overnight breakfast casserole. Let me say, that as good as these flavors are in that holiday side dish, they’re really exceptional in this breakfast strata recipe.
Overnight breakfast casserole recipes are nothing new. They were my Mom’s go-to main dish for holiday brunches simply because it is an easy make ahead breakfast casserole. Put out a big strata, bake off a ham and pour the mimosas… it’s party time.
The flavors in this overnight breakfast casserole recipe are perfect for fall and winter — which is to say, Thanksgiving and Christmas… The egg custard is seasoned with a healthy dose of fresh sage and the sliced apples get a touch of warming nutmeg. It’s all very subtle, but also very good.
I used gruyere cheese for this egg strata recipe because its got a nutty flavor, it melts beautifully and also adds a shimmer to the crunchy top layer of french bread. You could also try emmenthaler or swiss cheese instead — or even a white cheddar would be nice.
To simplify the layering, I treated this easy overnight breakfast casserole like a sandwich. Bread on the top and bottom and fillings inside. I layer the french bread on top of the casserole, then fill in the gaps with smaller pieces of bread, so that the top crust is a uniform blanket of golden crunch. (That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?)
What You Need To Make Sweet Potato and Apple Breakfast Strata Recipe:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Gruyere Cheese
- Fresh Sage
- French Baguette
This easy overnight breakfast casserole just takes a few steps to come together.
- Sauté the apples with nutmeg.
- Chop the sweet potatoes very fine (so they cook quickly) (I used a food processor to chop mine).
- Saute the sweet potatoes until tender.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk and herbs for the custard.
- Shred the gruyere cheese. (I prefer the fine grate on a box grater).
- Remove the crust on the french bread and cut into rounds.
- Layer the ingredients starting with a layer of bread, followed by sweet potatoes, gruyere cheese, apples and another layer of bread.
- Pour the custard over the sweet potato and apple breakfast strata and gently press the bread into the custard to start it soaking up the egg mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven and while it’s heating, sprinkle a little extra gruyere over the top of this easy make ahead breakfast casserole.
So, this is my sweet potato and apple breakfast strata recipe. Whatd’ya think? The sweet potatoes in this dish are so tender that they’re basically just providing a creamy, barely sweet backdrop to the tart spiced apples. The top layer of bread and cheese bake into a crackly crust that my tasters were sneaking pieces of. This is delicious on its own, or with the requisite bacon, sausage or ham, but it also benefits from a drizzle of warm maple syrup. Don’t forget it.
My taste testers loved it and went back for more and Scott claimed “dibs” on the leftovers for his lunch the next day.
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Sweet Potato Apple Breakfast Strata
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and grated or chopped in a food processor
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 2 granny smith apples peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese shredded
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped
- 1/2 loaf french baguette crusts trimmed, cut into 1/2" thick slices
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium to medium high heat. Add the apples and nutmeg and sauté, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender, but not mushy. Transfer apples to a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet and add the sweet potato to the pan. Stir. Sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Place the lid on the skillet so that it's slightly askew and cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally until just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together, then add the milk, sage and remaining salt and pepper.
- Spray an 8" or 9" casserole dish with vegetable spray. Line the bottom of the casserole with half of the french bread slices.
- Add the sautéed sweet potatoes and spread evenly over the bread.
- Sprinkle half of the gruyere cheese over the sweet potatoes.
- Layer the sautéed apples evenly over the cheese.
- Top the apples with the remaining bread slices, breaking or tearing any pieces that don't fit and wedging them into open spaces.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Lightly press the top of the casserole with your hands to start it soaking up the custard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator while the oven preheats. Bake the strata for 50-65 minutes or until top is crusty and golden and the egg custard has set.
- Let the strata rest for 10 minutes before serving.