Spinach, Bacon, and Swiss Gruyere take day-old bread and elevate it to the savory breakfast casserole that your morning needs. It also makes a fantastic breakfast-for-dinner option.
Every year around the holidays I always go through my recipes and plan out as many "overnight" breakfast recipes as possible, particularly for Christmas morning. This year as I was doing that, I questioned why I don't make overnight breakfast recipes every week. There is something so freeing about starting the day with a good breakfast that has already been planned, prepared, and all that's left is to bake it and enjoy the enticing aroma wafting through the house while lounging in a robe and slippers and sipping coffee. Let's all try to enjoy a hands-off breakfast more often, shall we?
Bread. Using "day-old" or somewhat dry of a loaf is ideal for this recipe, so don't be shy about hanging on to a loaf longer than you normally might. Since it's going to soak in the egg mixture overnight, it's best to use a sturdy enough bread that will still hold some shape without turning completely soggy. I've used freshly baked loaves for this though too and they work well. The only difference is texture.
Bacon. Use anything you like, but my personal preference is thick-sliced and I prefer applewood smoked over anything else. It's not overpowering in terms of flavor and it complements the spinach and Gruyere really well.
Gruyere. Gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese with a really complex flavor, so if you're not able to find Swiss Gruyere, feel free to substitute another good Swiss cheese such as Beaufort or Emmental. If using American Swiss cheese I would recommend using half American Swiss and half Parmesan instead of the measurements listed in the recipe. Gruyere is a mild, slightly nutty hard cheese and lends quite a different flavor than American Swiss does.
Spinach. I like to use a bunch of fresh baby spinach in this recipe, but I've also used thawed, drained, frozen spinach with success. Either will work fine, so just use whatever you have available.Print
Spinach, Bacon, and Swiss Breakfast Bake
Spinach, Bacon, and Gruyere take day-old bread and elevate it to the savory breakfast casserole that your morning needs. Also makes a fantastic breakfast-for-dinner option!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 9 hours
- Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
- Category: breakfast
6 slices thick-sliced Applewood smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons butter, for pan
1 loaf Sourdough, French, or Italian bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
9 large eggs
2 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
In a large skillet, brown the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer cooked bacon to bowl and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet.
Add onion and garlic to the skillet, sautéing until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add spinach, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg and sauté another 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove from heat, stir in bacon pieces, and set aside.
Butter a 9x13 baking dish or 3 quart casserole dish.
Arrange half of the bread cubes in the bottom of the prepared dish. Top with half of the spinach-bacon mixture and half of the Gruyere and Parmesan. Repeat with remaining bread, spinach-bacon mixture, and cheeses.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Dijon, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Carefully pour the egg mixture over the casserole, making sure to cover the bread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, let strata come to room temperature for 45 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake uncovered, on center rack for 45-60 minutes, until golden brown and a sharp knife inserted in the center shows no sign of undercooked egg mixture.
Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.
Keywords: spinach bacon swiss breakfast casserole, breakfast strata, spinach gruyere breakfast bake