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Simple Southwest Breakfast Strata

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings 1x


Basic breakfast casserole–a base of bread, eggs, milk, and cheese–gets loaded up with corn and more Southwest favorites for a bright, crowd-pleasing brunch entrée. Make it the night before for maximum efficiency.


  • Butter or cooking spray for greasing
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 8), including half the green tops, thinly sliced
  • 4 C frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 t smoked paprika (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/4 t chile powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/3 C finely chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 t dried basil (optional; or 1/4 C chopped fresh when in season)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 C milk (I use whole milk)
  • 5 C cubes of firm, hearty bread, crusts removed (I used rye; sourdough or French would also be good)
  • 1 heaping cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • Optional, for serving: sour cream, salsa, pickled red onions


  1. Grease a 2.5 quart or larger baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium high, then add scallions and corn. Cook until scallions are softened and corn is thawed and warm, around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Off heat, stir in paprika, chile powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and basil.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a liquid measuring cup or mixing bowl. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl, pour egg mixture over it, add corn mixture and cheese, and mix it all together. Using your hands to mix works best. Spread evenly in the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate at least a few hours, or overnight.
  4. To bake, remove from refrigerator for an hour, then preheat oven to 375 (F). Bake uncovered until set and beginning to brown, 45 to 55 minutes. Garnish with additional paprika and cilantro. Serve with sour cream, salsa, and pickled red onions.


Adapted from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison.

To make it meaty, mix in crumbled, cooked breakfast sausage. My sister tested this variation on her husband and it came out great!

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: Comfort Food