Instant Pot Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Strata

updated Dec 1, 2022
christmas
Instant Pot Breakfast Casserole

The beauty of this recipe is that you can prep it the night before. In the fridge, the bread soaks up the custard and takes on a ton of flavor.

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

Cook35 minutes

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Credit: Olive & Mango

Every year on Christmas Eve, after dinner is over and everyone is winding down, my mom makes the most ingenious move ever: She goes into the kitchen for just another 30 minutes to prep an egg casserole to serve the next morning. Not only is it a practical move (she’s never stressed or scrambling on Christmas morning), but the casserole is also downright delicious, too — my entire family looks forward to it every year.

This strata is inspired by my mom’s, but it’s even easier to make, thanks to the electric pressure cooker. You don’t have to turn on the oven (unless you want to broil the cheese for a minute or two!) and it cooks in less than half the time. Here’s how to do it.

Here’s another strata recipe we love: Cook’s Illustrated Breakfast Strata

Use Day-Old Bread for the Best Breakfast Strata

When making a strata or any sort of bread-based casserole, it’s important to use day-old bread. The stale bread soaks up the egg custard to create a creamy and delicious filling. If you don’t have day-old bread, simply toast your bread cubes in the oven before mixing the casserole together.

Prepping this strata the night before won’t just save you stress — it actually makes the dish taste better. As it sits in the fridge, the dry bread soaks up all the custard and gets infused with flavor. In the morning, just place the baking dish in the electric pressure cooker. Breakfast is ready in no time! 

Pot-In-Pot Cooking 

You’ll use the pot-in-pot cooking method to make this casserole. This means the casserole is made in a small baking dish that is placed on the steamer rack inside the pressure cooker with one cup water in the bottom, creating a steam bath to cook the casserole to perfection. For a six-quart Instant Pot, a six-inch round baking dish is just the right size.

Whether you make this casserole on Christmas morning or for meal prep during the week, you will find true breakfast success! 

Credit: Olive & Mango

Instant Pot Breakfast Casserole

The beauty of this recipe is that you can prep it the night before. In the fridge, the bread soaks up the custard and takes on a ton of flavor.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/2

    medium red onion

  • 4 ounces

    cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup), divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 8 ounces

    uncooked breakfast sausage

  • 1 1/2 cups

    water

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 3/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    paprika

  • 1 teaspoon

    fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups

    day-old sourdough, white, or wheat bread cubes (1-inch cubes)

Instructions

  1. Finely chop 1/2 red onion and shred 4 ounces cheddar cheese (about 1 cup). Chop 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves for garnish if desired.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Remove the casings from 8 ounces uncooked breakfast sausage, add to the pan, and cook, breaking up the sausage into small pieces, until cooked through and browned, about 7 minutes. Add the red onion and cook until almost softened, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

  3. Place the steam rack in an electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Coat a 6-inch round cake pan or soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter.

  4. Place 4 large eggs, 3/4 cup whole milk, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the sausage mixture, 3 cups bread cubes, and 3/4 cup of the cheese, and stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared pan.

  5. Cover the pan with a paper towel and then a sheet of aluminum foil. Place in the pressure cooker. Lock on the lid and make sure the valve is set to seal. Cook under HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the broiler.

  6. Quick release the remaining pressure. Remove the baking dish, uncover, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil the strata until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.

Excerpted from Instant One Pot Meals. Copyright 2018 by Laura Arnold. Reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press. All rights reserved.