Friends, if you have a brunch coming up, you’ll want to make this salmon asparagus strata. And if you don’t have any particular brunching planned, this dish is the reason why you should! Make any morning a special occasion with this breakfast casserole.
It makes for a delicious breakfast, brunch or light lunch, it’s perfect for spring, and it carries a touch of elegance that only a strata could. (Think about it: is there any other form of casserole that’s as elevated as a strata? 😋 Our salmon asparagus strata is made with heavy cream and eggs that turn into a rich custard, layered with smoked salmon, asparagus, and Gruyère cheese. It’s easy to see why this one’s a crowd-pleaser!
what is strata?
If you’re not familiar with strata, it’s essentially a layered breakfast casserole, often made with similar ingredients as a frittata or quiche. Think roasted vegetables, meat, eggs, cheese… However, unlike its breakfast cousins, strata includes bread, and that- plus the combination of eggs and cream- is what gives this dish its soft, custard-like texture.
why we love this strata
It’s commonly known that the combination of eggs soaked in bread and milk always results in something great. Strata is sort of like a savory bread pudding, almost soufflé-like, but heartier. This strata recipe features all the complementary flavors of smoked salmon, dill, parmesan and Gruyère, and that right there makes it a winner!
Our salmon asparagus strata is:
- Easy to make
- Rich and fluffy
- Perfect for large gatherings
let’s make salmon asparagus strata!
This strata recipe is pretty straightforward. It doesn’t take too long to assemble, it sits overnight, and it’s ready to go in the oven first thing in the morning.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this tasty dish!
- Bread (crusts removed)
- Whole milk
- Cream cheese
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh asparagus
- Dry smoked salmon
- Fresh dill
- Gruyère cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Smoky paprika
Making the salmon asparagus strata is a two-step process: first, prepare the ingredients, and second, assemble the breakfast casserole. Preparing the ingredients properly will allow you to efficiently assemble the casserole, and here’s the set-up we recommend:
prepare the strata ingredients
- Cut the bread into 1-inch sized cubes and place all the bread cubes in a large bowl.
- In a food processor, add the eggs, cream cheese, milk, salt/pepper, and mustard. Pulse the mixture until it’s smooth.
- Place the asparagus, smoked salmon and grated Parmesan cheese into their own individual bowls.
- In a separate bowl add the Gruyère cheese and fresh dill, tossing to combine.
- Arrange the dishes on your workspace in this order: egg mixture, bread cubes, cheese/dill mixture, asparagus, salmon, Parmesan, paprika, and fresh dill.
assembling the strata
- Start by spraying an ovenproof 9×13 casserole dish with baking spray (or non-stick baking oil).
- Add half of the bread cubes to the dish, then half the egg mixture, then sprinkle with half of the Parmesan/dill mixture. Add half of the asparagus and half of the smoked salmon. Use a spatula to lightly press down on the layer, then repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top of the breakfast casserole, and dust the top with paprika.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight. This helps the bread soak up the egg/cream mixture!
- Remove from the refrigerator, bake the strata covered with foil for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the strata is golden brown on top.
- Cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped dill before serving.
tips for making the best strata
- Make sure to remove the bread crusts when you’re cubing the bread because the crusts are tough and won’t absorb the custard well!
- Spray the underside of the foil with baking spray to prevent the Parmesan cheese from sticking to the foil.
- You can use low-fat milk if you prefer, but the custard will taste richer if you use whole milk or half and half. (We did use low-fat cream cheese to save a few calories!)
- When the strata has baked for 50 minutes, begin checking doneness by inserting a knife into the center to see if it comes out clean. If it does, the strata is done baking.
- If it’s not golden brown on top but is done baking, you can switch the oven to broil and toast the cheesy top for a short while. Just make sure to watch it closely!
This salmon asparagus strata recipe is a delight and also makes for easy leftovers (that’s if it’s not devoured entirely!). Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or cooking for yourself, we promise this strata will not disappoint!
SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:
- Asparagus-Ham and Gouda Strata: This is a perfect entrée if you are hosting a brunch party. Assemble it the day or night before, refrigerate overnight, then bake the next morning.
- Sweet Potato Frittata: Rustic and healthy Sweet Potato Frittata. This savory, dish has fresh veggies, eggs and smoked gouda cheese.
- Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust: The non-traditional crust of sweet potato slices makes this goat cheese quiche gluten-free. Bright, colorful garden veggies of kale, leek, red bell pepper and more sweet potato slices combined with a savory, custard-like filling.
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- 1-1/4 pounds of bread, crusts removed, approximately 1 loaf of French bread
- 10 eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1-1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound dry smoked salmon
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 8 ounces Gruyère
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon dusting of smokey paprika
- Sprigs of fresh dill
- Prepare the Ingredients:
- Cut bread into 1-inch size cubes and add to a large bowl
- To the bowl of the food processor, add the eggs, cream cheese, milk, salt, mustard, and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
- Add the asparagus and smoked salmon to individual bowls
- In another bowl add the Gruyère cheese and dill, toss to combine.
- Grate the Parmesan cheese into a small dish
- Arrange the dishes on your workspace: Egg mixture, bread cubes, cheese-dill mixture, asparagus, salmon, Parmesan cheese, paprika and dill.
- Grease an ovenproof 9x13 casserole dish or spray with non-stick baking oil
- Add 1/2 of the bread cubes to the prepared baking dish; then 1/2 of the egg mixture, sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese-dill mixture, 1/2 of the asparagus and 1/2 of the smoked salmon. Press down on the layer slightly with a spatula. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Distribute the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top and dust with paprika.
- Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate overnight. (*See Notes)
- When ready to bake the strata, transfer from the refrigerator, and allow the dish to sit on the countertop while the oven heats.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the strata for 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the strata is golden brown and crisp on top.
- Transfer from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, sprinkle with additional chopped dill before cutting into square serving sizes.
- Refrigerating the unbaked strata overnight allows the bread to fully absorb the egg mixture.
- The bread crusts are tough and do not absorb the custard well. We recommend removing the crusts before cutting into cubes.
- There should be about 6 cups of bread cubes, lightly packed.
- Low fat milk can be used but whole milk or half and half will make a richer custard.
- We used a low-fat cream cheese to save a few calories.
- To prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil, spray the underside of the foil with a non-stick baking oil
- Begin checking for doneness when the strata has baked for 50 minutes.
- Check for doneness by inserting a knife into the center. If it comes out clean it is done.
- If the strata tests 'done' and you want a deeper brown on top, switch the oven heat to 'broil' and watch it closely until the color is achieved.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 537Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 313mgSodium: 2033mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 40g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.