Get a tasty start to your weekend with this delicious, soy-free vegan zucchini breakfast strata with mashed potatoes and basil lemon cream. It's perfect for any time of day. You can also make this strata gluten-free with gf bread.
This very vegan zucchini breakfast strata is a dish you can also serve for brunch, lunch or dinner, or anytime in between that you have a mind to eat. I can promise you, though, that there will never be any leftovers for in-between snacking.
There are many layers and flavors that go into this strata, and each is a delicious recipe in itself. There is a flavorsome saute of zucchini and tomatoes, mashed potatoes with olive oil, sage and ground black pepper, and a lemon basil cashew cream that's so good, you'll want to chug it out of the blender.
Despite all this action, this recipe comes together really fast: it takes me no more than 30 minutes to put everything together, especially if I multitask thoughtfully (and I am the world's worst multitasker). I like to make the strata the night before and the baking dish goes into the fridge for all the flavors to soak into each other all night. The next morning I bung it into the oven for a total of 50 minutes. By the time the fragrance of basil and potatoes baking fills up the house, we are good and hungry and ready to dig in.
I used my homemade sourdough sandwich bread in this recipe-- I will share that recipe with you this week and I won't say much about it right now except to say it's the perfect sandwich loaf. So get your sourdough starter going, if you don't have one already. But if you'd rather not use sourdough in this strata, use just any old bread-- brown, white, rye, it's all good here. You can also use gluten-free bread for a gluten-free casserole.
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Vegan Zucchini Breakfast Strata
Vegan Zucchini Breakfast Strata
- 2 medium zucchini (cut into thin rings)
- 1 medium tomato (seeded, all juice squeezed out, and diced)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (sub with dry herbs if you'd rather)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 jalapeno pepper (or any moderately hot chili peppers. Deseed and chop finely)
- 10 leaves basil + more for garnish
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for 30 minutes
- Juice of ½ lemon + zest of the lemon
- 4 medium russet potatoes (boiled and peeled)
- 4 leaves sage (finely minced)
- 5 slices bread (use white, whole wheat or sourdough, cut into cubes. For a gluten-free version, use a glutenfree bread.)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- In a skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the garlic, sauté for a few seconds. Don't let it brown. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and onions. Season with ground black pepper and Italian seasoning. Saute for five minutes or until zucchini is soft but not mushy. If there is liquid in the pan, cook over high heat for a few minutes until most of it has evaporated. Turn off the heat.
- While the zucchini is cooking, place the soaked, drained cashews in a blender along with 2 cups water, basil, lemon juice, salt and jalapeno. Add salt to taste and blend until very smooth.
- Make the mashed potatoes by mashing together the boiled, peeled potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, salt, sage, and lemon zest.
- In a large bowl, mix the zucchini-tomato mixture, bread, and half the mashed potatoes.
- Place them in a 9 X 12 inch baking dish and spread evenly.
- Pour on the basil cream evenly, and toss or press down slightly to make sure the bread cubes are immersed in the cream.
- Scatter on the remaining mashed potatoes over the casserole.
- Cover tightly with a cling wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight for the flavors to merge and for the bread to get thoroughly soaked.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Place the baking dish in the oven and cook 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, turn on the custom broil to 450 degrees. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until the tops of the bread and mashed potatoes turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with basil, let stand about 10 minutes. Then scoop out and serve hot.
I make this every year for Christmas morning, sooo good! Thank you for the great recipe!
I love your recipes! This recipe is worth the little extra time it take, because it is very special!! It is delicious, so flavorful. Made it for extended family for a brunch and it was a hit!!! Everyone wanted second helpings. Thanks for this terrific recipe!
Hi Leila, thanks for your kind words. I am so happy to hear you and your family enjoyed the strata. Thanks for letting me know!
I was looking for a brunch recipe and this was absolutely perfect. It is so rich and flavorful. I love the addition of fresh herbs, very satisfying to the palate. Apparently my guests loved it too, they were coming back for seconds! No leftovers today, lol. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I plan on making again and again!!!
So happy you made it!
Thanks for this great recipe! I used it a template for a strata based on my Beet Ruben Sandwich, using rye bread, a sautee of shitake mushrooms, onion and shallots seasoned with liquid smoke and thyme and smoked paprika instead of basil in the cashew cream. Topped with shredded beet sautee and served with tumeric saurkraut and salad with vegan "Russian" dressing. Yum!
Thank you for this . I never made cashew milk before. I just bought $17 worth of toasted cashews. I see instructions elsewhere that the cashews should be raw. May I suggest you edit the recipe and post to specify raw cashews? Thank you.
This was so delish! I actually made it for supper without refrigerating over night and it turned out perfect! My one complaint, and many food bloggers do this, is that your ingredients list is not in the order that the items appear in the recipe. It makes it so much easier when the food prep is done according to the list of ingredients!
I just made this...haven't baked it yet, but I know it's going to be amazing!
I just want to tell you that you have a typo in the pan size...I think you meant 9 x 12 NOT 9 x 2 inc pan
Thanks for the heads up, added now. 😀
Nancy L BISCHOFF
Help my cream sauce is watery. How can I make it creamier?
I made this for a brunch with mixed company- vegans and meat-eaters were present. This delicious casserole was loved by all! You guys, my mom gets easily scared by vegan dishes but she tried this and had a big serving! 10/10 would make again.
So happy you liked it!
I am enjoying making this dish for the 1st time but there's somethings missing like it's called basil cashew sauce and there's basil on the ingredient list but to make the sauce no Basil is mentioned.
See step 2!
Is a 9 x 2 pan 9x9 or 9 x13 ?
9 by 13.
Thins looks amazing. How manu cups would you say 2 medium zucchini would be? Thx!
About 3 cups
Any suggestions for substituting the cashews??
Tofu would work, in the same quantity. It wouldn't be soy-free then, of course.
Does this keep well as a make-ahead dish?
Yes, you can freeze and bake before eating.
Would you thaw before baking or bake from frozen?
Better to thaw overnight in fridge.
I can't wait to try this!! Do you have any experience with freezing it? Our zucchini plant is going crazy and I'm trying to freeze casseroles before our new baby arrives, but I'm nervous to freeze it and realize it's ruined!
Great recipe. I'm making it for Easter brunch. (I made two, one large dish as the recipe states and one smaller without cashews for people with nut allergies-I subbed a tofu cream sauce). Anyways, it is fantastic! I wanted to let you know, on the ingredient list there is no onion stated. I always have onion so it was fine, but when I went shopping I didn't realize onion was in the recipe. Since many people screen shop lists like that now, it might be helpful to add in for those who don't read the steps ahead of time like me. Also, I was unsure on whether to cover the dish when it was in the oven. All in all, it's wonderful, and I'm sure covered or uncovered it is great!
Thanks for the recipe, I will make again
Thanks, Nikki, and also for the note on the onions. They're added. 🙂 No need to cover the strata while it's baking.
Did you find the tofu sauce tastier or the cashew? I'm thinking the tofu will be more creamy? Can you tell me what you did for the tofu one?
Hi Mel, I really love the cashew because it is richer and creamier to taste. About one and a half cups of extra firm tofu would be great.
This looks amazing! Do you have any suggestions for a bread substitute? Besides gluten free bread, most of it has a lot of fillers or just doesn't taste good. Thanks!
I don’t think you need the bread at all. Let the potatoes soak up the basil cream. If you are plastic-wrapping the strata and chilling it, it would hold its shape anyway.