Instant Pot: Denver Breakfast Strata

Weekends are the days I really look forward to making breakfasts. It's the time of week where I have some extra time to prepare something more than the usual toasted bagel or bowl of cereal/oatmeal. The most recent weekend breakfast I made was this Denver Breakfast Strata. I guess some folks may call this a breakfast casserole, but because the dish has various layers, it's best known as a strata. As you may have guessed, this strata is layered with ingredients commonly found in a traditional Denver omelet. Sautéed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, diced ham and cheddar cheese fill this strata with tons of flavor for a satisfying breakfast!

My husband will order a Denver omelet when we're dining out for brunch if it's on the menu. It's definitely his favorite breakfast above anything else. With this in mind, I was inspired to take all the things he loves about a Denver omelet and incorporate it into a breakfast casserole. This is a great dish to make for a crowd and is perfect for either a breakfast or brunch meal. Another bonus is you can make it in advance the night before and bake it the next day! 

Denver Breakfast Strata
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

1/2 crusty French baguette, cut into bite sized cubes & toasted
1/2 pound ham steak, diced
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced bell peppers (any color)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In your Instant Pot:

Place half of the toasted bread cubes in IP safe casserole dish.

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE. Add  butter and sauté the onions, peppers and mushrooms until softened. Layer the vegetable mixture over bread cubes. Top with half of the remaining bread cubes. Next, sprinkle the ham and shredded cheese over the bread cubes.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over the bread mixture in the casserole dish. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and place a small plate on top to weigh it down. Place the casserole into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes or better yet, overnight, to allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture.

Place the metal Instant Pot trivet on the bottom of the IP and pour in 1 cup of water. 

Transfer the prepared casserole onto the trivet; cover with foil, paper towel or silicone cover.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 25 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 25 minutes (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

Carefully turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode - Press OFF.

Carefully remove the casserole dish from the IP and allow to cool slightly before serving. Or if preferred, add some extra cheese and broil until browned and toasted.

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