This strata is the breakfast of champions with its kale, butternut squash, and creamy bechamel base.
butternut squash and kale strata

You can consider this my butternut swan song.

(Cue the.boy breathing a huge sigh of relief.)

(Then cue me cackling because using “swan song” and “butternut” and “me” in the same sentence is just…not a possible real life thing. In his dreams, maybe. But who really wants to go there.)


It is, however, the last week of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash!

If that were a Facebook status, I would dislike it. Or just…not “like” it.

Because you can either be apathetic or wholeheartedly enthusiastic(!!) on Facebook, but dislike is just not okay.


Anyway, time flies when you’re having fun and especially when you’re having fun while eating orange vegetables.

Mostly because that’s basically fun squared.


Given that these are basically my favorite 12 weeks of the year, I knew I had to see them out with a bang.

A butternut breakfast strata bang.

And this savory bread pudding in breakfast form definitely does bring it. With healthy elements of kale and butternut squash, combined with the decadence of a seriously rich bechamel and caramelized onions, it is full of flavor and pretty much perfect to wake up to.

So with that, I would like to say thank you to everyone who made this year of squash-ing so much fun, and especially to my co-host – the lovely and adorable Heather of Girlichef (who I am going to get to meet on Tuesday!!).

Sayonara, butternut. I’ll catch you on the flip side (probably tomorrow. But not a second sooner!)

Link up your winter squash posts for the week!
butternut and kale breakfast strata - before and after

One year ago…Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

Two years ago…Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce With Chickpeas, Feta and Swiss Chard, Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes

Three years ago…Braised Veal Shanks with Gremolata and Whipped Root Vegetables

Four years ago…Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pecan Rugelach

Five years ago…Sweet Potatoes with Honey Butter

Butternut Squash and Kale Strata
This strata is the breakfast of champions with its kale, butternut squash, and creamy bechamel base.
Yield: 8-10 servings
  • 2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch kale, stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2½ tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¾-pound baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 325.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add in the onions, season with salt, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove to a bowl.
  4. In the same pot, heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil. Add in the kale, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and saute until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Combine with the onions.
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the flour and, whisking constantly, cook for about 3 minutes, until a light golden paste forms. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until very thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream, creme fraiche, sugar, 2 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, and the remaining milk. Let cool.
  6. Beat the eggs into the bechamel. Pour into a large bowl with the bread cubes, butternut squash, kale, and onions. Mix well. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Let sit for about 30 minutes, pressing the bread cubes into the milk every 10 minutes so they soak it up.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes, until almost set. Increase the oven temp to 475. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top of the strata, and then bake for about 10 more minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Slightly adapted from Food & Wine
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛th of recipe


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64 Responses to Butternut Squash and Kale Strata

  1. Sues says:

    I LOVE the idea of putting butternut squash in strata. And now can you please bring me some of this for breakfast?? Happy Monday!

  2. Monica says:

    Great way to shake up breakfast, and a surprisingly way to incorporate squash. Definitely a great way to finish off the 12 weeks.

  3. Sarah Toasty says:

    my sister has been asking for strata, she would love this!

  4. Wow – what a great savory breakfast! It looks so hearty, healthy, and really delicious. Nice job, Joanne!

  5. I’m just going to sit here and drool for a while, kthnx.

  6. Adrian Fleur says:

    Argh! Yum! I feel sad that I just ate supper and it was nowhere near to being this =(

  7. Julia says:

    Sign me up for fun squared! I’ll eat allll the orange vegetables! I love this strata so hard, I can’t put it into words. Savory bread pudding me, sister! Now if only you could teleport a huge hunk of this to me… 😉

  8. I whole heartedly dislike the ending of 12 weeks of winter squash! BUT! Knowing you, lots of squash is coming at us on this blog in weeks to come. You can’t stop/won’t stop…squash is your thing!

  9. Kathryn says:

    Oh, this sounds great! Hearty and full of flavour and bound to keep you full until lunchtime!

  10. Abby says:

    I’ve been drooling over it since your instagram post, all I have to say is this looks freaking delicious!!

  11. SallyBR says:

    I shall make a confession. Yesterday I bought a bag of frozen cubed butternut squash. I am sorry. I know I can cut it myself.

    but the bag was too cute.

    I hope you don’t stop making butternut squash & kale recipes, together or independently, because I love them both too much. Tell The Boy you are trying to please some of your readers… 😉

  12. It might be the end of “12 weeks of winter squash” but it could be the beginning of the next “4 weeks or polar freeze squash” no? 😉
    If I had a piece of this strata I might have to exchange it for the rest in the pan – looks absolutely delicious Joanne!

  13. Incredible! Seriously, I’ve never made savory bread pudding before, have to get around it 🙂

  14. Oh girl. You know I love this right!?! Cause I SO do.

  15. Deena kakaya says:

    That song gave me a much needed chuckle (roof is broken at home)! Lovely fresh looking recipe, juicy! X

  16. patsy says:

    I think this is something I need to make for breakfast and then enjoy the fact that my family will opt for cold cereal or oatmeal instead… more for me!

  17. danielle says:

    I could eat this one for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  18. Looks really good Joanne, I could eat this for breakfast anytime! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Your recipes are always a gardeners dream!

  20. 12 weeks of squash…girl you’ve got skill!

  21. I’ve been loving cooking with butternut squash! This strata will be happening soon!

  22. I am so sad butternut squash lollapalooza is coming to an end! Nonetheless, you knocked this recipe out of the park. I would eat this strata for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  23. Pam says:

    I’ve never made a strata before… it looks decadent and delicious! I sure wish we were neighbors. 🙂

  24. This is a really interesting recipe, like a quiche with bread in it! This would be an excellent breakfast cassarole!! YUMMMMMM!

  25. Kate says:

    I’m a little sad to bid adieu to squash. But I have a feeling it won’t be gone for too long.

  26. Roz says:

    Such a colorful strata, Joanne . . . irresistable to the eye and palate! The squash with the kale are so good for us too. Thanks for your creativity in the kitchen and for sharing it with us! (pinned)

  27. Roz says:

    omg, I just noticed . . . I have the same dinner plates as yours. Love em, especially the white, clean look!

  28. Trisha says:

    I think kale and butternut squash are a powerful duo. I love them together! Also béchamel sauce makes everything better.

  29. cheri says:

    Great combination of ingredients, this looks great. Don’t stop now.

  30. Jess says:

    Joanne, this looks delicious! I’m also really loving eating kale at the moment. This looks like a really yummy brekkie 🙂

  31. Tara says:

    I am always so surprised at how versatile your recipes are! I can’t even go a few days without making the same thing sometimes. Great job!

  32. Teffy says:

    Looks so so good!
    I’ve got a butternut squash in my pantry that is begging to be eaten – and I also have kale, so it’s perfect.

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  33. cassie says:

    OK, I’m usually not a fan of strata but I think I love these ingredients too much not to try it!

  34. oh yum. butternut squash and kale are SO good together. great recipe!

  35. That looks great! I am a big fan of make-ahead breakfast dishes that can feed a crowd!

  36. Has it really already been 12 weeks? Wow. Well, what a way to go out!

  37. Definitely a great way to send off squash, not that in real life we will be doing that! These pictures have me absolutely drooling; I’d definitely eat this any time of day!

  38. I’ll take some for brekkie tomorrow.
    Ms. Butternut Squash of 2014

  39. Thanks for going out with a bang, because this breakfast strata looks perfect!

  40. I would like this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  41. Blond Duck says:

    Butternut squash and I are not friends right now.

  42. Veronica says:

    This strata is such a perfect closing to your 12 weeks of squash posts – it’s a thing of beauty! I just adore butternut.

  43. I know I can always count on you for some hearty and delicious treats. This looks mouthwatering!

  44. Oh wow. This is your breakfast!! I would love to be at your house in the morning!

  45. There is such a thing as a savoury bread pudding?! I have been missing out! I’ve never heard of strata…at least not outside of the property term and that is waaay less exciting than this.

  46. Hotly Spiced says:

    What a yummy dinner. It’s a bit like a quiche but without the pie crust. I would love this! Even if I had been eating squash day after day after day xx

  47. Johanna GGG says:

    oh I wish I had more squash in my life but it just isn’t the season here but I think this would be great for breakfast (are stratas breakfast material – I am not familiar with them?)

  48. You can’t go wrong with kale & butternut, together. And including them in breakfast sounds even better. Looks great Joanne!

  49. Eileen says:

    I…still have not eaten any winter squash yet this season. Bad foodblogger! 🙂 But the kale has definitely been flowing wild and free, so there’s that. This strata sounds so good–bursting with rich winter veg!

  50. I wish I could wake up to this every single morning of my life. It looks scrumptious, and that bechamel is calling my name oh yes.
    So sad that the 12 weeks of butternut squash thing is over… I was enjoying all those recipes :–(

  51. Hannah says:

    Looks lovely! I’ve never made strata before.

  52. Reeni says:

    I’d make this for breakfast and eat it for lunch and dinner too! There’s no way I would be able to keep my hands off it. Dee-lish-ious……………….s

  53. Eliane says:

    Sorry, I’m french Canadian. What’s the difference between “heavy cream” and “Crème fraîche”? 35% and kind of 15%??

    And I’ve got to ask the question: I always see “kosher salt”….. Why don’t we just read “salt”?

    Mademoiselle from Montreal, Quebec, always tries to understand whatever she reads in english…. But have a bit difficulties to write it good 😉

    Merci beaucoup, thanks a lot

    Ps: I promise, I will give you feedback of it, but I make it for 2-3 portion cause I’m alone.

    • joanne says:

      So, heavy cream is milk with about 35% fat. Creme fraiche is more like sour cream, so if you guys don’t have creme fraiche specifically, then I would just use sour cream. The two are almost identical!

      I think the difference between kosher salt and other varieties of salt has more to do with the size of the salt crystals. Kosher salt crystals tend to be larger than table salt and are harder to dissolve, so it makes a slight difference which one you use in baked goods because of that. I think the real thing is that volume measurements yield slightly different amounts of salt because of their shape difference, so just to make sure everyone is on the same page, people tend to specify one or the other. In a dish like this, it shouldn’t matter which you use.

  54. Butternut for breakfast? YES, PLEASE!! Thanks for including me in the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash – it was wonderful!

  55. tigerfish says:

    Start breakfast like a king! This is it 🙂

  56. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Swooning over this! This is definitely my kind of breakfast 🙂 I love it!

  57. Ala says:

    That’s one beautiful strata–it has all the eye-catching elements I look for in a savory bread-style pudding, since I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not usually a fan…but squash and kale, sign me up! So glad I stumbled across this tonight.

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