Kale, Mushroom, and Cheddar Bake

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Are you a lover of kale? Bread? Cheese? Mushrooms? Then you are likely to love this recipe from Jennie Perillo as much as I do.

It’s basically a simplified strata of sorts, a casserole layering thin slices of rustic ciabatta bread with sautéed kale, mushrooms, and onions, and cheddar cheese, soaked with milk and egg, and then baked until bubbly and browned. It’s the ultimate kale lover’s comfort food.

The recipe is from Jennie’s cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen, a beautiful book with photographs by Penny De Los Santos, heart warming prose, and tummy warming recipes for the home cook.

Kale Mushroom Cheddar Bake

There are a dozen recipes in Jennie’s book that I can’t wait to make, but this one caught my eye first. It’s vegetarian and filling (so, perfect for Lent), and I have a hard time resisting anything with bread, mushrooms, cheddar, and kale.

I think the next time I make it I may swap out some of the cremini mushrooms for shiitake, to make it even more intensely mushroomy. And while the recipe calls for kale, you could easily make this with chard or other good braising greens.

It reminds me a bit of the panade we made here a while back, a bread soup with greens, mushrooms, and onions, just without the soup part. Enjoy!

Kale, Mushroom, and Cheddar Bake Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch (7 oz or 200 g) lacinato kale (dinosaur or Tuscan kale), center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces (140 g) of cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 loaf (185 grams) ciabatta bread, cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
  • 4 ounces (112 g) grated cheddar cheese

Method

1 Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with a little olive oil and set aside.

2 Sauté kale: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the thinly sliced kale and cook until just wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

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3 Add onions, mushrooms, sauté: Add the onions and mushrooms, and add salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

4 Whisk milk and eggs: In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs.

5 Layer casserole dish with bread, kale mushroom mix, cheese: Line the bottom of the casserole pan with one third of the thinly sliced bread.

Spread one half of the kale mushroom onion mixture over the bread. Sprinkle one third of the cheddar cheese over the top. Lay down the second third of the bread slices.

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Top again with the remaining kale mixture, and then with a third of the cheese.  Lay the remaining slices of bread over the top.

6 Pour milk egg mixture over bread, top with cheese: Pour the milk egg mixture over the bread, pressing down with a spatula so that the milk is absorbed by the casserole layers.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar cheese. (At this point you can chill overnight for making ahead, or continue.)

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7 Bake: Let the casserole sit for about 15 minutes to further absorb the milk while you preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Cover with foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Let the casserole sit for a few minutes before serving.

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Recipe from Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen, by Jennifer Perillo. Republished here with the permission of the author.

Links:

Panade - Bread Soup with Chard, Onions, and Mushrooms here on Simply Recipes

Broccoli Casserole here on Simply Recipes

Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen - book available on Amazon.com

Kale Mushroom Cheddar Bake

Showing 4 of 49 Comments

  • Janna

    This was so good! I used rosemary sourdough bread from Whole Foods. Added some red pepper flakes to the kale and some thyme when adding the salt & pepper. I also added a touch of garlic powder to the egg/milk mixture. My husband and I plan to enjoy this one for years to come, thank you!

  • Jesse figuera

    This was so easy and so delicious and even tastier the next day. Thank you!

  • Carolinamoonshina

    There is a diabetic in our midst. Wonder if I could cut half the bread…

  • Emily C.

    Hi Elise, I know this is a little late but I cooked this for my boyfriend last night and we LOVED it! We’re trying to only eat meat a couple times a week, and this was such a satisfying vegetarian meal.

    I used portabello mushrooms because they were on sale and also threw in some zucchini after the mushrooms cooked down a bit. The flavors were just awesome. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipes and making me a better cook.

  • Simone

    Made this a few days ago. To please my husband, I left out the mushrooms and added 2 layers of freshly sliced Roma tomatoes instead. Was delicious!

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