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Jan 3, 2012 10:17 PM

Breakfast strata or egg casserole without cheese?

I will be responsible for breakfast for 10 people, half of whom are lactose intolerant. I would like to make some kind of egg strata or casserole type of dish so that I can put it together the night before and bake the morning of. I can use lactose-free milk for the milk portion. But, every recipe contains cheese! Cheese is really an issue for some of the folks. I've looked all over the web for a recipe that doesn't contain cheese, and I found one - only one; it was smoked salmon based, and that won't work as the next morning's breakfast will be bagels with smoked salmon.

There must be a reason why all the recipes contain cheese (other than taste, of course). Do I really need to add cheese? Is there a good substitute for a cheddar-type of cheese? Or do you know of any egg casseroles / stratas / frittata recipes which don't contain cheese? Thanks!

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  1. there r some great tasting soy cheeses out there. They melt well too.Do taste first.

    stay away from any rice cheese that you find, I learned...just a tad unpleasent.

    1. Maybe something more like a baked french toast or savory bread pudding would work. The cheese (if any is called for) would be easily left out of those.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sarahjay

        I agree with SJ's suggestions but would go sweet rather than savory for the bread pudding as many of the savory ones depend on cheese as well.

      2. Search for bread pudding, which is essentially the same as a strata sans cheese. That's why you're not finding it. Cheese in strata helps reinforce its structure, which allows for layered ingredients like breakfast meats and vegetables. Bread puddings tend to be less structured.

        1. When you look at the nutrition label on the cheese package, specifically look at the number next to the "sugars" or "carbohydrates" information. If it says "0 grams," then the cheese should be lactose free. Since lactose is a sugar, if there is no sugar in the cheese, there is no lactose. I have family members who are extremely lactose intolerant and have been able to eat cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, and many other kinds of cheeses with no symptoms at all. The naturally lactose free cheeses tend to be more from the "hard" cheese family. Very occasionally, you might find a feta that has zero sugars.

          As long as we are vigilant about reading labels and avoiding the cheeses that have sugar in them, the lactose intolerant members of our family have been able to avoid all kinds of cheesy dishes.

          1. I often make frittatas without cheese. I usually increase the amount of spices and fresh herbs, and I make sure the other ingredients are flavourful (Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, herbs, spices, etc.).

            I often make a Herbes de Provence, roasted tomato, zucchini, mushroom & roasted potato frittata during the late summer. Another idea would be a Mexican-style frittata, using chorizo, peppers, onions, omitting any dairy, and serving with salsa and guacamole.

            Spanish tortilla (egg & potato is the standard, but there are variations) is another egg dish that doesn't contain cheese, that's a good breakfast dish. Can be served at room temp or hot.

            Persian Zucchini Frittata without dairy


            Would be easy to omit the cheese in this frittata:


            This baked eggs dish has no dairy:

            Also, at epicurious, using advanced recipe search , it's possible to customize your search to exclude dairy.