Easy Breakfast Strata
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This breakfast strata is an easy make-ahead casserole filled with eggs, milk, French bread, ham, cheese, and plenty of vegetables.
Adapted from Liren Baker | Meat to the Side | Victory Belt Publishing, 2021
Whether you’ve got weekend guests to feed or simply want to incorporate more vegetables into your morning routine, this easy breakfast strata is your solution. It’s simple to toss together, feeds plenty, and can be made the night before.–Angie Zoobkoff
Easy Breakfast Strata FAQs
You can omit the ham or use a meat substitute in its place.
This breakfast casserole is a hearty and well-rounded meal on its own, but a simple fruit salad on the side will pair with it nicely.
IN THIS RECIPE
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Easy Breakfast Strata
- Butter at room temperature, for the baking dish
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (35 g) tender greens such as spinach or baby kale
- 1 cup (3 oz) diced mushrooms (any type)
- 1 cup (5 oz) cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup (1 oz) finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped ham
- 6 ounces (about 3 cups) rustic French bread cut into 1-inch (25-mm) pieces
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded Havarti cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
- Coat a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, paprika, and pepper until combined. Fold in the greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onion, ham, bread, and cheddar and Havarti cheeses.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour or overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack placed in the center of the oven. Remove the strata from the refrigerator to rest at room temperature while the oven preheats.
- Remove the plastic wrap, cover the strata with foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until it is puffed and set in the center, with an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C), 15 to 25 minutes more. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and the parsley, if desired. Enjoy warm.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I loved the idea of mixing everything in one bowl without any sautéing first (thereby having the benefit of fewer dishes to wash as well!) and was curious as to whether the flavor would be affected by skipping this step. It was not! The breakfast strata was delicious and smelled heavenly while baking. Another nice feature of this dish is that you can and should prepare it ahead of time, making it great for the holiday season in particular.
You could easily leave out the ham to make this a vegetarian dish. The only change I would make next time is to use a little less milk (maybe 1 or 1 1/4 cup instead of 1 1/2). My own preference is for a slightly drier consistency in the bread cubes. I did have to bake this an additional 10 minutes; while the internal temperature had reached 165ºF, the middle was not puffed up or golden brown at that point. We had this for dinner and I served it with an arugula salad as a counterpoint to the richness of the strata.
I love a homey, comforting, breakfast strata like this on a “day after”… anything. It always seems like the best way to continue the celebration. At once cozy and comforting (a la casserole), yet special (a la Thanksgiving stuffing) these dishes are so easy to prepare (in advance if you like), customize for the occasion and the crowd, and seem to over-deliver on flavor. I want to make them over and over again.
This breakfast strata is such a nice departure from the traditional breakfast egg bake. While those bakes can be good, this one is amazing. We loved all the veggies: mushrooms for earthiness, tomatoes for bite, onion for a dash of sweetness and the spinach for color and body. And of course the ham, cheese and bread really completed the casserole.
I used sweet paprika, which worked out great but I can see how smoky or even hot paprika would work too. I love recipes with such flexibility. It smelled so good baking I wanted to eat it right out of the oven. One person said they would have liked more egg, but I found it just the right amount.
The strata was a breeze to put together and so as long as you give yourself enough time for it to sit for the flavors to blend (I let mine sit overnight), you’ll have a wonderful breakfast in no time. It would also be great as breakfast for dinner!
Originally published March 18, 2022