A breakfast strata is a versatile overnight breakfast casserole. It’s perfect for using leftover ham for a fancy weekend brunch or special occasions.
Have you tried a breakfast strata before? I love perfect breakfast casseroles and strata is one of my favorites. If you haven’t heard of it before, strata is essentially a savory bread pudding. What I especially love about this recipe is that it’s a make-ahead breakfast casserole that only improves as it sits in the fridge. Make the day before and bake the next morning for an impressive brunch dish.
It’s a great recipe to use up stale bread and any ingredients you might have on hand. I typically make this recipe after Easter dinner as a way to use up my leftover ham, but it’s also wonderful with bacon or sausage. The best part of this casserole bake is the crusty top and savory fillings.
Looking for another easy breakfast recipes – try my Overnight French Toast . Interested in other ham recipes Crockpot Ham, and Ham and Potato Casserole with Broccoli. Check out 20 of the best leftover ham recipes and 19 ham casserole recipes.
Breakfast Strata Ingredients
- Bread – In this recipe the crustier the better! I typically use a nice crusty Italian bread or French bread.
- Onion, Spinach, Garlic – These are my three staples in this dish, but this recipe has such a good base that goes with anything so feel free to substitute or add in other vegetables based on your preference or what you have in the fridge.
- Eggs & Milk – The traditional egg custard base for any breakfast casserole. I prefer whole milk or heavy cream, but any milk will work.
- Seasonings – Besides the standard salt & black pepper, my go to spices for this casserole are garlic powder and onion powder..
- Dijon Mustard – Don’t skip this! The mustard adds a layer of depth and flavor to the casserole, bringing out the savory notes.
- Cooked Ham – Leftover Spiral ham makes this recipe quick and easy.
- Shredded Cheese – I use Shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheese for a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
How to Make Breakfast Strata
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 13×9 inch casserole dish and place your cubed bread into the baking dish in a single layer. In a large skillet on medium heat sauté onions in olive oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the fresh spinach, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. When finished, place the sautéed onions and spinach mixture over the top of your chunks of bread in the baking dish and top with cubed ham.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, then pour the egg mixture evenly over the strata. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the casserole is set.
- 1 Loaf of Crusty Italian or French Bread Cubed
- 1 Onion Diced
- 5 oz Baby Spinach
- 1 Tablespoon of Minced Garlic
- 6 Eggs
- 2 Cups of Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
- 1-1/2 Cups Cooked Ham (cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Grease a 13x9 inch pan.
- Layer cubed bread into the greased baking dish.
- In a pan on medium heat sauté onions until translucent. Add in baby spinach, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Place onion and spinach mixture over the top of your cubed bread.
- Top with cubed ham.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard, onion powder and garlic powder.
- Pour egg mixture evenly over the strata.
- Cover and store in the fridge*.
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy!
*This can be made the next day or skip the refrigeration step and cook right away. If making the next morning make sure to take the baking dish out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Do not put a cold pan straight into the oven.
Best Tips for Making Ahead
- This is a great time-saving recipe because it can be made ahead of time and baked right before you need it, without sacrificing any flavor, texture or taste.
- Simply assemble the strata, then cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store the unbaked strata in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, when ready to bake, make sure to take the baking dish out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking to bring the casserole up to room temperature – do not put a cold pan straight into the oven.
Ways to Customize Your Strata
Strata is one of the most versatile recipes and can be tailored to any needs or dietary restrictions/preferences. The basic ingredients are bread, eggs, and milk, and from there you can swap any of the other ingredients. Use different breads, vegetables, meats and cheeses. Not feeling up to a savory dish or need a sweet brunch idea? Try cubed brioche with fresh fruit or berries and goat cheese, adding a dash of cinnamon, sugar and vanilla.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red bell pepper
- Green onions
- Parmesan cheese
- Monterey jack cheese
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Goat cheese
- Cream cheese