Strata is my go to breakfast and brunch meal. It’s an elegant casserole that my family and friends have enjoyed. The preparation is simple and the variations are endless. This strata recipe includes ham, spinach and cheddar cheese.
What is a strata? It’s a casserole dish with an egg base that is very similar to quiche and frittatas. The biggest difference is that a strata includes cubed or torn bread in the filling.
I find myself making strata often, especially on the weekends. It’s a great option for using leftover, stale bread. Plus, I may not have the energy to make a pie crust for a quiche.
Mise En Place
- Bread– thick, crusty bread works best, such as French Bread
- Eggs – whisked
- Ham – Chopped or diced
- Spinach– Remove stems, chop or tear with hands
- Cheddar Cheese
- Heavy Cream
- Salt and Pepper
- Smoked Paprika
How to Make the Strata
Start by preparing a glass baking dish. I usually just spray it lightly with cooking oil to prevent the egg from sticking to the glassware.
Next, you’ll layer the bottom of the dish with bread. This is where you can either go for a classic look by cubing the bread or you can simply tear the bread in chunks for a rustic feel.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings. Mix in cheese, diced ham, and spinach. Pour the mixture over the cubed bread.
Lastly, you’ll bake the strata uncovered in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes. I check for doneness by inserting a butter-knife into the middle and if it comes out clean then I know it’s done.
- Keep in mind that the strata will puff up in the oven and then deflate as it cools.
- My favorite thing about this dish is the versatility. You can mix up the combination of meat and vegetable fillings to your liking.
All in All
This is one of my favorite breakfast casseroles to cook. It is simple to make, versatile and delicious. I have made it for my family and for guests- who all enjoy it. And (food nerd alert), I’ve had fun creating different variations using ingredients I have on hand.
Other breakfast or brunch recipes you’ll enjoy:
Breakfast Hand Pies – Click Here
Basic Quiche – Click Here
Rice Pudding- Click Here
Ham, Spinach & Cheddar Strata
- 6 - 7 slices Deli Ham thin sliced
- 2 1/2 - 3 Cups Crusty Leftover Bread Cut or torn into chunks, I like to use French Bread or Ciabatta
- 2 -3 handfuls Fresh Spinach Chopped or torn, stems removed
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar
- 6 large Eggs
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a glass baking dish with cooking spray. Next, you'll layer the bottom of the dish with bread pieces.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings. Stir in cheese, diced ham, and spinach. Pour the mixture over the cubed bread.
- Transfer dish to oven and bake 30-35 minutes or until set in the center. Let rest 5 minutes and then serve.