Strata Recipe (Overnight Breakfast Casserole)
Fluffy Strata Recipe (Overnight Breakfast Casserole) – This easy make-ahead holiday breakfast is super quick to prep, then pop in the oven the next morning! It’s sure to become your go-to “special occasion” breakfast.
Overnight Breakfast Casserole
No one wants to wake up an hour early on a holiday weekend to chop and prepare breakfast.
However, most of us would agree, a rich comforting breakfast makes every occasion seem special!
That’s why I love overnight breakfast casseroles. These easy breakfast bakes are meant to be assembled the night before a holiday or event.
I always make an overnight casserole for special occasions like:
- Valentine’s Day
- Kid’s slumber parties
- When friends or family comes in town
That way, I can sleep a little longer, pop the casserole dish in the oven, and casually sip my coffee as it bakes.
Strata Recipe… The Ultimate Breakfast Bake
There are all sorts and sweet and savory breakfast casseroles you can make ahead and bake in the morning. (We’ve listed links to our favorites below!)
Yet a classic Strata Recipe is my personal favorite breakfast bake. Why?
- I generally prefer savory over sweet breakfasts.
- Stratas are SO quick to put together.
- They look extremely appealing with their crisp golden craggy top.
- You can put almost anything you like in a Strata.
- And best of all, the pillowy texture of each bite is ridiculously divine!
The crusty top and tender airy interior are created by adding one single ingredient… Bread.
Bread is used as a spongy base to absorb the eggs and dairy. When the Strata bakes, the bread stabilizes the eggs so they can rise into a souffle-like casserole that toasts brilliantly on the top.
A strata is truly a thing of beauty!
You’re wondering… Does a Strata Recipe have to set overnight? If you want to make one for dinner, do you have to start it in the morning?
HOW LONG DOES A STRATA NEED TO SOAK?
You do need to allow some time for the bread to soak up the eggs.
The bread should be fully saturated with liquid. This is faster when the bread is fresh. However, if you are repurposing a day-old (stale) loaf of bread, that is perfectly fine, but the Strata will need longer to soak.
As a general rule, you should allow the Strata to rest for at least one hour before baking.
But, of course, it can rest for up to 18 hours, so it’s the perfect overnight breakfast casserole to make the night before a big family event!
What Is Strata Made Of?
This savory bread pudding must have these 5 ingredients: Eggs, milk, bread, and salt.
However, to make an ultra-luxurious and flavor-packed Strata Breakfast Bake we’ve included a few more things in our recipe:
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Smoked Gouda Cheese
- Deli Ham
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Ground Mustard
- Garlic Powder
- French Bread
The blend of these two cheeses creates an intriguing richness that is balanced by the zesty notes of the scallions and roasted red peppers.
The ham can be swapped for cooked bacon or sausage. Or omitted for a vegetarian strata recipe.
How To Make Breakfast Strata (Overnight Breakfast Casserole)
It’s so easy, guys. You simply mix, fold, chill, and bake!
- Mix – Mix everything, except the bread, in a large mixing bowl.
- Fold – Fold the egg mixture into torn-up chunks of bread.
- Chill – Cover and chill until ready to bake.
- Bake – Bake for 50+ minutes, until puffy and golden.
Get the Full (Printable) Strata Overnight Breakfast Casserole Recipe Below!
Breakfast Strata Swaps & Add-Ins
Of course, I’m sharing my favorite Strata variation. I feel these ingredients together produce a lovely balance of savory richness and perky notes.
However, feel free to experiment with your favorite add-ins. Here are some ideas…
- Meat: Ham, cooked bacon, turkey bacon, italian sausage, cooked breakfast sausage, prosciutto, pancetta, or chorizo.
- Cheese: Cheddar, gouda, muenster, swiss, fontina, pecorino, pepper jack, feta, chevre, or even cream cheese.
- Veggies: Scallions, roasted red peppers, sauteed mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, roast garlic, asparagus tips, spinach, or kale. (Just make sure whatever you add isn’t going to release too much extra moisture into the Strata.)
- Herbs & Spices: Ground mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, cracked black pepper, ground cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, or basil.
What is the Difference Between a Frittata and a Strata?
These two egg recipes are actually quite different.
A Frittata is an Italian-style omelet that is started on the stovetop and usually finished in the oven. The eggs are vigorously swirled around the pan to form an eggy crust on the bottom, before the fillings are added in.
A Strata is a slow-baked egg casserole that always includes bread to stabilize the eggs as they bake.
Frittatas are usually thin and dense, while a Strata is tall and fluffy.
What Do You Serve with Overnight Breakfast Casserole?
For brunch, a Strata can be served with…
For breakfast, a side of fresh-cut fruit and a fun beverage will do! We love…
Frequently Asked Questions
How well does this recipe last?
This Strata Recipe makes a marvelous leftover meal! Once baked, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
You can also wrap and freeze this overnight breakfast casserole for up to 3 months. Then thaw and reheat.
Can I use any other bread besides french bread?
Yes, any bread type will work with this ham and cheese strata recipe. You could even use a gluten free loaf if that is what your dietary restrictions allow!
Can I make a vegetarian strata?
Definitely! To make a vegetarian strata, you can simply leave out the ham in this recipe. Feel free to add any additional ingredients such as spinach or mushrooms!
More Breakfast Recipes You Can Make-Ahead
- Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
- Tiramisu French Toast Bake
- Spinach Artichoke Egg Casserole
- Greek Omelette Casserole
- Arnold Palmer Sweet Rolls
- Raspberry Sticky Buns
- 5-Ingredient Baked Omelet
Fluffy Strata Recipe (Overnight Breakfast Casserole)
- 12 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk (or half & half)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (off the block)
- 1 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese (off the block)
- 1 cup chopped deli ham
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- 3/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 ounce loaf french bread
- Set out a large mixing bowl and a 9X13 inch (3 quart) baking dish. Grease the baking dish. Chop all necessary ingredients.
- In the mixing bowl, add the eggs, milk, salt, ground mustard, and garlic powder. Whisk well to break up all the yolks. Then stir in the cheeses, ham, scallions, and roasted red pepper.
- Tear the bread loaf into 1-2 inch chunks and place them in the baking dish.
- Pour the egg mixture over the top of the bread. Use a spatula to fold the bread over, gently, to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and chill until ready to bake.
- Let the strata recipe rest for at least one hour, so the bread soaks up all the eggs. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (This is a fabulous make-ahead overnight recipe, so you can also preheat the oven in the morning.)
- Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and puffy in the center. Insert a sharp knife into the center to check that the eggs are set. If not, bake another 5-10 minutes. Then cool for 5 minutes before cutting. Serve warm!