spinach and cheese strata

I have spent the last few months unearthing recipes I’ve had bookmarked for an eternity. A whole lot of them, mostly things I have spared you, did not exactly age like fine wine, as they say; fillings ran, vegetables never caramelized, spiced mixed nuts were grimy and cookies were painfully sweet. The rest of them, however, caused me to become consumed with regret when I think of all of the times we could have already consumed mindblowing butterscotch, caviar-esque creamed mushrooms and speedy, rich biscuits but did not know of them yet. This is one of those times.

egging up the casserole

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m all about hosting brunch, but only if I can make everything in advance. When it comes to biscuits, bacon, baked French toast and fruit salads, pulling it off is obvious. But I always get lost on the eggs, and for a whole lot of people, it’s not breakfast if it doesn’t involve eggs. This strata — really, a savory bread pudding — is the missing piece because not only can you make it the night before, you are supposed to.

spinach and cheese strata

You can even, as we did this weekend, run out to pick up eggs and milk at the store, your bacon from the Polish meat market, coffee that someone else made for you, and assemble it while waiting impatiently for the snowstorm to start.

Then, once it really starts to come down, wrap it in plastic and chill it in the fridge while you go investigate the wonderland.


And the next morning, when everything outside your kitchen window is blanketed white, wet and icy, bake it up, stay inside and watch Home Alone while eating the most effortlessly decadent eggs yet.


One year ago: Potato Pancakes and Braised Beef Short Ribs
Two years ago: A Slice-and-Bake Cookie Palette
Three years ago: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti and Hazelnut Truffles

Spinach and Cheese Strata
Adapted from Gourmet (sniffle), February 2003

Serves 6 to 8

1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze of all excess liquid, and chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread in 1-inch cubes (1/2 lb)
6 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 ounces finely grated parmesan (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Sauté onion in butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg and continue cooking for one minute. Stir in spinach, remove from heat and set aside.

Spread one third of the bread cubes in a well-buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other ceramic baking dish. Top with one-third of spinach mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice with remaining bread, spinach and cheese.

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Cover with plastic wrap and chill strata for eat least 8 hours or up to a day.

The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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493 comments on spinach and cheese strata

  1. Lin

    This sounds amazing! My husband is a breakfast person… it doesn’t matter what time he wakes up, the first thing he eats must qualify as breakfast food. We will definitely be making this!

    Also, he reads this blog. Hi hunnie! Now the world knows about your breakfast obsession.

  2. Priscilla

    Really! I’m first?! Awesome. The strata sounds delicious, and perfect for Christmas morning. No one wants to eat until after presents anyway. Also, your baby is adorable.

  3. these days, we adore recipes like this. warm, hearty, cozy. everything that makes us feel like we’re enjoying a white Christmas, even though it’s 70* degrees and sunny outside [south Texas]. you are a magnificent source of inspiration — culinary, lifestyle, motherhood, and wit. can’t wait to see what’s in store for SK next year!

    cheers and Happy Holidays to you and yours,


  4. Bree

    When I saw that you were doing easy brunch dishes, I hoped you’d include a make-ahead strata. Yours is very similar to our family favorite, the Grand Central Strata (posted via Amazon here). The two key ingredients… sourdough bread, which is dotted on the top with butter before baking. It’s like eating a slice of puffed buttered toast atop an already-wonderful savory pudding. Love it.

    Thanks for this site, by the way. I don’t think I’ve commented before, but I’ve enjoyed it for a long time.

  5. SP

    You are truly an inspiring person, Deb. Not only are your recipes laced with yummy ingredients and mouthwatering taste (that is actually palatable through the screen!), but you also add so much good warmth, cheer and rhetorical *spice* to the posts, it has me coming back everyday for more. Thank you for taking the time to share all of this with your readers . . . and, I can’t wait to try this strata! I might just have to lick my screen, maybe I’ll get a quick taste? :)

  6. The photos of the snow are beautiful! It’s more or less warm here in Israel, but how nice to know that somewhere it’s snowing in December! I’m thinking of making this for a dinner soon – breakfast for dinner sounds especially good right now.

  7. There was something about that storm that lent itself to spinach and cheese. I ended up stuffing those ingredients (though my cheese of choice was feta) into mushrooms and serving it up at a cocktail party for guest who still had functioning subway lines. Now I have a recipe in case during the next snow party, guests get stranded and I must feed them in the morning!

  8. He looks so cute bundled up in the stroller! That winter storm is going to hit the Midwest this week… not looking forward to it! Maybe I’ll run out to the grocery store right now and pick up the ingredients to make this strata – it looks divine!

  9. Just like Amber posted before me, I have also made this amazing strata. I happened to have a bunch of fresh spinach in my fridge, so I sauteed that (with a little garlic, tee hee), instead of using frozen spinach. All of my guests had seconds, and all requested the recipe. Oh, now I’m getting hungry…

  10. I have made this dish before and it is really, really good. But, I remember needing to double the amount of spinach it called for. It was not nearly spinachy enough for me as is.

  11. I love Stratas. Have not tried this one. It looks delightful. I do a strata for my students, but would like to add a more nutritious veggie that they rarely try like spinach. I too am sad about my favorite Gourmet!! Happy Holidays!

  12. Liz C.

    My mom made a lot of stratas growing up, but we always ate them for dinner. This seems like such a great idea for Christmas morning! What is it about eggy bread, anyway?

    1. Helen in CA

      This is perfect for day-old (aka stale) bread. That can certainly happen w/ French or Italian bread , at least in my household.

  13. Daria

    This is my FAVORITE strata recipe, and I’ve tried quite a few over the years. :-) I don’t like mine quite as “custardy” though, so I add an additional package of spinach and 12-16 oz of bread.

    I agree that it’s a perfect make ahead brunch food. Really, this and a fruit salad and coffee cake and you’re good to go!

  14. Thespian Libby

    Sounds grand, but do you think this would work with brioche instead of French or Italian bread? (I’m assuming that by French bread you mean a baguette or similar). And I love your photos! I miss NYC :(

  15. Jil

    This looks and sounds absolutely divine. Eggs are such a tough thing for brunches and even breakfasts…cuz it’s hard to know what people want…I think EVERYONE will want this.

  16. Celeste

    Interesting with the pieces of bread on top to be crusty. My MIL always made it with cubes of de-crusted bread held down by a big layer of cheese across the top, so the bread was always kind of gloppy. I think I would like this a lot better; it seems like it would still have some chew.

  17. Dancer who eats

    Awesome. I have made the Arugula, Bacon, and Gruyère Bread Pudding from Gourmet, December 2008. This looks similar and also amazing. Can’t wait to try this one out!

  18. Janet

    For once, not a baby comment. But can I just say how much I love your photo captions? I hover my mouse every single time. The NYC snowy ones are perfect.

    And — yum!

    And — cute!!!!

  19. LINDA

    PERFECT! The recipe and the photos of baby. I think I will make this to take to my son’s Christmas morning as his wife is in the final weeks of pregnancy #3 and it will help us all out. Love seeing pictures of the snow you had in NY.

  20. I haven’t been able to read blogs for a stint because of Internet restrictions at work. Now that I’m able to catch up, I have to say that the family photos included in this post melt my heart. Simply darling. Happy, happy holidays! (Oh, and this Strata looks divine as well…)

  21. Hillary

    Perfect timing for all of our upcoming holiday brunches! I am always curious about frozen spinach. Could you substitute it with fresh spinach? Or is it better to stick with the recipe and use the frozen, thawed and drained spinach? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hillary — Definitely fresh spinach will work. Just cook it down and use 10 ounces (or more, if you, like some other commenters here, would like it spinach-ier — new word!).

  22. Anything with Gruyère is magical! Thanks for the easy-peasy breakfast ideas, always great to have something warm and hearty when we have these freezing temperatures.

    Counting down the days until you’re posting summer fruit recipes again…

  23. Luise

    Stratas are the best for just the reason you mention — no last-minute maneuvers. I made the one in the big Silver Palate (with gorgonzola and pancetta) for a friend’s 50th birthday brunch. Yours sounds super — a perfect Christmas or New Year’s (or any day’s) breakfast. I’m taking a copy with me to the country.

    Hope you have the best Christmas ever with your adorable addition.

  24. Rachael

    My dad has been making this at Christmas (and whenever else I beg) pretty much since the day it appeared in Gourmet. In fact, he still has the old pages from the magazine that he ripped out. It is one of my favorite things on earth and I’m so glad you are highlighting it this year. Thank you for shedding light on such an amazing dish.

    *Pst* You can also do it with ridiculous amounts of cheese and cubed ham and it’s equally to die for.

    Happy Holidays!

  25. Lisa P.

    Ah, heaven! I will have to try this strata. Also, people reading this post, the “one year ago” braised beef short ribs recipe is fantastic. Just did it this weekend and marveled at the tenderness of the meat, the flavor of the sauce, and the aroma of my condo. I’m not a beef person but this, this is IT. Didn’t even need the horseradish sauce, although I’d probably be tip-toppling over nirvana if I had made that too.

  26. Melissa

    Just chiming in to say that I, too, have been making this recipe for several years (we have almost 20 years of Gourmet issues) and it never fails. I usually have more bread cubes than will fit in my baking dish, so I put the overflow in a second small kids’ dish without spinach (more spinach for the grownups) for the anti-green among us. Mmmm…I love this recipe.

  27. Your friends are so lucky to get invited to your fun and delicious brunches! It does get hectic hosting, so anything that can be done AHEAD of time is a huge plus!! PS. It was a pleasure meeting you at the Foodbuzz Brunch in SF!

  28. Anna

    Sorry, I’m a total dunce — so you layer 1/3 of the bread cubes and then put another 1/3 of the bread cubes straight on top? Or is the order of the layering mixed up? I imagine you’d do a layer of the spinach layer, but I guess it’d make sense to have a really hearty base. Help. I’ve clearly over-thought this (really, really unnecessarily, I’m sure.)

  29. What is especially brilliant about this is that it is perfectly engineered to use up unused ingredients from our mandatory Christmas Eve cheese fondue. Christmas morning breakfast, here we come.

  30. Elizabeth

    Deb, this looks so delicious! May I ask where you got your lovely casserole dish? I have been needing to replace one of mine and I love the design. Thanks so much!

  31. Well I can practically smell the eggs thru my machine here! Looks like a fun time – I love being INSIDE with plenty of food to eat and to prepare during a snow storm. Wonder if we’ll have many more? That’s bitsy baby of yours is too cute for words!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Lisa

    How do you get all the moisture out of the spinach? I use a sieve and press the water out, then I’ve tried squeezing it in paper towels (and they split) and I’ve even tried a kitchen towel but the spinach stuck to it. Do you have a technique that works for you?

    1. deb

      Lisa — I use one of three. I either squeeze small fistfuls to get as much water out as possible. I press it around in a colander with a spoon to squeeze the water out. But my favorite method, and the hands-down easiest, is twisting it up in cheesecloth. It really gets water out with minimal effort.

  33. Great recipe! I always struggle with the measurements of bread. I usually try to make my own, but a 2lb loaf (from my bread machine) may or may not equal 8 cups. Which would be the better to use for measuring? Volume vs weight?

  34. Earline

    What,, you’ve never had bread pudding? It’s bread in a baked dish, and it’s delicious. Think of this dish as a savory strata. I have a similar strata recipe that has served me well as a potluck brunch dish for many years, and I can’t wait to try Deb’s recipe.

    Deb, you’re the best. Thanks for this recipe and for countless others.

  35. Liz

    This New Year’s Eve we’re traveling to a friend’s house and staying overnight and I think this would be great to bring along to have for New Year’s Day breakfast. Wonder if it would travel OK in a cooler for a couple of hours — securely covered, of course…it looks pretty sturdy!

  36. linda

    hi there!
    just love your posts, words, recipes & jacob’s sweet smile shines through all those winter layers! thanks for sharing those photos…
    i was in whole foods today & bought whole nutmegs…i am strata ready!

  37. Susan

    Would the strata work just as well with FRESH spinach? Your photos are incredible. I’m on a mushroom kick at the moment and keep staring at your creamed mushrooms on the buttered brioche with longing!

  38. I love spinach strata! I started making it this summer w/ a very modified version of Giada DL’s by adding mushrooms , some bacon & subbing in some cream(out of milk, darn the luck!). I will have to try this make ahead one now, Thanks. It should go w/o saying the baby is darling in his first snowstorm, too :)

  39. Jess

    I stopped at the grocery after work today to buy the ingredients for this exact strata. What a surprise to come home and find the recipe in my blog feed! I love it, and I have made it so many times that now I get requests like, “Hey Jess, make your spinach egg thing for tomorrow’s meeting/brunch/post-holiday breakfast.” I’ve used a few different cheese combos, but my favorite way is just like the original recipe, with Gruyère and parm.

  40. Lenore

    Deb, I have discovered that I’m not that fond of Gruyere. Maybe it’s too related to Swiss, another thing I’ve never had the taste fo. Any other suggestions?

  41. I am in heaven with your posts this week. You do know how to make a breakfast-girl very, very happy. Maybe I will just eat breakfast around the clock. Why not?
    And thank you for sharing the beautiful photos of the city. Manhattan is looking beautiful, and so is your entire family. Stay warm.

  42. PeanutButter

    I was wondering if you knew about this strata when I read your brunch post. I have been making it for years, usually with two packages of spinach and a bit more onion. I also layer it in halfs instead of thirds which is faster but just as good. Last time I used extra-old white cheddar instead of the gruyère. Delicious! It gets requested by my guest every time I host brunch. Great pics!

  43. Ivan

    I made a variation of this for dinner tonight. I used pumpernickel bread, a mix of caramelized onions and shredded brussel sprouts instead of spinach, and subbed aged cheddar for gruyere (and a few other changes as well). It was good. Thanks for the inspiration for savory french toast!

  44. superblondgirl

    All I need is some French bread and frozen spinach and I am having this, some nice overnight cinnamon buns, and some fruit (or not, depending) for Xmas brunch with my boys. Sounds amazing!

  45. loretta

    I am new to your blog for a few days and tried your Jewish apple cake and jacked-ip banana bread. Yum :)

    I like your grey serving set. where are they from ?

  46. Susan

    I just made a “Joe’s Special” egg scramble the other day and was looking for a casserole version online. This would work beautifully as the base! I used fresh baby spinach in the scramble; it wilts so easily and combines nicely into the eggs without weeping green! Thanks for the idea, Deb.

  47. Isin

    Deb this site is always great but especially this post is amazing ! The photos are great ! I can almost smell the strata. It is unnecessarily cold here in ?stanbul but unfortunately no snow. Hope we have a few days off work in January due to some snow storm !!

    Thanks for all these beauties and inspirations. I wish you and your family a very happy new year

  48. Ann

    OMG Christmas in New York! That is one thing that is definitely on my bucket list. Our christmases are usually hot here in Adelaide South Australia. Love the strata!

  49. Mariam.

    Thankyou for keeping us all such yummy company for yet another year. Thank you for letting us see part of your life unfold before our eyes. Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season and as for the future, may you always have enough to keep you all happy, cosy and in good health.

  50. Have very fond memories of a very decadent and creamy, sausage and cheese strata that my mom used to make every year to eat on Christmas morning.
    I’m bookmarking this version and as I sit here staring at the enormous pile of fresh spinach I bought at the market yesterday, think I’ll have to try it.

    Now I’m off to do a search for the equivalent of fresh spinach for a 10 oz. box of frozen. Merci for the inspiration!

  51. Myra

    Yum , I can smell this strata through your pictures. This can be our pre-Christmas day breakfast. My family loves you and doesn’t even know it via your delicious recipes. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

  52. Rupi D.

    I came across this recipe over the summer and loved it! Yours looks delicious! I used leeks instead of the onion and added baby bella mushrooms. I also found a delicious Cheddar Jalapeno bread at the union square farmers market to use- so I used cheddar and pepper jack cheeses instead. It was so easy to make the day before and bake the day of.

    I love your pictures of the city and your baby is just adorable:)

  53. Um, yum! I love your photos, both of you, hubby, and baby, but also the wet streets and lights. Gets me in the holiday spirit. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  54. Petra

    New poster here … love, love, love everything about your recipe selections, photography and presentation. The photos are amazing … the serenity of baby Jacob makes me re-appreciate the wonder of a new little person. Your perspectives on life are priceless. Keep it up and I might even enjoy the concept of being a grandmother …. someday. :) ~~ Major storm coming through the midwest just in time for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day … I’m off to buy some spinach … the only missing link in my frig.

    1. deb

      Jocelyn — There are tons of healthy and vegetable-focused recipes in the archives. It’s just not our primary cooking focus from November to the new year.

      Dishes — The casserole dish and others you see here are actually sage-colored and they’re Calvin Klein Khaki Collection “Cargo” Dinnerware. They were on our wedding registry! They’re sold a million places, but mostly Macys and Bloomingdales.

  55. JR

    I’ve always been a fan of a tasty strata on Christmas morning. Just wake up, start the oven, then throw the strata in the oven, start the hot buttered rums and cocoa (or coffee), and let the presents begin! We’ve even come to calling it “Christmas Morning Casserole.” This looks delicious, and I will be trying it out THIS Christmas. Simply marvelous…Happy Holidays to all!

  56. Oooh, I think this would work well with the chopped broccoli and cheddar I have in the fridge. It would be nice to have something a little healthier than cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

  57. Even though I’m getting on a flight to India the next day, you’ve inspired me to do a small Christmas brunch. I don’t think I’ll have trouble getting people to take the leftovers!

  58. Rochelle

    Thank you! This will be a perfect item to bring to Boxing Day festivites in a few days. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your city and your family with your online fans. Happy Holidays to you & yours! Jacob is a doll.

  59. I am NOT a cook and that is why I married a chef. But I did feel like I could make this dish, so I made it last night and added bacon and kale. Haven’t tasted it yet — and I’m hoping my visiting in-laws baked it properly…

  60. Rhonda

    Thank you for all the great recipes and this one will get added to the brunch/breakfast New Year’s Day spread. Have a safe and happy holiday. Nothing better than having your honey and your baby on a cold day snuggling.

  61. pam

    oh it looks just fabulous. as usual.

    i just wanted to thank you for the great dishes you’ve given me this past year. you’ve revitalized my repertoire and rekindled my passion for cooking and for that my family thanks you. I hope you and your beautiful family enjoy this blessed season. we truly have so much to be thankful for, don’t we?

  62. mandy

    SQUEEE! I saw your post and started swearing (in my head, not out loud) that I’d already bought ingredients for spinach and cheese strata and now you’re posting one that I’m sure will be better. Hooray! Same recipe! And now? With visuals!

  63. Amy Cooks

    Long time lurker here who has cooked many of your recipes. I LOVE to read your blog and recreate your delights!! So I would really like to make this, but don’t need so much. Does anyone think this would work OK if i cut the recipe in half…and if so, what size baking dish to use?? Also,the recipe says to add the spinach mixture on top of the bread, but as far as a I can tell that is really just the spinach…I don’t see where anything is mixed into it…maybe I’m missing something. Might have to skip the Dijon too…don’t think we have any…hmmm.

  64. Daria

    Amy Cooks—Yes, I’ve halved this successfully, usually in an 8″x8″ pyrex. But you really might want the full recipe. It reheats beautifully, and it’s so good, you might find out you eat more than you planned! :-)

    And the spinach mixture is the spinach mixed with the cooked onions and spices. If you don’t have dijon, do you have another mustard? I think it really helps.

  65. Amy Cooks

    Hey Daria….Thanks for the info! I will probably stick with the half recipe, at least this time. I have one other thing to bake tomorrow, and don’t think i’d have enough eggs if I make the whole thing. We do have some yellow mustard and some Spicy Pear Ginger Mustard, I think it is? Will also be using swiss instead of gruyere, since I couldn’t get to the one store I know of around here that has it!! So yeah, I’ll let you know how my version of this delicious looking creation turns out!

  66. Emily

    So I’m bringing breakfast over to my parents’ house tomorrow for Christmas. I called and told my dad that I was making this strata (which looks SOOO good) and he asks “what kind of sausage is in it?” I reply “there is no sausage in it. No meat at all.” Silence. “Disappointing,” he says, “I would have expected this from my wife, but not from you…. my FAVORITE DAUGHTER.” Silence. “Not everything has to have meat in it. You can have bacon on the side,” I say. Anyways, hope he’ll appreciate it even if it is “meat free.” Plus, I made cinnamon rolls with an orange glaze frosting. It’s going to be perfect!

  67. Thanks for this recipe — turned out great for our Christmas Eve brunch. I used a 1-lb bag of spinach, a little more bread, and a lot more nutmeg. It was my first time grating a fresh nutmeg and I thought it would be a lot more work to grate the 1/4 tsp. I probably doubled it. What a nice flavor — so different than reg nutmeg.

    Everyone loved the strata, even the picky ones. It’s a keeper, and the make-ahead part is wonderful. I have to see if you have a make-ahead tag, and see what else you’ve come up with.

    Thank you! Have a lovely Christmas. Such a sweet time in your life!

  68. Rebecca

    Waaaah, you had to post this AFTER I whipped up a different egg strada/casserole for Christmas brunch. I will be making this soon, though! Baby girl #3 is due in 8 days… lots of snowy days in the house in my future! Happy Holidays!!

  69. May

    I’m making this for Christmas breakfast :) …I was short a couple eggs and some space in my dish (although I checked and it said 3 quarts!) so it’s only 2 layers…hopefully it will turn out okay. If not, I plan to make this early enough to erase all traces of failure :P

  70. cp

    I just had this on a snowy Christmas morning and it was beyond delish–a definite new tradition. I just wanted to say how much I love your web site the whole year long and look forward to every recipe. Happy 2010 to you and your beautiful family.

  71. Liz C.

    #80 Lenore:

    (I work in the cheese dept. at Whole Foods)

    If you don’t like gruyere, I think you could successfully use fontina. There are two versions: the “real” one – Fontina val D’aosta, which has a stronger flavor, but definitely not anything like Gruyere. I’ve seen it paired up with spinach fairly often. There’s also a younger version called Fontal, which has a milder, less in-your-face flavor. A mix of the two, would probably be just right. Also, you could use Asiago Fresco, which is a young, soft version of the grating Asiago we’re all more familiar with.

  72. Lisa F.

    Thanks SO much for posting this recipe and inspiring me to try something completely new! We had it today and it was fabulous! I’ve been lurking on your blog for quite some time, but this dish was just so tasty, I needed to thank you! Happy New Year & congrats on your cute baby boy.

  73. armymamma

    I made this for Christmas morning breakfast today, it was SUBLIME. I added a roll of good quality pork sausage for my He-Man, otherwise he might’ve revolted (I omitted the salt in the spinach mixture since sausage is so salty). Oh, I also thought it seemed too dry (probably due to the addition of the sausage)when I was assembling, so I added another 6 eggs with some more mustard and pepper. IT WAS PERFECT, a 10 out of 10!!!

  74. Kelley

    This is the perfect dish for those of us who think quiche is too eggy. I made this with leftover potato rosemary bread (also on this site) and have never enjoyed eating eggs so much. Thank you!

  75. Conniesan

    Wonderful recipe. Loved the Gruyere cheese and fresh parmesan. Would definitely (almost) double amount of spinach though. Just started following Smitten Kitchen a few days ago…and am hooked. Keep up the good work.

  76. Sara

    I made this recipe for Christmas brunch with the family. I must not have squeezed out all the water from the spinach, because it came out with a festive green tinge. Otherwise, it was delicious! :)

  77. jackie

    This looks great; I was wondering if you have ever tried freezing a prepared strata? Could I freeze it before baking and then just put it in the oven another time if I know guests are coming over?

  78. Amy Cooks

    This made for a wonderful Christmas brunch, along side a tasty fruit salad. I cut the recipe in half, used swiss in place of gruyere, found a recipe online to make my own substitute for Dijon and threw in a few leeks…it was GREAT. Just like every recipe I make from this website!

  79. munichalli

    Delurking – I am a fairly inexperienced cook, so your website is very appealling!

    A few questions: why do you need to let it sit overnight? What would it be like if you cooked it right away, or after an hour? I don’t think there will be any leftovers, but… can you freeze eggy things like this or quiche? Or would they get weird?

    1. deb

      munichalli — Sitting overnight allows the bread to absorb the egg custard. If you bake it sooner, the pieces will just taste like toasted bread. I haven’t tried to freeze this before.

  80. Sharilyn Unthank

    Made this for Christmas morning and it was absolutely delicious! I can see where the changes and or additions would work well but it was perfect as is! It beat the heck out of having to fix a nice breakfast Christmas morning when all I want to do is enjoy the morning sitting around with my coffee. I fixed it as I finished my other cooking/baking Christmas Eve and it was so nice to wake up, put in oven and then just serve and enjoy!

  81. Newbie

    I too would like to know how to measure the bread. I only had a 2.5 quart casserole dish and I had way too much bread for that. I didn’t know if I should cube it and smash it into a measuring cup, gently drop the cubes into measuring cup till it was full, or what :) It came out great I must say. Love your stuff Deb.

    1. deb

      Newbie — I started with a half-pound loaf of Italian bread. If your dish is a little small, I’d leave out a little of the bread and a little of the custard.

  82. Jendorf

    This was wonderful–and even made my veggie-hating dad love spinach! I accidentally forgot the cheese, so I sprinkled some parmesan on top halfway through the cooking, and it still was delicious. We served it with homemade applesauce that was in the freezer from apple-picking days, and it was a hit.

    Thanks so much for the recipe–sure beats the egg casserole I used to make!

  83. mooks

    Made this for Christmas morning and it was DELICIOUS! HOWEVER, I’m still confused about the quantity of bread that this is meant for. My 1/2 lb. Italian loaf from Fresh Direct was only about 4 loose cups of bread cubes. I used a package of frozen spinach, 1/2 the cheese, 5 eggs and 1/2 the milk. Did I just have particularly dense loaf? the texture and cheesy factor were spot on, however the dish may have been intended to be more custard like than mine was. Regardless of intentions, this way came out great and I wouldn’t change a thing! As mentioned, reheats very well.

  84. I made this for Christmas morning brunch too. It got 5 stars from the judges! I was a little worried because I only had 6 eggs left in the house, and not enough fresh spinach but I just went with what I had and it was great. I was directed to your site by my daughter (she reads your blog) who made her aged parents a delicious Christmas Eve dinner using one of your recipes. She posted pics on her blog, you might want to check it out. :)
    (she’s probably going to growl at me for being an embarrassing parent but what the heck)

  85. We’re in Santa Fe on family vacation post-Christmas. We’re staying in a rented condo for the week and while the kitchen isn’t “fully stocked” as promised, we found enough cookware to throw this strata together. I can’t wait for tomorrow morning when we’ll get to start eating!

    Merry Christmas!

  86. Rosemary

    I served this strata to my family yesterday. They loved it and all want to try making one of their own! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

  87. MO3B

    Someone recommended your blog about a month ago and now I’m completely hooked! Love your sense of humor and the photos are like food porn:) I’ve made quite a few recipes and every one was a hit so far. Made this strata to serve x-mas morning. We loved it and are still enjoying the leftovers. Thank you and looking forward to trying more recipes!

    PS: Your baby is adorable!

  88. Ashley

    oh, deb. i just pulled this out of the oven and i’m having a *really hard time* waiting out the 5 minute rest. it smells amazing. (i added bacon for the meat-loving man.) i’ve been reading for several months now, but never commented – i want to let you know that many of your recipes are quickly becoming staples in our house. thank you!

  89. Dejia

    Hi Deb,

    I made this a few days ago and it was excellent, but I noticed that the bread got a bit soggy. Is there anyway to fix this? Thanks!

  90. Katie

    Hi Deb,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but don’t think I’ve ever commented. I made this strata for Christmas morning, and it is absolutely amazing. After breakfast, my husband told me that this needs to become a Christmas tradition- spinach strata every year! Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea to me, as this was just about the easiest thing to put together. Thanks for the great recipe!

  91. Love stratas! Will give this one a go in the new year. Thanks for the city photos in this post. My husband and I are heading to NYC for the first time in 20 years, for my little sister’s wedding. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed, but after seeing your pictures, I’m back to feeling excited!

  92. OMG I made this for xmas breakfast. This was perfect because I had so much to cook on the actual day, it made for easy baking while my family and i unwrapped presents.

    This was absolutely delicious, and sooooo easy to make!

    My family and my belly thank you for posting this recipe.

  93. Deb

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this recipe! I made this for our Christmas Brunch. It was a hit and will have a spot on my “Do Over” list. In fact, I shared this on my Facebook page as a must do recipe. Happy New Year!

  94. Kris

    Wow, seems like this was a mass Christmas tradition waiting to happen! I made this for my boyfriend and his family for Christmas morning breakfast; I threw it together while I was baking cookies for a party Christmas eve. Ashley, I added bacon as well, it turned out awesome! (The boy is sitting next to me, watching me post this comment, and he wanted me to mention that it was ‘bloody tasty’.)

  95. Jill in Atlanta

    My family makes “green eggs and ham” for St. Pat’s Day. I’ll try this one out this week and then remember the idea for March!

  96. sarah

    so i just came back to your site after a decent hiatus, and i was sad to see the internet advertising. nothing was more grating and unpleasant than navigating to this lovely quiche-like dish and the adorable pictures of your family on a snowstormy weekend, and then bumping into an advertisement for a “jennifer’s body” dvd. the ad then exploded, without my permission, into a screaming audio file and full-screen movie clip on my webpage before i could locate the (always discreetly placed) “close” box and make the madness stop. I’m 27, which is to say i don’t yet consider myself a crotchety old modernity-hater, but this is terrible.

    so, please, please, please, reconsider your advertising options. i know you must make some money and what you do is of course a service to all of us wannabe kitchen artistes, but just–please.

    1. deb

      Sarah — This site has always, from day one, had ads. We do not allow pop-up ads. If one slips through, we go back and remove it once we realize it has or someone alerts us — thanks for letting us know.

  97. Meg


    This recipe calls for 9 eggs. Is it possible to do without or add few? I am not a big egg person and don’t like anything eggy. Also my little one is allergic to eggs, so I am trying to find recipes without having to use egg.

    If anyone has suggestions, it would be great to hear. I love the whole spinach, bread strata – it looks so delish!

    Thank you!

  98. sweet&savory

    I waited and salivated for 24 hours, for this strata. Got home from the gym tonight at 9:45PM and HAD to put the strata in the oven. My tummy-personified was clawing at the oven door for the past 45 minutes because of the amazing smell wafting around my teeny tiny NYC apartment. And now I’m eating a piece. At 11:49PM. On a weekday night, mere hours before I have to wake up again for work. I have no self restraint, I know. OMG, the strata is so heavenly fluffy. It’s really light and kinda airy. YUM. This is my first smittenkitchen recipe attempt, and I’m in love. Deb, I have a husband and you have a husband, but I’m a little bit in love with you too. I have so much fun reading your posts! Ok, done with my piece of the strata. I want another. By the way, I used 2% milk and 1/3 of some random loaf of white bread (pain au levain) from Whole Foods. They ran out of Italian loaves. I just dug into my 2nd piece. Thank you for the recipe Deb!

  99. Hungry Virginian

    I don’t have a ceramic baking dish. Will I get the same results using a glass casserole dish? Or should I use metal? Will it change the way it settles for the hours it’s supposed to be in the fridge?

    Also, I have some real meat-avores coming for new years day brunch and I was wondering…sausage? bacon? ham? And will it change the cooking times at all?

    thank you deb!

    1. deb

      Glass should be fine. I didn’t add meat — much to my other half’s chagrin — but I’m sure any would work. If you skim the comments, looks like many others have added meat with success.

  100. Maria

    Thank you so much for this recipe! We had this Christmas morning, and instantly, my parents, husband and grandmother declared a must have for all Christmas mornings to come. I actually used sharp cheddar, onions and prosciutto, along with the spinach. It was amazing. In my haste to finish assembling, I actually left out the milk, and had added about 2/3 cup of half and half to the eggs. The end product was perfect, firm, not custardy( which I loved) and so rich. Thanks for a new tradition!

  101. H

    I am planning on making this tonight for NYE brunch tomorrow. I am thinking a handful or two of roasted cauliflower florets will round this dish off quite nicely!

  102. I made this a few weeks ago, too! It was crazy-good, and I thought I might make two next time…one with pancetta for my meat-lovin’ husband. I used gruyere, reggiano, and asiago. Yum.
    Made your gingerbread-apple upside down cake for Christmas dessert, and spiked the fresh whipped cream with cinnamon…again, YUM.

  103. Well dayum! ( as we say down here in Alabama! I needed this for Christmas brunch! Waaaaa. Well it’s bookmarked now so I’ll have it should I have a weak moment and actually entertain!

    Love your NYC pics as well. I’m a photographer and I’ll admit I lust on a regular basis over your photos.

  104. PG

    Baguette (that’s French bread, right?), spinach and cheeses delivered by FreshDirect last night, now I just have to put it together before going out tonight so we can pop it in the oven when we stagger awake tomorrow morning.

    One more step though: I have neither a glass nor ceramic baking dish, so it’ll be a quick stop at Williams Sonoma for the only 3 qt ceramic dish they have, which is the large Pillivuyt Rectangular Bakers for $99 (unless anyone can recommend a better/cheaper 3 qt ceramic baking dish that’s purchasable at Bloomingdale’s).

    1. deb

      PG — I am sure if you go to Bloomingdales you can find something for less; even if from a no-name brand. You might even find the dish I used! It is from our registry there, eons ago, Calvin Klein Cargo dishware… Good luck.

  105. msue

    We made a version of this wonderful strata as our 1st meal in 2010! Using ingredients on hand, I subbed sauteed mushrooms for the spinach, a very aged cheddar for the Gruyère, and made do with one egg + some egg beaters. I also added some cooked & crumbled bacon to some of the layers. Even with those substitutions, the strata was tres delish! I can’t wait to try the recipe as written, and am glad that we had enough ingredients to make some version. This was a fantastic start to the new year. Thank you!

  106. Carly

    I too made this last night so we could bake it up in our post champagne haze and really bring in 2010 right. I halved the recipe for the two of us, and used swiss rather than gruyere (cringe, and I scrapped the onion. I’m not a huge onion fan and knowing myself, I knew i would find it too prominent in this situation). It was delicious, alongside some bacon and pieces of a raspberry “kringle” that my southern in laws sent us. Thank you!

  107. TCD

    I put this together yesterday afternoon, to bake this morning. We just finished up and I’m already wondering when it’s acceptable to heat up the leftovers.

  108. Elisabeth

    This was an amazing New Years morning meal! Probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever done, with stunningly amazing results. I pampered myself (and my guests!) with really high quality cheese and a nice hearty bread–it was just so impressively flavorful. Thanks so much for introducing me to the egg love of my life!

  109. Tiffany

    I’ve just hosted brunch a new year’s brunch after being inspired by your brunch post and made this strata as a centrepiece. it turned out beautifully (despite me worrying the whole night that i would get a soggy bread dish). My friends all digged into it and everyone loved how savoury it was! Thank you so much for introducing this wondering recipe and I will definitely be making this again and again for people who love eggs and brunch!

  110. AmberGale

    I also made this for Christmas morning, and it was fan.tastic. I added some baby portabellas to the onions for sauteeing, and mixed up the gruyere with some of trader joe’s english cheddar with carmelized onions. Really really good. We ate it and the leftovers for breakfast for 3 days in a row. I also used a smaller dish, I think it was around 2 qts, so I just eyeballed the bread and did 6 instead of 9 eggs. Seems like it’s not too hard to pare down the egg mixture. I was surprised at how much bread this used – I used an entire bakery loaf of italian, with the crust removed. and I did still use the entire box of frozen spinach in my smaller strata – I think any less would have been too little spinach. Thanks for another excellent recipe – this one will be made again!

  111. Kate

    Just a word of warning: I made this using stale bread, assuming it would soggy up overnight anyways and turn out the same. However, it turned out too dry–needed more egg/milk mixture, I think. I wished I had used fresh bread when i tasted it because I think the whole thing would’ve congealed together better making a more uniform strata texture rather than turning out like bits of bread with some cheese/spinach/egg on top.

  112. Cheryl

    This recipe is delicious but I did use a whole bag of frozen spinach (16 ozs.) instead of just the 10 ozs. I also didn’t have a 3 quart dish so I used a 2 quart dish and it seemed fine. Excellent recipe and so perfect for a brunch!

  113. gill

    i made this for a brunch i went to this morning and it turned out perfectly, even though i didn’t have a 3-quart dish so i used a 2-quart dish and an 8×8 baking dish and increased the quantities a little more. it was fantastic and i got so many compliments! (including one guest who asked if the recipe was from this site, because it looked just like the pictures!)

  114. Jenn

    I made this for a family brunch and nobody ate it- not even my 19 year old brother who eats like it’s always his last meal. I ended up throwing the entire thing out. The gruyere and mustard were too strong for my family and the strata never firmed up. It was very soupy, even after microwaving a portion the next day. However, the overall idea was great. Next time, I’ll use cheddar cheese, more spinach and onion and maybe even some broccoli, and one or two less eggs. Thanks for introducing me to this dish!

  115. long time lurker, first time commenter. thanks for posting this! it was the perfect solution to the blizzard we had in OK. i happened to have everything on hand and made it for christmas day. even my little bro who refuses to eat anything green was into it in spite of the spinach!

  116. PG

    So good it ended up being 5 servings rather than 6…

    Deb, you were right, Bloomingdale’s had a less expensive option: I didn’t see your Calvin Klein in a 3 qt size, but they did have an All-Clad for $59 that came with a little wire holder to keep a hot ceramic dish from hurting the table. I think this dish was broader and shallower than yours, as we could only really fit one layer of each ingredient, but the strata was a great success. As AmberGale notes, the eggs can be slightly reduced (we used 8 instead of 9 so I would have enough eggs left to make a double recipe of your snickerdoodles) without losing flavor. I thought it might end up a little quiche-like, but my sister who dislikes quiche said No, the bread gave it a much more solid base than the pastry shells of quiches do. I got the FreshDirect parbaked baguette, which gave a kind of extra-fresh taste to the bread base as it finished baking while covered in cheese and egg, and like Amber used more bread (10 oz) than the recipe calls for.

    Possibilities for next time: a friend suggests adding shiitake mushrooms; my sisters vote for sundried tomatoes and roasted peppers (we like color and kick in our food).

  117. This looks so savory and comforting. I am always lacking in the breakfast area…can never seem to think up new ideas. This looks great! I saw an episode of Giada where she took french bread, hallowed out the center and baked in an egg mixture and then sliced them …yum!

  118. I finally got to make this and it was AMAZING! I added brocolli instead of spinach, egg beaters instead of egss and served for brunch one morning. Definitely will be on the repeat list… especially since you can make it the night before.

  119. I made this Christmas morning and then a week later, when more family and friends came to lunch. It’s absolutely delicious. I meant to use gruyere, but lost the block in the Christmas Eve party insanity. So I substituted smoked gouda, and everyone raved. Will try with the gruyere next time.

    Thanks– I’m addicted to a bunch of cooking blogs but yours is my all-time favorite.

  120. Joan

    It’s really, really cold in Atlanta right now, and we’re looking for tummy-warming recipes. I made this two days ago, for dinner. We’re still eating the leftovers and loving them as much as the dinner. Great recipe!

  121. Jennifer

    Made this for a brunch potluck at work yesterday. It was a big hit! I used Swiss instead of Gruyere, and just slightly more bread. It fit perfectly in a 9×13 pyrex baking dish. I loved the light texture of this dish; not so heavy and dense like some egg bakes can be. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  122. Lacy

    I made this for relatives that came to stay with us for the weekend. It turned out great and is a no brainer!! It was perfect and I am my own worst critique. Nothing is ever perfect and this was…ahhhhhh. You cannot go wrong if you want to impress.

  123. Rui, from across the ocean

    Great work, Deb & Alex!

    I tried this one for today’s dinner. Had some day old bread lying around.
    I was in a bit of a hurry, so I kinda skipped the whole 8-hour hibernation.

    Added a couple of slices of Portuguese smoked ham to top it, plus some mushrooms.
    A nice frizzante red wine to go with it.

    Just won-der-ful

  124. Joanna

    Hi Deb,

    I have a potluck breakfast at my school next week. I’m a new person on staff, and would really like to bring in something that will help express my thanks to everyone who has helped me with the transition, and thought this might be a great dish to do it with! Any idea how it will hold up to being cooked at home, driven about 20 minutes to school, and then served at a come and go type seating? For example, if it came out of the oven at around 7.00, got to school around 7.30, and was served from 7.45-8.00 until around 8.45?

  125. Joanna

    Deb- Thanks for replying so quickly! I ended up making it on Friday, and it was a huge success! I’ve been asked to make it again for another breakfast, and a few people asked for the recipe. For the record, i took it out of the oven at 7, got to school at 7.30ish, and breakfast started around 8, and it was fine for the whole breakfast. I just kept it covered in foil until we were ready to start eating.


    A big thank you – today, served the egg/spinach strata with latkes, bloody marys – all from your site. Rounded it out w/ a green salad and side plate of bacon/sausage and muffins. Yum. Perfect. I did the strata and the latkes the night before, which was fabulous.

  127. Megan

    Just made this for a Thursday morning breakfast pary my husband and I hosted for 22 people. I added sausage, mushrooms and red bell pepper – it was a huge hit and great for entertaining a crowd! Most importantly, I didn’t have to worry about cooking anything the morning of – just right into the oven with no mess to clean up!

  128. Megan

    I was wondering if fresh baby spinach works with this or is frozen the way to go? I saw one post that touched on this but didn’t say how it came out? We are going to make this for Easter and I was thinking fresh might be nice if it works. I love your blog!!

  129. Susan

    I made this recipe last night to serve this morning and what a hit it was! The family just raved about it. I used fresh baby spinach that I chopped and just wilted over the onions when they were almost finished cooking. I noticed that after the casserole cooled a bit, the water in the spinach did leach out some into the dish. It didn’t make the casserole seem soggy while it was hot though. Next time, I think I will wilt the spinach alone and wring it out before I add it to the onions.

    I used some leftover potato bread that I had made a few days ago as it was starting to get dry; it worked well in this. I also used Swiss Emmethaler instead of Gruyere; it melted beautifully and is a little less sharp and less expensive. It seems this is one of those recipes that will work with lots of change ups as long as the proportions of bread, eggs and milk are kept in mind! Loved this!

  130. I am going to try this. And I want to join my praises to the others who love this blog. I just chanced upon it, and I love the deft way you write, the design of the site, the outstanding photos, and your very good recipes. High class blogging, I’d say.

    In this strata, I love the addition of spinach. I made a strata for a Good Friday meal for a group of adults and kids between the 9 a.m. Tenebrae service and the noon celebration of the Passion of Christ at my church. Whatever I made had to be meatless, calorie dense, and nourishing, because for many it would be a big part of their only meal of the day.

    First, I had started out wanting to make bread pudding, but realized that savory was needed that day, not sweets. I scanned many recipes for “breakfast casserole,” strata, and any other recipe that had bread and eggs baked together, and I found out the proportions of eggs to milk and bread can vary wildly. So Susan, we can even change the proportions with impunity. And so far, whatever proportions I’ve tried have come out good.

  131. Allison

    A keeper recipe. I put this dish together last night before I went to bed. I added about 1/3 lb. of diced ham, and I used bread from a sourdough baguette. We ate it this morning with some simple fruit salad on the side, and we loved it! I might add some artichokes next time, I bet they would incredible. Thanks for sharing this.

  132. Heather L

    YUM! Made this for Mother’s Day brunch…amazing. Used fresh spinach wilted and followed the rest as written. Most delicious thing ever! Trying to think of when I can make it for dinner sometime…soon…is this week too soon?

  133. Maria

    Happy Mother’s Day and thanks for the strata; it was fabulous, like everything else I’ve ever made from your blog!

  134. Carina

    I made this for a pot luck brunch and found that it travelled well. I covered it with foil after taking it out of the oven and drove 30 minutes to the brunch. It stayed warm in a 200 degree oven for another half hour or so until it was time to eat. It stayed moist and warm and tasted fantastic. I wilted ~10 oz of fresh baby spinach (a bag and a half of the pre-bagged stuff) and squeezed out the water before adding – next time I will use a bit more spinach.

  135. I never commented on this recipe, but I definitely need to share that this is one of my favorite things you’ve posted. I made it for Christmas morning when my mom came to visit (her first time in NYC!). When her flight was delayed and she didn’t get in until Christmas night, we just ate it the next morning. I’m so glad I had picked something that could stay in the fridge, patiently awaiting her arrival. It was one of my first meals in a new apartment (I moved to Bklyn two days before Christmas) and also one of my first christmas meals away from home. I feel a tradition beginning….

    Thank you for helping me start a new and delicious cycle of memories.

  136. Hallie

    This looks wonderful! I’m planning to make it on Saturday for a brunch party. I’ll be doubling the recipe (baking it in two 3 quart dishes). Any thoughts on how much time to add to baking?

  137. I just made this for a bridal shower I’m throwing tomorrow. I haven’t baked the whole thing yet, I pulled some out to bake early cause I have to know how it tastes, and Deb I just want you to know that frozen chopped artichokes mixed in with the spinach make this spectacular (I’m sure it’s great without them too though). It was like eating artichoke spinach dip in a bread bowl for breakfast. I know you love artichokes so I thought I’d share.

  138. rose

    I thought this was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed it and thought of tasty additions for next time – artichokes, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, etc. Also, most people really liked “edge” pieces because of the crunch, so next time I might try making mini-stratas in large muffin tins so that there is more crust.
    Thanks for another winner Deb!

  139. Josh K

    Deb–I can’t wait to make this for a brunch I’m hosting this coming weekend. I’m new to egg bakes like this, though, and am wondering, if I increase the amount of eggs et al. in the recipe to serve a greater number of people, do I need to increase the cooking time? E.g. if I double the recipe, do I need to double the cooking time?

    Thanks for your help! Your blog is my new absolute favorite.

  140. Emily

    Wow, I just made th is strata today, but without the fridge time. ;) It turned out superbly well, though I used a pretty high quality bread that wasn’t too absorbent so their was some egg mixture leakage. :c It tasted amazing, and I made the fantastic tomato sauce to gowith it. Yum!

  141. Even in the heat of summer, this strata is insanely good! I made this with Sullivan St sourdough, and subbed in an equal mix of havarti, cheddar and goat for the 6oz of gruyere. Oh and made it even more decadent by using part heavy cream, part milk. Woah. How did I ever expect to not love eggy, savory bread pudding?!

  142. Katie

    I made this a couple of weeks ago and split it across two dishes as I didn’t have a spare one large enough. We only baked one and I put the other in the freezer uncooked. Cooked it today and it was brilliant – no different to the one made fresh. So this is going to become my regular brunch dish as I’ll only have to make it once every two brunches :) I got it out of the freezer on the morning of the day before and left it in the fridge, and took it out of the fridge a couple of hours before cooking to be sure it had defrosted. Delish. Oooh, and I like the idea of muffin sized ones Rose – might try that next time.

  143. SL

    I make this everytime I have friends over for brunch….so easy and so delicious! Its always a big hit among guests, and me as I am not trapped in the kitchen cooking. Thanks!

  144. KimP

    I made this today for brunch, along with the winter fruit salad, and both were a huge hit! I did almost double the spinach, and because of this added one extra egg and a bit more nutmeg. So easy to make ahead, because of this dish, I’ll be making brunch a regular thing this winter.

  145. Fab recipe – a huge hit for Christmas brunch. I think I’ll add bacon next time, though! Because all is better with bacon. I plan to blog this recipe with a link to your site, if that’s okay!

  146. Jenny

    Deb, I was so happy to discover your site recently via the Flipboard app on my iPad. Out of the seemingly hundreds of food/recipe blogs/sites I’ve perused over the years yours really stands out. Your pictures are gorgeous and your writing is utterly engaging. Anyway, I just had to write after making this strata yesterday for 2 girlfriends. They (and I) absolutely LOVED this dish. The 3 of us devoured almost the entire dish minus a tiny leftover piece. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes. You’ve definitely inspired me to cook more. Happy New Year!!

  147. joyce

    Am making this fabulous strata for the third time in as many weeks for different groups of family/friends. Everyone raves about it. I’m a new follower of your blog and have recommended it everytime I’ve served the strata. I’ve served it along with Canadian bacon, sausage and no meat at all. A medley of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries served along with it has also been a big hit. Cinnamon coffee cake is also a nice addition to the plate. Keep up your remarkably interesting work!

  148. Nate

    I found the Smitten Kitchen a few weeks ago hunting for Buckeye Ball recipes, and have been a devoted fan ever since. I just wanted to let you know that I made a version of this strata for New Years Day breakfast for my whole family, and it was a *huge* hit.

    I was using a 13 x 9 pan, so I used a whole loaf of sourdough bread, 12 double yolk eggs, and added sauteed mushrooms in place of the onions (I’m allergic). My cheese shop talked me into using a good 2-year aged gouda in place of the Gruyere ($18.99+ a pound was a little too rich), and the whole thing turned out beautifully. Puffy, rounded brown crust, lots of melty cheese throughout, and pretty much all of the eggy custard absorbed into the bread. It made 12 substantial servings, and I’m really looking forward to the leftovers.

    One thing I’m curious about, though . . . how in the *world* do you fit three full layers of all the ingredients into your pan? Even in the relatively deep 13 x 9 glass pyrex baking dish I could only fit two. Do you cut up your bread into smaller than a 1 inch dice?

  149. Kristin G

    Deb, my roommate and I absolutely LOVED this! I love gruyere and spinach together, this was delightful. This is going on my brunch list, I will definitely be making again.

  150. Hermione

    I made this last night since I promised to bring breakfast to a cat shelter at a distressingly early hour. I used some torn up rustic rolls from Fresh and Easy’s clearance rack, and half a leek instead of onion.
    Even after a 45 minute drive in a cold car, it was still piping hot when I got there. Everyone loved it and it served more than 8.
    Here’s the best part. I had some for dinner and I enjoyed it. And I hate eggs!

  151. Cat

    I had this for breakfast this morning and my boyfriend is already talking about the “next time” I make this! I used fresh spinach and skim milk. Very yummy! (And I’m not even a big fan of eggs!) Next time I’ll add in some bacon or sausage too.

  152. Tammy

    Hi! I was wondering if this recipe could be easily made for a larger crowd. Can I siimply double it all or would I need to alter any specific ingredients? Thanks!

    PS I love your website!

  153. Kristin

    This is my first time commenting–I made this for Mother’s Day, and it was wonderful. I made and froze, unbaked, and put in the fridge to defrost the morning before I was going to make it. We ate at noon, so I pulled it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for one hour before putting in the pre-heated oven at 11:00. It took 55 minutes to bake in my oven, which is usually pretty accurate. No one could tell it had been frozen, and even the hardcore meat eaters in my family loved it, including my 4 year old son. Thank you!

  154. Holly

    I also made for Mother’s Day! A hit, and I’m making again for Saturday morning with the Hubster!!! I loved it and my family thought I was sooooo talented- ha! Thank you for being an inspiration!!!

  155. I’ve made this a couple of times now. This last time, I somehow forgot that the strata was supposed to sit in the fridge overnight before baking and only re-discovered this at 8:30 pm, with the strata all assembled and me too ravenous to make another dinner…so I just popped it in the oven anyway.
    It actually turned out really well–it needed about an extra 15 minutes or so in the oven, just because there was more liquid floating around, having not had a chance to get absorbed by the bread. It was also more souffle- or quiche-like (done properly, it’s more like bread pudding). So, if you’ve made the same silly mistake as me, no need to worry. The recipe still works out.

  156. Trisha

    This was great. I have been wanting to try a strata. I had baugette, gruyere and sliced red pepper left over from a dinner party. Adding some kale I had frozen in the fall and fresh chives, I put it together the next morning for an easy dinner. My dish was deep, so it took a while to cook, but it was very tasty. Thank you for all of the inspiration. I served two of your dishes at the party.

  157. EG

    “Spread one third of the bread cubes in a well-buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other ceramic baking dish. Top with one-third of bread cubes…” So we start witn 2/3 of bread cubes??

  158. deb

    The recipe says “Spread one third of the bread cubes.. top with one-third… then finish with remaining bread” — it gets used evenly in thirds.

  159. Jena

    So I just made this for my family this morning. My husband didn’t even speak until he was done. Then he raved about it through two more servings. Lol! Thanks Deb, without you my husband wouldn’t know that I’m really not that amazing at cooking!

  160. Jessica Pionke

    Holy. Hells. Bells. I prepped this last night and baked it this morning for my office’s holiday breakfast. Everyone raves about those little mini souffles from Panera bread. Those little souffles might as well just hand over their crown of glory. Right now. This moment. Yes, right now; because their reign is OVER! Because this recipe tops anything they had going for them, except maybe the convenience of someone else making them. This recipe is the end all, be all: puffy, fluffy, flaky, springy, moist, salty, savoury, golden deliciousness of a breakfast casserole you have been searching for. The search is over; your quest is complete! Enjoy knowing all your future breakfasts (which include this dish) will be a smashing success!

  161. Sarah

    This is now a christmas brunch tradition- we have it every year and love it. It is perfect in every way! The only adjustment is adding two boxes of frozen spinach instead of one. The nutmeg, dijon, and gruyere is genius!

  162. Erika

    Made this for a New Year’s brunch yesterday, and it was an absolute hit! People kept going back for more (yay, the highest compliment I could get as a cook!). Thanks so much for this recipe — I will be making it again and again!

  163. Leanne S

    Made this for a luncheon and it was a huge success. It also reheats beautifully in the microwave for a minute or covered in a 325 oven for about 15 minutes. Used a pound of fresh baby spinach that I sauteed with the onions – fantastic!

  164. Erin

    I’ve made this twice for brunch when we’ve had out of town guests staying overnight. So easy to pop this in the oven in the morning, after having secretly assembled it the day before, prior to guests arriving. Everyone loves this strata – thank you so much for the recipe!

  165. Marisa

    Prepared this yesterday and baked it this morning–used fresh spinach and a cheddar-gruyere mix. SO GOOD! Thank you so much!

  166. bergamot

    I’m not the biggest fan of stratas, quiches, frittata and the like, so am not the best judge, but thought this recipe had a nice balance of flavours and textures. I used a 16 oz bag of fresh spinach that I wilted down because the frozen spinach in the grocery stores here in Canada has very little nutritional value, so it’s kind of pointless to include except for colour. Not sure that I would make this again as it’s not really my thing, but did appreciate the make ahead factor and its utility as a vegetarian main. Also, the leftovers reheated really well in the microwave, even three days later.

  167. Anna

    Just made this for Sunday Easter Brunch and it was a huge success! So simple, made it the night before and then just tossed it in the oven in the morning. Delicious and simple. Complete crowd pleaser.
    Affordable, too!

  168. mary5-10

    Strata is my new favorite food. I get to use up leftovers and can eat off it for an entire weekend = AWESOME. Thanks Deb! I was unwilling to wait overnight so after assembling (and waiting for the oven to preheat) I covered it with plastic wrap and weighed it down with the Joy of Cooking and a few large tomato cans, moving them every 5-10 minutes to make sure the weight got evenly distributed.

  169. Smashe

    My Strata is in the fridge right now. Cannot wait to wake up and place it in the oven and have the smell of crisp bread and goey cheese waft through my house!

  170. Lisa

    Made this for church…and it was gone in minutes. They loved it!! Next time I need to make 2 or 3 along with the other things I serve.

  171. lizzie

    I see that you actually credited Gourmet for this recipe but I am sorry, “adapted” means you modified something. This recipe is “lifted”. I see no changes you’ve done to it all the way to the amount of black pepper. A line of yours was also a rephrase “strata is the bread pudding of savory egg dishes” I read from another site.

  172. deb

    Hi Lizzie — Yes, the recipe is only adapted a little (the language is in my voice, not theirs) but to not use the word “adapted” would mean that it is verbatim. It is not. What would be incorrect would be to not give credit or to pretend that this dish is a SK inspiration. I am not sure where else you read the “bread pudding” line but I wouldn’t presume that it meant that I don’t speak for myself rather than someone being too liberal in their usage of text found here first.

  173. Heather

    Hi Deb! I’m planning to make this for Christmas brunch. It sounds delicious! Can you provide some guidance on making this for a larger group? I’m thinking I’ll need two 9×13 casserole dishes to serve our crowd of 24 people. Do you think I could double the recipe and put both casserole dishes in the oven at the same time? How long would I bake them for? Thanks in advance for your advice. I’ve asked for your cookbook for Christmas!

  174. Brooke

    Made this last night for Christmas brunch this morning. I think we have a new tradition, it was so good and so easy! I halved the recipe and it would have easily fed four (or the two of us snacking on it all day). I also doubled the amount of spinach with great success. Love the cheesecloth trick for draining the spinach too, probably saved me $3 worth of paper towels. Thanks, Deb!

  175. meanders

    Made this last night, along with your baked french toast from the cookbook, for a family brunch today and everything was great! I really appreciated the make ahead part, and was singing your praises all day. Thanks

  176. Hillary B

    I made this for a brunch today and it was a BIG hit! I will definitely be making it again and everyone asked for the recipe. I always have such good luck with Smitten Kitchen recipes! I followed the recipe exactly, except I used fresh spinach and wilted it down in a pan, then placed it in cheese cloth to try to squeeze as much liquid out as I could. It is amazing how much liquid is in spinach. I used 2 bags of spinach and think I could probably have added more spinach. I would highly recommend this recipe.

  177. Susan

    This recipe looks heavenly. I’ve never made strata before but it looks like the perfect dish to bring to a breakfast meeting we have once a week. I have a question, it may already have been answered buy I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments. Can I substitute spinach that’s been steamed until wilted instead of the frozen spinach? I can’t see why not but since I’ve never made the dish, you can never really know for sure.

    1. deb

      Susan — Definitely. I usually find that 1 pound of fresh spinach yields (once trimmed, wilted, squeezed) that 10-ounce package size that’s standard, at least here.

  178. hamletta

    OK, dudes, I made this in a rush: didn’t let it soak in custardy goodness overnight. I just squished the bread down into the custard and threw it into the oven.

    It didn’t puff up right, but people still ate it and came back for seconds. I thought it was a little gloppy.

    This was at a Lutheran potluck, however, so YMMV.

  179. John

    Made this last night and baked it for dinner tonight. I used some jalepeno cheddar bread from the farmers market it was very, very good!

  180. Regina

    I doubled this for a brunch party where I hosted 60 people – adults and kids – and everyone loved it!! The only thing I’d do differently next time is squeeze out the spinach even more – there was a little liquid in the bottom of the pan. Thanks for the great recipe – I’ve already been asked to share the link with several people!!

  181. Jenny

    Hi Deb- I am planning to make and freeze a bunch of dishes before our baby arrives in January, but am new to the whole freeze-ahead thing – I found this in your “freezer friendly” category so assuming it will work, but do you have specific directions for reheating? Thank you so much!

    1. deb

      Jenny — No specific practices when it comes to reheating, but I do find if you can defrost it overnight in the fridge, it is better. Then warm it up slowly, so it doesn’t end up brown outside but cold inside. Good luck!

  182. Johanna Santore

    I wanted something for a brunch potluck, vegetarian, and this fit the bill. Instead of the frozen spinach, I had 2 cans of spinach that was given to me from someones holiday food basket that would not be eaten. Drained and squeezed it well and when baked with the other stuff, turned out good, otherwise would probably been disposed of since who likes canned spinach? I had also been given some imitation bacon bits and added them also since my hubby likes anything with meat and he was not aware it was imitation bacon when cooked this way. Turned out very good and definitely would make again.

  183. Diana

    I made this for brunch on Sunday and it was a huge hit. I used an 11 year aged Gruyere and it really added a depth of flavor. I happen to love shallots and used 2 cups of finely chopped shallots instead of the onion. I used a couple of very crusty baguettes too. Everyone LOVED it and it is a keeper for sure. I served it with the Yogurt Panna Cotta, fresh berries and a Lottie and Doof Orange Walnut olive oil cake. Thanks so much the great recipes that seem to never fail!

  184. Christy A.

    Just wanted to pop in on my favorite Smitten Kitchen page and say that I’ve made this for Christmas brunch for four years. It’s perfect. Make ahead, no worries, no fuss. Thank you for what has become one of my husband’s favorite Christmas traditions!

  185. Christy A.

    Oops! Just wanted to add, I use day old bread so it doesn’t come out as soggy, and then I don’t have to hit the store on Christmas Eve. We pair it with your Winter Fruit Salad, oven cooked bacon, and mimosas. Perfection!

  186. Pamela Vincent

    This is a winner! I made it in November, for a family brunch just prior to my husband’s memorial service, and everyone loved it– and so easy to put together the night before. I made it again for Christmas breakfast, while visiting friends at our ‘destination Christmas’– doubled the spinach and again, knocked it out of the ballpark.
    Would this work with gluten-free bread? I’d like to bring it to a breakfast meeting, but one of the members must eliminate gluten.

  187. Kyra

    Hi Deb, I just read this and then excitedly clicked over to the baked French toast recipe you link to but then all my sails fell as I saw that this is baked at 350, and the French toast at 425.
    I was hoping to pop them both in the oven at the sane time for the best sweet and savory mix on New Year’s Day! Any last minute suggestions for pulling something like that off?
    All th best & happy new year to you!

    1. deb

      Kyra — I’m making this too (two pans!) and a (different) baked French toast I’m fiddling with… not that you asked. The French toast can be baked at 350. Assume it might take a little longer, but it will otherwise be fine.

  188. Deb

    Making this for the first time for a New Years Day brunch tomorrow for 44 people! (What was I thinking?!) Wish me luck! Thanks for a make ahead time saver!

  189. Tyla

    I have made this several times and love it! Though, I find that it consistently takes me twice the cooking time. I have used a few different ovens and its always the same. Any ideas why this could be? It’s no big deal, it always comes out great and gets lots of compliments! Thanks, Happy New Year!

  190. Jessica M.

    I’ve made this twice in the last few months and it’s great. The second time (for Christmas morning) I forgot to prepare it the night before. I had gone on to my mom about how it was so great and easy because you do everything ahead of time…and then promptly forgot about it. I’m happy to report that it’s not discernably worse for wear if it doesn’t refrigerate overnight. I made it in the morning and it sat for maybe 20 minutes (until when I poked the bread it seemed saturated) and everyone loved it. One recipe fed 8 adults (with leftovers) as long as there’s other accroutements like bacon/scones/fruit.

  191. NancyR

    Like Jenny above, i noticed this one in the “freezer-friendly” section, and am looking at making it as a freeze-ahead meal. Would you follow all the recipe directions, and then freeze after it’s baked? Or freeze before baking, then defrost and bake?

  192. Christine

    This was fantastic LOVE the crunchy sides and top mixed in with the well soaked bread thru-out! I made this and your cranberry lemon scones (subbed blueberries for cran) this weekend for a brunch and everyone devoured them! Thank you Deb!

  193. Billie

    This was amazing. I had some feta languishing in my fridge so added that and some shredded colby instead of the gruyere and it was delicious. I used your brunch strategy (so helpful) and served the strata with bacon cooked in the oven, banana walnut muffins (with leftover peanut butter frosting from the choc peanut butter cake – also a massive hit) and an citris and mint fruit salad. My girlfriends were super impressed and I didn’t feel harassed! Win!

  194. Denise

    This goes in the keeper file. Made it for brunch today for a friend. I followed Deb’s rule of thumb about keeping it simple the day of…served this, fresh berries with vanilla Greek yogurt, banana nut bread (previously made and defrosted), bacon (cooked in the oven) and mimosas. All in all, a delightful meal and time!

  195. Used 12 oz. bread and added a 16 oz. pckg of sliced mushrooms that I sauteed w/ only 1/2 a large onion and large shallot. I also used fresh baby spinach, tossed into the saute pan until wilted. A couple glugs of Worcestershire in the eggs replaced the salt there (not in the sauteed veggies). This all baked in a glass 9×13 in 50 min. then traveled an hour and was reheated on low at our destination to no ill effect. It was nice to have a non-meat option for our Easter table. Really pretty, really delicious and infinitely adaptable.

  196. Lori

    I’m a little late to this game… but I’m wondering if you baked this at the same time as you baked your morning bread pudding (the salted caramel one in another post)? Can you team these two up in the oven for a brunch?

    1. deb

      Yes, you can. If two different temperatures, I just pick a number in the middle. (But now I’m remembering that I actually put the morning bread pudding in after; I put it out in the second half of the meal, as more of a dessert.)

  197. Mrs D

    Deb! Another dang winner, of course! Thank you so much. My changes were to use this as a fridge clean out, so sautéed beet greens, roasted heirloom tomatoes and mushrooms it was, plus a couple of onions and garlic cloves. I also assembled my strata a little differently, by whisking everything together and dousing over the cubed bread before resting.

    I’m not sure how this would go down for company because it was a beautiful (awful?) shade of salmon pink from my beet greens, bahaha! But absolutely delicious none the less and I can see this easily joining my weekly repertoire for my toddler son and I to pick at during the week. Thanks again, lady!

  198. Claire

    This recipe is the BEST brunch recipe I’ve found. It’s delicious, balanced, vegetarian for our veg friends, and beautiful when it comes out of the oven. And it’s so fantastic that you can do it ahead of time. Friends always ask us for the recipe. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  199. Brett

    I used this recipe as a starting point for a braised shortrib strata(it turned out amazing) so i wanted to thank you and say that i love your blog

  200. km

    I just made this and it turned out great! Added cherry tomatoes to make it feel slightly less heavy and eggy.

    Just wondering if we could soak the bread slices in that egg and milk mixture before adding to the baking dish? Would that be a good way to shave off some of that waiting time? :)

  201. Ellen

    Hi! Can’t pour over all of the comments. This is a great dish, we’ve made it several times. But wondering if anyone has frozen it? Can we make it today and then freeze it for Christmas morning? Thanks for any help. Deb, your site and your book are a dream. Thanks for all you do.

  202. Suzanne

    Is there anything wrong with leaving the raw eggs in a metal pan overnight? Something about it seems wrong! But I don’t know if it is true. I don’t have a glass or ceramic baking dish. Thank you.

  203. frances

    made this for christmas morning breakfast. so. good. i used about 6 oz of fresh baby spinach, sauteed, plus the onion and 8 oz sliced and sauteed mushrooms to bulk it up more and help make up the missing spinach. when i put the 1/2 lb of cubed bread into my 9×13 pan, it seemed a bit skimpy so i ended up using the entire pound of bread. used mozzarella and parmesan, as that’s what i had. the parm really makes a difference. completely forgot the mustard. i didn’t miss it, but i don’t doubt it would have made it even better, especially if i hadn’t used mushrooms. it made an equally good cold lunch the next day. i was afraid the bread might be soggy, but it was merely soaked with the custardy goodness instead, and enough of the bread cubes remained firm and crunchy to offer some texture variance. i am particular about how i’ll eat eggs, and this way is delicious – not eggy at all. stratas have had me intrigued for awhile, and this one has convinced me to keep trying different flavors.

  204. KJ

    I made this over the weekend and it was delicious. But, it was also somewhat liquid-y. When I scooped it out of the dish, I noticed liquid in the bottom of the dish. The eggs themselves seemed cooked enough and it tasted great, but the liquid at the bottom made it look uncooked and seemed kind of weird. I cooked it for the 55 minutes. Any thoughts on what to do next time or if this is normal? Thanks!

    1. deb

      KJ — I haven’t had this problem, but I have gotten comments like this on other recipes for stratas and bread puddings, and I think it has more to do with the bread. A heavier one will soak up more liquid; is it possibly you were using a lighter-weight one or one with more holes?

  205. Amy

    Deb, or anyone who has tried it- if you want to double the recipe, would you have to double the cooking time? Could you just put a double-sized recipe in a 6qt casserole, or would it need to be two 3 quart casseroles?

  206. Michelle

    Note: Be sure to let the strata come to room temperature. I made my first strata last night, but forgot this step when I baked it this morning. It ended up taking forever to set and almost made me late!

    Although it tasted amazing, so I can’t complain too much ^_^

  207. Shannon

    Hi! Yes, can you please tell us if doubling would be sufficient for a 9 X 13 pan and if so, how long would you cook it? I have made this so many times and everyone loves it. But my brain gets mangled when trying to do anything remotely math related. Thanks – love, love,love this website and your book.

  208. Where has this recipe been all my life?? It was DELICIOUS. I used kale instead of spinach because that’s what I had on hand. I’ll DEFINITELY be making this again.

  209. Jen H

    Can this be prepared in a pinch if there isn’t time to soak it for 8 hours? Guess I should have read the recipe more carefully last night (oops!).

  210. Jen H

    Update: I made it anyway this morning, without soaking it for more than a few minutes, and it was a huge hit! Glad my partner encouraged me to press forward.

  211. Wendy

    I was making this and the best cocoa brownies long before I found your site. So when I saw them, I knew we would be best friends forever. And I just want to say, I am so happy you are not finding out what kind of baby you are having. It is so much more fun this way. I never understood the people that do, it is like snooping for your presents before you get them, ruins the surprise.

  212. Soo

    I’m planning on making this for a brunch with friends on Saturday and I’m getting excited after reading all the rave reviews! Thank you in advance! :)

    Would you (or anyone else who wants to chime in!) be able to tell me how long the strata can soak overnight before it becomes too long? 15-17 hours too long to soak? Can it go longer?

    Also, this may be a silly question but for some reason I’m having a hard time understanding the layering of the ingredients. It states to first place 1/3 of the bread in the dish and then to add 1/3 of the bread next. Wouldn’t that be 2/3 of the bread then as the first layer? Am I supposed to add 1/3 of the bread and then add something else before the next third of the bread? Sorry if this is obvious but I’m going crazy trying to figure it out! :)

  213. deb

    I don’t think that 15 to 17 hours would be too long at all; you’ll probably be just fine up to a day or longer. Longer, the bigger issue is that the bread might fall more to mush, but it’s hard to say how much of a problem that would be and it has a lot to do with how sturdy the bread was going in.

    And you’re right, the directions make no sense and I can’t believe it took 328 comments (and me making this recipe at least 2x a year!) for someone to notice. :) What it should say — and does now — is “Spread one third of the bread cubes in a well-buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other ceramic baking dish. Top with one-third of bread cubes, one-third of spinach mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice with remaining bread, spinach and cheese.”

  214. Samaria

    You pinned this as a freezer meal. Will you please add some additional information about freezing? Should it be cooked and then frozen? How about reheating?

  215. Leslie

    Made the corrected version for a birthday brunch today, and used your ‘template’ for a brunch (Dec 21, 2009) — thank you, the meal turned out great! I also used your recipes heavily for July 4 (yesterday). It’s been a Smitten Kitchen holiday weekend!

      1. deb

        I wouldn’t use storebought croutons here because they’re so salty and have so much other stuff on them. But you can use any old supermarket loaf of bread. Cube it up. If you do it the day before, you can let it get stale a room temperature. It will taste so much better.

  216. Sao Paulo Expat

    For anyone making this in Brazil, or any part of the world where gruyere is hard to find or expensive, I’ve used both Queijo Minas Padrao and Queijo Prato for this recipe, and it’s still amazing. Outside the US, the gas from your oven often heats from below and it won’t brown the same, so top with cheese rather than bread. Thank you, Deb, I’ve been making this for years and it is a classic!

  217. Rebecca

    I made this recently for a houseful of visitors and they loved it. I did embellish it a bit by adding mushrooms. Have holiday guests for Thanksgving and am planning on making it again for “day after” brunch. Thinking about serving this strata, fresh fruit, and some variation of asparagus. Thanks for a wonderful dish!

  218. Penny

    I have the same question as Samaria above re: freezing this. I am driving to my dad’s for Christmas and offered to take over much of the cooking for the few days that I’m there (my dad is a caregiver for my stepmom and grandmother and could use all the help he can get). I want to put something together for a nice Christmas breakfast; was thinking the best way would be to make this a few days in advance, freeze it, then thaw overnight to pop in the oven on Christmas morning. Has anyone tried this? Thank you! I’ve had this recipe on my radar since it was first on the site but haven’t yet tried it. I can’t wait!

  219. Kate

    I make this every year for Christmas dinner (it’s good for lots of folks: vegetarian, dairy free people get individual ones just made without cheese, I always use almond milk, gluten free people get individual ones made with gf bread/rolls). It’s so fun to come back here and see these wintry photos each year :)

  220. Linda

    Made it for Christmas morning, and it was a hit! I bought some roasted peppers to add, but forgot them. I will have to make this again :-)

  221. Sarah

    Made this for a brunch today and it was a HUGE hit! I don’t like really rich egg dishes and almost swapped out the Gruyere but I’m so glad I didn’t! It was perfect. I had a crowd of 12 so added a few more eggs and a heavy splash of milk and it was great. Really cannot go wrong with this one!

  222. Cat

    Made this for Christmas morning, but plans changed and we reheated it for Christmas Eve dinner… Was a hit in every way. So easy to make, came out perfect looking and tasting, and made the house smell so good! Gets firmer and topping gets crunchier with each reheat, but it’s good at each stage. Yum.

  223. Kristin

    This was amazingly delicious. Crisp on the outside and soft like a cloud in the center. I was last minute and only let it sit for two hours before baking. It turned out perfectly, with no extra liquid in the bottom. Cannot wait to try this with all kinds of veg and cheese combos. (I used more like a pound of frozen spinach and added garlic.)

  224. Laura

    Hi! I absolutely love this recipe and make it all the time. In a very unfortunate turn of events, the gas in our apartment building has been shut off and I have no stove or oven for 8 weeks. Has anyone tried this in a slow cooker? Any changes that need to be made or does it not work? I was thinking 4 hours on low but am worried it will not be nearly the same!

    1. deb

      Patty — How large are you thinking? My question is because it already makes a big amount, fills my largest 9×13, so when I need more for more people, I simply make 2, not a larger one.

  225. Patty

    Thanks, Deb. Made this yesterday in a 9×13 and realized two or 3 should make plenty and will eliminate the guess work on the cooking time. This recipe is delicious! It made a perfect birthday breakfast for my daughter :)

  226. I made this today for my 10 month old and she loved it! Great for a baby who wants to feed herself and is getting sick of the spinach purees. Thank you!

  227. Liesl

    Any reason this would not be great with broccoli and cheddar? Picky mother in law and thinking about mother’s day brunch!

  228. Susan

    If I make this two nights in advance, will it keep in the refrigerator? For example, make it on Friday and reheat/serve on Sunday morning.

  229. Casey

    I tried this recipie with challah this morning and it was fantastic – gave it a nice touch of sweetness.Thank you for all of the make-ahead breakfast recipes!

  230. Lauren

    If you were going to add meat to this (because you signed up to bring a meaty breakfast dish to a school potluck) what would you add and how? Sausage? Bacon? Pancetta? And cooked first before layered in, or not? Thanks!!

  231. Philemone

    Had this at my sister’s, everyone loved it. I’m going to make it as a comfort food brunch offering. Have sorrel in the garden – am thinking to throw a bit in – thoughts?

  232. Trisha

    I couldn’t find my ancient printout and am using the website version tonight. I thought I noticed that you had changed the confusing instructions, and now I see in the comments above that I was right. I usually do two layers (and a half recipe).

    1. Danielle Guzman

      Has anyone tried to make this and then freeze it before cooking ? So you can take it out and thaw when you need it. Then bake and serve? Thanks!

      1. Tara

        I used one pound of fresh greens (a mix of kale and mustard greens), and that seemed just right. I blanched then for one minute and squeezed them out very well. I’ve also made this many times with frozen spinach, and it seemed like a similar effect overall.

  233. Carey

    I made this for a brunch and it was great to just pop it in the oven instead of rushing around the kitchen the day of. It was delicious but a bit soggy in the center. Wondering if it’s as simple as cooking longer – although the top was nice and brown when I pulled it out at 50 min. Or could it be the bread I was using? I used a fresh loaf of Italian white bread – Pane Turano.

    1. Caroline

      That is my favorite bread for any baked/griddled/cooked recipe. It’s not amazing fresh, but SO GOOD cooked in something or toasted. Amazing grilled cheese, amazing stuffing, I could go on.

      1. Joy Dong

        That’s my favorite too, for the same reason!

        For sogginess: I always dry out regular store bought french bread before soaking (cooks illustrated tip) by slicing and either leaving it out on a drying rack on the counter overnight, or if pressed for time, baking in oven at lowest setting for 45 minutes flipping halfway through. Never had a problem with sogginess.

  234. Louanne

    This was great! No Gruyere so I used mozzarella in place. It was extremely flavorful and was a great anchor for brunch. Baked in a large roasting pan, almost 9×13 and didn’t have to scale up the recipe at all.

  235. Lindsey

    I’m revisiting this recipe as I’m hosting brunch this weekend, and whenever I host brunch, this is the first thing that makes it on the menu. The recipe is perfect without any changes needed. I usually bake it in a 9×13 Pyrex dish. We are looking forward to eating it again!

  236. Fran

    This recipe caught my eye after my mother-in-law requested a savory breakfast bake for the day before Thanksgiving (aka the intense cooking day). I substituted feta for Gruyere as the family buys it by the bucketful, and it was a huge hit. Thank you, Deb, for your timeless, delicious recipes!

  237. Anna

    Help!! I have people over for brunch tomorrow..and I just finished preparing this and realized I accidentally doubled the bread…will it be OK? Should I add more egg/milk? I think it’s too late to add more spinach…

  238. Lauren

    I have a bunch of leftovers from this holiday weekend — some of which would lend themselves perfectly to this dish. But we are traveling tomorrow for 5 days. Can I bake this now and freeze it for when we get back? Or better to prep and freeze prior to baking? Also I have a giant bag of kale I was going to sub for the frozen spinach. Any idea on how much would work there?

    1. deb

      I’d probably freeze after baking, but both should work. I find that after removing the stems from 1 pound of fresh spinach, I have about 10 ounces if that helps you with the kale.

  239. Aaron

    This was a fantastic recipe. I haven’t really done much baking and was looking for something new to try and this recipe really worked out well. There was a great amount left to share and others from my family who tried it really seemed to enjoy it as well. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  240. Lucy

    This one is always a huge hit at brunch. Sometimes the inside can be a smidge soggy but it’s still delicious and I’ve never had complaints. Great when you have vegetarians, and other than the cheese, is not too spendy to make! Thanks for a classic, Deb!

  241. Jen

    This was so good and made the house smell amazing! It made quite a bit, so I had to divide it into two pans (but they were super easy to clean.) To boost the healthiness, I used a whole wheat (integral) miche and added some frozen butternut squash cubes to the spinach mixture. Will definitely make it again, thanks!

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  243. Hi Deb! A quick note that I made this for a Galentine’s Day party and as I can’t eat eggs, hesitantly put it out for others to try. And then the RAVE reviews just kept coming and coming and coming. Even my picky sister loved it. Thank you!!!

  244. Lindsay

    This is so easy and insanely good! I actually halved the recipe today for 4 people and it came out great, still leftovers enough for 2 servings I’d say. It’s such a crowd pleaser – this strata, your chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake and some fruit are now my dream brunch!

  245. Gina


    I’ve made this strata one billion times, and it always is a crowd pleaser. This weekend I have an even bigger crowd than normal and would like to double the recipe. How long would you recommend the cooking time be? Should I throw it in one big casserole or would you recommend two separate baking dishes?

  246. SO good, and turns out just beautifully from the oven! I subbed the Italian/French bread with the Artesano bread you can buy in the bread aisle at most grocery stores and it was still fantastic.

  247. Isabella

    I love this recipe! It was a hit at my Holiday Brunch, and my son requested that I make it again soon. So once more before 2017 is over!

  248. Jenn Duff

    What I love about your recipes is how delicious they are as-is and also how so many are the perfect base to change-it-up a bit. I’ve made this late Christmas Eve the past 2 years but used cheddar, cinnamon-maple chicken sausage, and kale. I throw it together in 20 minutes and put in the fridge. Christmas morning it goes in the oven while we open presents and a delicious, hearty breakfast is done. Perfection.
    Received your new cookbook this morning from my dear husband and already have a way-too-long list of recipes I want to try over winter break (which he’s not too upset about! HA!)

  249. Lisa

    I saw this and had to try it. The Asiago black pepper bread from a local bakery was perfect for this recipe. The whole do it the night before and bake in the morning thing makes this a great breakfast dish.
    Thanks Deb, for a keeper recipe.

  250. Sarah

    Well, I am clearly on the outskirts here, amongst all the excellent reviews, so I own that it may have been operator error, or just a matter of taste, but this fell flat for me. :( The bread factor was overwhelming, maybe because I used more standard whole wheat bread instead of an Italian or French loaf? Maybe the breads you recommend just bake up superior in a savory bread pudding. And I was sad that the Gruyere, as pricey as it is in my store and as much as I looooove it, didn’t seem to come through. Or maybe I’m just now realizing that I’m more of a quiche gal than strata. :)

  251. Worldcurious

    This is SUCH a great dish! Have made it many times for visiting friends and family and it never fails to please guests. Super easy, super good and bonus: it makes great left-overs!

  252. Cathy

    Great recipe!! A good way to remove water from frozen spinach is by using a potato ricer. This squeezes out all the moisture.

      1. Danielle

        Made this for the first time today and it was a hit. Even my gruyere hating boyfriend had a huge second helping. Followed the recipe as is with no changes and it was easy and perfect. Definitely adding this to the brunch rotation.

    1. deb

      I can’t remember what I used last time, but I believe you’ll want at least a pound (maybe 1 1/4 to be safe) fresh spinach to get 10 ounces once de-stemmed and wilted.

  253. Julia

    I made a half recipe using some bread I had left over from making a panzanella salad, and cheddar instead of gruyere since that is what I had in the fridge… and it turned out delicious! Another home run, Deb – thank you!! – Julia

  254. Kathe

    this was delicious with kale instead of spinach and feta (the cheap shrinkwrapped kind) instead of the other cheeses. I used grainy dijon, skim milk, and multigrain bread, and i added cilantro and green onions. it’s really, really good. because i didn’t want the kale to burn (i didn’t cook the kale before adding it) i cooked it with tin foil for the first 45 minutes, and then it took about 20-25 minutes without the foil to get properly cooked. worth the wait. amazing on day 2. deb, you did it again!

  255. Chelsea

    Made this yesterday. Used some crouton-level-stale cheesy bagels plus ww sourdough, baked in a 9×13 (no layering), and used yogurt and whey liquid for the milk. Very good, but I’ll reduce the salt by perhaps half next time.

  256. Kristen

    Is 2 oz. Parmesan one cup? Google seems to think it’s 1/2. Seems like a ton of cheese but I’m never one to complain about too much cheese.

    1. deb

      Honestly there’s never going to be a single agreed-upon cup measurement for a weight of cheese because it matters how it’s grated — microplane might give you a 2 ounce cup or even less; coarser grating might get you closer to 4 ounces. I prefer to use weights for cheese, since we buy cheese by weight anyway.

  257. James

    How can I adapt this if I only want to make half the portion please? How long would I cook it for, and assuming I should use a smaller dish? Thank you.

    1. deb

      I haven’t halved it so cannot say for sure but you can halve everything, a 1-quart baking dish would probably be fine, or an 8×8, and the baking time is probably less than the full casserole, but not a ton less. Maybe just 3/4 of the time.

  258. Kombuchakate

    If 8c of my bread is not half a pound (it’s a bit over 1 lb) which measurement should I follow? Or should I get less dense bread? It’s whole grain italian bread.

    1. deb

      Yikes, I’ve run into this before (of course all breads have different weights) and I believe I stuck with the cup measurement, but I’m frustrated I cannot remember for sure. That would be my first move, though. Let us know how it goes!

  259. Megan

    WOW! This recipe is really incredible, and a gamechanger for hosting brunch!
    I pulled this out of the oven about 15 minutes after people arrived and it was SO nice to not have to cook the whole time. Got so many compliments. Am saving this recipe forever!
    (I also paired it with brown sugar baked bacon, and strawberry baked donuts :) )

  260. Lydia

    I want to have a largish-batch, make ahead savory finger-food item for a party. I have an idea to make this (or some savory bread pudding style) recipe but bake it until cooked through but barely colored on top, refrigerate, slice into cubes, and reheat until golden on a cookie sheet during the party. Thoughts? does it slice cleanly when cold? (many cheesy/eggy things do). I appreciate any thoughts and of course will report back if I end up trying it.

    1. deb

      1 liquid cup is 8 fluid ounces. 1 cup of an ingredient is whatever that ingredient’s weight and density is. 2 ounces is on the low side but I presume a Microplane rasp was involved. It’s usually more like 4 ounces on the small holes of a box grater.

  261. jordyn

    Commenting on this one 10 years (!!) after it was posted because I’m prepping to make this for the 5th Christmas morning in a row. Love how easy it is to prep the night before and then just pop in the oven the next morning. I always hope it isn’t devoured the morning of because the leftovers are my absolute favorite. Thanks for a perfect recipe that has become a Christmas tradition in our home.

  262. Teresa

    Oh, I am making this for Christmas dinner. Everyone will love it and it will be easy enough to put together. Your recipes are wonderful and so is that little baby boy who looks so adorable!

  263. Lauren

    Perfect for Christmas Eve breakfast! I added mushrooms and next time I’ll hold back on the Dijon – it was a bit too much. Thanks for this veggie breakfast idea!

  264. Connie

    I made this for Christmas Morning this year. It was fantastic! It’s hearty, but light; filling but not heavy. Delicious. Thank you!

  265. Bree

    Doing some ‘Social Distancing’ cooking and trying to figure out how to use up the Half-gallon of whole milk I bought ‘just in case’ (I NEVER cook with or drink milk on its own… that’s panic buying for ya) that has an expiration date of today. Between this and the corn chowder recipe I think I have found how I can use it up using what I have in my pantry. It’s either these or the project of making your ricotta recipe! Also looking forward to using up some herbs with the spiced chickpeas recipe from this week’s newsletter…

  266. Heather

    This is a great recipe for strata which is a beloved food in our house, but I learned an important lesson this time — which is to ensure that the mustard is fully distributed. We had some lingering clumps, which packed an unpleasant wasabi-like punch. Next time I may try whisking the mustard with a small amount of milk to ensure it breaks up, or better supervise the work of my two and a half-year-old assistant.

  267. Jennifer

    I made this as directed for a mother’s day brunch and baked in a 9×13 Pyrex dish. Completely delicious and totally fantastic. It’s a winner!

  268. Sandi

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. We made it last night for dinner. I love how versatile this recipe is. We switched up the cheese to an aged havarti we had on hand and it was delicious. We also put in right into the oven without the overnight fridge step. It came out perfect! This recipe has made it into our favourite menu rotation and we can’t wait to make it again. It is the perfect winter dinner item. Added bonus is it easy for children to help make this dinner. Highly recommend!

    1. Alice

      This strata was wonderful. I’ve never made one before and was skeptical about breakfast casserole-type recipes, but this was just what I hoped it would be—an easy, substantial feast for New Year’s Day. I halved it (using 5 eggs and a square Pyrex pan) because I’m just cooking for two and sautéed some mushrooms I had with the onions. Totally delicious. I will make this whenever we have guests (or whenever we need a nice treat).

  269. Dianne Novelly

    Deb – love your recipes & photos! Truly appreciate you sharing your recipes with your followers. My daughters introduce me to your site years ago. Use it all the time now & shared with others who like to cook.
    Could I incorporate some loose breakfast sausage to this recipe? Thought my family might enjoy a heartier breakfast for the holidays. Sounds yummy!

  270. Val

    This turned out amazing! Assembled on Xmas eve, baked on Xmas morning. Comfort food for lunch. Thank you for a reliable recipe that a non-cooker can make for the whole family. Happy Holidays to you and your family. Health in the new year!

  271. amy davies

    Just made this and I think the key ingredient to the whole thing is the dijon mustard! I followed the recipe to the T, and it came out perfectly. wouldn’t change a thing.

  272. laura

    Made this for a tiny (pandemic approved) brunch for a birthday friend … it was a Smitten Kitchen kind of day! Strata was divine and guests actually squealed over the latkes. Wonderful as always … SK is always my first choice when looking for something incredible. Thank you!

  273. Rebecca

    My go-to brunch dish. One change, I make homemade herby croutons with parsley, dill, garlic etc…Tomorrow I’m having friends over for the first time since the pandemic started (exhale) and they both requested this dish. Prepping it tonight brought me right back to “before times.” Cheers to great food, new memories, our collective strength as a country, and SCIENCE.

  274. Lauren

    I made this first for Christmas 2020, and loved it! Since then, I’ve been waiting for an occasion to make this again. Finally, Mom’s Day brunch is happening at our house tomorrow – and I can’t wait to see the family since vaccinations! It is assembled and chillin in the fridge overnight. Thank you SK for sharing this delicious recipe. If you’re reading these comments- get the ingredients and make this bake. You won’t be disappointed!

  275. Marian

    Hi! This spinach and cheese strata is fantastic. I’ve only tried by making the night before. Anyway to make, freeze and then thaw and bake? Thank you!!!!

  276. CC

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it several times, letting it sit overnight. I’m wondering- could I make it on a Thursday night, travel with it on Friday, and bake it Saturday morning? Would that sit too long? Or should I travel with the parts and assemble it Friday night. These are the specifics I’m working with. :) Thank you!

  277. Gilda Grossman

    I absolutely love everything you do.
    I am a big fan!!!!!
    But one tiny gvetchie
    Your recipes are such a schlepp to get to.
    Other people have a cute little sign that says JUMP TO RECIPE, but then again they are not as wonderful as you are. GO KNOW!

  278. Alice Madden

    I have made this so many times to rave reviews! Thanks you making all these super good recipes! I have both your cookbooks and I love them!

  279. Jocelyn

    Just made this for the first time despite having it bookmarked for years. It was so delicious and even though it made a ton I hardly have any leftovers after an early Christmas brunch with the in-laws. Made it the night before and was such a relief to only have to pop it in the oven in the morning.

  280. Rosella Porro

    Could this spinach and cheese strata be made and frozen before baking it? Your recipes are always a hit!!
    Thank you,

  281. Vikki H

    We enjoyed this for our Christmas Eve breakfast with our older son and family! It was scrumptious! My pan may not have been as large so it took a full hour to look done. Sent half of the remainder home with my foodie son.

  282. k

    I made this yesterday to have for Christmas breakfast – so fabulous! I am in high altitude so I had to cook a little longer but it was so delicious and a hit with the family. I will definitely be making this many more times.

  283. Kathy Correia

    We made this for Christmas breakfast and it was so yummy! We’ve made lots of stratas for holiday breakfasts and this was the best, bar none!
    Thank you!

  284. Erin

    This was an amazing dish for an early Christmas Eve breakfast. A big hit with everyone! Next time I will add some finely diced red bell pepper or sun-dried tomatoes.

  285. Dianne Novelly

    Great breakfast recipe! Made this time with gluten-free bread, added roasted red peppers & sautéed mushrooms. Might try some artichokes next time. So delicious, plenty for everyone including some leftovers. My two- year old granddaughter loved it 😍 as well as my daughter who is celiac & dietitian.
    Deb you have some of the best recipes. I tell everyone about you.

  286. DV

    This was delicious. I sautéed mushrooms and fresh spinach and added some cooked breakfast sausage. I only had 2% milk so I used a combo of 2% and heavy cream (80/20). Grated some Gruyère and used pecorino instead of Parmesan since I had it. I cut up a baguette and dried the cubes in the oven. So simple to make with such good flavor. I love the overnight in the fridge and no prep in the morning. Excellent recipe. A perfect brunch dish along with a fresh fruit salad, Deb’s marbled banana bread and mimosas.

  287. Traci

    Make sure the dish you use to bake in is shallow. I used a deep one and it took forever to be done. It was delicious though, I will be making this again.

  288. Ali Romero

    Made a trial run, using pre-packaged dried bread pieces from my local grocery store, and would like to spice it up. What do you think about adding diced green chiles?

  289. SA

    If I add in mushrooms and more eggs (like your baked egg recipe) do we think it could be made without bread or that it would turn out too dense or short or something? I basically want to make your baked eggs recipe (have done 1000x) times but without forcing the 12 portions so that I could maybe get closer to 14-15 if I add in more veggies and eggs. Thank you!!!

  290. Lori Baer

    I served your spinach and cheese strata for brunch this morning. Outstanding! I especially liked being able to put it together last night and just pop it in the oven this morning. I will make it again! I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect. I used Artisan Ciabatta bread. I think the Gruyere and Dijon are key ingredients. I thought it could’ve used more spinach. I had a 16 oz. bag of frozen spinach from Trader Joe’s and used just 10 oz. of it. Next time, I will defrost and use the entire bag. I have leftovers and am thinking of freezing a portion. I think it might be nice to have in the freezer for when I don’t have time to cook. Has anyone else tried freezing it after it is baked?

  291. Sidney Brown

    Can I use fresh spinach for this. How much? Must I sauté or steam first? We have chickens and a garden. So, fresh eggs and spinach in the spring.

  292. Kristen Vanderkooy

    How would you 1/2 this recipe? There are two of us and a toddler. I am mostly not sure how to 1/2 nine eggs – go with 4, or 5?

    1. jjjeanie

      Personally, I’d go with the larger number, unless you have Jumbo eggs. You can always go just a wee bit heavy on the other ingredients too. Like, instead of 3 oz of gruyere, 3 and a half. Etc. It’s probably not that big a deal. For the record, when I’m downsizing a recipe, I try to look at the un-divide-able element (like eggs), so here, I might do 1/3 of the recipe. We had it this morning for three people (2 of whom are 6’8″ and eat enough for 2 apiece), and we had leftovers, so 1/3 would probably be plenty for the 3 of you. It’s worth it!
      by the way, I did not defrost my spinach (cuz I forgot) and left the heat on when I added it to the onions; worked great.

  293. jjjeanie

    Absolutely yummy as is. If I make it again (only an IF because I don’t entertain often), I’d add mushrooms, but only because I love them. I had been tempted to add more spinach, but really, the proportions of everything are perfect as is. AND, it fits well in my 9×13″ pan (which is actually labeled 3 quarts, which I’d never noticed before!). You just can’t go wrong here. Great xmas brunch. Thank you for this, and alll your other recipes!

  294. Artie

    This is so good. I’ve had it bookmarked for years and finally made Christmas 2022. I think it could stand some more veggies – I added ~5oz mushrooms that I sautéed with the onions but next time will either double the mushrooms or double the spinach.
    Had to cook a bit longer but I think I might have used too much bread.
    Used my fiestaware 9×13. Perfect size!!

  295. Alyssa

    Yum! It turned out perfectly! My first time making a strata. instead of spinach I used onion, bell peppers and chicken sausage. Everyone loved it!

  296. Nellie

    Is it just me or is this strata taking forever to cook? Maybe the egg-bread is supposed to be spongy? I keep putting mine back in the oven for extended periods of time and it doesn’t seem done! 😩

  297. ff

    Since I’m cooking for just me, I make a half-sized version of this & enjoy it for 3-4 days. I divide the ingredients in half (but 5 whole eggs instead of 9), use an 8″ square dish, & bake 60 minutes. I also adjust the ingredients to make a Tex/Mex version, using pepperjack cheese instead of Gruyère, adding some dried red pepper flakes with the spinach & onions, & omitting the mustard. It comes out perfect every time & I never seem to get tired of it.

  298. Danae

    This recipe got rave reviews at the brunch I had! I used smoked Gruyère, and I really like the extra flavor that added. I didn’t realize I was supposed to let it soak for 8hrs, so I left it assembled on the counter for about an hour before baking and it turned out great!

  299. Eva

    I tried this recipe. It needed an extra hour baking time despite using a 3 qt ceramic dish. I suggest using a very shallow dish, or it’ll never cook in the middle and the outside will be super dark and over cooked 😬. Hopefully it will taste good.