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Oven Baked Strata

What is strata, you ask?  Essentially it is a savory bread pudding. I will share with you the base for this recipe and a build your own strata topping ideas. With this basic recipe you can use an endless amount of options with the add ins and what cheeses you want to use. A great make ahead dish, that can be made the night before and popped into the oven in the morning to serve at brunch or make earlier on in the day to serve for supper. This amount makes a 9x13 in pan. Serves 8.

Start with-
  • 8 cups of cubed soft bread, any kind. White, french, whole wheat, multigrain, all work well. Use what you have on hand. 
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • few drops of tabasco sauce according to your preference 

Add in a combination of any of the following choices. I will group them together with what I think is a good combination. 
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped leftover chicken
  • 1-2 cups leftover steamed broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped (or green onion)
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, what ever color you have on hand
  • 1 package of bacon, pre cooked, browned sausage bits or ham, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups old cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup pepperoni, chopped or pre cooked Italian sausage
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • onion and peppers
  • 1 sliced or diced tomato (seeded) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of each, basil and oregano
  • 1 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
or a tex mex version
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn, rinsed under hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups of precooked ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning
  • onions and peppers, green or black olives
  • a few jalapenos tossed in if you like it spicy
  • 1-1/2 cups tex mex cheese
or a completely vegetarian options use cooked spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic or zucchini. Be creative, the possibilities are endless and if you like the ingredients, you will like the final outcome. 

  1. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Add the 1/2 of cubed bread.
  3. Add 1/2 of what ever add ons you are using
  4. Add the remaining bread cubes and the remaining toppings. 
  5. Mix together the eggs, milk, mustard and tabasco sauce if using.
  6. Pour over bread. 
  7. Top with your choice of cheese. 
  8. Let it sit covered in the refrigerator over night or at least a couple of hours so the bread soaks up all the milk and egg. 
  9. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.


  1. I don't "think" I like bread pudding but this sounds wonderful. A lot of things i "don't like" because my mother didn't like them so we never had them. This one I am going to try! Sounds like a great way to use up eggs, bread and milk and looks like it could easily be divided. Thanks!

  2. 4-H Calf Show Morning Mom Saver.......................good other days too!

  3. We love this and I put all kinds of things in it. I usually do it as a breakfast thing that I get ready the night before. It is always my son's birthday meal request. He would rather have that at breakfast than a special dinner.

  4. I always make strata for breakfast Christmas morning...prep the night before and slip in the oven first thing in the morning, bakes while everyone is opening gifts...never thought of allot of your add-ins, thanks for the ideas!

  5. I like this recipe, look so delicious.

  6. This is called "Christmas Morning Wife Saver" at our house. I love the flavour combinations you've used and must try some of these too. I save my stale bread just for this dish!


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