The “formal” name for this breakfast casserole is a cheese strata recipe.
It is called a “strata” because you layer the ingredients, then pour on the egg custard mixture.
I always love recipes that are easy on the cook and this is certainly one of them. Make it up the night before you’ll be eating it, put it in the refrigerator overnight and pop into the oven in the morning. Don’t you just love easy peasy?
This type of casserole is always prepared ahead, then refrigerated overnight before baking the next morning. That gives the luscious custard time to sink into the bread.
When you bake it the next day, the whole thing bakes up into a light and custardy cheese and egg mixture.
A cheese and egg strata is a wonderful breakfast or brunch recipe and perfect for times when you have overnight guests, such as the holidays.
Strata Recipe: Breakfast Casserole with Cheese
- 10 slices white bread
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- pinch cayenne pepper, or 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika, optional
- Trim crusts from bread and spread the slices with softened butter. Cut each slice of bread into 4 strips. Butter a 2-quart casserole and make alternate layers of bread strips and grated cheese, ending with cheese.
- Beat eggs. Add seasonings and milk. Pour over bread and cheese layers and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, covered.
- Take out of the refrigerator for an hour or so before baking so that it comes to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until puffed and brown. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley as a garnish if desired.
Notes and Variations:
- The casserole can be prepared ahead and kept in the refrigerator for a few days before baking.
- Adding chopped cooked bacon, fried mushrooms, red and green pepper or broccoli pieces add variety and nutrition.
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There are many variations on the breakfast strata recipe idea. See them with our other brunch and breakfast recipes here.
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