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Easy Strata and Variations

Rated as 4.69 out of 5 Stars

"Make one recipe and then give variations in notes."
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Original recipe yields 12 servings


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  1. Saute mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Whisk half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper until smooth. Spray a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex or ceramic baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.
  3. Line bottom with 6 slices of bread. Scatter half of the ham, and half of the mushrooms over the bread, then sprinkle with half of the scallions and cheese. Pour 1 cup of egg mixture over the top. Repeat layers with remaining bread, ham, mushrooms, cheese and scallions. Slowly pour remaining egg mixture evenly over top. Cover with plastic wrap, then weight down casserole with 3 16-ounce cans for at least 15 minutes to submerge ingredients. (Can be refrigerated overnight, but return to room temperature before baking.)
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven until custard is just set, about 50 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until strata is spotty brown and puffy (watch carefully), about 5 minutes longer. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes, then serve immediately.



  • Bell peppers: Slice and saute in 1 Tb. olive oil. Salt.

    Baby spinach: Steam, covered, with 1 Tb. oil and salt until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.

    Frozen corn: Thaw and drain.

    Asparagus: Cut in 1-inch pieces. Steam, covered, with 1 Tb. oil, salt and 1/3 cup water, 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover and cook off liquid.

  • Bacon: Cut into 1/2-inch pieces and fry until crisp. Drain well.

    Sausage: Fry bulk breakfast or Italian sausage until fully cooked. Drain.

    Kielbasa: Thinly slice.

    Crab: Pick over pasteurized backfin crab for shell and cartilage.

  • Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

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  1. 96 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

I made 5 of these for a family brunch last Sunday. They turned out fantastic and were a definite crowd pleaser. I made 3 with just meats (one each of bacon, sausage, and ham), the other 2 we...

Most helpful critical review

This was okay.. the middle of mine did not turn out-was mushy =( The sides were great... Guess I'll try it again.

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Most positive
Least positive

I made 5 of these for a family brunch last Sunday. They turned out fantastic and were a definite crowd pleaser. I made 3 with just meats (one each of bacon, sausage, and ham), the other 2 we...

I had never made strata before and I made three variations for a brunch shower. I thought they were really very tasty. I made one variation with sausage and grated apple, one with diced ham and ...

It was pretty good. However, After 50 minutes of baking and 10 minutes of setting it cool- it's still a little bit liquidy in the middle area. So I baked it for another 15 minutes and let it set...

This is a versatile and reliable crowd pleaser. I've used many different combinations and Pam's right about the fresh scallions, they add a real bright note. I've found that the strata needs to ...

This is a great basic strata recipe. Start with the basic bread, egg, milk mixture and add whatever you want! I love to try new ingredients - whatever fresh veggies are in season. I do partia...

This made the best breakfast casserole I ever tasted!My guests wouldn't stop raving about it! I used another recipe for another one and that one was a flop. This strata has the perfect consisten...

I made this for a big group on a weekend get away and it was a hit! I added asparagus, plum tomatoes (seeded) and field roast vegetarian Applewood 'sausage' and used sharp chedder cheese. Nobo...

I liked this recipe because it gave the basic recipe and also gave suggested variations. I use multi-colored peppers and onions. It turned out good. I added 2 tsp of dried mustard and an 1/8 ...

Great recipe with unlimited versatility. Only change I have made is substituting 8 bakery croissants for the 12 slices of bread. The butteryness of the croissants adds a whole new level to thi...