May 18, 2024

This protein-packed casserole is ideal for feeding a crowd. The secret is letting the egg mixture soak into the bread cubes overnight, so you can prep it the night before and enjoy a stress-free breakfast in the morning. Whole-wheat sourdough adds a tangy flavor and fiber boost, but feel free to substitute with regular sourdough or whole-wheat country bread.

Can Eggs and Cheese Be Part of a Healthy Diet?

  • Eggs: Once considered unhealthy, especially for those with heart disease, eggs are now recognized as a good source of nutrition for most people. Dietary cholesterol has minimal impact on blood cholesterol levels, and the saturated fat in eggs may be less harmful than other types. Eggs are packed with essential nutrients like complete protein, vitamin B12, and choline. Egg yolks also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that contribute to healthy vision.
  • Cheese: Similar to eggs, cheese has been demonized for its fat content. However, the type of saturated fat in cheese might not be as detrimental as others. Cheese provides protein, calcium, and other micronutrients, even promoting gut health with probiotics. Opt for lower-sodium varieties whenever possible.

Test Kitchen Tips:

  • Strata vs. Breakfast Casserole: A strata is essentially a savory bread pudding, a type of breakfast casserole. Assembling it the night before allows the egg and milk mixture to saturate the bread for a delicious result. The finished product resembles a soufflé, so expect it to rise while baking and settle slightly afterward.
  • Center-Cut vs. Regular Bacon: Center-cut bacon lacks the fatty ends found in regular bacon. The price is usually comparable, so the choice comes down to preference. You’ll find both options in the supermarket refrigerator aisle.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I Make This Strata Ahead of Time? Absolutely! Assemble the strata the night before and refrigerate it. This allows the bread to soak up the flavorful ingredients. Just pop it in the oven the next morning for a hassle-free breakfast. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Cooked strata freezes well too, either whole or portioned out, for up to 3 months in freezer-safe bags.


  • 3 slices center-cut bacon, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 8 ounces crusty whole-wheat sourdough bread, cubed (1-inch; about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp (about 6 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving drippings in the pan.

  1. Sauté onion in the reserved bacon drippings over medium-high heat, stirring often, until softened and translucent (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in spinach.

  1. Layer half the bread cubes in the baking dish. Top with half the spinach mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers with remaining bread, spinach mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together half-and-half, mustard, pepper, nutmeg, salt, and eggs. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and top with reserved bacon.

  1. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
  2. Bake the strata, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown throughout (40-45 minutes). Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 4 and refrigerate up to 12 hours.

Nutrition Information (per 1 cup serving):

  • Calories: 249
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 146mg
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Total Sugars: 5g
  • Added Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 13g

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