Holiday Brunch Strata

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and that means plenty of parties, get-togethers and entertaining with family and friends which is why this is my favorite time of year! I always love to get together with my girlfriends and do a holiday brunch where we all bring a lovely dish, and sit around the table eating, drinking and talking for hours as we catch up on each other’s lives and laugh a little.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

One of my favorite things to make for holiday brunch is a Strata, or Breakfast Casserole, made with bread, ham or bacon, some gooey cheese, veggies and eggs, all baked in to a big pot of goodness. It’s rich, creamy, hearty and incredibly delicious, a savory bread pudding, if you will – and a great way to use some of your leftover holiday ham! It goes great with a green salad, some fresh fruit and mimosas (and of course lots of coffee, tea and holiday pastries on the side!)

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

This recipe is really easy to make, especially with my amazing KitchenAid® Artisan® Series Stand Mixer. The best part about making a Strata is that you just throw all the wet ingredients and spices in the bowl of your Stand Mixer and whisk it all together on low speed for a few minutes to beat the eggs, milk and cheese together. This Stand Mixer also has a handy plastic pouring shield to help keep the liquids from splashing all over your work surface when you add them to the mixing bowl; works like a charm!

Then you layer all the ingredients in the casserole dish the night before, allowing the bread to soak up all the luscious custard and flavors overnight, and then you just pop it in the oven and bake it in the morning. (And maybe even get to sleep in a little or go back to bed while it’s cooking!)

I used a baked white loaf for the bread, but you could also use whole wheat or even Challah bread for a touch of sweetness. You can also substitute crumbled sausage, bacon or pancetta for the ham, and experiment with using some different cheeses if you like (I used shredded mozzarella, but any cheese that melts well like a Gruyere, Swiss or Cheddar will work great). You can also make it with broccoli instead of spinach or throw in some colorful peppers to add some extra color – the possibilities are endless, and all tasty using the same base recipe below.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

First, get all your ingredients prepped and ready to go – eggs, milk, cream, ham, cheese, spinach, spices, etc.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

Cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and place in the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Then you are going to heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the minced garlic for a minute or two. Stir in spinach and sauté for about 5 minutes until cooked through; remove from heat, set aside.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

In the mixing bowl of the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, add the whole milk, cream, eggs, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper, cayenne, nutmeg and hot sauce.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

Whisk together on low speed until ingredients are mixed together well.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

Pour the milk, cheese and egg custard over the bread cubes in the casserole dish and press down to coat all the bread completely with the egg mixture.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

Layer on top the spinach and garlic mixture, spreading evenly over the casserole and top with the cubed cooked ham, pressing down into the casserole dish.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

Sprinkle additional cheese on top. Press down on the mixture and evenly spread out the ham and cheese throughout the casserole dish. Cover the strata tightly with foil and chill for at least 2 hours to overnight.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata, covered, until eggs are set and the edges are bubbling, about 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 10 minutes. If the top starts getting too brown, cover it with foil towards the end of cooking. Increase oven temperature to the broiler on high and move the rack to the top of the oven and broil until the strata is bubbly and golden brown, for another few minutes. Pierce the strata with a knife in the center to check for doneness – if it comes out clean then the bread custard is cooked through.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

Serve warm with fresh fruit, a green salad and a few mimosas, and celebrate the holiday season with this gorgeous comforting brunch dish everyone will love…Happy Holidays!

Holiday Brunch Strata with Ham, Spinach & Cheese

Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
8 large eggs
1 cup coarsely shredded cheese (Gruyere, Swiss or Cheddar)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of cayenne
Dash of hot sauce
6 cups of cubed bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup diced, cooked ham
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and place in the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic for a minute or two. Stir in spinach and sauté for about 5 minutes until cooked through; remove from heat, set aside.

In the mixing bowl of the KitchenAid® Artisan® Series Stand Mixer, add the whole milk, cream, eggs, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper, cayenne, nutmeg and hot sauce. Whisk together on low speed until ingredients are mixed together well.

Pour the milk, cheese and egg custard over the bread cubes in the casserole dish and press down to coat all the bread completely with the egg mixture.

Layer on top the spinach and garlic mixture, spreading evenly over the casserole.

Top with the cubed cooked ham and sprinkle additional cheese on top. Press down on the mixture and evenly spread out the ham and cheese throughout the casserole dish.

Cover the strata tightly with foil and chill for at least 2 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata, covered, until eggs are set and the edges are bubbling, about 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 10 minutes. If the top starts getting too brown, cover it with foil towards the end of cooking. Increase oven temperature to the broiler on high and move the rack to the top of the oven and broil until the strata is bubbly and golden brown, for another few minutes. Pierce the strata with a knife in the center to check for doneness – if it comes out clean then the bread custard is cooked through.

Serve warm with fresh fruit, a green salad and a few mimosas and celebrate the holiday season with this gorgeous comforting brunch dish!

Note: The strata can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, covered for a day or so until ready to bake. To store cooked casserole in the freezer, wrap it well with plastic wrap in the baking dish, and cover tightly with foil, up to 1 month. Simply pop it in the oven and reheat for about 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees until the strata is hot and heated through.

Holiday Brunch Strata Recipe

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*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*

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  • Sharon Lambert

    This looks delicious! Great recipes on the blog : )

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