Need a versatile, make-ahead recipe to serve at Easter brunch? Try these individual easy strata that you can customize to each of your guest’s tastes or nutritional preferences.
A strata is a cross between bread pudding and quiche. You put cubed day-old bread into ramekins, then add cheese, eggs, milk and seasonings. Let them sit in the refrigerator overnight and pop them into the oven just as your guests start to arrive.
Making Easy Strata is a great way to use up those hard baguette pieces or any other leftover bread. It can be whole grain bread, white bread, gluten-free bread, herb bread, sun-dried tomato bread, jalapeño bread, whatever you have that is past its prime. Similarly, you can use any cheese you like – cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, feta, pepper jack, gruyère, or a combination. Now is also the time to pull out those specialty seasoning combinations you bought.
Easy Strata Variations
Here are some combinations to try:
- Herb bread, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning
- Olive bread, feta cheese, Greek seasoning (such as Greek Freak)
- French bread, cheddar cheese, Cajun seasoning
- Whole grain bread, pepper jack cheese, taco seasoning
Adaptations for Special Diets
Watching your fat intake? Try low-fat cheese, nonfat milk and an egg substitute.
Avoiding gluten? Use your favorite gluten-free bread.
The possibilities are truly endless. If you come up with an interesting combination, I’d love to hear about it.
- 3/4 cup cubed day-old bread about 2 slices of a baguette
- 2 tablespoons grated cheese any type
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon seasoning blend Italian, Greek, etc.
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Spray a 7-ounce ramekin or small ovenproof bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place bread in ramekin. Sprinkle cheese over bread. Add milk to measuring cup, then add egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Whisk right in the cup, then pour over the bread and cheese in the ramekin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the strata from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place ramekin on small baking pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the strata is set.