Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata Recipe

Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata

There’s nothing like waking up to the aroma of a warm, comforting breakfast casserole. This strata is one of my favorite make ahead meals the flavors deepen overnight for a satisfying start to the day. Layered with ham, three cheeses and fresh herbs, it’s hearty yet wholesome, perfect for leisurely weekend mornings. I’ve chosen mixes of ham, cheeses and bread that are flavorful but not over indulgent. Though indulgent, this recipe provides sustained energy from quality proteins and grains.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed sourdough bread
  • 3/4 cup diced smoked ham
  • 1/2 cup each diced red bell pepper and shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup diced shallots
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of your choice (I prefer 2% for added creaminess)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata

How to Make This Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata Recipe

Preparing the Casserole Dish

Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with softened butter or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Assembling the Ingredients

In a large bowl, gently toss together the spinach, bread cubes, ham, peppers, shallots and cheeses. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, herbs and seasonings until well blended.

Layering the Casserole

Arrange half the bread mixture in the prepared baking dish. Pour over half the egg mixture and gently push the bread to absorb the liquid. Repeat layering with the remaining bread and egg mixtures.

Covering and Refrigerating

Lightly cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. This allows flavors to develop.

Baking the Strata

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover the dish and sprinkle the top with a light dusting of black pepper. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on top. The center should be set. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving warm.

Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata

Serving Instructions

This strata is best served warm from the oven but can also be enjoyed at room temperature. Slice into squares and arrange attractively on a serving platter. Consider adding a fresh green salad or fruit to complement the dish. For a crowd, the strata can be passed around family style. Be sure to have extra milk, orange juice or coffee available.

Storage

The strata can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To serve, reheat covered at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Freezing

For freezing, allow fully cooled strata to be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or foil, then place in a labeled freezer bag. Freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating using the same instructions as for refrigerated leftovers. Freezing makes this recipe convenient for future busy mornings. Just thaw and serve! Proper storage helps the flavors develop further over time.

Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata

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FAQs

Can I use any type of bread?

Can I use any type of bread? – While cubes of a hearty bread like sourdough or ciabatta work best, you can substitute sandwich bread in a pinch. Avoid very thin slices.

What if I don’t have all the listed cheeses?

Feel free to use your favorite one or two cheeses. Swiss, cheddar and Monterey Jack are all good options if you lack the ones listed.

Should I add any vegetables?

You’re welcome to stir in chopped spinach, tomatoes, peppers or mushrooms for extra flavor and nutrients. Baby spinach is a favorite addition of mine.

Will it taste good the next day?

The flavors will actually intensify overnight as the bread soaks up the custard. Refrigeration ensures the strata sets up nicely for easy slicing.

How early can I prepare it?

You can assemble the strata up to 24 hours before baking. Just be sure to refrigerate it, covered, until ready to bake the following morning.

Can I make it vegetarian?

Simply omit the ham and use vegetable or mushroom broth in place of milk for a meatless version everyone will love.

Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata

Overnight Ham & Cheese Strata

There’s nothing like waking up to the aroma of a warm, comforting breakfast casserole. This strata is one of my favorite make ahead meals the flavors deepen overnight for a satisfying start to the day. Layered with ham, three cheeses and fresh herbs, it’s hearty yet wholesome, perfect for leisurely weekend mornings. I’ve chosen mixes of ham, cheeses and bread that are flavorful but not over indulgent. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 10 cups (12–14 ounces weight) cubed bread (I recommend big chunks of a crispy baguette)*
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper (or any color)
  • 2 cups cooked and cubed ham
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I use a mix of gouda and mozzarella)
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk (any kind)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus more for topping
  • 2 tbsp green onion

Instructions
 

  • Toss the arugula, bread, turkey, peppers, onion and cheeses in a large bowl.
  • Whisk the eggs, milk, herbs and seasonings in another bowl.
  • Coat a 9×13 dish with cooking spray. Arrange half the bread mixture in the dish.
  • Pour over half the egg mixture and gently push the bread into the liquid.
  • Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 6-24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered 55-65 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before slicing into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keyword easy casserole, healthy strata, make ahead breakfast
Hey there! I'm Betty Spangler. I love food, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple.