Strata...What is it?

Joined Sep 27, 2003
Can anyone tell me what a strata is by definition?
I was cruising some recipes, and I gather that it is a casserole of sorts, not sure what the difference is, figured I would ask. I found a ridiculous amount of recipes….basically "anything-you-want-stratas". The common ground seems to be bread, and mostly eggs. By the way is this even any good?...LOL…I was looking for a breakfast recipe for buffet, and came across one that sounded good, would hate to have it on the menu and not know what it is! LOL
Searched the food lover’s companion online, and found nothing as well.
Joined Jan 1, 2001
Strata is basically a savory bread pudding. It's generally made with slices of crusty Italian bread and toppings of cheese plus vegetables and meat. It's then soaked in a custard and baked until set and puffy. I've always loved it, but only just out of the oven when really hot and fluffy. As it cools, it settles and becomes more dense, but still very tasty.
Joined Sep 27, 2003
It sounds delicious...if there is anything I love its custard...yum.
Feel free to pass along a good recipe.....LOL
Joined Mar 24, 2006
Classic bread and butter pudding, however you see classic. I love the modest sweetness with poured cream.

Glorious bread and butter sage and onion savory pudding. Risen, brown on top, and if you drop some chicken thigh chunks in by accident, well, good for you. I haven't heard of the word, strata, but see how can be.

I have a friend who makes chicken and stuffing (dressing if you prefer) cass. It really is so nice, but she does not add eggs.
Joined Sep 8, 2003
I had a delicious Chili egg puff at a B&B. Not a strata, but I know it holds up well on a buffet as the hostess will serve it two days in a row with great results. It has a little kick- very rich. Yum! I had the recipe, but can't find it here. Will post it later if you want.
Joined Sep 8, 2003
Frizbee, Here's a master recipe for strata from another cooking board. It's for a 9x13 pan- you'll have to do the math...

Stratas - Savory Bread Pudding

Here's a "master" recipe for a dish that can be made for breakfast, brunch, lunch or supper. You can invent any combination of ingredients for the filling, according to your taste, or according to what leftovers you have in the refrigerator (or choose from the ones listed). Make it simple or complex, homey or elegant. The best part is that the whole thing can be assembled the day before, and refrigerated until you're ready to bake it.

Makes a 2 quart casserole or a 9x13 baking dish, or eight indiviual (8 ounce) baking dishes

The Bread:
12 thick slices (about 3/4-inch thick)
crust may be on or trimmed off - as you prefer
any interesting bread will do: egg, sourdough, olive, wheat, etc.
Bread should be slightly stale OR may be sliced and baked at 300 degrees until lightly browned - about 15 minutes - to oven-dry

The Custard:
3 cups, milk (or cream or sour cream or creme fraiche - or combination)
6 whole (large) eggs OR 3 whole eggs and 6 egg yolks
Salt, pepper
Fresh or dried herbs
Pinch nutmeg (if cheese is used in filling)
1 T. Dijon mustard - if desired
OPTIONAL: an additional 1/4-1/2 cup liquid such as wine or flavorful broth - which compliments the recipe

The Filling:
Choose any combination of the following (or other) filling ingredients
Onions: up to 2 cups, thin sliced or chopped, sauteed until soft
Garlic: up to 4 cloves, sauteed with onions (or may be roasted)
Mushrooms: up to 1 1/2 pounds, sliced and sauteed
Cheese: up to 1 pound, grated, may be mixture of more than one kind
Bacon: up to 8 slices, cooked and crumbled
Ham or cooked sausage: up to 1 1/2 pounds, sliced or chopped, OR corned beef, pastrami, cooked seafood, cooked poultry or meat

The Method:
Generously butter a 2-quart ovenproof casserole, or a 9x13 baking dish, or 8 individual oven-proof dishes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Slice the bread into thick (about 3/4") slices. ([If oven drying, place slices on a cookie sheet, in a 300 degree oven until lightly browned, as directed above, and allow to cool.)

Butter the bread slices on one side, and cut each into 4 quarters.

Arrange half the bread in the bottom of the baking dish.

Sprinkle one half of the filling ingredients of your choice over the bread.

Arrange the remaining bread over the first half of the filling ingredients, then top with the remaining filling ingredients. (Note: If you are using cheese, end the layering with a cheese layer, for attractive presentation.)

Whisk the custard ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and pour custard mixture over the bread and filling layers in the baking dish. Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes to allow custard to soak into the bread.

NOTE: Mixture may be baked immediately (after 30 minutes standing), or may be refrigerated for several hours or overnight before baking.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes (10 minutes less for individual baking dishes) or until puffed and golden (a knife, inserted near the center of the casserole should come out clean).

Allow the finished strata to stand for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve hot, or at room temperature.

May be served from baking dish, or unmolded onto a serving platter.

May be reheated in hot oven or microwave.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
The really great things about stratas is that you can make them with just about any fillings you want; vegetables, meats, seafoods, herbs. The ideas can be almost endless. One of my favorites, that I used to run on Sunday Brunch sometimes was a Seafood (shirmp & crab) and Asparagus Strata.
Joined Jun 12, 2001
I did weekend breakfasts at a B&B for several years and made a lot of these things.

Like everyone else said, they're easy and versatile, and can be done day/night before.

Here's something else to consider:
To make a "pretty" top, after it's baked about halfway and sort-of-set, you can arranged some sliced tomatoes on the top that will bake in, also rings of colored bell peppers, asparagus, or other ingredients that may be within.

You can do a mexican variety using cut up flour tortillias in place of the bread, and maybe some sausage, chorizo, rotel tomatoes, jack cheese, etc.

Here's a link to a B&B recipe site that might give you other ideas:

Joined Sep 8, 2003
Henry, Great site! I've book marked it for further perusal.

Here's the chili egg puff from Sinclair Bed and Breakfast in Jehrico, VT (I hope I've spelled the town correctly...) It's a beautiful Victorian house with 6 or 7 rooms, all with private baths. We love going there- such a change from my almost contemporary home.


Serves 10-12 oven 350 degrees for 35 mins. or so depending on oven

10 eggs 1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup a.p. flour ½ teaspoon salt
1 pint creamed cottage cheese 1pound shredded jack cheese
½ cup butter ½ up diced green chilies

- beat eggs until light and lemon colored.

- add rest of ingredients, except the chillies, one at a time blending until smooth.

- Stir in chillies and pour into well-greased 9”x13” baking dish

- Bake until top browns and center is firm

Serve hot or cold with optional (?) spoon sour cream and some salsa.
Corn bread goes well with this.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Henry, I love I use it regularly to check out places to stay when my wife and I travel and I am constantly looking for the inn I want to purchase someday. I do like their recipe section too though I don't visit there too often.
Joined Mar 24, 2006
Strata in the dictionary tells it is 'layers'. I have never heard of it in a culinary sense, but nontheless it makes a lot of sense. Maybe this is 'stacked' food. Maybe this is muffaletta (sp?) It could be eggs benedict, or any other thing that has layers, like a hamburger. Maybe it is a generic word. I think it might be. I understand it has major use in geology. So bite a rock good people.
Joined Jan 15, 2000
I also had strata for the first time at a B&B many years ago. While I agree it's delicious puffy and straight out of the oven, I think it holds well. I think it's like breakfast lasagna, with the layers and all.

My top three flavors are:
Roasted Poblanos, Chorizo and Chihuahua Cheese;
Goat Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon;
Fontina, Spinach and Caramelized Onions.

I also make them mini in a muffin pan with circular bread cut out on top and bottom. It's fast for a buffet, plus it looks great and people love them. They pop right out of silicone pans.

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