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Spinach & Cheese Strata

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Layered with spinach, cheese, and bread, and soaked in a savory custard, this make-ahead strata is ideal for entertaining.

Spinach & Cheese Strata

A strata is a layered casserole made with bread, eggs, cheese, and sometimes vegetables or meat (strata means layers). Think of it as a savory bread pudding. This spinach version is richly flavored with Gruyère, Parmesan, and Dijon mustard. It’s the perfect vegetarian brunch dish to feed a crowd. You do all of the preparation the night before, let the strata rest in the fridge overnight, then pop it in the oven in the morning. As it bakes, it puffs up like a soufflé, making it a real showstopper. The strata does fall a bit as it cools, but it’s still impressive. Serve with crispy bacon, a strawberry & orange fruit salad, and mimosas.

What You’ll need to make Spinach & Cheese Strata

ingredients for spinach and cheese strata

Before we get started, a few words about the ingredients. It’s important to use good quality cheese. The recipe calls for a combination of Gruyère and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but since they are both expensive, feel free to substitute other good melting cheeses with bold flavor, like extra-sharp cheddar. The recipe is pretty flexible, so you can play around with different sautéed vegetables depending on what you have on hand. Some cooked sausage or pancetta would be a nice addition; just be sure to reduce the salt in the recipe to a scant teaspoon or the strata will be way too salty.

Be sure to squeeze all of the water out of the spinach. Take your time; it’s important to get it all out or the strata will be watery.

Step-by-step Instructions

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.

melting butter in skilletAdd the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

sautéed onions in skillet

Add the spinach and garlic and cook a few minutes more.

cooking the spinach and garlic with the onions

Layer a third of the cubed bread in a buttered 3-quart or 9×13-inch baking dish.

Top with a third of the spinach.

layering spinach mixture in baking dish

Followed by a third of each cheese.

layering cheese in baking dish

Repeat layering twice, ending with the cheese.

strata layers in baking dish

Make the custard by combining the whisked eggs, half-and-half-Dijon mustard salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Whisk evenly to combine.

whisked custard mixture

Pour evenly over top of the strata, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

soaked strata ready to bake

Bake for about 70 to 80 minutes, until puffed, set and golden all over.

Note: My starting point for this recipe was this popular strata originally published in Gourmet magazine. I increased the spinach; amped up the flavor by adding garlic and increasing the salt; swapped the milk for half-and-half; and reduced the baking temperature from 350°F to 325°F for a creamier texture.

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Spinach & Cheese Strata

Layered with spinach, cheese, and bread, and soaked in a savory custard, this make-ahead strata is ideal for entertaining.

Servings: 8 to 10
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 75 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes, plus at least one hour to sit in the fridge


  • 1 pound bag chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as possible
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces (¾ pound) Italian sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 11 slices or 8 cups)
  • 6 ounces (1½ cups) coarsely grated Gruyère
  • 2 ounces (⅔ cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2¾ cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and drained spinach and cook 2 minutes more. Set aside.
  2. Butter a 3-quart or 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread one third of the bread cubes in the dish and top evenly with one third of spinach mixture. (Try to break it up as much as possible so there are no huge clumps of spinach.) Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice, ending with cheeses.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the half-and-half, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and whisk until well combined. Pour the custard mixture evenly over the strata. Cover the strata with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake the strata, uncovered, until puffed, set and golden brown all over top, 70-80 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. It will settle a bit as it cools.
  5. Note: The cook time is based on the strata going immediately from the fridge to the oven. If it sits out at room temperature before baking, the cook time will be about 10 minutes less.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 483
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated fat: 16g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Sodium: 1117mg
  • Cholesterol: 280mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Thinking of making this and wondered if I could add some sautéed mushrooms. Thoughts?

    • — Elaine on September 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Elaine – I think that mushrooms would work really well here. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • This was made for a recent family gathering and everyone loved it!. Recommended!

    • — Ann Sheehan on August 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Quick question for you: what do you think about chopped kale instead of the spinach? Not ideal, or my first choice, but 2 different stores are out of organic chopped spinach & I insist on organic everything. Thanks so much!!! Your recipes are 100% reliable & ALWAYS sooooo… good! I appreciate how you make us all, (even me!) look like we know how to cook!

    • — Kelly on August 16, 2023
    • Reply
    • Agreed that it’s not ideal, but assuming it’s cooked, it should work. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on August 17, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can I bake it on Wednesday to serve on Saturday? Or should I freeze it until friday then let it thaw overnight and reheat on Saturday? Thank you! Love all of your recipes 👍🏻

    • — Awiater on June 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • I’d be concerned about letting it sit from Wednesday until Saturday, so I’d freeze it. And so glad you like the recipes!

      • — Jenn on June 28, 2023
      • Reply
      • Similar question. Can I prepare it on Friday, put it in the fridge and then cook it Sunday morning? Seems like a perfect dish for our Sunday brunch but will have a house full of guests on Saturday and would prefer to prepare stuff before they arrive. Thanks

        • — Steve on July 10, 2023
        • Reply
        • Hi Steve, I’ve never refrigerated it for that long. I wouldn’t push it any longer than that, but I think it should work. Hope everyone enjoys!

          • — Jenn on July 10, 2023
          • Reply
  • Hello, I have seen pictures of various strata dishes and they looked delicious but I wanted to lower the carbs in my diet. I made your Spinach and Cheese Strata using no carb bread but everything else was true to the recipe. It is SO DELICIOUS! I don’t have any other words to describe it. I think next time I’ll do half milk and half and half, also for dietary reasons. I just hope it doesn’t drastically change the wonderful flavor or richness of this beautiful recipe. I’m also signed up for your emails and plan to try many others. Thank you so much for your recipes! -Katherine-

    • — Katherine Silva on June 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Just made this Strata. It is absolutely delicious! Thank you Jen for yet another wonderful recipe, you never let us down!

    • — Susan Smith on April 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hello,
    I like the sound of this for a brunch!! But can you please tell me what half and half is? I need to figure out a substitute, as I’m living in France 🇫🇷
    Thanks very much

    • — Elle on April 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Elle, Half and Half is just a mixture of half whole milk and half cream. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 6, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thanks for your help!! Will now try it 👍

        • — Elle on April 8, 2023
        • Reply
  • As a Canadian who has lived in the UK for many years, I love making stratas as people here don’t really know about them. And I almost want to keep them a secret as I get rave reviews whenever I make this recipe! I’ll be making it again for my grandson’s first birthday brunch where it will be perfect. Easy to make and transport across London. Thank you. 🙂

    • — Jenny Scarlett on April 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made it – LOVED IT!! Would I be able to bake this stratta in individual muffin cups instead of a casserole dish? It’s for a brunch event for a big crowd. I’d like this dish to be a one bite thing for ppl. If yes how would I adjust baking temperature and time? Thx so much. Sharon

    • — Sharon K on February 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Sharon, Glad you liked it! I think it would work to make it in a muffin tin. I’ve never made them this way so I’m not sure about timing. I’d start checking them at 15 minutes (but keep a close eye on them). I’d love to hear how they turn out in muffin form!

      • — Jenn on February 22, 2023
      • Reply
      • Me again! I made your delish stratta in a mini silicon muffin tray for our big group brunch – huge hit!! Made the stratta, let it sit in the fridge over night, scooped out portions into the muffin tray. Baked them at 325 degrees for about 20-25 min. Everyone loved them and I loved that they were bite size, well 2 bite size 😊. Love love your recipes❤️. Thank you!!

        • — Sharon Kopansky on March 28, 2023
        • Reply
  • Excellent strata! I had Havarti dill cheese and parmesan and it tasted wonderful. The proportions in this recipe work!

    • — Mary on February 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • Amazing! I made the recipe as is and had people raving about it. I will definitely be making this again!!

    • — Gail on February 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • Does this recipe work without mustard?

    • — Lynn on February 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on February 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • Thank you so much for this tasty and easy recipe.
    I used 3/4 of a cut Safeway French loaf , cooked up fresh spinach and drained out the water. Used guyere and 2 ounces of white sharp cheddar I had on hand. It browned up beautifully at the 325 temp.

    • — JW on January 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • If I make the recipe the day before, including cooking it, will it reheat the next day without over cooking it? What is the best way to reheat it?

    • — Cheryl L Grabert on December 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Cheryl, As long as it’s covered, it shouldn’t overcook/dry out. Before putting it in the oven, cover it tightly with foil, then reheat it at 325 degrees until hot in the center, probably about 40 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Very good strata, excellent for a sunday brunch.
    I had to print out the recipe for guests 🙂

    • — Martine Belanger on December 28, 2022
    • Reply

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