Spinach & Cheese Strata

Tested & Perfected Recipes

With spinach, cheese and bread baked in a savory custard, this make-ahead strata is perfect for entertaining.


This elegant brunch strata — really a savory bread pudding with spinach, cheese, and cubes of bread baked in custard — is ideal for entertaining. You do all of the preparation the night before and then let it rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning you simply turn the oven on, place the strata in, and effortlessly wait for brunch to emerge. It’s a ‘wow’ dish so you can keep the sides simple: crispy bacon, a Strawberry & Orange Fruit Salad, and Mimosas would be perfect.

What You’ll need to make 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, it’s fine to substitute something else; just use a good melting cheese with bold flavor, like an 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 also be good — just be sure to reduce the salt in the recipe to a scant teaspoon or the dish will be way too salty.

How to make Spinach and Cheese Strata

Begin by squeezing all of the water out of the spinach. This will take a few minutes — you won’t believe how much water is in there! Take your time; it’s important to get it all out.


Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.


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


Layer a third of the bread in a buttered 3-quart baking dish.


Top with a third of the spinach.


Followed by a third of each cheese.


Repeat layering twice, ending with the cheese.


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


Pour evenly over top of the strata.


Then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.


Bake for about 75 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, and swapped the milk for half-and-half and reduced the baking temperature from 350°F to 325°F for a creamier texture.

You may also like

Spinach & Cheese Strata

With spinach, cheese and bread baked in a savory custard, this make-ahead strata is perfect for entertaining.

Servings: 8-10
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
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces (3/4 pound) Italian sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 11 slices or 8 cups)
  • 6 ounces (1-1/2 cups) coarsely grated Gruyère
  • 2 ounces (2/3 cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2-3/4 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible.
  2. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and drained spinach and cook 2 minutes more. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the half-and-half, Dijon 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.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake the strata, uncovered, until puffed, set and golden brown all over top, 70-75 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.
  6. 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 10-15 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.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • I stumbled across this recipe while looking for vegetarian brunch ideas. It was utterly perfect: rich and flavourful without a too-eggy taste despite the inclusion of 9 eggs! Here in the UK, where we don’t have half-and-half, I used half single cream and half whole milk, and the result was fantastic. I’ll be making it frequently.

    • — Vicki on October 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness!!! Just served this for my bookclub brunch and it was amazing!! I love that it’s made the night before ready for cooking the next morning 👍😋😊 I’m thinking it’s going to be perfect for Christmas brunch this year 🥰👩‍🍳🎅🎄

    • — Lorraine on September 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this a couple of time before and love it! In the future I’ll be making this for a person who can’t eat any kind of onions, but can have garlic. Do you think it’s okay to omit the onions or is there something else that I could add instead? Thanks so much!

    • — Cindy on July 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Cindy, I would leave out the onions and use 5 cloves of garlic. Hope it turns out well!

      • — Jenn on July 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • Could I substitute feta cheese?

    • — Kathy on July 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Feta doesn’t melt nearly as well as Gruyere, so if you want something a little more evenly distributed through the strata, I’d stick with Gruyere. If you use feta here; it will be different but still good. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made and love it. Thank you

    • — Theresa on June 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe. I have found the best way to get the water out of frozen spinach if to put it in a clean dishcloth and wring it out over the sink after it is thawed. Also works great for relish after you rinse off some of the juices. Works like a charm.

    • — MaudGonne on April 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – We are stuck inside and I’d love to make this recipe but it’s just the 2 of us. Do you have a suggestion on how best to cut down the recipe to 2-4 servings? Should I just cut it in half? Thank you

    • — Claire on April 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Claire, you can cut it in half and use an 8 x 8-inch pan. It will still make more than what you need for just two of you, but it refrigerates and reheats nicely so you can use it for more than one meal. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • could sauteed sliced mushrooms be added to this recipe?

    • — Jean Woessner on March 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on March 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • A friend of mine made this, and I had to have the recipe! I’ve made it a few times now, and people always want the recipe. It is so good!!

    • — Gayle on February 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I add ricotta into the egg mixture or somewhere else in the recipe? Also, could u add some leftover wild rice or would that be too much?

    • — Tiffany on January 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Tiffany, I think you could add both, but I’d limit the quantities; maybe stick to 1/2 cup of ricotta and 1 cup of the wild rice. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’m having a very large brunch at my house. If I have a baking dish that is 10″ x 14 1/2″, can I double the receipt or should I only add 50% to the ingredients?

    • — Judy Haddad on January 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, I’d increase by 50%. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, would it be okay to use fresh baby spinach instead of frozen as I have quite a bit that I would like to use up?

    • — Jeanette on December 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jeanette, fresh spinach will work (you’ll need about 1.5 lbs). Cook it first and make sure you drain it (like you would with the frozen spinach). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • I love so many recipes Jenn creates. In fact, I bought her cookbook because I felt guilty using and enjoying so many free recipes. Other than Ina Garten, I have never used so many recipes from a single chef. So I expect a couple not to be to my taste, and this was one. I was making it, along with several other dishes, including the leek quiche, for a group of women. I don’t think anyone cared for it. I bought bakery Italian bread, used the expensive cheeses. I thought it was dry, even though I used the nine eggs and baked only 60 minutes. It just seemed bland with occasional bites of the spinach. I did tr6 to spread out as advised. I used several ounces more than required. I know this got five stars by other cooks so it could have been me. I won’t make again.

    • — Bep on December 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • I don’t see list and amounts of ingredients???

    • — Adela on November 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Adela, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this for a Baby Sprinkle and it was a big hit. The only change I made was to use Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Mountain White Bread instead of Italian sandwich bread and prepped it the night before. I allowed the bread to thaw first and followed the recipe otherwise. I would probably add a tad bit more moisture (milk) the next time. Everyone enjoyed it and asked for the recipe.

    • — Diana on November 22, 2019
    • Reply
  • This recipe is divine! I have made this twice recently and both times it has come out perfectly. I usually half the recipe. Make sure you soak it overnight. It makes a significant difference!

    • — Mary on November 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I am making this strata in a few days for a bridge luncheon for 12 and need to make a smaller dish for gluten free friends. I have bought the bread and wonder if a need to do anything differently with this part of the recipe. I love your website and always look forward to receiving the email. I am just concerned about the difference in the bread.

    • — Betsy on November 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Betsy, I think you could get away with using gluten-free bread here without making any other adjustments to the recipe. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2019
      • Reply
  • I have made this a bunch of times – found the recipe years ago and it became a staple! Sometimes I switch it up and use broccoli instead of the frozen spinach for times sake (squeezing the water out of the spinach can be a bit of a hassle). I also will sometimes add bacon or ham! Just love it every time 🙂

    • — Lauren Toth on November 9, 2019
    • Reply
  • Could this be frozen after soaking, before cooking (or partially cooked)?

    • — Megahn on November 8, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Megahn, If you want to freeze it, I’d recommend freezing it after baking.

      • — Jenn on November 10, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen, not sure my market has Italian bread. Would sourdough work or should I keep looking? Thank you so much for answering questions Barbara Riddle

    • — Barbara Riddle on August 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Barbara, sourdough will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 28, 2019
      • Reply
  • Sorry, we were not a fan of this recipe. My husbands first bite was “it’s to much cheese”. I followed the recipe to a T. I just found it to be bland. I guess we just prefer a spicier casserole. I would suggest adding sausage to maybe kick it up a notch.

    • — Julie on June 23, 2019
    • Reply
  • Could this be Made in a Crock pot? I need to bring breakfast casserole to a lady’s brunch but I’m worried cold strata may not be great. Suggestions?

    • — Kristy Kirby on May 20, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristy, I don’t have much experience using a crockpot, so it’s hard to say for sure how this would turn out in one. You could fully prepare/bake this in advance and then reheat it once you get to the hostess’s house. In case you want to research using a slow cooker, here are some tips on converting recipes that you may find helpful.

      • — Jenn on May 20, 2019
      • Reply
      • Thanks for your reply !!! I love your cookbook and blog . My 7 year old daughter and I cook almost exclusively from your ideas . The strata turned out great . I just took it in a insulated carrier. We added sausage and topped with pepper flakes to give it a kick . We also took the berry trifle and chocolate croissant bread pudding (everyone’s favorite😉)

        • — Kristy Kirby on May 23, 2019
        • Reply
        • Thanks for the follow-up Kristy – so glad you had success with the strata (and the trifle and bread pudding)! 🙂

          • — Jenn on May 23, 2019
          • Reply
  • This was a huge hit for our brunch party yesterday! As a new mom who needed to feed a crowd without much time on my hands, I loved being able to make this the night before and then simply pop it into the oven the next day. Everyone at the brunch requested the recipe, which is always a great endorsement. I’m sure I’ll be making this for years to come!

    • — Julia on May 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • I added 1/2 pound of sweet Italian sausage but otherwise did not change a thing. It was delicious! This will be my go too brunch item!

    • — Cindy B on April 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen. This sounds delicious and I’m planning on making for Easter brunch. However I have a guest coming who hates the taste of mustard in anything. Can the Dijon be replaced with something else or just eliminated ? I’m concerned that eliminating it will take away from the final product.

    • — Debbie C on April 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, The Dijon does add flavor but I think it’d be fine to just leave it out. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 17, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this strata for Christmas Brunch. It was a hit with everyone, especially my vegetarian daughter! My husband browned some sausage patties for the meat eaters, and my daughter-in-law brought Mimosa ingredients. I served it with the homemade cinnamon streusel sour cream coffee cake. This is a dream recipe because you can make it up the night before and pop it in the preheated oven the next morning. Easy peasy Brunch! I’m thinking of repeating for Easter.

    • — Anne Cahill on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Our family absolutely loves this recipe!! We have been making it every Easter Brunch for the past three years.
    I had made many of your recipes and all are amazing!! I can always count on the recipe to come out great!!
    Thank you!!

    • — Rocio Costello on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    I would like to use sharp cheddar as one of the cheeses, would swiss be a good choice for the other?

    • — Linda on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Linda, I think will work nicely. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 11, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, if I need to prep this on Friday morning for Sunday afternoon, do you recommend I bake it on Friday and reheat on Sunday or should I keep assembled but uncooked in the fridge for 2 full days?

    • — KJ on March 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi KJ, It’s fine for this to be refrigerated overnight or even for 24 hours, but because you plan to assemble it more than two days before serving it, I would suggest baking it on Friday and reheating on Sunday. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on March 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • In Australia we have a metric system – have you a metric version of the recipe? Thanks

    • — Olga on February 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Olga, I just added metric measurements for this recipe. To view them, scroll down to the recipe and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 6, 2019
      • Reply
  • Jenn,

    You make the best recipes on the internet! Thanks
    Can I half the spinach and cheese strata since we are only two at home?

    • — Barbara on February 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • Awww, thanks Barbara! 💕
      Yes, halving this should work. Hope you enoy!

      • — Jenn on February 28, 2019
      • Reply
      • Can fresh spinach be used?

        • — Lois Rankin on July 31, 2019
        • Reply
        • Yes, Lois, fresh spinach will work here; you’ll need about 1.5 lbs. Just make sure you drain it like you would with the frozen spinach. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on August 1, 2019
          • Reply
  • Another winner! The changes I made were that I added a sauteed red bell pepper and 1 lb mild sausage and I used a little less bread. Everyone loved it and had seconds. Will do this one again for sure.

    • — Karen O on February 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • Can you use fresh baby Spinach? If not, how many boxes of frozen Spinach? We don’t get frozen spinach by the bag.

    • — Valerie on December 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • It’s fine to use fresh baby spinach; just be sure to cook first and squeeze all the liquid out.

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this as part of our Christmas morning breakfast. It was delicious! The gruyere cheese is an important ingredient, that really pushed the dish over the top!

    • — Sandra Crowley on December 26, 2018
    • Reply
  • Excellent!!!! Followed the recipe exactly. Was a bit nervous when making the layers because the onion/spinach layers seemed so scant. But just trust the recipe. Thank you for making our Christmas breakfast delicious!!!

    • — Karen on December 26, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made this strata and your strawberry orange fruit salad for Christmas breakfast this morning.
    My SIL said this is the best strata I’ve made so far. Every Xmas I try a new strata recipe. He said this is worthy of repeat!
    I did add a lb of sweet Italian sausage and no additional salt.
    Also use Challah bread.
    The fruit salad was light and refreshing, perfect with the strata.
    Excited to try some of the recipes from your new cookbook. I haven’t purchased a cookbook in years, but yours I could not pass up.
    Once Upon A Chef and Cooks Illustrated are my go to for cooking.
    Thank you for your invaluable blog and fabulous cookbook.

    • — Jeanne P on December 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on December 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • This is very good and my family liked it a lot. Mine came out a bit drier than I liked. I think next time, I might try using a little less bread so it’s not so stiff and is more creamy, soft.

    • — Kristi Kay Wiseman on December 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • This sounds amazing!
    If I use fresh spinach, should I still squeeze out liquid after sauteeing with the onion?

    • — elaine on December 23, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Elaine, I’d actually cook the spinach separately and squeeze out the liquid, then add it to the onions.

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2018
      • Reply
  • The Spinach Cheese Strata is my traditional brunch dish for Christmas morning! It’s absolutely delicious and easy to make the night before. I follow Jen’s recommendation and serve it with the strawberry orange fruit salad. So yummy. Don’t know what I would do without Jen’s recipes…it’s always my go-to!!!

    • — Lisa Engel on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • This is one of my favorite brunch recipes and I’m always asked to bring it! I admittedly don’t usually measure anything and probably use a bit more salt, also throw a little red pepper flake in with the spinach when it’s sautéing. I’ve made it with ciabatta and on the rare occasion I have some leftover challah, but no matter what I do it is always a hit.

  • Can this strata be assembled ahead then baked the next day?

    • Sure, Liza – that should be fine. Enjoy!

  • I am having people over for World Cup FINAL game and it’s at 8am (What was I thinking?). In any case, thinking of making 2 of these but wanted to sub chorizo fot spinach on one of them. Do you think it would work? Would I need to change cooking time?

    • Hi Nancy, I’d check out my Savory Sausage and Cheddar Bread Pudding and use that recipe instead. Hope that helps!

  • I have made this delicious strata several times for guests – it ‘s always a hit! I bake it in 2 dishes, so that I can freeze one for a later use. Last time I made it, I subbed small florets of broccoli for the spinach – WOW! Added crunch and great flavor… also the salad spinner works very well to get all the moisture out. I admit that squeezing spinach is somewhat messy. This is in my regular rotation for brunch served to guests. Since it’s a make-ahead, it’s really easy… fresh fruit and perhaps yogurt is all you need to complete the meal

  • Hi jenn, Do I need to cover with foil to bake? I want to make for mother’s day Thanks again

    • Hi Fanny, the strata does not need to be covered. Hope you enjoy!

  • I am shocked that so many people like this recipe. I felt like it was going to be bland but thought I would give it a shot. It was a bland, bready mess. Just had no flavor and I even added extra garlic and spinach. We all politely ate a piece and then I promptly threw away the rest of it. Yuk. I would give less than one star if possible.

    • So sorry this didn’t work out for you.

    • I don’t think you review was necessary. If you hated it, you should have just kept it to yourself. Obviously, everyone else thought it was delicious.

      • — Kathy on December 2, 2018
      • Reply
      • I agree with Kathy; people always ask me for the recipe when I make it! I am actually making it on December 5th for an office brunch.
        I love love all of Jenn’s recipes😊!

        • — Wahiba on December 2, 2018
        • Reply
  • I had some trouble fitting this into a 3-qt. casserole, even though I weighed the bread and measured all the ingredients. I ended up transferring it to a 13×9 casserole dish, and it was still a tight fit, so I took out a bit and baked it separately in two custard cups. Even with all the messing around with the “layers,” it turned out beautifully. I really appreciated being able to put it together the night before; I got home from church on Easter Sunday and popped it into the oven and it was ready for brunch. It made a great main dish for my husband, who doesn’t eat meat, and the rest of us loved it with our ham. Easy and delicious!

    • — Vicki Frederick
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I’d like to make the strata this weekend but there’s no such thing as half & half in Tunisia. Can I use 1 cup of heavy cream (crème fraîche) and 1 3/4 cup of milk instead? Thanks!

    • That will work, Marine – just use whole milk if possible.

      • Thanks! Turned out awesome, as usual 😉

  • I’d like to bake this strata for Easter brunch but will not have time to bake the full 70-75 minutes after church. Do you have a suggestion for partially baking before, then refrigerating and finishing after? Thanks!

    • Hi Anne, I’d suggest fully baking it. When you return from church, cover it tightly with foil, then reheat it at 325 degrees until hot in the center, probably about 35 – 40 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

  • I love this dish! Made this for brunch and lunch both. I tweaked it a little by adding broccoli, and/ or grilled chicken. Turned out really well. Everybody loved it.

  • I made this for a brunch baby shower and it was perfect. I got so many complements on it. Served with a pound/coffee cake and fruit salad.

    • — Elizabeth Daming
    • Reply
  • I wanted to like this recipe and was so excited to try it. I followed the directions carefully but this casserole did not impress my family. Cooking time, straight out of the refrigerator, was too long. I was a little embarrassed that no one wanted to eat or even try it. I ate a small portion because I didn’t want to be wasteful but I threw the remainder of it away.

  • This is fantastic! I greased the pan with pesto and used ciabatta bread. This is very delicious!

  • Delicious recipe, Jen. Made it with frozen spinach but now would like to make it with sauteed fresh spinach. Any idea how much fresh spinach it would take? I like a little more spinach. Or maybe it wouldn’t work. Thank you for great workable recipes and fresh ideas.

    • Glad you like the recipes! Yes, fresh spinach will work here; you’ll need about 1.5 lbs. Just make sure you drain it like you would with the frozen spinach.

  • Excellent breakfast casserole. My family loved it. I used grueyere instead of fontina since I mistakenly thought I had fontina on hand and did not. Excellent!

  • I had been wanting a strata recipe for awhile and recently made this one. It is definitely a keeper! I froze a section of it to take to my sister who is vegetarian. It freezes well. Only change I did for convenience was I used minced garlic in a jar, and instead of Gruyere cheese I substituted a soft Swiss cheese I had on hand already. I will be making this time and time again!

  • Really love your recipes, but being in the UK i am sometimes confused about some of the ingredients. Is half and half milk or cream, presumably low fat?

    • Hi Jane, Glad you like the recipes. 🙂 Yes, half and half is exactly that – half milk and half cream. In the UK, I believe it’s referred to as half cream. Hope that helps!

  • I made this strata for a brunch we hosted in November. My husband and our group of friends loved it so much that when a friend organized a Christmas brunch in December, she asked me to make it again. It’s that good!

  • This was delicious – and a nice change from the heavy meat strata we’ve always had at Christmas. Used ciabatta rolls. The texture was creamier than I’ve had before – and it tasted lighter (never mind all the cheese and half and half!). Have a family member who hates onion. Another person doesn’t like meat, and I was worried it would be bland without the onion. I did use the garlic and it was plenty flavorful. This will be a new regular holiday dish – it suits the vegetarians and the “I hate onions” crowd too! Try it!

  • I’ve really enjoyed going through the recipes on this site (my go-to site ever since Thanksgiving when I made the delicious stuffing). Thank you.

    This was a lot richer than I had anticipated, and I ended up eating most of it over a few days to prevent it from going to waste. (I hadn’t thought carefully about my eaters…Kids picked at it. And I sense there was too much richness for their moms, who politely made positive comments about how it looked, but perhaps were appalled by the siege against their diet and exercise programs.)

  • This looks so good. I can’t wait to try it.

    I wanted to share a secret for squeezing the water out of spinach. I put the whole thawed out package of spinach in my potato ricer and squeeze the heck the out it. It only takes a few seconds to get all the water out, and I just put the ricer in the dishwasher when I’m done.

  • Strata was a big hit for our Christmas brunch! The only ingredient I changed was the cheese. I had a block of Kerry Gold cheese, it was a combo of gruyere, cheddar and Parmesan. It cooked perfectly and was delicious! Thank you Jen! Keep your great recipes coming😁

  • Hello, This looks amazing and can’t wait to try this. I am making this for a brunch tomorrow at my niece’s home. Can I bake ahead in morning and reheat? Or should I bake right before we leave take there warm? Thanks!

    • Hi Donna, I’d bake it in the morning and take it there warm – should be perfect!

  • Can you make this ahead the night before and refrigerate for 10+ hours?

    • — Nadine Chiarito
    • Reply
    • Yep – hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jen. This looks awesome. How would I split it in two to give to two different new moms? Put in pie plates? Cooking time?
    Thank you for your amazing recipes.

    • Glad you like the recipes! I’d suggest baking this in two 8 x 8 dishes. Cooking time should be about the same, but keep an eye on it.

  • A wonderful recipe! I reduced the amount of onions by 1/2 per family preference and substituted 1/2 the amount of half-and half with 2% milk to reduce a bit of the fat. Upon making it a subsequent time, I had leftover ham, so I diced about a cup and added it. Your recipes are always perfect as they are, but I also think the mark of a good recipe is one that you can make basic adjustments to for personal taste and still have it turn out well. Your recipes are consistently dependable and delicious!

  • I will be making this Strata for a brunch tomorrow. I find the salt content high.
    Can I reduce it and maybe put in some Canadian Bacon? Thank you, Maggi

    • Sure, Maggie – I’d love to know how it turns out.

  • Made this for a wine tasting event featuring Merlot and it was a hit. Cut into small bite size pieces. Only change, I added bacon.

  • This is a favorite recipe in our home. Could I add smoked salmon to it?

    • Definitely!

  • I made this the night before Thanksgiving. I used leftover sourdough bread. My niece popped it into the oven in the morning. It was very crunchy on top due to the sourdough. We enjoyed it. Next time I will grease the pan more! The pan has been soaking for hours… oh well!!! We are prepping the holiday dinner. No worries!

  • Wow! Amazing! What’s the best way to store leftovers? Thanks so much!

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Sara! Leftovers should be covered and stored in the fridge.

  • Jenn,
    looking for a kugel substitution for brunch with our family. want a warm dish. your spinach and cheese strata is a possibility, but would rather use something without bread because we are having bagels and smoked salmon. any other suggestions? can always go to the blintzes, but would rather include some veggie something. any suggestions? I know you are busy, but if you have time in your schedule, I would love your suggestions.

  • I made this for a brunch this past Sunday and it got rave reviews from everyone. I made exactly as the recipe called for except had a 20 oz. package of spinach so I used it all. Had a few pieces left over that reheated well the next day.

    • Can I halve the recipe for an 8×8 pan?

      • Sure, Linda, that will work. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, I have a ton of kale ! Is there any way to substitute kale for spinach if I cook the heck out of it?

    • Yes, Sue, I think it would work. LMK how it turns out!

      • Friends of ours recently introduced this to us and made it with kale and it was delicious. We are trying it out ourselves for the first time tomorrow for my son’s birthday, this time with spinach and Gouda and a hard Italian cheese blend in place of parm reg.

  • This was so simple and tasted incredible! Your recipes make me look like an great cook. I can’t wait for your cookbook – it is going to be my standby gift for everyone!

  • Hello Jen. I love this strata! It came out perfect. I would like to try it with store bought croissant instead Italian bread, do u think will b ok?

  • Hi!

    I was wondering what i could use instead of half and half .How about a light cooking crea m or greek yogurt??

    • Hi Francesca, You could try milk, but the strata won’t be nearly as rich.

  • I have not made this recipe, but wanted to share a handy tip which some people may already know about.
    Whenever I need to drain spinach, I put it in my ricer and squeeze. This really gets all the water out. Someone told me this once and it has made such a difference, not only the amount of water I can get out, but the amount of time it saves me. I use it for all greens.

  • Can I freeze this before baking? I would like to make several casseroles for a large group and freeze since I won’t have time to prepare the day before my party

    • — Jackie Greiner
    • Reply
    • Hi Jackie, If you want to freeze it, I’d recommend freezing it after baking. When you’re ready to serve it, I defrost it in the fridge overnight. 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 everyone enjoys!

  • Made this for breakfast this morning and it was really good! I had some bacon in the freezer so I chopped that up and cooked it, then cooked the onions, garlic, and spinach in some of the bacon grease. I also had a random mix of cheeses to use up what I had (fontina, cheddar, and mozzarella). Definitely a keeper!

  • Served this for a brunch. My husband said it was much to “bread-y”. I liked it but also felt it was a little dense and could have used a little more liquid. I was unable to find Italian sandwich bread in the bread aisle of our local Walmart. Ended up purchased an whole, unsliced loaf of Italian bread in the bakery department. I used my Salter-brand electronic kitchen scale to weigh out 12 ounces of bread cubes so I’m not sure what happened. Perhaps I squeezed the spinach too dry or the type of bread I ended up using was dryer than normal. I did enjoy the flavor of the spinach and my 3-cheese selection (gruyere, cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano) in the casserole. Next time I think I will add a little pre-cooked breakfast or Italian sausage as well. Hopefully I can find a sliced Italian sandwich bread as well.

  • This was terrific. I used milk instead of half and half just to count calories. Still wonderful.

  • How could I substitute egg whites for some of the whole eggs? Thank you!

    • Hi Kat, I believe that 1 large egg is the equivalent of 2 large egg whites, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough eggs. And glad to hear you are only going to do this for some but not all of the eggs in the recipe as I think you’ll get a better result with some full eggs.

  • Hi Jen,

    I making the strata for a family dinner but I’m afraid that some of guests do not like spinach, can I substitute it for some other vegetable?

    • Definitely! Broccoli or mushrooms would both work well. Just be sure to cook them first before adding them.

  • Jen, your recipes have really kicked up my cooking! Your site is the first place I go for menu planning each week and literally every single dish I’ve made has been raved about by my family. Thanks for making me look so good!

    I made this for Mother’s Day brunch and was a huge hit! I made it the night before and then popped it in the oven the next morning which allowed me to spend time with my son and family rather than in the kitchen. I bought a 10oz bag of spinach as I wanted to add some other veggies. I diced red pepper and sliced some mushrooms and cooked them with the onions and it worked out perfectly. My audience ranged in age from 2 to 75 and everyone cleaned their plate! I served it with a garden salad and homemade buttermilk ranch dressing (recipe from this site) and it was a light, delicious meal.

  • I was literally in a grocery store parking lot when I received a text invitation to brunch the following day and needed to bring something for 6 people. It was late in the day and I didn’t want to go all the way home to rummage through recipes and couldn’t think of anything significant without some guidance. I pulled up this recipe on my phone, got the ingredients, made that night and served the next morning. WOW, WOW, WOW! Rave reviews from everyone, funny that all thought I’d worked so hard at something so delicious. This is SUPER easy, great for company and simply DELICIOUS!

  • I made this Spinach & Cheese Strata for Easter, and it was a HUGE hit! I will also be making this for an upcoming ‘girls weekend’ at the beach. As suggested by another reviewer, I used the Cheddar/Gruyere Melange (sp?) from Trader Joe’s and it was perfect!. I also love your spinach quiche!

  • How many ounces spinach do you use? Can I use a 10 ounce box?


    • — Sharon Meadows
    • Reply
    • 16 ounces (And I’d recommend sticking with that instead of a 10 oz box). Hope you enjoy!

  • Jenn,
    May I use less eggs for this dish.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Beya, if you want to use fewer eggs, I’d cut the other ingredients back accordingly too.

  • Hi Jan, I would love to try this for our Easter potluck at my parents this Sunday. It would be great to prepare the night before and not have to fuss much with it the following morning when we’d be going to church. However, this might be silly but my concern is that it will take about 20 minutes to get to my parents and after we get there we won’t be eating immediately. Would it be a disaster if I cooked it about 45 minutes at home followed by the last half hour in my parent’s oven?
    Also I have to tell you my husband and I are madly in love with all your recipes! They never fail!! You are such a wonder!
    Thanks! Sharon

    • — Sharon In Atlanta
    • Reply
    • Sure Sharon, I think that would be fine. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, I have made this before for an potluck brunch along with your cheddar and sausage bread pudding and both were fantastic. I was wondering if there were any other veggies that can be used in this along with the spinach (maybe mushrooms? or broccoli?)? For Easter brunch we have quite a few meat dishes and I want to get more veggies in! What vegetable would you recommend to add! I don’t want the flavor to be thrown off by clashing veggies! Also would the recipe need to be altered to account for the extra veggies?

    • Hi Brie, I think you can definitely add more veggies – and broccoli or mushrooms would both work well. Just be sure to cook them first before adding them. I don’t think you need to change the recipe but just be careful not to add too many veggies since they release liquid when they cook. I’m thinking 2 cups cooked veggies would be about right. Please lmk how it turns out!

      • I used a small package and a half of sliced mushrooms. Cooked them up before cooking the onions in the same pan. It turned out perfectly! Everyone loved it! Thank you again Jenn for another flawless recipe!

  • Can any other type of bread be used?

    • Yes Christina, the recipe is pretty flexible that way, so you can use what you have on hand. Enjoy!

  • Hi. My fridge is small & packed to the hilt. If I make this as meatless, could it stay out overnight for breakfast? Love, love your recipes! “Pinky”

    • — Sheryl "Pinky" Pincus
    • Reply
    • Hi Pinky, Unfortunately, this really does need to be refrigerated. Sorry!

  • Made this recipe for my boyfriend and I but added some back bacon in there and didn’t put any salt in. He and I both LOVED it! Will definitely be making again!!!

  • This was really a delicious recipe. Since I had two 10 oz boxes of frozen spinach rather than a 1 # bag, I went ahead and used the larger amount of spinach. Also sautéed a red pepper with the onion and spinach since it needed to be used up. Added the dry mustard to the sautéing veggies. Really a hit. Reheated very nicely and my family was very glad there were leftovers.

  • I want to make this Saturday morning. I won’t have time Friday night to prepare. Is it okay, if I prepare it Thursday night and refrigerate it Friday and then, bake and serve on Saturday?

    • Hi Raquel, that should be fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jen, If I’m using fresh spinach how much should I use? I find that fresh has a better flavor

    • Hi Syeda, You’d need about 1.5 lbs. Be sure to cook it first, then drain as with the frozen.

  • If I was wanting to add sausage to this dish, how much would I use and when to incorporate?

    • Hi Emily, Sausage would be a nice addition here. Just be sure to reduce the salt in the recipe to a scant teaspoon or the dish will be too salty. I’d cook the sausage right before or after cooking the spinach, onions and garlic and then mix the 4 things together to use when layering with the bread and cheese.

      • What are the proportions for sausage.

        • Hi Jan, I think about 3/4 lb would be perfect.

  • Do you dry the bread?

    • Hi Barb, no, it’s not necessary for this recipe.

  • Is this considered vegetarian?

  • Jen, I have tried many of your recipes and am in LOVE with them all! I have a question on this one. I bought too much dry “stuffing bread.” Can I use it in this recipe?
    Also please tell me your cookbook will be out in time for Christmas!

    • Hi Mel, so glad you like the recipes! If you’re referring to bread here, that should work, but I wouldn’t recommend packaged stuffing cubes. And my cookbook won’t be released until the Spring of 2018 (so I hope you’re patient :)!

  • Perfect brunch or dinner fare! Loved this! Thanks!!!

  • Hi Jenn, is there any substitute for 1/2 and 1/2? by the way I love your recipes!!! thank you for making meal time so easy and tasty! Giselle

    • — Giselle Gallant
    • Reply
    • Hi Giselle, Glad to hear you like the recipes. I think you could get away with using milk here.

  • I made this for breakfast yesterday and it was amazing! I cut the recipe in half, using an 8×8 baking dish, and baked it for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Perfect and delicious. I did use both cheeses in the recipe, which were pricey, so I’m glad it was a success! I also served the strawberry/orange fruit salad with it. Thank you – I will visit often and will be making more recipes from this site, for sure.

  • Excellent dish – we used sharp cheddar with the Parmesan reggiano, as suggested

  • Is it possible to freeze, and at what temp to bake frozen?

    • Hi Maureen, I haven’t frozen this before, but other readers have successfully. When you’re ready to serve it, I would defrost it in the fridge overnight. Before putting it in the oven cover it tightly with foil, then reheat it at 325 degrees until hot in the center, probably about 35 – 40 minutes. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • Made this for Fathers Day breakfast. Was a hit with the family.

  • what is half &half
    From Australia Adelaide

    • Half and half is equal parts whole milk and light cream. Enjoy!

  • OnceUponAChef is my go-to recipe site, by far! Quick question: if I have leftover strata, will it keep/warm up well?

    • Yes Kate, this reheats very nicely!

  • Never made a strata before and used this for a brunch. It was delicious andeveryone was asking for the recipe?. Will be putting it on my go to list for sure!

  • Excellent! Froze it, defrosted overnight in the fridge, covered in foil, baked at 350° for 45 minutes, as per instructions. Everyone loved it!

    • Hi Elanor,

      So, just to be sure, did you bake it before freezing and then just reheat it, or did you freeze it without cooking…,.I love.this recipe and also want it for guests coming!


      • Hi Katie,

        I cooked it. Froze it. Defrosted overnight. Warmed it up covered, which took 45 minutes.


        • Thanks!!

  • I made this for dinner last night and it turned out beautifully – It was lighter than I thought it would be, which was a nice surprise, and the texture was perfect.
    Another outstanding recipe, thank you!

  • Could I make this ahead and freeze it?

    • Hi Elinor, Its has a lot of dairy, so not sure how well it would freeze. It does refrigerate well, though.

      • Thanks Jenn. So not the answer I wanted! LOL. I’m having guests for ten days and much prefer knowing everything is done and in the freezer. I’ve been very successful freezing quiches. Lots of dairy, no?

        • Elixir, It’s certainly doable, but just may not be as good as when eaten right after baking. If you go this route, please let me know how it turns out!

          • I’ve never been called Elixir before. Gotta love spellcheck. So I do feel badly asking another question, when I didn’t listen to your last answer, but….the gorgeous strata is made and in the freezer. Do you suggest I defrost first or right from freezer to oven? What temperature? For how long? Promise I’ll listen this time. Thank you so much.

            • — Elinor
          • Elixir? So sorry :)!! I’m glad you’re giving it a try this way as I’d love to know how it turns out. I would defrost it in the fridge before putting it in the oven and then cover it tightly with foil and reheat it at 325 degrees until hot in the center, probably about 35 – 40 minutes. Hope everyone enjoys!

            • — Jenn
  • Is there anything to substitute for the spinach? My mom doesn’t like it. Thanks

    • Suzanne, you could probably use kale or collard greens here instead.

  • This recipe was really good. I made it today for a work breakfast party and was a big hit. The only thing I did different was adding about 1/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes ….. couldn’t help myself and it was a very good addition.

  • Hi, I’m going to make this tonight for tomorrow morning but I don’t have a 3 quart pan. Can I use a 9×13 glass pan instead and would that equate to halving the recipe? Thank you for your guidance!

    • Hi Sara, Yes it’s actually the same — I’ll update the recipe as I’m sure other people have the same question.

      • Thanks, worked perfectly!

  • can i make this with gluten free bread? i am a celiac.

    • Yes Betsy, I think you could get away with using gluten-free bread here. Hope you enjoy!

  • Huge fan- love everything i’ve tried from you! i’m wondering about other kinds of bread- what would the impact be if using challah? would you recommend the italian over that?

    • I think it’d work well, Anthea — really either one is fine. Enjoy 🙂

  • This will be he 3rd potluck breakfast that I have taken this dish to, it is a hit and I love that it is vegetarian! I use the olive loaf from trader joes and a blend of several cheeses it always comes out great! I’m so glad I came across this recipie, so addicting!?

  • Hi, i have lots of fresh baby spinach leaves (leftover from a salad that wasn’t made at a recent family gathering). Can I use this instead of frozen spinach, and if so how? Thank you!

    • Yes, you can definitely use fresh spinach. You’d need to cook it first, then drain as with the frozen.

  • I made this yesterday with a combination fresh kale and spinach. Next time I will add more bread. It was still very delicious!

  • For the strata is it ok to make it way ahead, like 1 1/2 days ahead, and let it sit in the fridge until baking Christmas morning. Want to make it tonight so Christmas Eve won’t be overloaded. Thanks!

    • — Rebekah sigmon
    • Reply
    • Hi Rebekah, Yes, that should be fine. Hope everyone enjoys it!

  • Hi Jenn! I’m preparing some meals in advance of my daughter’s arrival from college. This is one of our favorites!

    Two questions: How will it hold up to re-heating? And, do you still think about a pound of fresh spinach is the right portion to sub for frozen? Thanks in advance and happy holidays to you and your family!

    • Hi Sandy, Yes, the quiche will reheat nicely and I would suggest about 1 – 1/2 lbs. fresh spinach.

  • I made this recipe for an important brunch and it was outstanding. I followed the directions exactly and it looked, smelled and tasted wonderful! I also served homemade waffles with assorted fresh berries for the meal.
    Definitely a keeper and I plan to use it again during the holidays. It is not easy to find elegant brunch dishes.
    Thank you!

    • — Marjorie Cohen
    • Reply
  • Do you think it will be good if it sits for about a 24 hours instead of just overnight?
    Making for break fast for Yom Kippur. Thanks….love your site!

    • Hi Lauren, So sorry I’m late to reply. It will be fine to sit for 24 hours.

  • I made this and used swirled rye bread and some french bread that I had on hand…it was great, every one loved it. Thanks

  • Just made this for a back to school breakfast for the teachers at my school. Everyone loved it! I used a Gruyere/Cheddar blend from Trader Joe’s and it was perfect. Next time I will try adding bacon or ham.

  • I made this for a breakfast pot luck at work and it went over fabulously. 3 ofr 4 people asked for the recipe and when it came up for another breakfast pot luck, it was requested again. I have to work at 6 am so it will be in the oven by 4 or 4:30. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  • If I use fresh spinach….how much do I use?

    • Hi Madelaine, I’m guessing you’d need about 1.5 pounds.

  • Hi, I wondered if this would be okay when it was cold? Doing a cold buffet lunch on Sunday and won’t be able to serve food hot.
    Many thanks
    Kay Frith

    • Hi Kay, It’s really best served hot. Sorry! You might try my Spinach & Gruyere Quiche — that’s good at room temperature (not cold though).

  • I have a vegetarian couple coming to our bed and breakfast for 5 nights, so I decided to try this strata with another couple and ourselves this morning. Served it with the citrus salad and received rave reviews. Gruyere is expensive especially in our small town, so I used Trader Joe’s Gruyere/White Cheddar combination I had on hand and it was fantastic!

    • — Rochelle Shugrue
    • Reply
  • I prepared this for a book club brunch and it was a very well received. The gruyere was pricey, but essential. The sandwich bread isn’t something that my neighborhood grocery store carried, but Costco came through with the bread and good cheese. I also made the orange and strawberry salad with Cara Cara oranges, because Costco, and it was especially fabulous. Thank you for making me look like I know how to cook!

  • Fantastic for brunch. Everyone loved it and it was easy to make. It is very tasty.

  • Several of your recipes call for vegetable oil ,which I never buy. Can I use canola oil instead

    • — Linda schlereth
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, Yes, canola will work just as well.

  • I live in a small town and cannot find the Italian sandwich bread. Is there something else that I could use?

    • — Rochelle Shugrue
    • Reply
    • Hi Rochelle, Any plain sandwich bread will work just fine.

  • Made this strata for dinner tonight. Delicious! I love this site. So happy I came across it one day.

  • I’d like to make individual portions. What would be the cooktime?

    • Hi Sandy, Depends on the size, but I’d start checking after 30-35 min.

  • Is there something else I could use in replacement for Dijon mustard? I’m allergic to wine. I haven’t found a Dijon mustard that doesn’t have wine in the ingredients. I really want to make this for a summer brunch I’m throwing in June, wanted to test it before serving to my husbands boss! Ty!

    • Hi Maggie, You can leave it out; it will still be delicious.

  • How about using fresh spinach? Would I need to cook it first? Thanks!

    • Hi Karen, You could but not sure it’s worth it. You’d need to cook it first, then drain as with the frozen.

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.