Ham, Cheddar and Veggie Breakfast Strata

Ham, Cheddar and Veggie Breakfast Strata

Every so often I like to have breakfast for dinner.  I think it’s fun and it gives me a chance to try breakfast recipes that I might not get to make otherwise.  I have wanted to try a breakfast strata for quite some time after seeing various versions pop up on different blogs.  While they all looked good, I finally settled on this version.

Ham, Cheddar and Veggie Breakfast Strata

My husband was a little skeptical when I told him what we were having (especially since he’s not a huge fan of the whole breakfast for dinner thing). But his attitude changed pretty quickly after tasting. This was good, really good. It has a whole lot of flavor and is a nice change from the usual way we eat eggs.

On top of that, the dish is made in advance (and refrigerated for at least 8 hours). I made this in the morning and then didn’t need to worry about spending time cooking dinner that night. This would also be great if you were having company over for breakfast / brunch since you can make it the day before and then just pop in the oven in the morning. Huge bonus in my opinion.

I halved the recipe to suit our needs and have reflected those quantities below. However, you can easily double the recipe and bake in a 9 by 13 inch pan for a larger number of people.

Yield: 4 servings

Ham, Cheddar and Veggie Breakfast Strata

Recipe for ham, cheddar and veggie breakfast strata. A great make-ahead dish! Packed with broccoli, spinach, ham and cheddar!

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Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • ¾ cup cubed ham

For the strata:

  • 2 ½ to 3 cups cubed French bread
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Begin by preparing the filling. To caramelize the onions, heat the 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the onions and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly caramelized.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate small skillet, heat the ½ tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender (about 4 to 5 minutes). Add in the baby spinach leaves and cook for about one minute, until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Combine the caramelized onions, broccoli / spinach mixture and cubed ham in a medium bowl. Mix together and set aside.
  4. Spray an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place half of the bread cubes in the bottom, then sprinkle with half the shredded cheese and then top with half of the filling. Repeat this process – add the remaining bread cubes, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and finally top with the remaining filling.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, green onion, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Evenly pour the mixture over the bread cubes/cheese/filling. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for about 8 hours or overnight.
  6. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes, until the strata is slightly crispy and golden brown on top (the strata should not “wiggle” if you shake the pan). Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Slightly adapted from Ezra Pound Cake. Originally from Gale Gand’s Brunch!.