December 29, 2009

Special Occasion Strata

As promised, here is the recipe for the strata I made on Christmas morning. You’ll see why I named this post “Special Occasion Strata” once you read the ingredients. Healthy buzzwords need not apply! ;)

I was inspired by a cheesy rice casserole recipe my mom sometimes makes for special occasions and/or holidays. It is definitely a family favorite. It’s also absolutely sinful due to the cheese content alone, and it doesn’t even end there, so we all consider it a rare treat. Being that I needed both a rare treat and a breakfast recipe, however, I decided to strata-fy the rich flavors into a dish appropriate for Christmas morning.


Chili Cheese Strata


  • 12 oz bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 lb jack cheese, shredded
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilis
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread bread out to cover the bottom of the dish. It’s ok if it doesn’t fit into a single layer.
  3. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over the bread. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs together with milk, sour cream and chilis until evenly combined. Add salt and pepper, if desired.
  5. Pour egg mixture over bread and cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Allow the strata to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking, if possible.
  7. Bake at 350* for one hour, or until thoroughly cooked through and solid. The top should be slightly browned and bubbling a bit.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes or so to set and “un-puff” a little. Slice into squares and serve.

Serves 6-8


So often my recipes are decently tasty (at least to me, obviously), but to be honest, they’re also often one-offs. When it comes to deciding what to eat, I almost always want to either try a new recipe or come up with a new one of my own. This strata, on the other hand, is definitely a keeper that I will store in my growing I'm-an-adult arsenal of crowd-pleasing recipes.


What’s your favorite reliable recipe to make when you have company?


Elina said...

This DOES look absolutely amazing. I'm sure you'll make something equally delicious (if not better) in 2010 :D

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Company and what to make for them...gosh, that's a good one! Depends on who's coming...always simple stuff with a few raw balls thrown in for good measure :) TWSS!

The strata looks wonderful!!!

chrystad72 said...

Wow! That is one tasty looking strata!! hhhmm my go to meal for company? well I make some mean tex mex food so I'll usually whip up some homemade tortillas and fillings. Im really comfortable throwing it together. Anyways have a great night!!

Anonymous said...

i've never made a strata before! looks good though

Anonymous said...

that looks SO GREAT!!! i make pumpkin dip when ppl come over..easy and good!

katherine said...

Um WOW. Seriously, girl. That looks and sounds phenomenal. I honestly thought I could smell it just from your pictures and description. Any extra squares sitting around?

Erica said...

This looks so good! Perfect for a christmas company treat! I usually make sweet breads or cookies for family! In terms of meals, my go tos are pulled pork or stuffed shells!!

Missy said...

I've never heard of strata but that looks amazing!!

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

Oh my! That strata looks very yummy.

What to make for company...good question. I've been thinking about this all morning since we're throwing a New Year's Eve party.

Think I'll go with something very simple (snacks and cudites) and maybe some raw cookies just for fun.

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

When you have time stop by my blog. I've given you a blog award. Happy New Year!

april said...

What a delicious recipe! I just learned what a strata is and I'm excited to try it out! Is it kind of like bread pudding?

Gena said...

I repeat: must give this a try for la madre. She will swoon, I tell you, swoon!