Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Ham

Breakfast, Recipes

When feeding houseguests or having friends over for brunch this holiday season, buy yourself an extra hour of sleep by prepping breakfast in advance. This beautiful strata, full of spinach, ham and nutty Gruyère cheese, can be assembled the day before and popped into the oven about an hour before serving breakfast.


Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Ham




  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb. (500 g) spinach
  • 1 1/2-lb. (750-g) loaf sweet batard, crusts removed, bread cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) squares and toasted until dry (about 9 cups)
  • 8 oz. (250 g) ham, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) grated Gruyère cheese
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) half-and-half



1. In a 4-quart (4-l) Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.


2. In the same pot over medium heat, warm 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add half of the spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. olive oil and spinach. Using a rubber spatula, press out the excess moisture from the spinach.


3. In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, the caramelized onion, spinach, ham and cheese. Transfer to the Dutch oven. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Pour over the bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 16 hours.


4. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).


5. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is browned and the strata is cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes more. Serves 12.


Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen



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Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Ham
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3 comments about “Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Ham

  1. Madelaine Lam

    Can you substitute Batard. I don’t know where I can get it. Thanks.

    1. J. Lee Thompson

      Yes, you can substitute the bread. I make this often and use various breads (usually whatever is on its way out). As long as the bread soaks up the egg mixture, it’ll be fine.


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