American bread casserole: Strata is that easy

American bread casserole with bacon and cheese

© AS Food studio / Shutterstock

Uncomplicated recipes are just the thing when things have to be done quickly. Therefore you should definitely try "Strata" – this is an American bread casserole that works with just a few ingredients and is also perfect for using leftovers. We'll tell you the irresistible recipe!

Strata: Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 350 g baguette (or other white bread)
  • 250 g bacon cubes
  • 5 eggs
  • 500 ml of milk
  • 200 g of grated cheese
  • Salt pepper
  • Fat for the shape
  • Herbs of your choice (e.g. chives or parsley)

Preparation time: 60 minutes (+ 30 minutes of rest)

Step-by-step preparation of Strata

  1. First cut the bread into slices and then into cubes.
  2. Fry the bacon in a pan until crispy without adding any additional fat.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the milk, stir in half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grease an ovenproof dish, spread the bread and bacon in it and pour the egg milk over it. Let it steep in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, convection 160 degrees, gas mark 3.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the casserole, cover with a sheet of baking paper and bake on the middle rack for about 25 minutes. Then remove the baking paper and bake for about 15 minutes until the surface is golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with herbs to taste before serving.

For more variety on the plate: Strata in different versions

The bread casserole can easily be modified so that you can prepare it according to your taste. It also tastes great with onions and if you want to eat vegetarian, you simply replace the bacon with spinach, for example. You can also vary the cheese, for example try this hearty casserole with Gorgonzola cheese! Instead of diced bacon, Strata can also be prepared with chorizo, which you cut into slices and fry briefly. As you can see, there are no limits to your imagination!

By the way, Strata is often served as a breakfast casserole in the USA – you may know it from the movie "The Stone Family" with Sarah Jessica Parker. The casserole is ideal for using stale bread: Since the bread cubes soak in the egg milk for some time, it doesn't matter if the bread is from the day before and is already a bit harder. For even more inspiration, browse through our bread salad recipes: