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Cheese Strata

Cheese Strata
14 votes, 4.57 avg. rating (90% score)
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Total Time: 45

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Make this savory cheese strata bread pudding the night before serving and you'll be able to feed a crowd for holiday brunch.

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  • 1 tablespoon softened salted butter
  • 18 slices white bread (slightly stale), crusts removed
  • 2-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3-1/2 cups milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated


Generously grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with softened butter. Fit 6 bread slices into the dish. (Don't worry if there are spaces; as the bread soaks, it will swell to fit.)

In a large bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, ham, and rosemary. Spread half the mixture on top of the bread layer and smooth with a spoon. Add a second layer of bread and cover with remaining mixture. Add a final layer of bread.

In a bowl combine milk and eggs. Whisk until smooth, and pour over strata. Cover dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove chilled strata from refrigerator at least a half hour before baking and set out at room temperature. Bring a kettle of water to boil over high heat.

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove wrapping from strata and sprinkle grated cheddar over strata. Place the baking dish inside a larger roasting pan, and carefully pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the strata pan.

Bake until puffy and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool 20 minutes, cut into squares, and serve.

Updated Sunday, April 21st, 2002

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4 Responses to Cheese Strata

  1. william martin October 8, 2002 at 11:46 am #

    I was having an end of summer barbeque with 25 friends and relatives and I always spring an unorthodox recipe on them for rating.
    I served this as an appetizer along with a fresh fruit bowl and it was devoured.The recipe was copied 6 times with most people thinking ahead to Thanksgiving or Christmas morning brunches.

  2. Sue Hirons October 17, 2002 at 4:09 pm #

    Excellent choice for a large breakfast gathering. It has become the “Day After Thanksgiving” tradition at our house.

  3. Anonymous December 23, 2005 at 6:05 am #

    Both my sister-in-law in Georgia and myself in Denmark found this recipe in 2001 (?) and used it the same year without realizing it! We joyfully assuaged our New England homesickness with this great Christmas morning treat. This year, she sent a panic e-mail, couldn’t find the recipe. I couldn’t either, that issue of Yankee had disappeared….luckily Yankee has kept it in their online database, so we will make “together” again this year. Thanks Yankee, you saved a global family tradition.

  4. Ann DiIorio April 7, 2007 at 1:08 pm #

    Here it is, the day before Easter and I have been searching for the original recipe for this strata. What a relief it was to find it on your website! I have made this strata several times before with some subtle variations and it is always a crowd pleaser!

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