Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata

overhead photo of baked strata

This delicious Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata is the most amazing breakfast casserole! Loaded with crusty Italian bread, eggs, cheese, and thick sliced bacon – it checks off everything you want for breakfast in one dish! 

This recipe was originally published in December 2019 – I’ve since updated the photos and added additional blog content. Enjoy!

Breakfast is one of my favorite things in the world, y’all. I go to bed dreaming of warm oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup, avocado toast….and lately, this amazing Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata. 

Now, y’all know that I live in the South. I can’t even tell you the amount of Bacon Egg and Cheese biscuits I have consumed in my life. 

close up of baked strata

I knew that I wanted to make a breakfast casserole for the holiday season, so, I just had to make it Bacon Egg and Cheese flavored. One of the best combos in the world! 

I especially love breakfast during the Christmas and holiday season. Many times, you already have guests over. So, you wake up, make breakfast for everyone and sip on warm coffee as you get ready to start the day. It’s just the BEST! 

Why You’re Going to Love this Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata:

This Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata is the answer to all of your holiday breakfasts. It’s essentially a breakfast casserole. 

It has crust Italian bread (toast requirement, check!), lots of cheese (check!), thick sliced bacon (yes please!), fresh garlic (yum!), herby chopped chives (yes yes yes) and finally, EGGS!

The bacon adds such a savory crisp flavor throughout each bite.

cooked bacon on plate

I love how the eggs remain so deliciously soft and fluffy – not rubbery at all like some baked eggs.

 The crust tops of the Italian bread make my world go round, so crisp! 

sliced Italian bread

The fresh garlic adds AH-MAZING flavor. The thick sliced bacon permeates throughout the entire dish…oh, and of course, it’s so dreamy cheesy delicious. You can’t have a breakfast casserole without cheese, right?! Right! 

Oh, and did I mention it has both half and half AND heavy cream in it?!? These two ingredients make it so very rich and decadent.

Of course you can substitute normal milk..but why would you?! It’s the holidays after all. Treat yourself!

I love how you get amazing flavor from each ingredient in every single bite. It’s the best and so easy to quickly prep and pop into the oven while your guests enjoy their first cup of coffee. Let’s get into how to make it! 

Ingredients you Need for Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata: 

  • Large eggs – large eggs work best for this recipe!
  • Italian bread – you can even use day old bread in this!
  • Thick sliced bacon – be sure to look at the recipe card to learn how to quickly cook the bacon!
  • Sharp cheddar cheese / colby jack cheese – I like using a mixture of both. Be sure to use freshly shredded!
  • Half and half + Heavy cream – super creamy!
  • Dijon mustard – gives it a good kick of flavor.
  • Fresh garlic – a must have!
  • Chives – for freshness!
  • Salt and pepper – gotta season it all!

How to Make Strata: 

The first step is to cook the bacon. You can do this in an oven which is an amazing, quick and easy way to fix it where you won’t get popped! I did my bacon at 400 for about 20 minutes. It all depends on your thickness though, so keep an eye on it! 

For ease, I put aluminum foil on the pan for easy clean up. 

You don’t want the bacon to be *too* crispy. Once it’s done, blot the grease with a paper-towel and chop it into bite size pieces. 

Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dice the Italian bread into small, 1-1.5 inch cubes. 

Take a 9×13 casserole dish and grease the bottom using butter or non-stick cooking spray. Place the bread cubes evenly in the dish after you’ve greased it. 

Finely mince the garlic and chop the chives.

Add in the bacon, 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup of colby jack cheese, chives and garlic to the bread cubes in the casserole dish. 

Gently mix around using your hands, making sure it is all coated evenly. 

three side by side photos - bread sliced for casserole, bread with other ingredients and then baked strata

In a large bowl, add 8 eggs. Add 1 cup of half and half and 1 cup of heavy cream. Add a generous pinch of salt (about ⅓-½ tsp), a crack of pepper and a tsp of dijon mustard and whisk together until combined. 

Gently pour the egg mixture on top of the bread mixture, making sure it’s evenly spread throughout the pan. 

Once poured, if there are any bread cubes not soaked by the mixture, press them down into the liquid gently. 

wooden spoon getting spoonful of baked strata

Wrap some foil around the top and bake for about 20-22 minutes. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden brown. 

Let cool for a few minutes before you serve. Top with more chives and eat up! 

Ingredient Substitutions: 

You could use cooked breakfast sausage instead of bacon! 

Use whatever type of cheese you prefer – a spicy pepper jack would be delicious! 

You can use only half and half instead of also heavy cream. 

slice of strata on plate with gold fork on plate

You can use sourdough bread instead of Italian bread. 

If you don’t happen to have fresh garlic, you can sub garlic powder – use 1-1.5 tsp depending on how much you enjoy. 

Storing Leftovers: 

To store leftovers, simply place the cooked breakfast strata in a tightly sealed container. To warm up, I think it’s best to pop it back in the oven until warmed through. You could also do the microwave, I think the bread is better in the oven. 

Freezing Options: 

Freeze cooked, cooled and sliced breakfast strata in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply warm up in the oven or microwave until warmed through. 

close up of inside of baked strata

Enjoy! 

This is the absolute perfect holiday breakfast idea – I hope you love it as much as I do! 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few more you might like: 

Bacon Egg and Cheese Tarts

Cranberry Orange Croissant Bread Pudding

French Toast Breakfast Board

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 3 votes
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Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata

This delicious Bacon Egg and Cheese Strata is the most amazing breakfast casserole! Loaded with crusty Italian bread, eggs, cheese, and thick sliced bacon - it checks off everything you want for breakfast in one dish! 

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword breakfast casserole, breakfast for dinner, cheesy breakfast casserole, easy casserole, holiday breakfast, holiday brunch, strata
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Haylie

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. Italian loaf, diced into 1-1.5 inch cubes
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 16 oz thick sliced bacon
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup colby jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives (and more to garnish)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • crack of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil, add the bacon to where it's not touching. Cook the bacon at 400 for about 20 minutes. It all depends on your thickness though, so keep an eye on it! 

  2. Once the bacon is done, blot the grease with a paper-towel and chop it into bite size pieces. 

  3. Reduce the oven heat to 350. Dice the Italian bread into small, 1-1.5 inch cubes. Take a 9x13 casserole dish and grease the bottom using butter or non-stick cooking spray. Place the bread cubes evenly in the dish after you’ve greased it.

  4. Finely mince the garlic and chop the chives.

  5. Add in the bacon, 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup of colby jack cheese, chives and garlic to the bread cubes in the casserole dish. Gently mix around using your hands, making sure it is all coated evenly.

  6. In a large bowl, add the eggs. Add half and half and heavy cream. Add a generous pinch of salt, a crack of pepper and the dijon mustard. Whisk together until combined. 

  7. Gently pour the egg mixture on top of the bread mixture, making sure it’s evenly spread throughout the pan. Once poured, if there are any bread cubes not soaked by the mixture, press them down into the liquid gently. 

  8. Wrap some foil around the top and bake for about 20-22 minutes. Remove from oven, take off the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden brown. 

  9. Let cool for a few minutes before you serve. Top with more chives and eat up! Store leftovers in the fridge. Heat up in the oven or microwave.

 

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    I go to bed thinking about breakfast too Haylie! And stratas are a favourite make ahead breakfast. This one looks awesome. Sure to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season!

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