Easy Cheese Strata Recipe

5 from 16 votes

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Cheese strata is a comforting breakfast casserole that is easy to make in advance, or at a moment’s notice. Put it together the night before for a make-ahead breakfast or make and bake it over morning coffee.

Either way, you’ll have a table full of happy faces when you serve this easy recipe! As a bonus, this can feed 6 or more people for breakfast or dinner – all for about $10!

Overhead view of cheese strata with fresh berries on the side.
Strata is one of our most popular cheese recipes.

What is Strata?

Strata is a breakfast casserole made with layers of bread, egg custard, and cheese. You can customize it with veggies and meats and even different cheeses. The sky is the limit when it comes to building and baking a strata that tastes good to you.

Or, do what we often do and use what you have on hand!

Pro Cooking Tip:

As a rule of thumb, you will use half the volume of milk and egg as bread. Also, about half the volume of cheese as bread. This is a good way to make this easy recipe without measuring the ingredients.

So, if you use 2 cups of bread, you’ll use about 1 cup of milk and egg mixture and about 1 cup of shredded cheese.

A serving of cheese strata on a plate with sausage.

What’s in this?

This breakfast casserole features the goodness of our state of Wisconsin. In it, we combine a couple of our local cheeses with farm fresh eggs, fresh milk, and a loaf of our crusty homemade bread.

Bread, cheese, eggs, and milk on a cutting board.

Variations and substitutions

Brick cheese – This is a Wisconsin-made cheese that formed and shaped into bricks. It is lighter in color and can be sweet and mild when young and strong and ripe with age. Much like myself!

 Butterkäse or Havarti each make a good substitution for Brick in this easy recipe.

Cheddar cheese – This is the other cheese that we put into this strata recipe. You can use any variety of it, from mild to extra-sharp and anything in between. I’m a fan of aged cheddar, the sharper the better! This is what I use in our best macaroni and cheese.

For this strata recipe, you can substitute cheddar for Colby or Crowley. Or, use whatever combination tastes good to you! This strata recipe is all about Wisconsin cheese!

I recommend that you use either whole milk or 2% reduced-fat. Anything lower just doesn’t cut it in cheese strata.

Flavor the liquid – You can add some personal flavoring by using things like:

  • Chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sweet basil.
  • Add some truffle hot sauce and use truffle salt.
  • Mustard, paprika, and hot sauce can all add some flare to your finished cheese strata.

Add some extras – Feel free to further personalize this strata recipe by any of the following combinations. Or create your own!

  • Sauteed scallions and asparagus
  • Fried bacon and browned sausage or ham
  • Sauteed cherry tomatoes and mushrooms
  • Wilted spinach with feta cheese

How to make it

Start by shredding cheese by hand. Then, combine it (if you use more than one kind.)

Pro Cooking Tip: I don’t recommend buying store-bought shredded cheese because it contains fillers like potato starch and cellulose. These fillers prevent it from melting evenly and also affects the taste.

Mixing eggs and milk in a mixing bowl.
  1. Using a large mixing bowl, start by combining the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper.
  2. Use a wire whisk or a fork to make sure the egg and milk mixture is completely mixed together.

Pro Cooking Tip: Unless you are making a strata the night before, use room temperature eggs to ensure faster and more even baking. Here is an easy method for how to quickly bring eggs to room temperature.

After you have these ingredients mixed together, you’re going to build the cheese strata using layers of bread, cheese, and egg.

 A mixing bowl, a plate of shredded cheese, and a pan of bread.
  1. Use the butter to grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Cover the bottom with slices of bread, cut to about 1-inch thickness. If you have to fill any gaps, cut a slice of bread that will fit in.
  2. Sprinkle the first layer of bread with 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
  3. Add another layer of bread, again filling any gaps as necessary.
  4. Sprinkle another layer of cheese over the second layer of bread. Again, using 1/3 of the cheese.
Pouring liquid over cheese covered bread.

For the last two steps of building this cheese strata, you add the custard mixture of egg and milk and then top with the remaining 1/3 of the shredded cheese.

The egg and milk mixture will seem like a lot, but the bread will soak it up. The bread may also float to the top. You may need to use a wooden spoon to gently push the bread down so it can soak up the liquid.

Make-ahead breakfast strata

At this point, you can seal it with plastic wrap and store in your refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Overhead view of a cheesy casserole.

When you’re ready to bake this strata recipe, place it in a pre-heated oven at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes. If you prepare this the night before, take it out of the refrigerator about a half hour before baking and plan on an extra 5 minutes or so for total baking time.

This is a soufflé-like dish and it will deflate for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven. It may not look as spectacular, but it tastes great!

What to serve with a cheese strata

A plate of food with sausage and orange juice.

You can serve a variety of side dishes with any strata recipe. Although this is often made for breakfast or brunch, you can also have it for a delicious and savory dinner entree. When you serve it should determine what you serve with it.

If making this cheese strata for breakfast or brunch, consider serving it with:

To make this cheese strata for dinner, serve it with things like:

Common recipe questions

Can cheese strata be frozen?

You can freeze this breakfast strata either baked, or unbaked.

  • To freeze a baked strata – Allow it to cool completely and then wrap tightly in kitchen wrap or aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months and allow to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat, bake at 375°, covered with foil, for 20 minutes.
  • To freeze an unbaked strata – Wrap thoroughly with kitchen wrap or foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Place it in your refrigerator the night before baking to let it thaw out. Then, bake as directed.

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Cheese Strata

5 from 16 votes
This cheese strata recipe features fresh ingredients from Wisconsin but you can add whatever you like to make it your own.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Yield: 6 People


  • 1 tsp butter, room temperature
  • 2.5 cups milk, whole or 2%
  • 6 eggs, large, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, fresh ground
  • 5 slices bread, 1" slices of French bread
  • 4 oz brick cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded


  • Preheat your oven to 375° F and butter an 8 x 8-inch glass pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper. In a medium-size bowl, toss the cheeses together.
  • Place 2 pieces of bread on the bottom of the prepared pan. The bread should cover most of the bottom. If it doesn’t not, add another piece of bread or part of one to fill in the gap. Sprinkle with one third of the cheese. Place the second layer of bread over the cheese and again, fill in any large gaps with extra bread. Carefully pour the milk and egg mixture over the entire casserole. It will seem lie a lot, but the bread will soak it up as it cooks. Top with the remaining cheese. (At this point you can cover and refrigerate the strata for up to 24 hours before baking.)
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the casserole is very puffy and the cheese is golden brown on the top.  Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.   


  • This is a custardy and soufflé-like recipe, it will deflate a bit after it comes out of the oven.
  • Use whatever cheeses you have on hand to make this cheese strata.


Calories: 346kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 215mg, Sodium: 759mg, Potassium: 276mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 803IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 445mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfasat, Brunch, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    So happy I found this! In the early 1970’s I worked at Lazarus Department Store – now Macy’s and they served this in our employee cafeteria as Baked Cheese Sandwich for .75. I had never heard of it before and have never seen it on a menu. Now after 35 years I will taste it again!

  2. I loved this recipe. It was a hit. I used cheddar and a few good sized tablespoons of crumbled stilton for both layers. I sprinkled some chives on top. I made the strata with good sourdough, crusts repurposed for croutons. The texture was lovely.

    1. Louise, I’m so happy you enjoyed this easy Strata Recipe! Thanks for the great comments and feedback!!!

  3. 5 stars
    Dear folks,this has been a famiky favorite for over 60yrs, great ‘farmgirl’ recipe; now i even make it with KETO bread.. yummy, eat right away as leftovers don’t work.. that is IF theres any left over! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I made this strata while staying in Nova Scotia during wild blueberry season. I scattered a thick layer of berries over the first layer of cheese. Everybody loved it!