Ham, Cheddar, and Chive Baked Egg Strata

I made this Baked Egg Strata filled with ham, cheddar, mozzarella, and chives for a small family brunch gathering and everyone went crazy for it, asking how long they would have to wait for the recipe to be posted. Well family, it’s finally here! This super simple recipe yields a tasty baked egg dish that is perfect for entertaining as it is assembled the night before and baked in the morning. It has the perfect combination of flavorful cheddar and melty mozzarella, along with a subtle chive flavor, and pieces of ham. You wouldn’t even know there’s Italian bread in this dish, as it completely absorbs the egg and results in an ideal fluffy, eggy texture. The best part is the crispy edges which led one brunch visitor to suggest that they be baked in little ramekins so that there would be “extra crispy bits around the edges,” as well as the cuteness factor of everyone having their own little ramekin. If you opt to go this route, this recipe will yield 6 ramekins which will need to bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center doesn’t cause a puddle of wet egg to emerge. 

Ham, Cheddar, and Chive Baked Egg Strata

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 10 slices Italian bread
  • 8 oz. bag pre-shredded mix of cheddar and mozzarella
  • 6 thin slices Black Forest Ham, torn into 1-inch pieces (I have also tried this recipe with 6 slices of cooked, crispy bacon, broken into 1-inch pieces)
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions:

  1. Lightly butter a 9×13 baking dish. Spread remaining butter over 1 slide of the bread slices. Cut the bread into cubes and place half of the bread cubes in the baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the ham pieces. Repeating the layering process with the remaining bread cubes, cheese, and ham. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, whole milk, chives 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and dry mustard. Pour egg mixture evenly over the bread and press down on the bread with a spatula- this is a very important step. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap or foil from baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until the strata is puffed and browned. Enjoy. 

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