We’re dedicating this week to holiday breakfasts. So much attention gets paid to big dinners but if you’ve got friends or family staying with you over the holidays you need to have it all covered. If you’re hosting a brunch or just need an easy, substantial recipe for Christmas morning, I can’t sing the strata’s praises more enthusiastically. A little prep the night before and all you have to do in the morning is toss it in the oven. When your house is full of an amazing aroma, it’s done! – C.M.

My family was breakfast after presents on Christmas morning family. Ben’s was a presents after a late dinner Christmas eve family. Figuring out how we’re going to do it with our own kids hasn’t been easy. You just don’t know how much you care about these things until someone else wants to do it their stupid way. Kidding. Kidding! We’re in our own groove now with a bit of both and now that I’m almost over my fear of candles on the tree (yeah, not over my fear in the least), I’m starting to love Christmas eve. Staying up late, the anticipation, it’s all pretty great.

And after the kids are in bed, this is what I’ll be making: strata. It’s the perfect Christmas breakfast. You prepare it the night before, put it in the fridge and bake it while you’re opening presents. By the time the paper is cleared up the apartment will smell amazing and breakfast will be ready. We made it recently for brunch with friends and it was a big success. Here Hadden demonstrates how nicely it goes with blueberry pancakes and some fresh fruit.



  • 1 bunch of baby spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • glug olive oil
  • loaf of rustic French or Italian bread, cubed (you may not use the whole loaf)
  • 1 cup Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 to 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • pepper to taste


Sautee onion and garlic over medium heat until they begin to soften.

Add the spinach and stir to coat in the oil. Allow the spinach to wilt.

Spread one half of the bread cubes on the bottom of a high sided baking dish.

Top it with half of the spinach mixture.

Add a layer or 3 or 4 pieces of Prosciutto.

Sprinkle half the cheese. Repeat

Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard and pepper.

Gently pour egg mixture over the bread.

Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 375 degress.

Take the strata out of the fridge while the oven heats up.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until golden.

Cut into squares and serve hot (but it's also excellent cold later on).


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  1. yasmin
    December 23, 21:23 Reply

    yum! i think i may do this for christmas morning, ceri.

  2. Ceri Marsh
    December 23, 21:55 Reply

    Just leave out the ham! Really you could include anything! Let me know how it goes.

  3. Emmy
    May 07, 13:19 Reply

    Could you substitute the prosciutto for bacon, if you don’t have a local store that supplies it?

  4. Ceri Marsh
    May 09, 10:13 Reply

    Absolutely, you could use bacon or ham or leave it out entirely if you want to make it vegetarian. It’s a very flexible recipe. Let me know how it goes!

  5. […] not making these on Christmas morning. I’m going to make a strata (like the one we posted last year) because I need a breakfast that involves zero prep. But for a brunch that I’m thinking of […]

  6. irene
    December 22, 07:19 Reply

    frozen spinach is seriously the most useful frozen item I’ve ever used, defrost in microwave and still smells “freshly wilted” yum!

  7. Ceri Marsh
    December 22, 07:28 Reply

    That’s a great tip, Irene! I agree – people shouldn’t shy away from frozen fruits and vegetables, particularly in the winter. Let me know if you try the strata – I’m definitely doing it again this Christmas. Thanks for reading!

  8. Jennifer
    December 26, 01:34 Reply

    Made this for Christmas morning and it was a huge hit!

    • Ceri Marsh
      December 26, 10:05 Reply

      Me too! So glad it worked out well for you!! Hope you had a wonderful day.

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