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A slice of Ham and Mushroom Strata on a square white plate

Ham & Mushroom Strata

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My meat and potatoes husband extends his carnivore preferences to brunch, too. This cheesy Ham & Mushroom Strata hit the mark.

This breakfast casserole recipe is perfect for overnight guests, Mother’s Day or Easter brunch, or anytime you want to treat your family to a special breakfast!

A slice of Ham and Mushroom Strata on a square white plate

Ham & Mushroom Strata

I’ve baked up iterations of this strata for years and years. This time, I swapped out my usual cheese for my favorite Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar. Smart move.  Plus I sliced up some challah instead of a sturdy sandwich bread. You know the drill. Just make it your own. The bread, the cheese, the inclusion of mushrooms are all up to you.

Bill’s mom tried to trick him into trying mushrooms by calling them fried marshmallows. Didn’t work. I just eat his share. This breakfast casserole is marvelous with ham, but you could certainly add Italian sausage or even bacon if you prefer.


Overhead view of Ham and Mushroom Strata in a white ceramic casserole

How to Plan a Brunch

Start by collecting the best brunch recipes, from cocktails to cakes, breakfast breads, tarts, and quiche, so there is something for everyone! Brunch comes from combining the words “breakfast” and “lunch” and is generally served between 10 AM and 2 PM.

  • Start with what will be considered your brunch entree. It should include some protein source, whether ham, bacon, eggs, cheese, milk or cream. Breakfast casseroles, stratas, omelets, quiche, scrambled eggs, etc. are all terrific ideas.
  • Add some healthy fare, like a simple fresh fruit salad or fruit platter, crudite, smoked salmon platter for those watching their calories or carbs. A yogurt parfait layered with yogurt, fruit and granola is beautiful served in glass dishes.
  • Starches are important, too. Besides toast, bagels or English muffins, scones, muffins and pastries or coffeecakes, you can offer hash browns, biscuits, pancakes or waffles. Crepes and French toast are some of my favorites.
  • Keep your warm dishes warm and cold dishes cold by keeping them in the oven or fridge until just before serving. As always, don’t leave out food that can spoil for more than 2 hours at room temperature. This is the FDA’s recommendation to avoid food poisoning.
  • Make sure you have beverages for all ages. I like having a fruit juice, coffee, tea and even a breakfast cocktail, like these Grand Marnier Mimosas, if the brunch is a special occasion.
  • Set up a coffee and/or tea bar with cream, creamers, sugar and sugar substitutes, honey, lemons, cups, mugs, stirring spoons or sticks, and a spot to deposit used tea bags.
  • Know the needs of your guests. Whether it’s young children, vegans or those with gluten intolerance, adjust your menu accordingly.
  • Most of all, make it fun for all by keeping the conversation going. Ask questions, tell stories and make it a memorable occasion!

A Few More Brunch Recipes:

Ham and Mushroom Strata on a square white dish

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Ham and Mushroom Strata | A cheesy breakfast casserole that's perfect for any occasion!

Ham and Mushroom Strata

A make ahead breakfast casserole full of ham, mushrooms and cheddar!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 810 slices challah bread (thickness of sandwich bread)
  • 5 ounces Black Forest ham, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar, divided (I used Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar)
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the mushrooms till golden. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  2. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with half the bread slices, trimming to fit. Top with ham, then sprinkle with one cup of the grated cheese, followed by the mushrooms. Add enough of the remaining bread to cover the filling.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, half the thyme, mustard, salt, and pepper till well blended. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350º. Bake uncovered till puffed and lightly browned, about 1 hour.
  5. Mix remaining cheese and thyme and sprinkle over casserole. Return to oven for about 3 minutes or until the cheese melts. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

This recipe doubles easily.

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Disclosure: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

 

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18 comments on “Ham & Mushroom Strata”

  1. Wow – another fabulous brunch recipe. My farmer would LOVE this one especially with the addition of the sautéed mushrooms, yum! Stratas are such a time saver and always delicious!

  2. Dear Lizzy, your strata looks fabulous…sounds like some delicious ideas. I like using challah bread in this…I would definitely throw in some Italian sausage! xo, Catherine

  3. What lovely strata Lizzy, I love these type of meals and look delicious and love mushrooms too !
    A big hug for you dear Lizzy and hope you have a lovely Mom’s day
    xoxoxo

  4. Yum, this looks really good – I’ll have Bill’s share.

  5. I absolutely adore strata. After all it’s bread, eggs and cheese!! I sometimes add chorizo too. I could live on brunch dishes like this one. Gorgeous Liz!

  6. Wow Liz, can it be #brunchweek every week?! Hah! This is a gorgeous dish. So versatile too, I love how there are a lot of different things you can swap in or out and still get a fantastic result.

  7. It’s a very nice idea the week’s brunch! Your recipe is just perfect for this week, so gourmand ! I will love with a nice cup of coffee !

  8. Challah is divine. I just found a favorite brand at Sprouts. Good variation here, Liz. Love recipes where you can swap in and out different ingredients with fantastic results.

  9. Looks scrumptious Liz, exactly the breakfast I would pick if it was my choice! Happy Mother’s Day, hope you have a wonderful day!

  10. I love mushroom and cheese combos, your suggestion of a sharp cheddar cheese would make this dish amazing!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

  11. Your strata looks DIVINE! Mushroom and ham sound fantastic together.

  12. It sounds like our husbands share the same enthusiasm for mushrooms. I usually end up eating of my husband’s mushrooms for him in any dish. This strata is right up my alley! So much deliciousness in one dish. Have a great Mother’s Day, Liz!

  13. Challah, cheese baked up with cream? What is not to love? Seriously the textures and contrasts of mushrooms, sharp cheddar and bread is the best! Happy Mother’s Day, Liz!

  14. Stratas are so awesome for brunch! They taste good and you can prepare them the night before. Yum!

  15. Oh yeah….extra mushrooms in mine please

  16. We’d eat this any time of the day mushrooms and all! Challah is so hard to find around here. I lucked up and found some a few weeks ago and made French toast with it. Sooner or later I’ll have to get over my yeast phobia and make my own.

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