Perfect for a brunch or a light dinner, strata is a make-ahead, baked egg casserole very similar to a savory bread pudding. Flavored with crumbled bacon, sautéed leeks and Gruyère cheese, our version is made with wheat English muffins instead of bread. We find the airy texture of the muffins gives the finished dish a lighter quality.Print
Bacon, Leek and Cheese Strata
Good for brunch, lunch or a light weeknight dinner, this make-ahead strata combines toasted wheat English muffins, eggs, bacon, leeks and Gruyere cheese.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Category: Breakfast & Brunch
- 6 English muffins (see notes)
- 2 medium leeks (about 1 lb), white and light green parts only
- 1/4 lb thick cut bacon
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 8 large eggs
- 1–2/3 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and thoroughly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Separate the English muffin halves, then cut them into 3/4-inch cubes. Arrange the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until very lightly toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, separate the layers and rinse thoroughly to remove any dirt that's trapped between them. Pat dry, then slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
- Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch pieces and begin frying in a large skillet over medium heat. As soon as the bacon begins to render some of its fat, add the onion and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- If necessary, drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan, then add the leeks and sauté the mixture until they soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Add the salt and a few grinds of black pepper, whisk again and set aside.
- To assemble the strata, layer half of the English muffin cubes in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Scatter half of the bacon-leek mixture on top, then cover with 1/2 of the grated Gruyère. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients, then carefully pour the egg mixture evenly over the entire dish.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- To bake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325°F. Uncover the strata and bake until puffed and golden and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the dish, 45 to 55 minutes.
- Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.