Breakfast, Dinner Ideas

Spinach and Cheese Croissant Strata

A cooked croissant strata in a white baking dish.

This Spinach and Cheese Croissant Strata is easy and completely satisfying. You can assemble it the night before and bake it in the morning for an effortless breakfast!

A cooked croissant strata in a white baking dish.

We all have habits unconsciously developed in our childhood and one of mine is definitely freezing food whenever possible. I will freeze everything from a half cup of leftover frosting to one slice of quiche, and I take particular pleasure in using the things that I’ve frozen.

Costco can really get me going because we have a small family and everything comes in such large quantities. For example, we love their croissants but there is no way the three of us can eat twelve croissants before they go bad.

So inevitably after every Costco order I end up freezing croissants for later. They definitely add up over time and that’s where this strata recipe comes in. It’s an absolutely delicious way to use up frozen croissants, not to mention eggs from our chickens.

A slice of spinach strata on a while plate with a fork

What is a Strata?

Stratas are essentially savory bread puddings. They’re usually assembled the night before or a few hours before you’re ready to bake them. Many stratas are described as breakfast casserole, but I think that really depends on what you put into them. This recipe features spinach and cheese, but you could definitely add in other things such as cooked ham and bacon, cooked ground meat and leftover chicken, or even shredded hash browns. Stratas are very flexible. 

Bowls of cheese next to a basket of eggs, a bowl with croissant pieces, and a measuring cup with cream

What You’ll Need

I have grouped the strata ingredients by step. Where applicable I’ve included some substitution ideas. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

For the Spinach

  • Fresh spinach: You could also use frozen spinach.
  • Unsalted butter: You can also use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand, but you’ll need to reduce the amount of salt added separately.
  • Onion: I used half a red and half a yellow onion, but you could definitely use one or the other. That is just what I had in the fridge.
  • Garlic
  • Herbs: Thyme, Sage & Parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Water

For the Custard

  • Eggs: This recipe uses 10 eggs, which I love because it helps us work through the backlog from our flock.
  • Milk
  • Heavy cream: You can replace with regular milk if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

For the Strata Layers

  • Croissants: Roughly torn into cubes. If using frozen croissants let them thaw out in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours.
  • Mozzarella & Parmigiano-Reggiano: You can replace these with other kinds of cheese if that is what you have on hand.
  • Unsalted Butter

How to Make a Strata

Although this strata recipe has a nice number of ingredients, making it is incredibly easy. Here’s how to do it.

Cook the Spinach Filling

  • Cook onions: In a skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions become slightly translucent.
  • Cook garlic: Add the minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Add spinach and herbs: Add the chopped spinach, thyme, sage and parsley.
  • Season and cook: Add a pinch of salt, stirring to incorporate. Add ¼ cup water and cook uncovered until spinach has wilted and the liquid has evaporated.
A white bowl with egg custard for strata

Make the Custard

In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, heavy cream, salt and black pepper. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Croissant strata in a white dish ready to be baked.

Assemble the Strata & Let Sit

  • Tear your croissants into chunks. 
  • Prep baking dish: Grease a 9×13 baking dish with the 1 tablespoon of butter. 
  • Add strata layers: Spread ⅓ of the croissant chunks across the bottom of the pan. Top with ⅓ of the spinach mixture and ⅓ of the cheeses. Make sure you spread out the spinach mixture. Repeat until you have used up all the croissant chunks, spinach and cheeses.
  • Pour the custard over the croissant layers.
  • Let sit: Cover with plastic wrap and let the croissants soak up the liquid. Place in the fridge and let the strata chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. (I usually let it sit on the counter for an hour and then place it right in the oven.)
Baked croissant strata in a white pan on a dark counter

Bake the Strata

  • Heat oven to 350F. Remove the plastic wrap.
  • If your strata was sitting on the counter: Bake the strata covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Then uncover and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes more, or until the custard is set and the strata is golden on top.
  • If your strata was chilling in the fridge: Bake the strata covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Then uncover and continue cooking for 40-45 minutes more, or until the custard is set and the strata is golden on top.
  • Check periodically: Regardless of baking time, begin checking periodically towards the end of the baking time to make sure your strata does not overcook.
  • Let the strata rest for 15 minutes before serving. This will help it hold together when you get into it and also helps avoid burnt mouths.
A baked spinach strata in a white baking dish on a wood counter

Tips for Success

  • Don’t skip letting your strata sit for a bit. This gives the croissants time to soak up the custard. If you skip the step, it is likely your strata will be a bit runny.
  • Make sure your croissant and pieces are not too large. Tear them into about 2 inch cubes. Making sure the pieces are not too large ensures there is enough surface area for the croissant pieces to soak up the custard.
  • How do you tell if the custard is set? Using a sharp knife, make a small cut in the strata. If eggy liquid is visible your custard has not set. You can also shake your pan and if the center doesn’t jiggle the strata is set.
A slice of spinach strata on a plate with a fork

Variation Ideas

One of the best things about stratas is how easy they are to customize. You can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. Here are some ideas:

  • Meats: Crispy bacon, cooked ham and sausage pieces would all go well here. You could even add leftover steak or chicken breast. Just make sure the meat is already cooked and that it is cut into small-medium sized pieces.
  • Veggies: Sautéed cherry tomatoes, scallions and mushrooms are just a few ideas. As with the meat, be sure to cook these before adding them to your strata. Otherwise the veggies will release excess liquid during baking.
  • Hash browns: Cut up hash browns are another delicious add-in idea!
  • Other kinds of cheese: You can use whatever kind of cheese you like best, or even add more cheese to this recipe. Just be sure not to stray too far from equal parts shredded cheese to custard. There are about 2 and 3/4 cups liquid in the custard, so you would want to use about that much cheese. (I used 2 2/3 cups.) You can also use a bit less cheese, but I’m not sure why you would want to do that. Melty, gooey cheese is so good!
A slice of croissant strata on a plate being cut with a fork

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Let your croissant cool completely before storing in the fridge covered tightly with saran wrap. It will keep for 3 to 4 days. When you are ready to eat more, simply cut out a slice and heat in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes depending on the size of the piece.

Print

Spinach and Cheese Croissant Strata Recipe

A cooked croissant strata in a white baking dish.

This Spinach and Cheese Croissant Strata is so satisfying. Assemble it the night before and bake it in the morning for an easy breakfast!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the Spinach:

  • 8 oz fresh spinach chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups) (I used half a red and half a yellow onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dry sage
  • 1/2 tsp dry parsley
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ¼ cup water 

For the Custard

  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Strata

  • 78 croissants torn into ~2-inch cubes (about 9 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

Cook the Spinach

In a skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions become slightly translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chopped spinach, thyme, sage and parsley. Add a pinch of salt, stirring to incorporate. Add ¼ cup water and cook uncovered until spinach has wilted and the liquid has evaporated.

Make the Custard

In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, heavy cream, salt and black pepper. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Assemble the Strata

Tear your croissants into chunks. 

Grease a 9×13 baking dish with the 1 tablespoon of butter.  Spread ⅓ of the croissant chunks across the bottom of the pan. Top with ⅓ of the spinach mixture and ⅓ of the cheeses. Make sure you spread out the spinach mixture. Repeat until you have used up all the croissant chunks, spinach and cheeses.

Pour the custard over the croissant layers. Cover with plastic wrap and let the croissants soak up the liquid. Place in the fridge and let the strata chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. (I usually let it sit on the counter for an hour and then place it right in the oven to reduce the cooking time.)

Bake the Strata

Heat oven to 350F.  Remove the plastic wrap.

If your strata was sitting on the counter: Bake the strata covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Then uncover and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes more, or until the custard is set and the strata is golden on top. 

If your strata was chilling in the fridge: Bake the strata covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Then uncover and continue cooking for 40-45 minutes more, or until the custard is set and the strata is golden on top.  

In either case, check oven towards the end of the baking time to make sure your strata does not overcook. 

Let the strata rest for 15 minutes before serving. This will help it hold together when you get into it and also helps avoid burnt mouths.

Notes

How do you tell if the custard is set? Using a sharp knife, make a small cut in the strata. If eggy liquid is visible your custard has not set. You can also shake your pan and if the center doesn’t jiggle the strata is set.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 437
  • Fat: 31
  • Carbohydrates: 21
  • Protein: 18

Keywords: breakfast casserole, croissant strata, easy strata

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate the recipe & leave a comment to let me know. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Spinach and Cheese Croissant Strata”

  1. Sheryl says:

    I never thought about using croissants instead of regular bread for strata, but I tried it and this recipe is GOOD. I may never use bread again, though I do want to see your recipe for a regular strata so I can make that too.

    1. Rustic Family Recipes says:

      I will have to post it. I like to use extra sourdough bread for regular strata. I should probably post a sourdough bread recipe too. 🙂

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