Basil Pesto Strata

Start this strata the night before and discover how simple it can be to host a large brunch crowd. Herby, rich custard with hearty bread and cheese hot from the oven will satisfy mothers—and all their children.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 9 hours 35 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 3⁄4 cups half and half
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 8 cups rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 3-quart casserole with 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a small frying pan. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Sauté onion until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Reserve.
  • Whisk eggs with half and half until smooth. Stir in tomatoes, Parmesan, pesto, and cooked onion. Place bread cubes in prepared casserole. Pour egg mixture over the bread. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 8 hours.
  • Remove strata from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake strata for 45 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.