Strata, Frittata or Quiche?

Back in the 80’s I was introduced to a strata egg dish by a good friend. She was uber organized and this egg dish fit her lifestyle to a “T”. She would put the ingredients together the night before, let it set in the fridge overnight, and bake it first thing in the morning. 

Strata typically is layered pieces of bread or bread cubes covered with an egg and cheese mixture. Some strata recipes include sausage or breakfast meats. It is such a hardy dish that it can be served for lunch or dinner too. 

Wikipedia gives a good description:

“…similar to a quiche or frittata, made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread, eggs, and cheese… The usual preparation requires the bread to be layered with the filling in order to produce layers (strata). It was popularized in the 1984 Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julie Rosso and Sheila Lukins.”

Here is a recipe for Creamy Egg Strata from MyRecipes. And a video from Allrecipes for a Sausage Strata.

Quiche. Everyone knows about quiche, right? What distinguishes it from a strata or frittata is the “pie crust” base. If you need a refresher, here’s a definition from Wikipedia: 

“Quiche is a savoury, open-faced pastry crust with a filling of savory custard with one or more of cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables. Quiche can be served hot or cold. It is part of French cuisine.”

And we know that men DO eat quiche, defying the saying back in the day that “real men don’t eat quiche.” They may not admit it outright, but I know they do!

One of the most popular quiches includes spinach. This recipe is not popular in my house because my hubby won’t eat spinach cooked in any dish. However, this recipe from looked good enough to share.  

Frittata. Ah, the frittata, my favorite. I make it whenever I want to use leftover vegetables or make an egg dish that will last several days. I think it’s great served hot or cold, others may debate that. 

Here is Wikipedia’s definition:

“Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. . The word frittata is Italian and roughly translates to “fried”.”

I never make mine the same way twice. The ingredients depend on what is available either seasonally or left in my fridge for repurposing. Today’s recipe was created so I could use up cooked zucchini, asparagus, and leftover challah bread. I rarely to never use bread in my frittata, but I did today because I had some homemade bread I wanted to use up.

After chunking the bread, I fried it a few minutes in a little olive oil and a pat of butter. I actually cooked it a bit to get a browned crusty finish on it. I then placed it in the bottom of the baking dish to start the layering process. 
I fried up bacon and onion and added it as the next layer in the dish.

The egg and vegetable mixture was added next. So while part of this recipe may seem more like a strata because of adding the bread, I did not let it sit in the fridge overnight. I cooked it as soon as all the ingredients were added.  Sometimes I fry the frittata and sometimes I bake it. If I’m just making an individual serving or two, I throw all the ingredients into a fry pan. I do usually add a lid at some point to help it cook evenly. If I’m making a larger frittata serving 4+ people, I usually bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 or so minutes. Either method results in a flavorful and robust egg dish to serve any time of day. 

3-Cheese Vegetable Frittata

Yields 2-4 servings

Author: Christina

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  • 4 egg whites (or whole eggs if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup ricotta (or cottage cheese)
  • 1/4 cup milk, if needed
  • 2 pieces of bacon, pancetta, or 1 Italian sausage fried and chopped OPTIONAL: leave out for vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread cubes (or cooked pasta) OPTIONAL: leave out for gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, or spinach)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sauté bacon or sausage and onions to desired doneness. Set aside. Drain most of the grease, leaving a little to cook with.
  2. Add pasta or bread to the fry pan and sauté for a minute or two (if using).
  3. Mix eggs with cheeses and cooked vegetables. Add milk if mixture needs it.
  4. Put all ingredients back in the fry pan to cook together.
  5. After a few minutes, add a lid to help set the eggs.
  6. Frittata is done when eggs are set, not runny or gooey.

For an additional source of frittata recipe mix/matches, Epicurious has a great infographic that you might like. 

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