Ham and cheddar strata

I love salt. I am not one of those people who shies away from adding it liberally to food. But last week I had a terrible experience with it.

It happened on Friday when I made a ham and cheddar strata for JZ and my grandma, who both happened to be at my house for lunch. I added 1/4 tsp of salt to the recipe, which when combined with the salty ham and cheese, was a bit of a salty assault to the taste buds.

Ham and cheddar strata

The salt fest continued that evening when JZ and I went out for pizza at Son of a Peach with Tracey and her guy. I had a hefty portion of pizza and washed it down with only my glass of red wine – I foolishly left my water untouched. Fast forward 30 minutes when we’re on the road to pick up my parents from the airport, and I’m dying of thirst because of all the salt from the pizza. But of course we have no water in the car, so it isn’t until nearly 2 hours later that I finally get home and chug nearly my body weight in water.

That isn’t enough though, and my thirst wakes me up 4 times throughout the night. When I wake up the next morning, exhausted from all those wake ups, my mom looks at me and says “Your face looks puffy”. Gee, thanks mom, good morning to you too.

Moral of the story? Stick to a scant 1/8 tsp of salt when making this ham and cheddar strata. And don’t have really salty pizza afterwards.

Ham and cheddar strata

Ham and cheddar strata
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A tasty egg dish made with bread cubes, ham, and cheddar cheese. Recipe can be easily doubled to serve a crowd*! Nut free, soy free. Gluten free option**.
Yield: 4 servings
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups bread cubes
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup low fat milk
  • 75 g sliced ham, diced
  • 50 g cheddar cheese, diced
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack placed in the middle.
  2. Grease a 2.5 quart round baking dish with olive oil on the bottom and sides. Place bread cubes in the dish, evenly spread out.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, ham, cheddar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour mixture over the bread cubes. Use a spoon to evenly spread out the cubed cheese and ham, if necessary.
  4. Cover with saran wrap and let sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  5. Then remove the saran wrap and bake for 40-50 minutes depending on the size and shape of the baking dish. Check for doneness after 40 minutes by inserting a large toothpick into the centre of the strata. If it is not done cooking, put back in oven and continue checking for doneness every 5 minutes.
*If doubling recipe, use a larger baking dish (such as a 9x13 rectangular dish). Cooking times may change.
**Use certified GF bread to make recipe gluten free.

Do you love salt? Have you ever overdosed on it like I did?

This post was shared on Buns in My Oven‘s What’s Cookin’ Wednesday link up.


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18 Responses to Ham and cheddar strata

  1. i don’t love salt and pretty much never use it! i like salted caramel ice cream, does that count? ;)

  2. I’m not a huge salt person – I’m more of a sugar/sweet! But once in a while, I need a good dose of the stuff.

  3. It’s been a while since I’ve overdone it on salt, but it’s definitely not a pleasant experience. That being said, I’m not someone who shies away from it either, especially since my doctor recommends adding more to my food to combat my naturally low blood pressure. Sounds kind of crazy, but I definitely notice my energy improve when my sodium intake is up!

  4. I literally bathe in salt (I brine myself haha..okay not really)- I sit with a salt shaker next to all my meals and find it best on sweet things like oatmeal and pancakes lol. I had a similar experience to you but it was charcoal chicken and it came with fries and pickles…so good. So puffy.

    I’d still add salt to this. ;)

    • Chelsea

      I get what you mean about salt with sweet things. Salt is a total necessity in my baking – it really brings out the flavours!

  5. Love salt!! In the last few months my taste buds have really shifted from sweet to savoury, especially salty. I still try and be careful though, only add scant amounts to food. This looks delicious, even if it was a little salty ;)

    • Chelsea

      I’ve shifted from being careful with adding salt to being a bit too liberal – and sadly my taste buds have adapted to want more salt. I need to shift back lol!

  6. Hahaha, oh I know this feeling! I love salt, too. Anything salty is my weakness food wise (fried food also), I’m a real savoury tooth not a sweet tooth.

  7. Amazing what a difference salt makes, good and bad :) This looks like a great brunch food though!

  8. I love me some salt, although I can definitely tell when I’ve gotten more than my fair share because I start craving water like crazy. It usually happens when I eat out, especially Italian for some reason. Weird, but true.

  9. I have definitely had my fair share of salt disasters. It’s hard to find that balance between getting enough flavour, and not over killing it! This is a great brunch recipe and I think it would go perfectly with a nice salad!

    • Chelsea

      I actually did serve this strata with a salad – great minds think alike! :)

      And it really is hard to find that balance – especially with dishes you can’t taste test as you add it (like unbaked eggs dishes)!

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