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Italian Apricot-Pancetta Strata

For me, the combination of sweet and savory along with easy preparation make this Italian-inspired strata a winning dish for home cooks everywhere! It can be served for breakfast, brunch, or as a late afternoon meal.—Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1/3 pound pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1-1/3 cups finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups cubed multigrain bread
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, optional
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil


  • In large skillet, cook pancetta until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter to drippings; heat over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl.
  • Heat remaining butter in pan. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stir in spinach; cook 30-45 seconds or until wilted.
  • Add bread cubes, mushroom mixture, pancetta and almonds if desired to onion; toss to combine. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs, cream, salt and pepper until blended. Beat in mascarpone cheese just until blended; pour over bread. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Asiago cheese; spoon preserves over top. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Remove strata from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with basil. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 440 calories, 30g fat (15g saturated fat), 165mg cholesterol, 514mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 3g fiber), 15g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Dee
    Nov 7, 2019

    This recipe is an exquisite mixture of tastes and perfect for holiday entertaining. It's labor intensive as strata casseroles should be for multiple servings. Pair up with a partner to shorten prep time and probably better not to calorie count this one. This dish is definitely a keeper for those special fall and winter holidays and hubs and I will definitely be making it again.

  • KatrinaBurks
    Feb 17, 2017

    OMG so good. I've been looking for this recipe for a while now. Thank you for sharing.