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Pesto Chicken Strata

I like this rustic strata for its hearty flavor. It's also nice to have something savory along with sweeter brunch dishes like cinnamon rolls and doughnuts. —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 40 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 large eggs
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 8 cups cubed Italian bread
  • Additional chopped fresh basil leaves


  • Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain.
  • In a large bowl, mix basil, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, pine nuts and garlic. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk and remaining oil, salt and pepper.
  • In a greased 13x9-in. baking dish, layer half of the bread cubes, a third of the cheese mixture and half of the chicken. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cheese mixture. Pour egg mixture over top; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Remove strata from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional basil.
Editor's Note
To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 415 calories, 29g fat (8g saturated fat), 199mg cholesterol, 598mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 24g protein.

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