I know what you’re thinking. Savory bread pudding? YES, MY FRIENDS. YES. Another way to think of it is basically Thanksgiving stuffing with cheese. Which, I mean… YES AGAIN.
Speaking of my favorite holiday ever, can you guys believe Thanksgiving is a month away? Meaning it’s time to start daydreaming thinking about all the amazing side dishes we can fit into our oven at once. I’m always thinking of ways to turn classical flavor combos on their heads, and this Savory Bread Pudding with rosemary and olives fits the bill exactly.
Though bread pudding is typically sweet, made with milk, eggs, and sugar, when you omit the sugar you end up with a really amazing stuffing-like texture that is the perfect base for whatever savory goodness your heart desires (ham! mushrooms! thyme! sausage!).
Of course, it being Thanksgiving season and all (yes, Thanksgiving season is a thing), I had to create something with really amazing herbacious flavors. So I opted for a rosemary olive combo, using DeLallo’s Pitted Calamata Olives. Did you guys know that in addition to pastas and sauces, DeLallo has an extensive line of dips, tapanades, and olives? I snack on their pitted Castelvetrano olives constantly.
But when it comes to cooking, you can’t beat a Calamata. They made for a lovely salty bite in this savory bread pudding. And they balanced the softer flavors of the leeks and gruyere perfectly.
So, friends, what do you think? Are you hooked? As a stuffing fanatic, I’m not going to lie… I might be swayed to make savory bread pudding instead of stuffing this year 🙂
How to make bread pudding
Bread pudding is crazy easy to make, and people go nuts for this stuff! The key to a good bread pudding is to use the right bread. If possible, avoid the pre-packaged stuff at the store and get a loaf of rustic country bread from the bakery (a loaf of French bread, sourdough, or another hearty loaf would work too!).
Cut the bread into cubes, taking the time to remove the crusts. Then sauté sliced leeks and fresh rosemary in a saucepan with a pat of butter until golden brown. Whisk together eggs, whole milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl, and then chuck in the rest of the bread pudding ingredients. Give it all a good stir, making sure that the bread cubes are evenly coated.
Spread the bread pudding mixture into your prepared casserole dish and let it rest in the fridge for half an hour. This gives the bread time to soak up the egg mixture, which will prevent it from drying out in the oven. Once it’s chilled in the fridge, pop the savory bread pudding into the oven and bake until it’s golden brown and puffy on top!
How to prep bread pudding in advance
If you do choose to make this savory bread pudding for Thanksgiving or another family gathering, it’s easy to make it ahead of time and bake it day of. To do this, you’ll make the bread pudding as usual, but instead of letting it chill in the fridge before baking, you’ll need to put it directly into the freezer. When you’re ready to bake the bread pudding, place the casserole dish onto the counter and let it thaw to room temperature. Then, bake it like you normally would!
1 large loaf rustic country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1 inch cubes (can also use sourdough)
In a large skillet over medium low heat, melt the butter. Add in the leeks and rosemary and sauté, stirring frequently, until the leeks are lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Spray a 9″x13″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Mix in leeks, olives, 2/3 of the gruyere cheese, and bread. Pour mixture into prepared ceramic dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in fridge to sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Take bread pudding out of the fridge, remove plastic wrap, and top with remaining 1/3 of gruyere. Bake for 50 mins- 1 hour, until the bread pudding puffs up and is golden brown on top. Serve!
If you’re making this bread pudding ahead of time, you can do up to Step 4 in advance, then place directly into the freezer. Take out day of, let come to room temperature, and continue with Step 5!
This post is sponsored by DeLallo. All text and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Broma possible!