Easy Cheese and Herb Bread Pudding

We are on the official countdown to my favorite holiday of the year – Thanksgiving!!

So, I thought I’d start things off by tackling the tough things first. Stuffing.

I know, it’s a  pretty controversial topic – cooked in or out of the bird? Packaged mix or homemade – Grandma’s standard recipe or something new?

In my family, the answer to that  question was always easy. We did not have stuffing. Since my grandparents were immigrants, Thanksgiving was a new holiday for them and although my Gran happily made  a turkey with gravy,  cranberry sauce and potatoes, she was NOT going to make stuffing.. or a pumpkin pie for that matter..

So, for me, stuffing was never an issue – until I was in college – and had stuffing for the first time.

It was not a memorable occasion. In all honesty, I couldn’t see the appeal –  salty, mushy and grayish brown in color I honestly couldn’t understand why someone would allot valuable stomach room to it. But as the the years passed I had different versions – some made with bread, and some made with rice and all sorts of delicious ingredients.  Now this was something I could definitely devote some tummy space too!

 

This bread pudding definitely falls into that category. Technically, it’s not really a “stuffing” – there is no chicken stock in sight.  Instead, it’s made with half and half and cheese  (I know, need I say more??) and it goes beautifully with turkey. Yes, it’s a bit rich but as they say “it’s the holidays!!”

Easy Cheese and Herb Bread Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or sherry
  • 6 eggs
  • 2¼ cups half and half
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1½ cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1½ cups grated Swiss cheese
  • ¼ cup minced fresh chives
  • ¼ cup minced fresh sage
  • 1 Tbsp. herbs de Provence
  • 1 lb. day old sourdough baguette, cut into ½ inch pieces
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small saute pan melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the shallots until they are soft and translucent. Add the wine and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes until wine is reduced to approximately 2 Tbsp. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, salt and pepper together. Add the herbs and the shallot/wine mixture. Stir to combine. Stir in the cheese. Fold in the bread cubes. Let sit for an hour (or refrigerate overnight in the refrigerator).
  4. Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and pour bread mixture in. Bake bread pudding for 35 - 40 minutes until it is puffed and golden. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve
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Comments

  1. says

    I am so with you on the stuffing history. It always tasted exactly the same and has way too much sage. Which I now love but that’s because I have my own plant and fresh is so amazing compared to dried sage. I try to make a new one each year but I have to admit; and this will come as no surprise to you at all…the one with pumpernickel bread and bourbon; well that one has been a keeper.

    I agree with Lana…this is so unique and I’m dying to try it!

  2. says

    I really love this beautiful, flavorful alternative to stuffing! I’ve had good stuffing, bland stuffing and fabulous stuffing, but I think this bread pudding outdoes them all. I’ll try this even without the turkey (we don’t do Thanksgiving here). Perfect!

  3. says

    I personally love stuffing, my mom’s is legendary in our family, but I am always up for alternatives, and this would also make a wonderful Christmas side to a prime rib or roast duck or goose. I am so saving this for then!!

  4. says

    Well…I have to say that for me, the dressing (or stuffing) is the best part of a Thanksgiving meal. :) I’m sorry your experience with it is salty, mushy and brown. I need to make you a good dressing! With that said – your herb bread pudding looks fabulous! Looks like a great dish for between the two up and coming holidays! Beautiful dish.

  5. says

    Nancy, this definitely looks like it’s worth reserving some of that precious stomach space for. I love the rustic look of this with the big hunks of bread. It would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.

  6. says

    I forget how great bread pudding is – it can be made savory or sweet with infinite flavor combinations, and is a wonderful way to use up day-old bread. I can’t give up stuffing on my Thanksgiving table, but stuffing AND bread pudding never hurt anyone…

    • says

      Hi Katherine!!

      Aww… thank you so much – you totally made my day!! After making this, my son informed me that he is definitely ready for another batch… ah to be a teenager!!!

    • says

      Hi Jana! This goes really well with roasted poultry or pork! I love that I can make it a day ahead and then just pop it into the oven – hope you enjoy it!!

  7. Ross says

    Great recipe, but quick question. Can I replace the cheese listed with normal cheddar. I live in Korea and anything but cheddar is so expensive.

    • says

      Hi Ross!!

      Yes, cheddar would work great – I would probably reduce the amount of cheese by about a cup though since cheddar is a stronger flavored cheese!!

      • Ross says

        thank you so much! going to make this tomorrow, I will let you know the consensus.

        Also my girlfriend is making traditional stuffing, so it will be a taste off ‘stuffing or bread pudding’

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