Wintry Corn Bread Pudding

By • November 19, 2012 22 Comments

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Author Notes: This is based on an Alton Brown recipe for Sweet Corn Bread Pudding. The original uses stale bread cubes, creamed corn, and a cornmeal-parmesan custard to create a savory amalgam of bread pudding and cornbread with a little spoon bread thrown in for good measure. It is comfort food, and I've served it as a vegetarian substitute for dressing at Thanksgiving in past years. This time I infused the recipe with one of my favorite fall flavor combinations: winter squash, leeks, and Gruyère. I first tried the combo in a recipe from the Fields of Greens cookbook for a pastry turnover, and was immediately smitten. I used frozen winter squash purée, but by all means substitute with homemade if you've got it. Use any dry bread you've got, just remove thick crusts as they don't soften up well. hardlikearmour

Food52 Review: WHO: hardlikearmour is a Pacific Northwest-based cook, cake decorator, and veterinarian.
WHAT: A comforting, vegetarian side that will stick to your ribs in the best way.
HOW: After the leeks are nice and slouchy, it's just a quick mix of the base and in the oven it goes.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This corn bread pudding ingeniously uses yeasted bread in place of cornbread, gleaning its classic flavor from cornmeal folded into the mix. It's a smart move: the sturdier bread cubes hold up well during cooking, which creates a nice texture and crumb in the final dish.
The Editors

Serves 6-8

  • 1 10-ounce package frozen winter squash purée, thawed (or substitute 1 cup homemade)
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 2 large eggs. beaten
  • 1/2 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne)
  • 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1 large leek. washed and thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups dry bread cubes (or irregular chunks), thick crust removed
  1. Heat oven to 350º F with a rack near the middle.
  2. Combine winter squash, half-and-half, and eggs in a small bowl or large glass measure. Set aside. Combine cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, baking powder, black pepper, aleppo or cayenne pepper, and Gruyère in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat half of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the foaming has subsided, add the leek slices and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook until soft and just starting to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme and cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. When leeks are almost done, add the squash mixture to the cornmeal mixture. Scrape the leeks into the squash and cornmeal mixture (it's okay if there are a few stragglers left in the pan).
  4. Add remaining butter to the skillet and return the skillet to medium-low heat.
  5. Stir together the leek, squash, and cormeal mixture until combined. Fold in the bread cubes, and adjust salt to taste. Pour into the skillet. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

More Great Recipes: Cornbread|Rice & Grains|Side Dishes|Bread

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Comments (22) Questions (0)


9 months ago Amybeth Hurst

I am going to make this for certain! Thank you! Amybeth Hurst, Portland, ME


almost 2 years ago ValerieE

Made this for dinner last night, and it was great. I used sweet potato puree since that's what I had on hand, and I subbed buttermilk for the half and half so that it wasn't quite as rich. It worked out extremely well!


over 2 years ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

Congrats on being a finalist, it looks delicious!


over 2 years ago EmilyC

Made this for dinner last night and it was a HUGE hit! The combination of flavors here is spot on and really lovely -- and you're absolutely right about it being a cornbread/bread pudding/spoon bread all rolled into one. It's really, really good. I'll let my bread go stale just to make it.


over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Happy, happy, happy! Nothing is better than having someone make a recipe, and have it be a success.


over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks fantastic!!! Huge, gigantic congrats to you for being a finalist!!!


over 2 years ago meganvt01

This is brilliant! It will be making its way to our holiday table. Congrats!


over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats HLA! This looks phenomenal! I think I want it for my weekend breakfast.


over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, fantastic recipe sounds absolutely delicious.


over 2 years ago Kukla

Congratulations on the finalist nomination! Your pudding sounds very very yummy.


over 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

This looks amazing! I have a big bowl of stale bread cubes waiting to go into this. I can't wait to make it!


over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm thrilled you are going to make it! Let me know how it turns out.


over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you all! I'm definitely doing a little happy dance today!


over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, HLA! This sounds wonderful!


over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Congratulations! Lovely recipe!


over 2 years ago dymnyno

Congrats on another fabulous recipe!


over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yay hla! Congrats. This sounds very delicious!


over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This looks outrageously delicious. Congrats!! ;o)


over 2 years ago EmilyC

Big congrats on being a finalist! This looks's going on the menu for Sunday dinner!


over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yay! I hope you'll let me know how it turns out!


almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Do you think you could use leftover corn bread instead of the regular bread?


almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I don't think it would hold up the way yeast bread does, but it would probably be tasty!