Serves a Crowd

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

October 13, 2015
14 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This delicious savory bread pudding is simply "fancified" stuffing, one of our family's favorite side dishes. It is easy to make and very adaptable; add crumbled bacon or ham, deglaze the pan with sherry, substitute Gruyère for the Cheddar cheese, add parsley or tarragon if you can't find marjoram. If you use a deeper casserole dish, the end result will be more tender and soufflé-like. But a shallower dish will yield more of the crusty golden top layer. However you interpret the dish, it will be delicious and impressive. —Donna

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Donna is a longtime Food52 user based in Northern California.
WHAT: Thanksgiving stuffing, bread pudding-ified.
HOW: Make a creamy, cheesy custard, fold in bright herbs and earthy mushrooms, and soak bread cubes in it—then bake up and serve to your Thanksgiving guests (or the next morning, with an egg).
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you've only ever made sweet bread puddings, there's no better time to try a savory one. This creamy, rich alternative to classic Thanksgiving stuffing has great depth of flavor, and the vermouth really brightens it. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
  • 3 cups heaped with 1/2-inch bread cubes (about 6 ounces), I used challah
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, or brown button mushrooms*, cut into pieces about the same size as the bread cubes
  • 1 splash white vermouth, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken or turkey stock, preferable homemade
  • 3/4 cup shredded, aged, white Cheddar cheese, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the cubed bread on a sheet pan and toast in a 350° F oven until somewhat dried, but not brown. Alternately, you can leave the bread out to dry overnight. It will lose some of its volume, but that's okay. Set aside.
  2. Set a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter to the pan. When the butter has melted add the chopped onion and a good pinch of salt. Cook until the onion begins to soften and brown a little at the edges. Add the minced garlic and stir until it is fragrant, then add the chopped mushrooms. Cook and stir until the mushrooms brown and give off some liquid. Add the vermouth and cook until the liquid reduces to a glaze. Stir in the marjoram and check the mixture for seasoning, adding more salt (if necessary) and some pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole or gratin dish. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs together with the cream and chicken stock. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Taste the custard mixture and adjust the seasoning to your liking with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold the dried bread cubes and the mushroom mixture into the custard, pressing the bread down into the liquid. Let stand while you preheat the oven.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. When the oven is heated, transfer the bread and vegetable mixture to the prepared baking dish. Press the bread down into the custard and smooth the top surface a little; sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the top is handsomely golden brown and the custard is set. The baking time will depend on the depth of the baking dish you have chosen. Serve hot and make sure every diner gets a portion of the crusty top. Leftovers can be refrigerated, tightly covered for 2 to 3 days.
  6. *If you have wild mushrooms available, you can substitute them for part of the total weight of the mushrooms.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marsha Gainey
    Marsha Gainey
  • Lucy D
    Lucy D
  • Anne Arbogast
    Anne Arbogast
  • Pamela_in_Tokyo
  • Patrice Beittel
    Patrice Beittel

82 Reviews

Marsha G. June 12, 2023
Very good. Gorgeous-looking final result. Used white wine instead of vermouth and baked in an 8x8 glass baking dish. Well seasoned.
Lucy D. December 19, 2022
What a deeply delicious dish! I used what I had on hand, which was Penzey’s poultry seasoning in place of marjoram, and baked it in a glass 9x9 dish which maximized the overall crispy-crunchy aspect. Wow! Such a great recipe! I’ll be happy to make this again and again!
hurleyburley November 25, 2021
I've made this (ususally tripled or quadrupled) for several Thanksgivings in a row and it is always a hit. One delicious variation if you don't have vegetarians you are are cooking for is to sautee some crumbled up sausage, set aside, and then cook the onions and garlic in a bit of the drippings (plus some butter and olive oil). This is also great as a make-ahead brunch dish that you can just throw in the oven the morning of and serve with a salad. Thanks for one of my standby recipes, Donna!
Janet December 11, 2020
Do NOT taste the uncooked custard if there is any risk of salmonella in the eggs in your area.
Anne A. July 2, 2020
I only wish I had the recipe for the past 50 years. Outstanding. Served it as a main dish with a poached egg atop each serving. All day long, I heard whining from the family about mushrooms for dinner. Their whining was replaced by silence as they reveled in the deliciousness of the crispy bread and cheese and the soft custard bread in the middle. I used a farmer's bread from the local deli and it was perfect.
Richard April 11, 2020
Congratulations on your win Donna
pjcamp January 11, 2020
You can microwave the bread until it is dry. Just do it in 30 second bursts so you don't go too far.
Pamela_in_Tokyo December 6, 2019
This was fabulous! I made half a recipe but I added just about the same amount of liquid as for 4 people by mistake. But,..... My bread absorbed all of the liquid and it backed up very crispy on the top and the sides. We practically licked our plates. I used more mushrooms than was called for and I cut them very large so that they would have a physical presence which was highly appreciated.

This is a super keeper and all my guests intend to make it as well. They all wanted the recipe. I really recommend that once you get everything combined in your casserole dish that you let it sit in the refrigerator covered for at least one hour so that everything is absorbed. This I think was the secret to making it so popular!
Donna December 7, 2019
Thank you so much for your kind comments. Your variations on the recipe are perfect! All the best,
betsybemer November 27, 2019
Can this recipe be easily doubled?
neighome November 27, 2019
It serves four with no leftovers or second helpings. And everyone always wants second helping. So I generally double or triple it. Makes great leaftovers (though the top won't be as crispy).
Missy M. January 9, 2019
Can this recipe be made the night before? And cook the next day?
Patrice B. January 9, 2019
Hi Missy,

I actually made this recipe and baked it the day before and then just warmed it up in the microwave the next day. It was delicious!

Missy M. January 9, 2019
Thank you. I might try making it the day before then cook next day.
neighome January 9, 2019
I’ve had success with prepping each component the day before, and then putting it all into the pan and baking the next day.
Patrice B. December 26, 2018
Incredible! I've always loved stuffing from inside the bird. I'm now married to a vegetarian and have not had stuffing for a long time. Decided to make this recipe and was blown away by how good it was. Better than any stuffing I've ever had! I substituted broth made with Better Than Bouillion's Seasoned Vegetable Base for the meat stock. Thanks for this recipe!
Donna December 29, 2018
Patrice, I am thrilled to hear that you tried the recipe and enjoyed it so much! Thank you for your kind and enthusiastic comment. All the best,
Sonia S. November 15, 2018
Wow! Easy and delicious. My first savory bread pudding and it did not disappoint. Did not have marjoram leaves so used 50/50 mix of rosemary and thyme. Doubled the recipe for 8, and it all worked out. yum!
Donna November 18, 2018
Sonia, Thank you for your kind comment. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the recipe. All the best!
Joan M. January 15, 2018
Just this past Xmas, I assigned the turkey stuffing to my daughter. She came across this recipe and made it. It was the BEST stuffing we ever tasted and it will be our go to recipe from now on.
Erin December 22, 2016
How required is the vermouth? I don't have any on hand and am not likely to use it elsewhere... Has anyone substituted white wine?
Michelle D. December 23, 2016
White wine is totally fine.
Erin December 23, 2016
Thanks! Looking forward to trying this for Christmas. :)
Anne A. July 2, 2020
Used chardonnay and it was perfect.
Alexis November 23, 2016
Can this be assembled/soaked overnight and then baked the next day, or will it compromise the integrity of the bread? thanks!
Donna November 26, 2016
Yes, it can be refrigerated overnight. The texture will be more "souffle-like" as a result. But it's still delicious :)
Michelle D. November 8, 2016
I made this last night with maitake (hen of the woods) mushroom I found in the woods and it was amazing! I also subbed leek for half of the onion. I'm sure it's great as written, but try with more flavorful wild mushrooms if you get a chance!
Donna November 9, 2016
Thanks Michelle,
You're right, it's great with wild mushrooms, either fresh or dried. We have tried it and love it too.
Wendy K. November 1, 2016
I'm wondering if you've ever tried this recipe with gluten-free bread? My mother-in-law has celiac disease, and I've been looking for a stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving.
Donna November 1, 2016
Wendy K,
I have not attempted a gluten-free version of this recipe, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. You may get a slightly different texture, but the flavor should be just fine. Please let me know if you try it, okay? Thanks for your comment :)
Michelle D. November 7, 2016
I've had good luck making cornbread stuffing for GF friends.
Min L. July 24, 2016
Smells like granny's Autumn fresh Entree forever!
Nellie February 15, 2016
Delicious! I assembled the night before and baked the following day. Yum
Donna February 16, 2016
Thank you Nellie for your kind comment. I am so pleased you enjoyed my recipe!
Karen L. December 20, 2015
I made this recipe recently and used sour dough bread. It was so good that my guests ate several helpings. I did make sure I had at least a large scoop for my own leftover stash. I served it with prime rib.
Donna December 21, 2015
I am so pleased you enjoyed the dish! It is simple and versatile, and I'll bet it was the perfect side dish for your prime rib. Thank you for your kind comments and have a happy holiday!