Serves a Crowd

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

by:
October 13, 2015
9 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao
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

Watch This Recipe
Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  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.

  • Anne Arbogast
    Anne Arbogast
  • Pamela_in_Tokyo
    Pamela_in_Tokyo
  • Patrice Beittel
    Patrice Beittel
  • Joan MacDonald
    Joan MacDonald
  • Erin
    Erin

    79 Reviews

    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!
     
    Author Comment
    Donna December 7, 2019
    Thank you so much for your kind comments. Your variations on the recipe are perfect! All the best,
    Donna
     
    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!

    Patrice
     
    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!
     
    Author Comment
    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,
    -Donna
     
    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!
     
    Author Comment
    Donna November 18, 2018
    Sonia, Thank you for your kind comment. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the recipe. All the best!
    -Donna
     
    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!
     
    Author Comment
    Donna November 26, 2016
    Alexis,
    Yes, it can be refrigerated overnight. The texture will be more "souffle-like" as a result. But it's still delicious :)
    -Donna
     
    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!
     
    Author Comment
    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.
    -Donna
     
    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.
     
    Author Comment
    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
     
    Author Comment
    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.
     
    Author Comment
    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!
     
    Author Comment
    Donna December 15, 2015
    Hi Mary Ann,
    I have sent you an email. Please try again, and thank you for your interest in my recipe. All the best!
     
    Mary A. December 14, 2015
    First time to this site. Found it too difficult to navigate to this Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding recipe, in order to print a copy. Recipe sounds yummy, but leaves me wondering! Picholine's comment about using less oregano??? What am I missing??? I DO NOT see oregano as a listed ingredient! Oh, and the print out was partially obscured, had to hand-copy several ingredients that were blocked. Hope you'll respond, preferably by email, Donna. Recipes great, but not worth effort required on my part. Let me know what I may have done wrong. Until I know, I don't think I will visit this web page again. FYI, I like to print/make hard copies of recipes I want to keep/try, this is why ease of getting it done easily is important to me.
     
    Author Comment
    Donna December 15, 2015
    Hi Mary Ann,
    I have sent you an email; I hope you try again to copy the recipe. Thank you for your interest and all the best!
     
    Deborah J. December 25, 2015
    I have never tried these recipes, never can afford nothing good for the soul. Too many problems w/husband.
     
    MannyButt November 13, 2018
    Hello Donna, I have not made this as of yet. I am a vegetarian. This sounds phenomenal! Reading your response, I have to think you cook from love. You are so lovely to share your soul. Some people just want to criticize and complain. Even though you are not sharing a computer program. I can not wait to make this today. It sounds over the moon. Thank you.
     
    Picholine November 15, 2018
    That was because some said they did not have marjoram and I used a bit of oregano to sub. Mine was delish. I also find this site user friendly.
     
    Author Comment
    Donna November 18, 2018
    Thank you Manny for your kind comment. I hope you enjoy the dish. All the best!
    -Donna
     
    Araceli November 26, 2015
    I made this today and it was a great success! I found this to be very simple and adaptable. Definitely going to be in rotation from now on!
     
    Author Comment
    Donna November 30, 2015
    I am so pleased that you enjoyed it Araceli :)