Savory Sausage Bread Pudding With Roasted Butternut
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A Savory Bread Pudding With Sausage and Roasted Butternut is that baked comfort dish that is every meal, at any time of day!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Savory Sausage Bread Pudding With Roasted Butternut
Bread puddings, quiches, frittatas, and strattas are all custard dishes that are very filling and ultra satisfying. The main ingredients they each share are both eggs and dairy though the percentage of custard to supporting ingredients vary per dish. The amount of added ingredients to that custard helps us to differentiate one egg custard from another.
Bread Puddings offer a stuffing-esque experience with the addition of a MIXTURE of bread cubes, herbs, and aromatics to the custard base. Either sweet or savory ingredients are added to flavor the pudding.
Strattas are very similar to bread puddings in that they are a gratin made up of LAYERS of bread, cheese, and meat or vegetables over which a mixture of eggs and milk is poured. Strattas tend to be savory dishes.
Frittatas are a custard-based dish which have close to EQUAL PARTS egg mixture to supporting ingredients. In a frittata the egg acts as a binder for the supporting ingredients.
Quiches are MORE CUSTARD than they are supporting ingredients. They are most always savory in flavor.
Make a savory breakfast bread pudding recipe, or prepare a savory side dish bread pudding recipe to accompany a main dish. Either way, a recipe for savory bread pudding will become a favorite for sure.
Savory bread puddings are the kind of casserole that lend themselves to any meal at any time of the day.
It makes no bit of difference to me whether I gobble up a savory breakfast bread pudding, or if I prepare it as a side dish to a main for dinner.
At the holidays, I assemble unique bread puddings on the smaller side to fill that void for when the stuffing gets low. After all, assembled using day old bread cubes, chopped fresh herbs, and hearty harvest vegetables makes this almost stuffing anyway. Well, stuffing on steroids after I am through adding eggs, cheese, sausage, and thinly sliced or cubed and roasted butternut squash!
How This Recipe Came About…
My garden and my abundance of herbs that seem to be proliferating late into the season are my cause for assembling a savory bread pudding today. In particular, thyme, sage, marjoram, and oregano are the fullest and most lush they’ve been all summer.
The thought of allowing them to escape a comforting cooked at home autumn recipe is a crime. Food and recipes are just better with natural elements and aromatics baked right in. In this method, I am using a combination of sage, thyme, chives and quite a few shallots for added oomph!
I am a sucker for an easy true casserole as you all know too well. Today’s best savory bread pudding recipe is no different really, and it makes darn great use of day old bread if I have any. Today though, I do not happen to have what remains of a baguette or leftover sourdough boule. Today, I’m using what I’ve got handy…
Do You Have What’s Needed For A Savory Bread Pudding? Check The List!
bread, day old or fresh; may be croissants, challah, English muffins, peasant, baguette, or sourdough
country or hot breakfast sausage
fresh butternut squash cubes
large sweet onion, a leek, or several shallots
fresh garlic cloves
one or a combination of Gouda, Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Swiss, Brie, Camembert, or cheddar cheese
large eggs at room temperature
half and half
chives, fresh or freeze-dried
How To Make A Savory Bread Pudding?
Pull out a biggie mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. As everything is chopped, roasted, cooked, and toasted, it’ll be tossed into this large bowl to be well mixed before being evened out in a well-greased 2-quart baking dish which is approximately a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. If you do not have a pretty baking dish, I am including a few both pretty and practical, that I like which you may link to for purchase.
You’ll then whisk together a simple egg and dairy half and half mixture that will become your custard. To it, you’ll add fresh chopped herbs and a few aromatics to give the finished bake some complexity without adding a whole lot of fuss or extra steps.
The oven bake is a short 35 minutes. Be sure to preheat your oven before popping the sausage pudding inside so that the custard has the correct amount of time to set without drying out the remaining ingredients. Total time for this splendid comfort dish is just around one hour, prep included.
What Is The Best Bread To Use In A Savory Bread Pudding?
Stale or day old bread is the best choice for bread puddings whether they are savory or sweet. So before you toss that leftover French bread from last night’s dinner, consider crafting a bread pudding recipe like this savory sausage and roasted butternut bread pudding, or go with something on the sweet side and assemble my Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding. Either way, a bread pudding makes darn good use of stale bread.
Today I am using a combination of English muffin halves and what remains of a (stale) baguette from a crostini appetizer I prepared a day ago. Because the baguette is sufficiently hard, I will only toast the English muffin halves to get the resulting bread cubes to where I will need them to be to absorb the egg-custard. The baguette will just require a sharp serrated bread knife and a few minutes to cube.
What Is The Best Kind Of Sausage To Use In A Savory Bread Pudding?
Here is where you kind of have to know your eaters. I like things a bit zesty, but my eaters do not. So, spicy is basically out in this house.
So that I am as satisfied as my eaters, I do a 50/50 mix of mild country sausage to hot country sausage. And when I say “country sausage” I am referring to the breakfast sausage available for purchase in rolls. Italian sausage, sweet or hot, is also fine to use.
If I am doing this savory bread pudding as a breakfast or Brunch dish, I search far and wide for maple breakfast sausage and combine it with mild or hot country breakfast sausage for a real treat.
How Do I Prep The Butternut Squash For A Savory Bread Pudding?
Butternut squash is one of my favorite winter squashes. Many a harvest dinner has resulted from a stash of winter squash. My Delicata Squash Saltimbocca with Pan Scallops, my Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Sherry And Cream, and my Creamy Butternut Mac And Cheese Soup are all favorite squash recipes that are entirely satisfying. Oh, and lest I not forget my method for a baked and stuffed pumpkin!
Butternut squash is so popular in cooking and baking that it comes ready to heat from your grocers fresh vegetable section as butternut squash noodles, aka “boodles,” cubes, slices, halves, and of course, a whole squash. I am harvesting my own butternut which means I will need to peel the outer tough skin away before halving it to de-seed it. Then, I will cut it into 3/4 to 1-inch chunks.
If you do not have access to a butternut from your garden or a neighbors garden, browse your grocers vegetable bins for prepackaged and cubed butternut. The work is done if you can purchase them this way. Check the date to make sure they’re fresh. Slices and halves will also work as you can trim and rough chop from the larger pieces.
Should I Use Baking Spray Or Butter?
Either. I specify unsalted butter for this recipe as you will need to use butter to coat the toasted bread cubes. But whether you prefer to butter or spray your baking dish to keep things from sticking is up to you. Because there are many rich ingredients in this casserole, I oftentimes use a baking spray personally so I am not compounding the amount of calories.
How Long Does A Savory Bread Pudding Bake?
This dish will not take any longer than 35 to 40 minutes max to bake up. Of course as with any recipe requiring an oven stint, cooking times may vary based on your oven. The key to this recipes success is allowing the pudding to rest and cool slightly before serving it. I go for a 15 to 20 minute rest, then serve it warm.
Alternatively, you can let it cool completely, refrigerate after wrapping with film, and reheat individual servings in the microwave, or in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
Wow…so many ways to go out on a limb with this and have it come out FABULOUS even if this is your first time making it!
Butternut squash not your thing? If you need a different vege of choice, consider par-boiled chopped asparagus, very small broccoli florets, diced bell pepper, quartered small mushrooms, reconstituted dry mushrooms, thinly sliced fennel, chopped scallions, baby spinach leaves, baby kale or mustard leaves, or chopped chopped Swiss chard.
For any of the leafy greens, go 12 ounces, but no more. For any vegetables, you will follow the step for roasting just as you would for the butternut squash. If substituting greens, sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
The sausage may also be replaced with bacon, chorizo, country or sugar ham, pancetta, prosciutto, salami, coppa, or sopressata. I have used Canadian bacon on occasion and the results were fabulous. Just be sure to cook any meat until crisp and brown, anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes depending on what it is. Cured meats go shorter, raw meats longer until cooked through.
Other delicious savory bread pudding recipes to try are vegetarian savory bread pudding, mushroom bread pudding, savory cheddar bread pudding, and chicken sausage bread pudding.
Can A Savory Bread Pudding Be Made Ahead?
Yes. Keep in mind that if you enjoy a stuffing-like bread pudding that is super moist and very aromatic, make it and bake it and eat it immediately following the 20 minute cool down period.
If you plan to make as a holiday side dish, you may assemble and bake ahead by two days. To reheat the entire bread pudding, remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before planning to serve. Let stand, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. The cook time is shorter because you’ve already baked it before freezing. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes.
Note: if you are worried about the pudding being dry after a re-heat, add just about 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth or water to the pudding before covering and baking. The added liquid will impart moisture as it steams.
Can Savory Bread Pudding Be Frozen?
Yes. Bread pudding freezes surprisingly well, making it a great sweet bread pudding dessert option or savory side dish option to store and enjoy for the coming days! To freeze, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer bag, making sure to press as much of the air out to extend freshness and avoid freezer burn. Label the package and store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
How To Serve A Savory Bread Pudding?
Breakfast or Brunch alongside poached eggs is a fantastic way to start a weekend! This is also fabulous as a side to roasted pork loin, baked chicken, and your Thanksgiving turkey or ham!
Want me to let you in on my secret? I scoop it out of the baking dish cold and microwave for 45 seconds to a minute and snack on it in little segments for a full week!
Savory Sausage Bread Pudding With Roasted Butternut
- 2 quart oven safe casserole dish
- non-stick skillet
- serrated bread knife
- 5 cups bread day old or fresh; 3/4-inch cubes; may be croissants, challah, English muffins, peasant, baguette, or sourdough
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ½ pound butternut squash fresh, 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 very large sweet onion such as Vidalia; rough chopped; may substitute a fresh leek chopped or several shallots chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ pound breakfast sausage may be mild, hot, or maple
- 2 teaspoons garlic fresh, chopped
- 6 ounces Gouda cheese shredded; may substitute or use a combination of Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Swiss, Brie, or cheddar cheese
- 8 large eggs brought to room temperature
- 2 ½ cups dairy half and half
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sage leaves fresh, chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves fresh
- 1 tablespoon chives fresh or freeze dried
If you plan make this bread pudding without any meat, double the amount of vegetables.
for the bread cubes
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Prepare a 2 quart casserole dish using 1 tablespoon of the butter, greasing the bottom and all sides. Set aside.
- Using a sharp serrated kitchen knife, cube the bread you will be using and spread it out onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the bread cool slightly, then transfer to a bowl. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Do not discard the aluminum as you will reuse to roast the butternut. *NOTE if using stale or day old bread, you need not toast the bread, rather cube and transfer to a bowl.
- Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Drizzle over the bread cubes stirring to coat.
for the butternut squash
- Using the same aluminum-lined baking sheet, spread the butternut squash and the chopped sweet onion into a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the Kosher salt and the black pepper. Use your hands to toss all to coat and spread back out to a single layer again.
- Roast the butternut mixture for 15 minutes at 425°F, toss and continue to roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the butternut cubes are nicely browned and sufficiently caramelized.
- Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature back down to 375°F. Allow the butternut to cool on the baking sheet after loosening with a spatula.
for the sausage
- While the butternut mixture is roasting, cook the sausage. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break the sausage up as it cooks, 5 to 10 minutes. NOTE you may opt to leave some of the sausage in quarter-sized chunks for the appearance of the finished pudding.
- Reduce the heat to low, and add the chopped fresh garlic to the sausage. Sauté just until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Drain the sausage mixture on layers of paper toweling and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
for the custard
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, Worcestershire, Dijon, sage leaves, thyme leaves and half the chives. Whisk for several minutes to incorporate all of the ingredients very well.
assemble the savory bread pudding
- To the bowl with the buttered bread cubes, add the roasted and cooled butternut mixture and the drained sausage mixture. Add half the cheese. Toss everything very well.
- Add half of the bread and sausage mixture to the prepared casserole. Top with half the remaining cheese. Repeat by adding the remaining bread and sausage mixture and the remaining cheese. Scatter remaining chives on top.
- Pour the custard evenly into the baking dish. Use the back of a spoon or the spatula to press down lightly in an effort to moisten all of the ingredients. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes to allow for maximum absorption. The custard MUST COVER EVERYTHING. NOTE if you appear to NOT have enough custard, begin by whisking 1 egg to 1/3 cup half and half and pour it over the casserole. Repeat with the same units of measure until the elements are covered.
- Bake until the pudding has puffed and is set in the middle. It will be a nice golden brown. A knife inserted into the center should pull out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let cool for 20 minutes, and serve warm. Alternatively, cool completely, refrigerate, and reheat individual servings in the microwave, or in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes.
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I love butternut squash, and now that it’s available already cubed I love it even more! This sounds like a wonderful combo of flavors and textures, pinned!
I don’t know who FINALLY thought to cube the stuff, but you’re right Jenna! And this makes an excellent Brunch entrée for the holidays.
Just wanted to say how wonderful this turned out! A really nice combination of flavors and a good balance of a little sweet with the savory. I didn’t have any half and half on hand so I used Ripple. a plant based milk that’s a little on the thick side, and it subbed in just fine. Thank you for sharing!!
Sarah, I am happy for this comment because nobody has really told me they’ve tried it until now. This recipe is absolutely delicious, and I am grateful for you taking a moment to tell me – and everybody else! I make it for Easter and then again in fall for breakfast alongside eggs and it’s fabulous.