I’m pretty sure that stuffing is almost universally everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving side. Isn’t it obvious as to why? You take some bread, add in flavorful aromatics and completely customizable, decadent fixings (sausage! oysters! pancetta!), moisten the whole thing, and bake it until it’s soft inside and crisp on top. I mean really, what’s not to love?
I’m also pretty sure that this is the reason bread pudding is such a beloved dish. Sweet or savory, it has all the textural elements that make stuffing so great. Last weekend, Joe and I decided to make a big brunch at home and I was in the mood for something savory, comforting, and — I’ll be honest here — carb-y. I had never made him a savory breakfast bread pudding, so after a quick trip to the store, I whipped one up with chicken sausage, mushrooms, leeks, spinach, and gruyere.
The end result? Something endlessly satisfying. But also — I realized it was a perfect recipe to share this week, as you can use this same technique with leftover Thanksgiving ingredients, especially stuffing! The process is simple: mix all cooked ingredients together in a baking dish, then pour an egg custard over the top and bake. As to what you put in your savory pudding, the sky is really the limit! You can dice leftover bread, then add cooked diced sweet potato, bacon or sausage, as well as sautéed aromatics used from a stuffing or other side dish. Flavor it with herbs — rosemary, sage, thyme, whatever you have — and top it with a cheese (surely you have some leftover from a Thanksgiving cheese board?). It’s great because you can bake a single dish for a large crowd, then serve it with a simple green or fruit salad. Ta-da, post-Thanksgiving breakfast is served!
Below is my recipe for the savory bread pudding I made for us last weekend, as well as some ideas for various combinations you can try on your own. Read on for more!