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Savory Sausage and Cheddar Bread Pudding

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A holiday favorite, this make-ahead breakfast casserole brimming with sausage and sharp cheddar is perfect for feeding a crowd.

Bread pudding is usually sweet, but it can be made savory too. This version, brimming with sweet pork sausage and sharp cheddar, is deeply flavored with a crisp, golden crust and tender, creamy interior. I love it for entertaining because it can be made ahead of time and feeds a crowd.

The recipe was given to me by one of my oldest and closest friends, Kelly Santoro. She got it from her friend Corey, who got it from his mother, who in turn got it from an old spiral-bound fundraising cookbook. Such is the path of a good recipe!

What you’ll need to make sausage and cheddar bread pudding

As you can see, I use plain ol’ white sandwich bread — there’s no need for anything fancy here. As for the sausage, some grocers sell sausage meat in bulk or out of the casings (as shown above). This makes life easier but if you can’t find it, just remove the casings. The best way is to cut the casings with kitchen shears and peel them away from the meat. This is much easier than trying to squeeze the meat out.

How to make it

Begin by cutting the crusts off the bread.

Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.

Brown the sausage in a large pan.

As the sausage cooks, use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small clumps.

Transfer the browned sausage to a large bowl, then cook the onions in the same pan until they’re soft and translucent.

Grate your cheddar. I think it’s easiest to do it in the food processor but you can use a hand-held grater as well.

Combine the bread, sausage, onions, cheddar and fresh parsley in a large bowl.

Then transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish.

Make the custard by whisking together the eggs, salt, pepper, and half-and-half.

Then pour the custard evenly over the bread mixture.

Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight. When you’re ready to serve, bake in a 350-degree oven for about an hour, until puffed, golden and crisp on top.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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Savory Sausage and Cheddar Bread Pudding

A holiday favorite, this make-ahead breakfast casserole brimming with sausage and sharp cheddar is perfect for feeding a crowd.

Servings: 6 to 8
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound sweet or spicy pork sausage (casings removed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 loaf (18 slices) white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm, crusts removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2½ cups (a little over ½ pound) grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • Scant teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. In a large sauté pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the sausage and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break the meat into small clumps, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a large mixing bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the onions to the pan along with 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook the onions, stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the onions to the mixing bowl with the sausage, along with the bread cubes, grated cheese and parsley. Toss well, then spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about one hour, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.
  7. Note: The cook time is based on cooking the bread pudding directly out of the refrigerator. If it's left to sit out at room temperature before baking, check for doneness after 45 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 669
  • Fat: 44 g
  • Saturated fat: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Sodium: 1098 mg
  • Cholesterol: 251 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn,
    I’d love to try this recipe. I only have parmigiano-reggiano and parmesan cheeses. Can I sub either one for cheddar cheese? Also, how many gram is 2 tbsp of butter?
    Many thanks.

    • — Katherine on January 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Katherine, I wouldn’t recommend those cheeses as they don’t melt nearly as well as cheddar — sorry! And 2 tablespoons of butter is the equivalent of 28 grams.

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2023
      • Reply
  • The simplicity of this recipe’s ingredients, made it an absolutely delicious breakfast for New Year’s morning. I almost steered clear of it because Italian sausage in a breakfast dish seemed unusual to me but it is actually what elevated this dish and we loved it. Thank you Jen for sharing it with us.

    • — Stephanie on January 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this for New Years Day breakfast with the rest of an Italian bread (used the first half for croutons for your Caesar salad)….didn’t cut off the crusts, and it was excellent and so easy to pop in the oven. Highly recommend! Happy New Year Jenn!

    • — Raquel on January 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • I think this would have been really good but there is too much bread for the amount of egg mixture. Some of the bread rises above and gets hard. I would stick to about 10 slices of bread.

    • — Kevin M on December 27, 2022
    • Reply

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