Television host, blogger, and cookbook author Haylie Duff dishes on why you should give bread pudding a savory makeover for an elegantly rustic side dish this holiday season.
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Photo courtesy of Haylie Duff
| Credit: Photo courtesy of Haylie Duff

In a recent interview with MyRecipes, Haylie Duff shared about her love for bread pudding... certainly for dessert, but also as a stunning savory side dish fit for any special occasion spread. Especially during the chilly months, when all we really want is intensely comforting fare, Haylie's Savory Bread Pudding--featuring earthy richness from mushrooms, kale, and plenty of thyme--is just the show-stopping dish you want to show up to Christmas dinner with. Did I mention it's loaded up with umami richness delivered by 2 types of cheese? Because it definitely is.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Haylie Duff

Duff says this dish is similar in concept, but has a slightly different texture than your typical dressing or stuffing, making it a really lovely way to switch up the holiday menu with a modern touch, while still keeping a traditional vibe. If you're looking for an exceptional centerpiece turkey recipe to pair it with, don't wory--she's got that covered too.

Savory Bread Pudding

Recipe by Haylie Duff

Cook's note: I like to add a pinch of cayenne for added heat.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 4 to 5 large leaves of kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb. stale bread (I prefer a mix of sourdough & olive breads)
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a glass baking dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Sauté the leeks, shallot, kale, and green onion until the mixture begins to soften. Add the garlic and thyme.

3.Tear the bread into 3- to 4-inch pieces and layer across the prepared baking dish. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter, and cream. Fold in both cheeses. Disperse the veggies evenly throughout the bread in the baking dish. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the top and let it soak in for five minutes before transferring to the oven.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until it puffs up and browns.

By Darcy Lenz and Darcy Lenz