Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with Sausage and Gruyère

Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with Sausage and Gruyère via @SoupAddict on SoupAddict.com

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve become quite taken with bread puddings. They’re so versatile, serving as super yummy desserts at one meal, and hearty, savory sides at another.

Today’s wild mushroom bread pudding would make a fabulous Thanksgiving side, as an alternative to stuffing (which I know is not everyone’s cup of tea). Not custardy like its dessert form, the eggs in this recipe add a pleasant creaminess, in contrast to stuffing’s sometimes crusty edges (or, if you’re not careful, soggy bread — yipers).

Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with Sausage and Gruyère via @SoupAddict on SoupAddict.com

Wild mushrooms are a favorite winter ingredient — use what you can find, or what you really love. Creminis, shiitakes, and oyster mushrooms should be easy to find at the store. Dried porcinis are da bomb, if you can find them affordably (rehydrate them first according to package directions).

Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with Sausage and Gruyère Bread Pudding via @SoupAddict on SoupAddict.com

I have a huge sage bush in my yard that I planted for reasons unknown. I don’t use sage very often, yet the thing grows larger and larger every year. So this recipe seems particularly suited to use up a bit of the lovely plant, and indeed, fried sage finishes off the wild mushroom bread pudding quite well, blending perfectly with the mushroom and sausage flavors. Sage is such an iconic Thanksgiving herb that sage-topped wild mushroom bread pudding will slide easily onto your table among your other dishes. Or, keep stuffing on the menu, and make the bread pudding to go with the turkey leftovers (in my family, there’s never leftover stuffing — it’s the first side dish to be demolished).

If I ever host Thanksgiving dinner, it would be really hard to resist the temptation to forego the turkey entirely and just serve all sides: creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes, thick and chunky homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing, green beans, sweet-potato-something … and wild mushroom bread pudding (yes, right along side the stuffing — we love our bready side dishes!).

And — of course — pies for days.

Carb coma, here we come!

Karen xo


Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with Sausage and Gruyère
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 to 10 medium to large fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 links sweet Italian sausage, skin removed, crumbled
  • 3 leeks, chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 8 oz mushroom mix (cremini, shiitake, oyster, porcini)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 6 cups cubed country bread (1" pieces)
  • 3 ounces Gruyère, grated (1 loosely packed cup)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium until shimmering. Add the chopped sage leaves, and saute until just crisp. Spoon them out of the pan (leaving the oil behind) and set aside on a plate.
  3. Add the remaining oil, the sausage, and leeks, and cook until the sausage begins to brown up. Add the mushrooms, and cover the skillet with a lid or foil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have given off their liquids, and the sausage is browned, and the leeks are soft. Season with salt and pepper, give another quick stir, then remove from the skillet and set aside to cool almost to room temperature.
  4. In a very large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, dairy, and a big pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold in the bread cubes until completely coated, followed by the mostly-cooled mushroom mixture and the cheese.
  5. Transfer to a 2 to 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle the fried sage leaves over the top, cover the dish with foil, and bake until the edges are set (the center will still be a bit wobbly) for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes more.


  1. Carb coma…lol! :) Yup, I’m with you on the bready sides. Throw in some porcinis and I’m there! Will be giving this a whirl next week. Since I’m invited to a friend’s for T-day, I’m going to have a T-week. No turkey cooking for me. Every night or so will try a new side. Of course by the end of the week I’ll have leftovers coming out my ears. But all the better to clean the freezer out and start fresh. Have a great holiday!

  2. The sides are the best part of the meal… I usually get accused of side over load on the holidays; but its the only time I get to cook for such a large crowd and indulge myself to such a degree without fear of towers of leftovers moldering in the fridge.

    This is definitely T-day table worthy – although, I probably would it eat it all up for breakfast. It just wouldn’t make it to dinner.

  3. Sounds delicious! Do you think you could do steps 1-4 the day before and refrigerate – and the bake Thanksgiving day? I’ve done this with desert bread puddings…. Would love to try this recipe!

    • Hi Hillary,

      I hesitate to say yes … I’ve done this with dessert bread puddings, too (one of my favorite shortcut “french toast” dishes is to do an overnight soak of big bread slices in boozy custard … omg), but I’m a little worried that the dish would be too pudding-y, with the savory components overcome by the custard. I think you could cook up and combine all the components the night before (except the custard), and then add the custard right before the bake. It’s worth a try (the whole-thing-overnight), but I’m not sure that I would risk it for Thanksgiving.

  4. Oh my word. Can’t wait to try this!

  5. I made this for Thanksgiving, it was perfect! Thank you so much, everyone was SO impressed! I made the sausage, leek, sage, mushroom mixture a day ahead and it worked out fine. I had to use dry sage though, the store was out of fresh. I couldn’t stop eating the leftovers!!! I will be making again for xmas! :)

  6. Any recommendations to substitute something for the sausage? My mom is vegetarian but I’d love to make her this when she is here for christmas!

  7. It is only August, and I am already plnning out me Thanksgiving feast. I cannot wait to give this recipe a whirl and impress my family. My concern is my oven will be overwhelmed with other delights that day. So, would it be possible to translate this recipe for a crock pot/slow cooker use instead?

    • Hi Tamara – that’s so cool that you want to add to this your Thanksgiving meal. Thanks! Honestly, I don’t use slow cookers, except for foods that were meant to be slow cooked, like soup stock and chili and baked beans. My concern is that the bread pudding would end up as mush in the sauna that is a slow cooker. I have no experience with that, however. My best advice would be to prepare the recipe as written ahead of time – maybe in the morning of – and then use the slow cooker as a reheating/warming vessel, taking care to vent the lid so that the right amount of moisture is retained in the crock. (That’s one of my favorite uses for a slow cooker – keeping things warm.) Actually, that’s my second best advice. My best advice would be to try this whole thing – or whatever you decide to do – early in November, to make sure it works. :)

  8. Can this be made ahead of time?

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