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Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with Sausage and Gruyère

A delicious and unique side dish for your winter holiday table, Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding is savory and filling, and make-ahead easy!

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

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

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

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

Cooking for a small group? Try my Roasted Turkey for Two!. A beautiful main dish without the hassle of a ginormous bird (no bathtub required)!

Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with Sausage and Gruyère

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 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


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Have you stuffed this in a turkey? I assume I would omit the eggs and half & half then?

Happy thanksgiving!


Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Sorry, I have not. This is really a standalone dish -- I'm not sure how ingredients like cheese would go over in a turkey. ;)


Saturday 26th of November 2016

Have you ever used a gluten free bread for this recipe? Just want to ensure it doesn't disentegrate or fall apart. Thanks!


Saturday 26th of November 2016

Hi Caitlin, I'm sorry, I haven't tried gluten free bread. But hopefully someone will chime in with their experiences!


Sunday 15th of November 2015

Can this be made ahead of time?


Thursday 13th of August 2015

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?


Friday 14th of August 2015

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. :)


Monday 23rd of December 2013

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!


Monday 23rd of December 2013

How about vegetarian sausage or smoky tempeh? I use meatless crumbles all the time - they add that chewy meat texture and are sponges for flavors.