Mushroom & Leek Bread Pudding

Total Time:
2 hr 15 min
15 min
2 hr

8 to 10 servings

  • 6 cups (1/2-inch-diced) bread cubes from a rustic country loaf, crusts removed
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, small-diced
  • 4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts (4 leeks)
  • 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and 1/4-inch-sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 cup medium or dry sherry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (6 ounces), divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Stir in the leeks and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leeks are tender. Stir in the mushrooms, tarragon, sherry, 1 tablespoon salt and 11/2 teaspoons pepper and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, chicken stock and 1 cup of the Gruyere. Add the bread cubes and mushroom mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Stir well and pour into a 2 1/2-to-3-quart gratin dish (13 x 9 x 2 inches). Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Gruyere and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is browned and the custard is set. Serve hot.

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Photograph by Steve Giralt

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    this was delicious; most of her recipes are. the only change i would make would be to increase the amount of tarragon a tad and to decrease the salt. it's a keeper!
    This is the best Thanksgiving side dish I've ever tasted. I made it last year for Thanksgiving and then made it for Christmas dinner as well. It's flavorful and delicous!
    This recipe is outstanding!!! The only thing I changed was leaving out the pancetta and adding french fried onion rings. At the stage when you're supposed to mix the mushrooms, leeks, and bread into the liquids/cheese, I added some of the onion rings. Then, after covering the top with gruyere, I added a nice topping of the onion rings as well. The topping had a really nice crunch to it - highly recommend it!
    I made this for New Years Eve to serve with bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. I left out the pancetta, kept the salt amount the same and used Challah bread. The cremini mushrooms add a great mushroom flavor. It was delicious!
    Delish!! made this with roast beef for the holidays. Company raved. Ina, you never disappoint. Thanks.
    This is a great recipe. I prepared it for a staff Christmas party and it was a huge hit! I will definitely be making this again.
    I made this for thansgiving, and substituted leeks for corn, and used corn bread in addition to the bread Ina recommended and everyone was floored at how delicious it was! Ina does it again!
    I made this last week from Ina's cookbook, "Foolproof". This is outstanding. I'm actually going to make this again today to have for dinner tobight and serve tomorrow with the Thanksgiving meal, which is about 80% Ina recipes, lol. Hope you try it - it's delicious.
    I made this vegetarian (no pancetta, veggie chicken broth in place of the real thing) and I think it came out very good. I wouldn't use this in place of stuffing on thanksgiving because of the egg flavor (which absolutely suits the dish but doesn't work for me when I want real Thanksgiving stuffing), but I would consider making this again for the right crowd. The recipe was easy to follow but for the amount of time spent on the dish I don't know how often I see myself making this in the future. Pleased but not blown away. Perhaps because of the pancetta?
    My new go-to Thanksgiving standard.
    I made this last year with Thanksgiving and even I (a dressing/stuffing snob) found it was amazing! It got rave reviews from my family and the in-laws. Great flavor, moist, and went great with everything else on our table. I can't wait to make it again this year for Thanksgiving (or maybe even a little bit sooner!!)
    This was good but not great. I don't think I will make it again.
    This recipe was so good that I made it again a few days after Thanksgiving because I had run out of leftovers. Amazing, delicious and every other scrumptious adjective you can think of.
    Has anyone ever made this ahead of time and frozen it? I would realy love to make it today and freeze it uncooked. 
    I made this dairy-free and vegetarian by leaving out the pancetta and substituting coconut oil for the butter and coconut milk for the heavy cream. It was really great! Next time I'd just toast the bread crumbs a little less; mine got burnt.
    Made this last night. Oh my goodness! It was amazing. Granted, it's a little time consuming to make but oh so worth it. I made it exactly as the recipe. Not sure I'd want to chance altering it in any way. The pancetta adds alot of saltiness so you may want to leave that out if you like things less salty tasting. I plan to make this next Thanksgiving and forget about my tired old cornbread dressing. Thanks Ina!
    I made this for Christmas Day and everyone loved it - soooo good!! I misread the recipe so had to hurry the process. I cooked/combined the ingredients to the eggs. I then mixed the eggs, etc and poured over the bread/mushroom mixture within 10 minutes it was in the oven for 45 minutes and it turned out perfectly. I did add all the cheese to the mixture not as a topping.
    this was fanstastic!!!! will make it all the time! as usual Ina you hit it out of the park!
    Oh, my goodness, this was fabulous. I left the pancetta out (I don't eat meat and used thyme instead of tarragon (soooooooo much easier to find in the stores this time of year!, but I still thought this dish was absolutely delicious. It was definitely the hit of the Thanksgiving table. I toasted the bread cubes and sauteed the leeks and mushrooms in advance, so all I had to do on Thanksgiving day was make the custard, soak the mixture, and bake the bread pudding. Easy peasy! Forget contessa -- Ina, you are a goddess!!
    I wanted something a little different this Thanksgiving for stuffing. I made this Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding and it was the hit of the entire meal. Everybody wanted to take some home with them. This is the first year I've really been happy with my "stuffing." Will only make this in the future. Thanks, Ina.
    Made this for the first time tonight exactly as directed. It was spectacular! I received so many compliments! Very easy to do and looks lovely.
    When Ina's new cookbook FOOLPROOF came out, well, I danced for joy. She has been my go to inspiration for years. This year, I was so looking for something new. Now, I must admit, Sara Moulton's recipe for Parsly, Thyme, and Sage dressing is quite a keeper and a great traditional recipe, but, this one is Phenomenal! A Tasty Change. I had the bakery bake me a Rustic French Loaf 2 days prior to Thanksgiving. I trimmed most of the crust off, but, left some. The combinations of Sherry, Crimini Mushrooms, Tarragon and Gueyere Cheese is OFF THE CHAIN! I can see this as a side dish for any kind of bird, an Italian meal, or even a side with Steak! Ina has never let me down! Her classic renditions made over is what I live for in the kitchen! Thanks!
    Excellent! I used thyme vs tarragon and whole milk vs heavy cream. Definte keeper.
    Amazing. Fantastic. I also used bacon instead of pancetta. Note: Just make sure you wash your leeks REALLY well. Leeks are really dirty all between the layers. Halve the leek lengthwise, slice it up, and submerge it all in a bowl of cold water. Swish it around and then pull the leeks out and place in a colander (don't pour them out with the water - all the dirt will have settled at the bottom and will just end up back on the leeks if you do.
    This was simply fantastic. I think next time I'll use a more rustic loaf and leave the crust on the bread cubes. My mom made this with the addition of pork sausage, and that was very good as well. I'll probably do that as a make-ahead casserole for Christmas morning.
    This was really easy to make and it came out very light and fluffy. I made 1/2 recipe to test out, and used Jasrlberg cheese instead of the Gruyere. This is going to be something I will make again and again.
    My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. I followed the recipe except I used large eggs instead of extra large and used bacon in place of the pancetta (forgot to buy it. I only made a half recipe since it was just the two of us and we still have enough to warm over for another meal. Next time I will use fresh thyme instead of tarragon, will use bacon in place of pancetta and will stir all of the Gruyere into the dish rather than sprinkling half on top. Thanks Ina - this is a nice substitute for bread dressing.
    This was not a hit at my house tonight. It wasn't horrible and it wasn't anything special. It was just okay. It was a lot of work and I will not make it again. Ina is one of my favorites on FN and 99% of her recipes rock usually, so I'm pretty surprised. I am hopeful that the rest of her recipes in the new cookbook are going to be awesome. Can't wait to buy it!!!
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    This recipe is featured in:

    The Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes