If there were ever a year to try something new for Thanksgiving (or any holiday meal), it’s 2020! I mean, what could go wrong?!
Breathe new life into your traditional stuffing and set aside your green bean casserole. Turn stuffing into a light savory bread pudding and top it with green beans! You’ll save space on your table by combining two classic dishes.
But you say you have a favorite family recipe that goes back generations? Someone will get upset if your fried onion-topped casserole isn’t on the table?! Fear not. My recipe below is adaptable enough that you can add giblets, sausage, or anything else if someone really insists. You can also keep it vegetarian or not while keeping all the traditional flavors. This can be your new tradition.
Did you enjoy reading or making the recipe from this post? If so, please give it a “like” or a comment. It would be nice to know you are out there and that my posts connect with you
Savory Bread Pudding with Green Beans
- 1 pound (454 grams) green beans
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
- 1 pound (454 grams) rustic bread (or two types of bread for a more in-depth final result) cut into 1/4 – 1/2-inch cubes (.5 – 1 cm), about 9 cups
- 2 large yellow onions diced finely (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 4 celery ribs, chopped finely
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, fresh or dry
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the bread into 1/4-inch – 1/2-inch cubes (.5 – 1 cm) place on a tray and set it on your counter for 24 hours. Alternatively, heat the oven to 225F (110C). Spread the bread cubes on a large, rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until dry and crisp for 45 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and cool completely. Increase the oven temperature to 375F (190C)
- If you did not dry your bread in the oven, pre-heat the oven to 375F (190C)
- Remove the stem-end of the green beans. Bring to boil a very large pot of water (about 6 quarts) and add two teaspoons of kosher or sea salt to the water. Boil the beans for 3 minutes. While beans are boiling, create an ice-water bath to cool the beans once par-boiled. After 3 minutes of boiling, carefully drain the beans and then place them in the ice water bath for 5 minutes. Drain the water and pat the beans dry with a clean dishtowel
- Over medium heat in a large sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions and celery until the onions are translucent and the celery is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped herbs and salt and pepper for the last 2 minutes
- While the onions and celery are sautéing, prepare your pan(s). You’ve got choices here. A) two standard loaf pans; B) a 10-12 cup very simple Bundt pan; or C) a 9-inch (23 cm) spring form pan. If you use a springform pan be sure to line the bottom with foil, and place it on a baking sheet as the egg/milk mixture may leak out when pressing in the stuffing mixture. Whichever pan(s) you choose, line it with parchment paper or foil and butter it well
- Place the bread cubes into a very large bowl. Add the onions, celery and herb mixture and stir to combine
- Line the bottom of the pan(s) with the parboiled green beans
- In a medium bowl, place the broth, milk, eggs, salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Drizzle half of the egg mixture over the bread cubes and stir. Repeat with the second half of the egg mixture and stir until evenly combined. Let rest and stir occasionally for 20 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture
- Place the bread mixture into the pan(s) and spread into an even layer. Gently and evenly press down. Remember: if you’re using a springform pan, place foil on the bottom of the pan before you press down the bread cubes. Line the remaining green beans on top of the pan(s), which will be the bottom once you flip it out of the pan
- Cover the pan(s) with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes for standard loaf pans and 75 minutes for a Bundt or springform pan
- Let the pan(s) rest for 30 minutes to allow it to set before flipping it out onto a tray
What a fabulous idea! Can’t wait to try it. (BTW, I have made the zuppa ribolita Toscana three times since you posted the recipe. Delicious.)
Three times?! I’ll bet your kitchen smelled amazing.
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I should have made this recipe instead of the one I did make this Thanksgiving. Next year!