Thanksgiving is nothing without the sides...but most importantly this bread pudding stuffing!
When it's just the two of us for dinner, obviously a 10 pound turkey is not in the cards. It usually consists of a 5 pound turkey breast which is just perfect for a few people by the way. The only down side of making just a turkey breast is that you can't stuff it with anything!
This bread pudding stuffing is made just slightly different than regular stuffing. It's made with soft potato bread and an egg and cream custard that soaks into bread cubes before baking. It includes the same classic flavors of regular stuffing- onion, mushroom, celery and fresh herbs. What really gives it the most flavor is the from scratch cream of mushroom!
This side dish is perfect for a small gathering and is done in under an hour. This means there's more time for enjoying company, relaxing, and sipping a second glass of wine 😉
How to Make the Cream of Mushroom
The cream of mushroom base is what gives this stuffing all of its Thanksgiving flavor.
Its so easy to make and rivals the store bought kind!
What you need to make it:
- fresh baby Bella mushrooms
- chicken broth OR vegetable broth
It's really that simple, and really delicious!
First you will dice the mushrooms into very small pieces. Then you'll add it to a pan with the butter and saute until the mushrooms are soft. Then to thicken it, you'll add some flour and the broth. You can easily substitute vegetable broth for chicken to make this a vegetarian side dish!
Once the broth is added, the cream of mushroom will simmer to thicken with the celery and diced onions.
Making the Bread Pudding Stuffing
After the cream of mushroom base is done, you'll start to prepare the bread and custard.
The base of any bread pudding is always the custard. If you've never made a custard before, it's incredibly simple. It is composed of egg and cream, that's it!
The cream and egg get whisked together and then poured over the bread cubes so that it can soak into every bit of the bread and make them extra soft and moist.
Then you'll add the cream of mushroom base and let it sit while the oven preheats. During this time the custard has a chance to soak into the bread.
When the oven is ready the bread pudding stuffing bakes for about 25 minutes and its ready to eat!
- 4 cups potato bread, lightly packed and cut into 1in by 1in cubes about 6-8 slices
- 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, diced 8 ounces
- 3 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ vidalia onion, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced about 3 stalks
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme or ¾ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup chopped walnut pieces
- Cut the potato bread slices into about 1 ½ inch cubes. Place them in a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Dice the mushrooms and add them with the butter to the hot pan. Saute until the mushrooms are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the mushrooms. Then add the chicken broth stirring constantly. Add the diced onion and celery and stir to combine.
- Add the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare the custard. In a medium bowl add the eggs and cream and whisk them together until completely combined.
- When the suace is done simmering, allow it to cool slightly. If its too hot it will scramble the eggs when they're added. Pour the custard into the bowl with the bread cubes, then add the mushroom and veggie sauce. Add the walnut pieces and mix to combine it all.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Pour into a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Serve warm and enjoy!