Savory, cheesy bread pudding as a side dish, or sweet, rum-tinged bread pudding with a warm lemon sauce for dessert? Or why not both? It’s what I did today with a nice, crusty, day-old loaf of Italian bread.
Either way, this is an easy, warming dish for the cooler days ahead. These are very basic recipes that you can customize with your favorite flavors, or enjoy them as is. The recipe for the savory pudding is below.
I’m a middle-of-the-stuffing kind of gal, loving the soft, creamy stuff that is cooked inside the bird (yes, I know all the warnings, but it’s delicious and always cooked to a safe temperature). Bread pudding cooked inside the Instant Pot is the perfect way to have all of the “inside” goodness, with a wonderful, custardy texture and creamy/cheesy flavor. Savory bread pudding is a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving table, or any time as a comforting accompaniment to pork or poultry dishes, or as a treat by itself. If you like a bit of crunch on your bread pudding, you can place it under a broiler for a minute or two, but that’s not really necessary.
For the savory recipe pictured on the right, I use a 7″ springform pan for easy removal and cleanup. I also use a taller rack/trivet in my Instant Pot to make it easier to remove the pan when the pudding is cooked. You can also use a silicone sling, or create a sturdy one out of a folded strip of foil under your pan to make it easier to remove the pan after the pudding is cooked. Be sure to grease the pan well before using it.
Make your life easier by using the mister shown above for greasing your pan with olive oil. This is a staple in my kitchen, since it works flawlessly and is also perfect for coating foods before air frying.
If you have a springform pan, check to make sure the bottom of the pan is seated properly before adding the egg mixture, or you’ll find a lot of egg inside the bottom of the Instant Pot before it has a chance to solidify (I’m speaking from experience here).
For this recipe, you’ll need a sturdy day-old or slightly stale bread, such as Italian, a French baguette, or brioche. Is your bread fresh, but you want to make the pudding today? You can dry it out a bit and toast it very slightly on a rack in the oven. I used this chewy sliced Italian bread from Aldi.
Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes, and set aside.
My Instant Pot Duo was busy making yogurt today, so I pulled out my trusty old Instant Pot Lux for this recipe. Every time I think about getting rid of one of my pressure cookers, I end up needing them both! Heat the Instant Pot to Sauté. Add chopped onions and cook until soft. Add mushrooms, and cook until softened and they begin to release water. Add spinach, and cook until wilted and darker in color.
This slicer makes quick work of slicing mushrooms. It’s also great for nice, even slices of hard-boiled eggs for when you’re making that perfect chef salad.
Remove the vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving any juices in the pot. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot, stirring to remove any stuck-on bits of food. The water will look a little muddy as it is below, but using the vegetable liquids adds to the flavor of the dish and avoids an unnecessary clean-up before the next step.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, half-and-half (or milk), mustard, salt, and pepper. Toss bread crumbs in about 1/3 of the egg mixture. Stir in onions, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese, reserving a little of the cheese to top the pudding once it is poured into the baking dish.
Add bread mixture to greased pan, topping with remaining egg mixture and then the cheese. Seal lid, and set to high pressure for 30 minutes.
Allow pressure to release naturally, then gently release remaining pressure and remove from pot. It will be a little fluffy at first, as shown below, but will flatten out a bit once it starts cooling. Enjoy the warm, cheesy deliciousness.
Savory Instant Pot Bread Pudding
Instant Pot Savory Bread Pudding
- 1 cup water (for bottom of pressure cooker pan)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 oz day-old crusty bread, such as Italian or sourdough, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup half-and-half or milk
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach (pack it in a bit)
- 8 oz sharp white cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss, or cheese of your choosing, shredded (set aside about an ounce or two to top the pudding before pressure cooking)
- Slice bread into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Grease a 7″ springform pan or stainless-steel cake pan with olive oil, butter, or shortening.
- Heat olive oil in Instant pot on Sauté setting. Cook onions until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted and water is released.
- Remove vegetables from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving liquid in the pot.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Toss the bread cubes with about 1/3 of the egg mixture until coated. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Fold in mushrooms, spinach, shallots, and gruyere cheese.
- Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan, topping evenly with the remaining egg mixture and cheese.
- Add 1 cup of water to Instant Pot. Scrape pot to remove any stuck-on bits of food. Place the trivet in the pot, and place pan on top of trivet.
- Seal lid, and set to high pressure for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, followed by a gentle quick release if needed. Remove from pot and serve warm.