Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Recipe Re-Do: Savory Apple-Italian Sausage Bread Pudding -- Perfect for Thanksgiving! #lightenup #turkeyday #savorysides

Can you believe Thanksgiving is coming up in just TWO WEEKS?!?!? If you're looking for a delicious new side dish to add to your menu, I've got a perfect suggestion for you today! I originally featured this Savory Apple-Italian Sausage Bread Pudding recipe in 2014 -- and it was a definite reader favorite. I've made a few adjustments this time to make it a bit healthier, but it still features all of the Fall flavors that make the original recipe reminiscent of dressing/stuffing. It pairs perfectly with roasted turkey or chicken, so it's a perfect addition to any holiday table!

For this lighter version, I used mild Italian turkey sausage and tart Granny Smith apple, used half and half in place of heavy cream, and added a reduced amount of flavorful extra sharp cheddar cheese. I also used less butter and olive oil, and I subbed two egg white for one of the eggs used in the original recipe. This savory bread pudding might be lower in fat and calories than the original recipe...but there's no sacrifice in decadent flavor!

Savory Apple-Italian Sausage Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted from Le Creuset
  • 8 ounces sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 tsp. chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 Granny Smith green apple -- peeled, cored, and chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces cooked, crumbled mild turkey Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups half and half
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbs. chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Add the cubed sourdough to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and add the garlic and chopped parsley. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Toss well, until the bread cubes are evenly coated with the oil and seasonings. Arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cubes are browned.
Step 2: Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and cook until the onion begins to soften and get some color -- about 4 minutes. Add the Granny Smith apple and cook until the apples begins to soften. While the veggie-apple mixture is cooking, make the custard: add the half and half, eggs + egg whites, poultry seasoning, and cinnamon to a large bow or 4-cup capacity measuring cup. Whisk until all custard ingredients are completely combined. Set aside.
Step 3: Add the toasted sourdough cubes to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked and crumbled turkey Italian sausage, extra sharp cheddar, and apple-veggie mixture; stir to combine. Add the custard and stir to combine with the dry ingredients. Be sure to push the bread cubes into the custard. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to ensure every piece of the bread soaks up the custard. Season with additional salt & pepper to taste.
Step 4: Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Ladle the bread pudding mixture into the casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook the bread pudding an additional 30 minutes, until browned on top. Let the bread pudding cool for approximately 30 minutes before serving.
This delicious savory bread pudding is reminiscent of stuffing or dressing. It's savory, with bursts of tart sweetness from the apple...and a hint of sharp cheddar in every bite. The mild turkey Italian sausage provides just enough spice to compliment the apple without overpowering. In my opinion, you can *never* have too much dressing/stuffing on your holiday menu! Here in Texas, we simply *must* have our cornbread dressing -- but my family always has at least 2-3 dressing versions at our big family meal. This Savory Apple-Italian Sausage Bread Pudding will fit in perfectly! 

Thanksgiving menu already set? No problem! this savory take on bread pudding also makes a fabulous brunch entrée during the entire holiday season! It's easy to make, and it features an abundance of familiar seasonal flavors. It can even be made ahead up to a day in advance and the casserole dish stored the fridge, ready to pop in the oven to cook just before serving!

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