I recognize that there is a very important time and place for “quick and easy” recipes… I’m all for them! It’s just that today’s recipe is not one of them. #sorrynotsorry
You see, I have this strange attraction to complicated food. (Actually, let’s call it “complex” food… that sounds fancier and less scary.) Anytime Im perusing Pinterest, I tend to be sucked in by the Brie + Cheddar Apple Beer Soup with Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumbles of the internet, versus, say… the One-Pot Chicken & Rices of the internet. I think it’s a fatal flaw of mine… one of the many forces of nature conspiring to keep me unsatisfied with life. Ha!
Truth be told, I (just like the rest of you non-Gwyneth-Paltrows out there) have neither the time nor the motivation to make complex, gourmet meals every night of the week. But last week, the bug bit me… and I whipped up this wonder: Butternut Squash, Cheddar, & Thyme Bread Pudding with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce. Or perhaps you’d prefer a more festive name like: Savory Fall Harvest Bread Pudding.
I made this just a few nights before our Baby Girl #2 made her surprise entry into the outside world! So it’s possible we can blame the nesting instinct… or maybe the fact that I knew I wouldn’t be making anything much fancier than Kraft Mac n’ Cheese for a while once she was born… but I just felt like going all out. And boy, was it worth it!
So, let’s talk about what makes this dish is so awesome:
1) It screams “FALL!”
2) It’s cheesy
3) It’s fancy
4) It’s meatless (read: easy on the budget)
5) I’m betting it’s unlike anything you’ve ever had before
Trust me, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor if you MAKE IT!
A few touches that I think make it extra special are a nice, savory loaf of whole-wheat bread with lots of yummy, healthy seeds in it…
…and saving and roasting the squash seeds in butter and sage to mix into the bread pudding. They lend such a divine, smoky crunch to the finished dish. Your eyes will roll with bliss.
Oh and special touch #3… you must drizzle it with a heaping helping of sauce before you tuck in. This goat cheese cream sauce is super-simple to throw together and it’s the perfect tangy accompaniment to the rich bread pudding. (But you can also substitute cream cheese if you’re not a goat cheese fan.)
Mmmm… Fall food at its finest. I hope you enjoy! And just so you know, it won’t hurt my feelings at all if you want to share, Pin, or Tweet about this recipe. Not at all. 😉
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ in. cubes (about 2 or 3 Cups squash)
- reserved squash seeds
- 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 tsp. pepper, divided
- 1 tsp. dried sage, divided
- ½ Tbsp. melted butter
- 3 tsp. melted coconut oil, divided
- 4 eggs
- 1½ C. whole milk or cream
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. chopped green onion
- 1 C. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper, 1 pinch each
- 2½ C. dry bread, cubed (hearty whole-wheat loaf is best)
- 3 oz. goat cheese
- 1-2 Tbsp. whole milk or cream
- Preheat oven to 400. Peel squash, then slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Separate seeds from the stringy center flesh of the squash and discard stringy part, reserving seeds. On a small sheet pan, coat seeds in ½ Tbsp. melted butter, 1 tsp. melted coconut oil, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and dried sage. Roast at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, until seeds are golden. Do not overbrown. Remove seeds from oven and set aside.
- Cut squash into small cubes, then place 2-3 C. of squash cubes onto the sheet pan in a single layer. Coat evenly with remaining 2 tsp. melted coconut oil, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, and ½ tsp. dried sage. Roast at 400 for 10 mins on one side, then flip squash cubes and roast another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1½ C. milk or cream, green onion, minced garlic, thyme, sharp cheddar, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Then fold in the cubes of dry bread and roasted squash. Spread half the mixture evenly into a well-greased 10-inch cast iron skillet, then sprinkle with half the toasted squash seeds. Spread remaining bread/custard mixture into the pan, then sprinkle top with remaining squash seeds.
- Bake at 374 for about 40 minutes. If browning too quickly, tent lightly with foil during last 10 minutes of baking.
- Meanwhile, melt together the goat cheese and 1-2 Tbsp. milk or cream (in the microwave or over stovetop.) Drizzle finished bread pudding generously with sauce, then serve.
You might also enjoy…