October 30th, 2013

Chanterelle Bread Pudding


Hail Cantharellus cibarius!

Yes, it is that time of year again, when chanterelles, those golden hued beauties of the forest make their appearance at the market. I’ve been keeping a watchful eye out for them–their beguiling apricot color and scent, curious funnel-shaped stems, and soft gill-like ridges that stretch up to frilled caps. Trumpets of delectability!

So infrequently do I cook with them, that I want make the most of the occasion. Because of their nature, their keen readiness to yield into a silken umami state when sauteed in butter–I don’t want to do too much.

In the past, I’ve paired them nicely with caramelized onions in this tart, and made them the foundation and star of this spoon-creamy risotto. Today, I’ve folded them with cubed bread, eggs, cheeses, and an herb-infused milk, baked into a sumptuous Chanterelle Bread Pudding.


A pile of chanterelles looks formidable at purchase, but reduces quickly in the skillet, so be sure to indulge in a full pound of them.
They’ll retain their meatiness and won’t get lost in the mix. Cleaning them can be a bit of a chore however most necessary; click here for Cooking Light’s foolproof guide to a proper prep. The cleaning may be the most time-consuming part of the recipe!


For the rest of the process, it moves along simply, with simple ingredients. Likely you already have them in your pantry. Stale crusts of bread, eggs, some nutlike cheeses, a little onion and carrot to chop into a mirepoix to add to the base.

What makes this pudding exceptional—besides the grand chanterelles, of course— is the warmed half-and-half, with its plunge of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage. That trio muddles in the rich milk, infusing it with woodsy herbal notes.


I saute the chopped chanterelle stems with carrot and onion in a nob of Kerrygold butter. After a few minutes, I toss in the mushroom caps, which I prefer to tear into pieces, rather than attack with a knife. In no time, they release their essence–both peppery and fruity– and become lustrous as they simmer. You could add a splash of white wine or sherry at this point—-chanterelles like a nip of the grape—-but it is not essential.

Once they are cooked, the rest is basically a mixing thing. Add your herbed-up half-and-half, shredded cheese (a combination of parmesan and gruyere is quite nice) beaten eggs and cubed bread.

I keep a bag of leftover bread–nubs, scraps, and pieces—in my freezer. Recipes like this one make me glad that I do.



The pudding puffs as it bakes. The interior sides and rumpled top become wonderfully brown and crusty, while the interior maintains its rich creaminess. Tasting the dish–which made a great meal with a green salad—reminded me of big holiday feasts on the horizon. And I realized that this would make an elegant side dish, or dressing. Some of my friends always make Oyster Dressing for Thanksgiving. I think this Chanterelle Bread Pudding rivals that.


1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, carefully cleaned
2 cups half-and-half
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
4-5 sage leaves
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups cubed sturdy stale bread
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese–combination of Parmesan and Gruyere
4 eggs, lightly beaten

1- 8 cup baking or souffle dish, coated with butter

Cut the stems from the chanterelles, setting aside the caps to work with later. Finely chop the stems.

Pour the half-and-half into a small saucepan. Add fresh herbs and place on medium low heat. When bubbles begin to form on the pan’s edge of the liquid, remove from heat. Let the mixture cool as the herbs infuse the half-and-half.

Melt the butter in a large skillet or pot placed on medium heat. Add the chopped chanterelle stems, carrots, and onions. Season with salt and black pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chop, or tear by hand, the chanterelle caps into bite sized pieces. Add to the vegetable mixture. Stir gently as the mushroom caps soften and collapse in the saute. This should take about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Discard the herbs and pour the infused half-and-half into the pot with the mushrooms. Stir in the bread cubes and cheese.
Finally–and quickly—stir in the beaten eggs. When all of the ingredients are well-combined, pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. You may place a sprig of rosemary ( or sage, or thyme) on the top.

Allow the bread pudding to sit for at least an hour (or several hours—you may cover and refrigerate this overnight and bake the following day.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the casserole on the middle oven shelf and bake for 35 minutes.

Serves 6-8



Posted in Casseroles, Egg/Cheese Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian Dishes

20 Responses to “Chanterelle Bread Pudding”
  1. Kath Says:

    You introduced me to the savoury bread pudding with your stracciatelle (have I remembered that word right, I wonder?) and I make it often. This one looks very good too. I will be making this as a variation on a theme, although I doubt I will be able to source such wonderful mushrooms.

  2. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Yes, Kath, I remember! It was the Tomato-Mozzarella Strata. This is a nice one, too–and you can make it with other kinds of mushrooms with great success, if you can’t locate the treasured chanterelles.

  3. Barbara Says:

    This is so funny, Nancy! I always made a mushroom bread pudding for the holidays, my dad loved it. For some reason I never posted it, but recently saw Ina Gartens mushroom and leek bread pudding and plan to make it. Very similar to yours, has gruyere too. Great minds think alike! ;)
    Yours looks fabulous!

  4. goodfoodmatters Says:

    That is a funny coincidence, Barbara. You are right, leeks would be a superb addition.

  5. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Wow, wow, and wow.

  6. ernestine Says:

    Oh my
    I must try this recipe.
    For over 50 years I have made a family favorite
    handed down from my great grandmother
    Scalloped Oysters
    for holidays – my son’s favorite.
    These mushrooms are not available in my area.
    Would I purchase at Whole Foods
    or Farmers Market in Nashville ?

  7. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Ernestine,
    You can find the chanterelles at Whole Foods, for sure. Oddly, I located them also at Costco in Nashville, at a stunning $9.99 a pound–quite the bargain. If you can’t find chanterelles, then I would recommend oyster mushrooms from Whispering Creek Farm–which sells at a couple of the farmer’s markets, such as 12 South. Or on Saturdays at Nashville Farmers Market, Hill and Hollow Farm sometimes has their wonderful shiitakes.

    I bet your scalloped oysters are amazing!

  8. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    The is looks scrumptious!

  9. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    This looks scrumptious!

  10. fluffy Says:

    the shrooms were magic

    nancy thanks

  11. heather Says:

    This looks so easy and perfect for Thanksgiving! Thank you Nancy.

  12. Ellen Says:

    Anything with chanterelles has got to be
    the best

  13. Teresa, foodonfifth Says:

    Oh yummy! Nancy this is just so delicious and cozy and would be the perfect antidote for “dry, boring stuffing” for Thanksgiving dinners. Beautiful and so very fall.

  14. Tammy Says:

    Fantastic Nancy! This lovely dish will grace my table over the holidays. I adore chanterelles and savory bread puddings.

  15. Karen (Back Road Journal) Says:

    Your bread pudding sounds wonderful. Unfortunately I never see chanterelle mushrooms in our market but I’ve been eating my share while traveling in Germany and Austria. :)

  16. Wendy Says:

    I am so happy to know that Costco is carrying these lovely mushrooms. Your bread pudding looks sublime.

  17. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    A savory bread pudding. I am loving this. If I am remembering correctly, I think i tried doing a savory bread pudding with roasted red peppers but it was too long ago. I must try it again but with your chanterelle mushrooms! DIVINE

  18. Adri Says:

    Oh my, but what an absolutely luxurious dish. I so enjoy savory bread puddings, and I can just imagine the earthy taste of this one. I say yes, please!

  19. 2 Sisters Recipes Says:

    Hi Nancy! We never heard of anything like this before, and boy it sounds delicious! What a great recipe to share with other, nice and earthy flavors especially with the mushrooms added, marvelous!

  20. Juliana Says:

    Wow, what a treat Nancy…bread pudding loaded with chanterelle mushroom…I can only imagine a bite a this savory dish…yum!
    I will definitely look for it next time I am at Costco.
    Have a wonderful week, and yes, I am back :D

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