November 23rd, 2010

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with vegetable veloute


Before I finish packing up our car with Thanksgiving goodies and go careening full tilt to my daughter and son-in-law’s for the holiday, I wanted to check in with you all, say hey, and share a recipe.

It had been on my mind for a while to experiment with the versatile butternut squash, mix it up with some leftover cubed bread I’ve been saving,
add leeks, sage, butter, eggs, and
turn it into a kind of savory bread pudding.


I made this one up, with success, for our community potluck last Thursday.
And, while it emerged a bit denser in texture that I had envisioned, (more liquid and eggs, less bread for that!) it made a hearty and delicious vegetarian main dish casserole: one that you’d enjoy eating with a mixed green salad, or side of sauteed kale.

But I realized that this also would find favor—with vegetarians and turkey-eaters alike–on the holiday dinner table.


The casserole imparts many of the aromas I associate with Thanksgiving: fresh sage, browned butter, earthy-sweet butternut, caramel notes from the onion family. Place a slice of roast turkey and gravy over a square of this bread pudding, and you’ve got one special serving of turkey and dressing! Equally delectable would be succulent pork roast and its rosemary and garlic enriched juices.


And, for those of us who don’t partake of the noble bird (or beast!), I want to offer a vegetarian based “gravy”–a little something warm and saucy to pour over the bread pudding. Enter the Vegetable Veloute’: it’s a simple mirepoix cooked with vegetable stock, seasoned with fresh herbs, thickened with roux. Add some white wine to it, if you like, for added complexity. Everybody deserves dressing and gravy!

So, friends, that’s the word from this kitchen, for now. I just finished making garlic-sage butter for seasoning the turkey (a generous rub beneath the skin helps insure a juicy bird.) I’ve got a pumpkin and chocolate pie to get out of the oven. Then, back to packing— soon we’ll be DC bound!

To all of you, whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I wish you safe travels, cooperative ovens, and good times with friends and family at the table. May every day be an expression of gratitude.

See you next week!


6 cups diced, roasted Butternut Squash (2-3 butternuts, depending on size)
6 cups cubed Bread–from sturdy loaves, like baguettes, farmbreads, soudough
2-3 Leeks, washed, sliced, using white and some of the green
2T. Butter
6 large Eggs
2 cups Half-and Half
1 cup Milk
3 T. fresh Sage leaves
Salt and Black Pepper
1 c. shredded Pecorino Romano

Saute leeks in butter until soft, and toss with roasted squash pieces in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with half-and-half, milk, 2 T. chopped sage leaves, salt and pepper. Pour over squash and leeks.

Add cubed bread, and toss until everything is well-coated.

Spoon into a greased 9×13 casserole dish and top with shredded romano.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes—until puffed but firm, and nicely browned.


2 T. Butter
1 medium Onion,small dice
2-3 Carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks Celery, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 T. all purpose Flour
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf Parsley
salt, black pepper, white pepper

Melt butter on medium heat in a 2 qt. saucepan. Saute vegetables togerher unto softened, slightly browned. Stir in flour and cook it into the vegetable-butter mix. When no traces of white from the flour remain, add the stock, while stirring. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Add parsley, or other fresh herbs (thyme, or sage would be nice) and taste for seasoning. Add salt, black pepper, pinch of white pepper. The sauce will get a a glazy look when the flour is cooked into it, and thickens.

Serve on the side, like a gravy.


Posted in Casseroles, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

21 Responses to “Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with vegetable veloute”
  1. Karen Says:

    What a gorgeous recipe! Such a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. This is definitely going on my list of recipes to make. I love the “gravy” you serve with this. Have a safe drive and a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of good food and great company! :-)

  2. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    I like the sound of this country rustic butternut squash bread pudding. I agree everyone deserves dressing and gravy! Have a safe trip and a great time with your family!

  3. Michele Napoli Says:

    I’d say that this was a successful experiment with butternut squash!
    Anyone would be thankful to be seated at your table. Have a wonderful trip to D.C.

  4. Barbara Says:

    What a fabulous recipe!! Too late for tomorrow, but I’ve already copied it for future use. The gravy photo was fun…made my tummy growl!
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  5. Nancy Says:

    Looks delicious! What an inventive way to use butternut squash; its creaminess must really go well here. And the vegetable veloute is a perfect finishing touch. Happy Thanksgiving – enjoy!

  6. rhonda Says:

    what a unique recipe! love the vegetable veloute! have a wonderful and safe holiday! sorry you will be missing out on the tsa pat downs. haha

  7., Teresa Blackburn Says:

    What a wonderful ode to the butternut squash and the holidays Nancy. Have a great journey having Thanksgiving for the first time with the newly weds, Mad and Tony. Wish them all well for me and have what I know will be a very delicious, special dinner.

  8. blackbookkitchendiaries Says:

    i really love this dish..i cant wait to try this out for my family soon. thanks for sharing this and have a happy thanksgiving.

  9. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! The turkey is browning splendidly; potatoes whipped up silken and sweet with roast garlic; mushrooms and pearl onions braised in thyme and white wine await baby peas…..a bit chilly and overcast in DC, cozy in Madeleine and Tony’s house…the holidays are here!! love to all Nancy

  10. FOODESSA Says:

    Nancy…isn’t it great when something gets whipped up from the creativity inside us unconsciuosly screaming to cook a great meal. ;o)

    Last night, I had roasted an ‘Ambercup’ squash…and you just may have given me inspiration to whip something of my own with some leftovers. In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t be cooking much tonight…a little laziness has set in…sigh.

    Have a great celebratory Thanksgiving ;)

    Ciao for now,

  11. Joyti Says:

    Yum! That sounds delicious! Oddly enough, I’ve never made a bread pudding. I like your savory version…
    I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving with your family :)

  12. Faith Says:

    Your bread pudding looks wonderful! And that vegetable veloute is a brilliant idea! I will absolutely be making that. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  13. Leisa Hammett Says:

    Nancy, your presentation and photos are as appealing as your writing. I enjoy!

  14. Juliana Says:

    Wow Nancy, what an awesome recipe using butternut squash…so nice prepared and presented…love it!

  15. Kath Says:

    What a great recipe. It sounds absolutely delicious.

  16. Nirmala Says:

    What a great use of winter squash. Unusual. I have lots of squash left so I have a way to use it all up in one recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Joyti Says:

    Wow, both the bread pudding and the veloute sound amazing.
    Such a great use of leftover bread, and a really nice way to cook squash instead of the standard soup or roasting…

  18. Sook Says:

    Mmmm I am drooling over all these butternut squash recipes I’ve been seeing tonight…. This looks so delicious!

  19. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Fabulous, as usual, and your vegetable veloute is especially attractive. I’ll have to give it a try. You are always an inspiration.

  20. Tammy Says:

    This is the perfect comfort food Nancy! I love the vegetarian flavors and the depth of this dish. I will try this one.

  21. Ingrid Says:

    Love the pictures! Looks wonderful!

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