Pear, Leek, and Cheddar Bread Pudding

22 September, 2017

This easy make-ahead savory bread pudding makes a GREAT Thanksgiving side dish!

I have made it a couple of years in a row on Thanksgiving, and it’s always popular for being just a little different and out of the box- but still really well suited as a holiday dinner side dish.

What I really love about this simple bread pudding is how well it does when it’s made ahead, and left to sit in the fridge before baking.

You know how some soups and sauces are even better the same day?

That’s the same idea behind this pear, leek and cheddar bread pudding! Letting it chill out in the fridge for a while makes the flavors come together even better than when you make it the day of.

And when it comes to the cheese you use in this savory bread pudding, let me tell you – the sharper the cheddar, the better the flavor.

I like using really sharp, blow-your-mouth-off cheese in this dish. Sharp cheddar really holds its own against the sweet flavor of pear and the chewy, crusty texture of the bread cubes.

Plus, I mean, we’re talking about cheese. I get all the heart-emoji over cheese, in any form.  So when it’s added to a Thanksgiving side dish, I’m a pretty happy bunny.

Thanksgiving side dishes can get a bad rap sometimes, I think.

In the balancing act of tradition with new-ness, sometimes side dishes can be either boring as all heck, overplayed, or just weird.

This pear leek and cheddar bread pudding is none of those things.

➡It hangs out really well with savory turkey, especially when said turkey has an herby crust.

➡It’s a perfect foil against creamy, crunchy green bean casserole.

➡It’s a sweet-enough side that kids dig it.

And it actually holds up banging as a leftover. The next day when you’re throwing together that perf turkey sandwich, add a spoonful of this bread pudding on top.

You’ll be thankful you did (see what I did there?)

It’s time to change up the roster of your usual Thanksgiving side dish, guys. Try adding this sweet, savory, cheesy Pear, Leek and Cheddar Bread Pudding to your holiday table!


Pear, Leek, and Cheddar Bread Pudding

  • Author: Ruthy Kirwan



  • 23 cups diced day-old bread (let it get good and dried out)
  • 1 cup minced leeks
  • 1 pear (peeled, cored and diced)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.   In a large bowl, toss together the bread, leeks, diced pear and cheddar.  
  2. Combine the eggs, heavy cream, garlic and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss to distribute evenly.

  3. Dump the contents into a 9″x13″ ovenproof baking dish and spread out evenly, making sure all the ingredients are still evenly distributed.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the egg and cream mixture has set and the top bread cubes have browned and crisped.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.


  • Reply
    25 September, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Excited to try this! What kind of bread did you use? Just regular sliced bread or did you go fancy?!

    • Reply
      Ruthy Kirwan
      5 October, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Emma! I just used regular crusty white bread (kinda fancy, lol). I bet it would be fabulous with a good sourdough, though!

  • Reply
    22 November, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    This pudding sounds like the ultimate mix of sweet and savory! PEARS, man.

    • Reply
      30 November, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Dude! So good. And so great for Thanksgiving. Pears are my new best friend for the holiday, no matter what.

    Leave a Reply

    What's Your Meal Plan Type?Take this short quiz to see!
    I'll send you personalized hacks & ideas for just your type. 
    Oooh Yes, I'll Take the Quiz!
    No Thanks!
    Learn the 5 Minute Meal Plan (yes, really!)
    Show Me!