Google searches for bread and butter pudding deliver the classic sweet British pudding as top hits. However, puddings can be savoury or sweet, and in this post, I present you with a savoury bread and butter pudding - perfect comfort food and one that also requires minimum effort. I'm constantly trying to think of creative additions to my partner's work lunch tiffin, and this savoury vegan bread and butter pudding with pesto and cheese is a popular addition! It's a good way to use up dry, stale bread. I like to avoid food waste, and this recipe is perfect as it's helped me use up my dying herbs and bread in one go.
Vegan Pesto Ingredients
- Basil leaves
- Sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
- Sea salt flakes
- Lemon juice
Bread and Butter Pudding Ingredients
- Sliced Bread
- Plant-based milk
- Sea salt
- Crushed Black pepper
- Vegan Butter
- Shredded Vegan Cheddar cheese
- Vegan Feta cheese
- Homemade vegan pesto
See the recipe card for quantities.
First, we make the pesto.
Wash and pat dry the basil leaves and roughly chop them.
Roughly chop the garlic.
Add the chopped basil leaves, garlic, sunflower seeds, olive oil, sea salt flakes and lemon juice to a blender and blend into a pesto paste.
Now we make the pudding.
Add the plant-based milk, cornflour, salt, and pepper to a bowl until there are no lumps.
Spread butter onto one side of the bread slices and cut them in half.
Brush the inside of the baking dish with butter.
Arrange some bread slices on the bottom of the dish, butter side up. Pour over some of the plant-based milk mixture to cover the layer of bread slices.
Then place a few spoonfuls of pesto on the bread slices and spread it out.
Next, add a layer of grated vegan cheese.
Repeat this process until you have used up the bread. Make sure there are no gaps. Before you add the layer of pesto and grated cheese each time, press down on the bread to help it soak up the milk custard.
Leave the uncooked pudding to stand while the oven gets hot.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC—Bake the bread and butter pudding for forty minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven, break up some vegan feta cheese, and add to the top. Only add the feta after cooking.
Here is a video guide to making vegan feta and pesto bread and butter pudding.
If not vegan, you can use regular milk and eggs to make the custard. For this recipe, you would need 400 ml milk or 350 ml + 50 ml cream and two eggs.
If not vegan, you can use dairy feta and omit the cheddar cheese. Add the feta to each layer and the top before baking. Dairy feta cheese and vegan feta cheese behave differently when heated. Vegan feta cheese is not appealing when heated.
Pesto is classically made with parmesan cheese. In this vegan recipe, the sunflower seeds give a cheesy flavour substitute. To make a non-vegan version, you can use ten to twenty gms of parmesan with either sunflowers seeds or pine nuts.
You can use this savoury version of bread and butter pudding as a guide and add any flavour or cheese of your choice. Sundried tomato pesto or even harissa works well.
I always recommend using digital scales for measurement.
You will need an oven-proof dish for baking. The size I have used is 8.5 X 8.5 inches.
Once baked, this savoury bread and butter pudding can be stored in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. Reheat in the oven or enjoy it cold.
When forming the layers of the bread and butter pudding, before adding the pesto and grated cheese each time, press down on the milk custard-soaked bread to help it absorb the milk custard.
Since we use vegan feta for this recipe, don't be tempted to add it on top before baking. It does not behave in the same way as dairy feta when heated and will leave an oily residue.
Vegan Savoury Bread & Butter Pudding
- 50 gms Basil leaves
- 25 gms Sunflower seeds
- 5 gms Garlic
- 50 ml Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Sea salt flakes
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
Bread and Butter Pudding
- 330 gms Sliced bread (plain white or farmhouse white) 8 slices
- 400 ml Plant-based milk I used Oatly
- 2 tablespoon Cornflour
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- ½ teaspoon Crushed black pepper
- 50 gms Vegan butter
- 80 gms Grated vegan cheddar cheese
- 100 gms Vegan feta cheese
- Wash and pat dry the basil leaves and roughly chop.
- Peel and roughly chop the garlic.
- Add the chopped basil, garlic, sunflower seeds, salt, olive oil and lemon juice to a blender and blend into a smooth pesto.
Bread and Butter Pudding
- Mix plant-based milk, cornflour, salt and pepper in a bowl until there are no lumps. This mixture is your milk custard.
- Spread vegan butter on each slice of bread and cut it in half.
- Brush the baking dish with vegan butter.
- Arrange the bread slices, buttered side up, on the bottom of the dish.
- Pour over some of the milk custard to coat the bread slices.
- Spread a layer of at least two spoonfuls of the pesto, followed by a layer of vegan cheddar cheese.
- Place a second layer of the bread on top of the first layer, add a coat with the milk custard, and add a layer of pesto and grated vegan cheese. Make sure that there are no gaps. Please press down the bread before you add the pesto and grated cheese so that it gets well soaked by the milk custard.
- Repeat the same process with the remainder of the bread. With the last layer, press down the bread before you add the pesto and vegan grated cheese.
- Leave to stand while the oven gets hot.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and bake for forty minutes.
- Once ready, add grated or hand-broken feta on top and serve hot.
Stale bread is dry and hardened bread. Water migrates from the starch in the bread, causing the hardening.
It is OK to use fresh or stale bread; the difference is minimal. I am a champion of reducing food waste, and this recipe is ideal for using up stale bread.
No! Stale bread is not the same as mouldy bread. Stale bread is the bread that has dried out and not yet turned mouldy. Discard mouldy bread, even if it only has tiny spots of mould.
Yes, you can eat this savoury bread and butter pudding cold. I put it in my partner's work lunch tiffin box!
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are a top priority, and from the beginning of training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, it is also very important to practice good food hygiene and safety at home. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food
- Wipe down countertops and high contact points regularly
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours)
- Store food correctly
For more details on food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.