Autumn—my favorite season—has just arrived in New York City, and the festivities have already begun in my apartment. Much to the chagrin of my roommates, the decorative pumpkins, scented candles, and Halloween candy bowl are all on full display in our living room. I might have also changed our mini light box to read cozy boy fall as guests enter our home. You could say I’m a little obsessed with this season.
Other than being the catalyst for the holidays, one thing that I cherish most about fall is the overarching theme of community and togetherness. My mood becomes more sentimental, and my love for family and friends reaches an all-time high. What better way to bring your loved ones together than with an amazing meal! Well, as you prepare for your next dinner party or potluck, I have a dish that will help you stand out amongst the beloved squash, warm apple, or pumpkin recipes.
Bread pudding. But not your average bread pudding. A MonYAMental bread pudding. Let me give you a little context. Back in my college years, I had the honor to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Christian and the Firsching family in upstate New York. I’ve thus dubbed the celebration as Firschgiving. Cute, no? Anyway, he made this delicious leek bread pudding, and I fell in love. It combined three of my favorite things: bread, carbs, and cheese. It’s so damn good that I daydream about it every fall. So last year, I decided to take the plunge and try to make one of my own. That’s how I stumbled upon this beauty—Savory Sweet Potato Bread Pudding.
Shout out to Southern Living for bringing this recipe into my life! When my roommate found out that I was making this dish again, he was beyond excited. It’s one of his favorite meals that I make. What makes this dish so unique is the varied ingredients; yes, you still have your French bread mixed with half and half, beaten eggs, and Parmesan cheese. But then you also have sweet potatoes, spinach, sweet onion, and bacon. Baby, it’s the whole damn meal! Get ready to gather your brothers and sisters to break bread at the next coven meeting. I promise you won’t disappoint with this casserole.
Now, I’m not going to lie. This is a pretty time consuming dish, taking about 2 and 1/2 hours including prep. On the bright side, the directions are fairly simple, and it’s truly worth it. Here are my quick tips:
- Peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes do take a good amount of time. To speed up the process, you could buy your potatoes pre-cubed. Otherwise, make sure that you allot about 15-20 minutes to chop up your spuds. Also, investing in a potato peeler is clutch!
- If you are usually Team Flabby Bacon, you might have to compromise your morals for this recipe. You really do want your bacon to be crispy to add a nice crunchy texture to the dish. Remember, your French bread will become softer in the casserole once it absorbs your mixture. Those bacon crumbles add a nice savory burst of flavor to the meal. Also, if you’re wondering, I’m totally Team Crispy Bacon.
- Once you have completed all the steps and put your bread pudding in the oven, you then have to let it bake for 45-50 minutes. Yes, I know. But the wait is worth it. Set your timer and start cleaning the used dishes; it’s a great way to kill time and keep your space presentable.
Your home is going to smell delectable once you take this titan of a meal out of the oven. Be sure to take a picture to capture all the beautiful colors and dig in!