Italian Breakfast Bread Pudding


  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped white onions
  • ½ cup chopped green bell peppers
  • ½ cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 pound Italian-flavored bulk pork sausage
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups cubed stale French bread (1-inch cubes)
  • 2 ounces cooked crumbled bacon
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fine seasoned dry bread crumbs, divided
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with 2 teaspoons butter and set aside.


  • Step 2

    Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, green and red bell peppers, 1 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add parsley, stir, and remove from heat. Let vegetables cool.

  • Step 3

    Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir sausage in the hot skillet until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain sausage on a plate lined with a paper towel.

  • Step 4

    Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add milk, half-and-half, Italian seasoning, remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine. Add bread cubes and let sit for 5 minutes. Add cooked sausage, bacon, vegetables, Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and stir to incorporate. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.

  • Step 5

    Bake in the preheated oven until almost set, 50 to 55 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Combine remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Remove pudding from oven, leaving oven on. Uncover and sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Return to the oven and increase heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Continue baking until pudding is completely set in the center, puffed, and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes more.

  • Step 7

    Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

  • Feel free to use spicy sausage,if you like.

    Breakfast pudding can be assembled in advance, covered, and refrigerated 8 hours or overnight, and then baked. Let sit at room temperature while preheating oven, before baking. Mix crumb topping during 50 minute initial bake time, rather than mixing in advance.

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