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Savory Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

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Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

We have been serving this comforting casserole during October when spinach and sweet potatoes are in season and can be found at the Lynchburg Community Market, the grocery store or even our garden at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast.

Cubes of French bread are baked in a rich Parmesan custard with smoky bacon, spinach and chunks of sweet potatoes.  We serve this casserole accompanied by cheesy scrambled eggs and a light salad of mixed greens dressed with a balsamic vinegar dressing.

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ – 2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 8 thick-cut bacon slices
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 8 ounces French bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups half-and-half
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Lightly coat an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Toss together sweet potatoes, olive oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the pepper on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven until sweet potatoes are just tender, 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile cook bacon until crisp; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in the pan.  Crumble bacon.
  3. Remove potatoes from oven, and set aside.  Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  4. Cook onion in hot drippings until just tender, 2-3 minutes.  Add spinach, and cook until spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute.  Add bread cubes and crumbled bacon to spinach mixture, stirring to completely incorporate.
  5. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, Parmesan and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and  ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.  Stir in bread crumb mixture, stirring gently to completely incorporate.  Lightly coat 13 x 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; spoon mixture into prepared dish.
  6. Bake at 350°F until golden brown and set in the middle, 45-50 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into serving size pieces.

Helpful Hints:

  • Check the doneness of the sweet potato cubes before the 20 minute mark.  Depending on the size of the cubes they may be done earlier.  Remember, they are going to continue cooking in the oven for about 45 minutes.
  • We cook our bacon in the oven, on a wire rack atop a baking sheet.  This allows the bacon to remain flat and the drippings fall onto the baking sheet.  It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook the bacon this way, in a 400°F oven.
  • I have used my kitchen shears to cut the bacon into small pieces.  They are then a bit more uniform and I can snip them right into the mixing bowl.
  • We have made this recipe in the baking dish, as described above or in Texas-size silicon muffin cups.  The muffin cups make serving a breeze and allows for cooking the casserole ahead of time and then just reheating the servings necessary.