Collard Cornbread Pudding

by Min Merrell
how to make cornbread pudding

Cornbread Lab continues with Collard Cornbread Pudding. 

Collard Cornbread Pudding makes a big winter side dish for the holidays and beyond that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. Unlike cornbread dressing that’s moistened with broth and an egg or two, this is a real bread pudding held together with a savory milk custard. The collards are a nice sturdy green that take well to baking but without the bitterness or sharpness of turnip greens. Kale would be a good alternate choice. Red bell pepper adds color and a bit of sweetness.  

Of course, don’t make this with a bag of store-bought cornbread crumbs. You’ve got to make actual cornbread!  We started with a skillet of southern cornbread, very crisp and not sweet so the dish is definitely savory. If you take the opposite route and use sweet cornbread made from a Yankee recipe or from a little blue box, the character of the dish will be completely different. You decide. 

The custard, cornbread, and onion make up the backbone of the recipe so you can alter the rest. Here’s where a little creative experimentation can come in. Substitute chopped cooked broccoli or broccoli rabe for the greens, add cooked corn, change up the color of the bell pepper, use leeks instead of onion. Adding crumbled cooked sausage, chopped kielbasa, cooked chicken or turkey chunks or chopped ham will turn the pudding into a meaty main dish casserole. Swap the Parmesan for another cheese. Leave out the garlic or add other seasonings. Think about all your favorite quiche recipes, except the custard is poured over cornbread. 


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