Hamburger Buns for Dinner? Tomato Basil Bread Pudding!

Sad to say, but we don’t make a lot of burgers around here. Part of the reason is that we only recently got a grill, but an even bigger reason is that I hate buying a package of eight hamburger buns for two people who are going to eat one hamburger apiece. I know everyone ends up throwing out at least some food from time to time, but buying something only to let 3/4 of it go to waste just bums me out.

Thankfully, I may never have that problem again after discovering this recipe. This tomato basil bread pudding was so many things – delicious, vegetarian, incredibly easy to prepare, AND it was a way to use up an entire package of hamburger buns that were about to go to bad. That’s right, people, I had hamburger buns for dinner. And they were awesome!

Given that this actually is mostly hamburger buns, this recipe is also super cheap. You could cut corners even more by using a can of diced tomatoes instead of the cherry tomatoes and a regular white onion in place of the shallot. I wouldn’t skimp on the fresh basil, though – it really adds a lot. And even if you’re not quite on board with a meat-free main dish, this would make a great side for a (non-pasta) Italian main dish like chicken parmigiana.

TOMATO BASIL BREAD PUDDING (recipe from Prevention RD)

5 plain hamburger buns (about 8 ounces of bread), torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp minced garlic
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped basil leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup 2% or whole milk (do not use skim)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray and fill dish with bread pieces. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, cook for a minute or two. Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, cooking until tomatoes are slightly soft, about two minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in basil. Pour tomato mixture and parmesan cheese over bread pieces and combine well.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until smooth. Pour custard over bread mixture and gently toss to coat. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool five minutes.

This was quite a good way to use up those extra hamburger buns, but I think it would be even better (and more nutritious) to use a multi-grain bread or something more substantial. This all came together in about 15 minutes, too. Definitely a keeper!


4 thoughts on “Hamburger Buns for Dinner? Tomato Basil Bread Pudding!

    • You should! It’s good for your health and good for the environment to eat less meat. I don’t have any plans to go full-vegetarian, because that would remove way too many delicious things from my diet, but I’ll pretty regularly have stretches of days where I don’t eat any meat at all. I guess it’s easy to do when you’re a huge carb-lover.

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