Food & Drink

Day-Old Croissant and Sausage “Bread Pudding”

A perfect pregame meal for those noontime kick-offs

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

Let’s be honest with each other from the outset: There is no reason on God’s green earth that there should ever be leftover croissants. But let’s just say that you find yourself at La Boulangerie, on Magazine Street in New Orleans, around closing time. The pastry chef has had an enormous brain fart and made too many croissants, and Donald Link, the owner, marches in, fresh off a giant crawfish boil lunch and cannot imagine eating another thing. So he gifts you with a pile of them, because he overheard your conversation about a spicy sausage and croissant bread pudding. He is intrigued and expects that, in return for his generosity, you will bring him a scoop of this deliciousness when he is feeling a little peckish again the next morning. You take the bag and sprint out of the door before you wake up from this Carrollian dream (that’s Lewis Carroll—I’m a quasi-intellectual, I freely admit) and scurry home to prepare the following recipe. Please bring Donald his sample. He was awfully kind in the dream.

You can frequently barter a deal at the end of the day at local bakeries to keep them from tossing out their goodies. (This strategy rarely works with cookies, but give it a shot; maybe it’s just chubby bald guys they don’t cotton to.) —John Currence


    • 8 cups torn or cubed 1- or 2-day-old croissants

    • 2 tbsp. olive oil

    • 12 oz. spicy breakfast sausage, crumbled, or smoked link sausage, thinly sliced

    • 1½ cups finely diced yellow onion

    • ¾ cup diced celery

    • 1 tbsp. minced garlic

    • 10 eggs

    • 2½ cups milk

    • 1 cup heavy cream

    • ½ cup butter, melted

    • ½ cup chopped fresh chives

    • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • 2 tsp. black pepper

    • ½ cup grated Parmesan

    • ½ cup grated cheddar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch disposable aluminum pan (or a glass or metal pan) with nonstick cooking spray or wipe it with vegetable oil or melted butter.

  2. Put the croissants in a large bowl and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the sausage and brown until almost fully cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and sauté until the onion is transparent. Remove from the pan and cool slightly. Pour off and reserve the oil and sausage fat as well.

  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, butter, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour over the croissant pieces and blend well. Stir in the sausage, vegetables, and reserved oil. Pour into the prepared dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pudding is set up in the middle.

  4. Turn the oven to broil.

  5. Uncover, sprinkle with the Parmesan and cheddar, and place under the broiler until the cheese is browned. Serve hot.

Reprinted from TAILGREAT: How to Crush It at Tailgating. Copyright © 2020 by John Currence. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Peter Frank Edwards.