Savoury cheese and onion bread and butter pudding

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This savoury bread and butter pudding recipe is the perfect way to use up odds and ends in the fridge and reduce food waste. The rich, cheesy garlic-buttered bread is cut through with tangles of tangy caramelised onions, resulting in an effortless dish with bags of flavour. Serve with a simple side salad for extra freshness.

First published in 2019
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In the UK, one in six pints of milk are thrown away each year and we waste 24 million slices of bread every single day. The UN World Food Programme has launched #StopTheWaste – a global movement to reduce the amount of perfectly good food that's wasted every day.

This dish is an ideal way to use up any milk, bread, cheese or herbs that might otherwise be destined for the bin. Ready in an hour, incredibly simple to make and full of rich, comforting flavours, you can also pack it with any other vegetables that might otherwise be destined for the bin (just finely chop them and add them in at the same stage as the onions).




  • 1 loaf of bread, stale is fine
  • 50g of unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of soft herbs, such as parsley or tarragon (whatever you have in the fridge that needs using up is fine), chopped
  • 100g of cheddar, or any other cheeses that need using up, grated
  • 200ml of whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 1 tsp English mustard, or Dijon mustard
  • salt
  • pepper

Caramelised onions

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 50ml of vinegar, either red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 30g of granulated sugar
  • 1 dash of red wine, if you have a bottle open (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper


Begin by making the caramelised onions. Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 5 minutes until soft without colour, then add the vinegar, sugar and wine (if using). Turn up the heat a little and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the onions turn into a sticky tangle. Season with salt and pepper and set aside
Make a quick garlic butter by mixing together the butter and chopped garlic clove, then stir through the chopped herbs (if using) and a pinch of salt. Spread the butter over each slice of bread, then quarter each slice into 4 triangles
Grease a baking dish and arrange a layer of bread in the bottom. Top with a layer of onions and sprinkle with grated cheese. Continue building the dish with layers of bread, onions and cheese until it’s all used up, ensuring the top layer is onions and cheese
Whisk together the milk, eggs, cream and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the bread pudding, pushing down the bread a little to ensure it soaks up the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes while you preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Bake the bread and butter pudding for 25–30 minutes until puffed up and golden. Slice and serve immediately
First published in 2019

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