Seasoning Pudding – A Frugal Savoury Starter Dish

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It is coming to the time of year when we are all looking for comfort food. And this recipe for seasoning pudding is definitely one that will stick to your ribcage.

And, better that that, it is very frugal, being traditionally made from leftovers and stale ingredients that are about to turn, which is a massive plus in my book. We may soon all need such frugal favourites.


Seasoning Pudding – A Frugal Savoury Starter Dish



This recipe is for a savoury bread pudding that is a firm tradition in our family. It always reminds me of being little and going to my Granddad’s house, as it was a common starter dish whenever we had a roast dinner.

As well as being a common addition to our roast Sunday lunches, my Grandad and family always had this ‘seasoning pudding’ as a starter at Christmas. As I have got older, I have come to recognise the importance of keeping on with the old family traditions. And so I’ve just kept the tradition going.

It is actually very like a stuffing recipe, but actually when our family cook this it is much drier than your traditional stuffings, so really does need to be served with a sauce or gravy.

By the way, here in Yorkshire it is common to have Yorkshire puddings as a starter too. Possibly as this helped to fill people up so people didn’t need as much meat. We’re a frugal lot in the North of England!

And as you will see, this recipe is particularly frugal, as it uses up stale bread, onions, sage and fat. As these are all pretty common leftovers from a roast dinner and other cooking, they are cheap and easy to source. But I will be using fresh bread, and suet instead of fat. Bread doesn’t get a chance to go stale in our house!

My Grandad’s Seasoning Pudding Recipe

You will need:
  • About half a loaf (8 slices) of stale bread – but fresh will do – tear it up into breadcrumbs or shred with a hand blender
  • 2 onions – chopped finely
  • 1 large egg, or 2 small ones
  • 50g of suet – or dripping if you have this. Granddad will probably have used lard, bacon dripping or the fat drained from cooking the meat. Whatever was in!
  • A packet of fresh sage, or 3tbsp of dried sage. You could also use other herbs if sage isn’t your thing.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter to brown the onions
  • Boiling water

(To dry the sage if you buy fresh – tear the leaves from the stalks from a whole pack of sage. Place the leaves in a single layer on a baking tray and place in an oven at 150 Celcius until they have totally dried. They take about half an hour)


How to make it


Making the seasoning bread starter


  1. Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6
  2. Take the breadcrumbs and add about 250ml (half a pint) of boiling water. Mash it all together, then leave it to stand.
  3. Fry the chopped onions in some butter until softened.
  4. Add the onions, suet, dried sage, egg, and salt and pepper to taste to the breadcrumb mixture and stir it all together well.
  5. Then place in a greased or lined baking tin – keeping it about 3cm or an inch thick. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, or until golden brown and solidly cooked through.

Once cooked it can be cut, sliced and served hot with gravy.

And in our house it is the usual starter to our Christmas meal. Though It can also be reheated or eaten cold. It is absolutely one of my favourite parts of the Christmas feast and the perfect start to a great Sunday Roast.

Want to see another of my family recipes? Here is the recipe for the best ever chocolate cake!

Is this something that you think you would try? Do let me know in the comments, or find me to tell me on social media.

And please do pin this post for later.

Seasoning Pudding. This is the recipe for a savoury bread starter. A cheap frugal meal opener, it is made using leftovers & stale bread.


5 Replies to “Seasoning Pudding – A Frugal Savoury Starter Dish”

  1. Jo says:

    Ooh I’ve never heard of this as a starter but like you say it is quite similar to stuffing. It’s great to have recipes handed down isn’t it? I have a couple of my nan’s.

  2. Carol says:

    I’ve heard of British puddings – to me here in the US pudding is a sweet dessert. From the recpe it sounds like stuffing that is more wet I guess. Sounds good but I don’t like sage. I’d like to try a bite – thanks for sharing your family memories and have a nice Monday. #MMBC

  3. Kim Carberry says:

    This sounds so good and perfect for this time of year. It’s not a recipe I’ve eaten before but I think I need to give it a try x

  4. Cheryl | Time To Craft says:

    This is a new one on me. Sounds good and I can quite see how it would be good for filling people up before the meat course. I do love seeing people carry on family traditions, especially with food. #mmbc


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