Italian Tomato Pudding

Colleen Sowa


This savory tomato bread pudding recipe was taught to my mother by her Italian mother-in-law who spoke very broken English. My mother taught it to me.

It is a peasant dish that used up stale bread and bits of cheese... and helped to fill up the bellies of hungry children...nothing went to waste...

Usually meats are not added to this dish, as it stands on it's own merit, but if you want to add meat.. go ahead.. This kind of tastes like pizza.

It is a great side dish for meatloaf, chicken, steak, etc.

Barbara (a member of JAP) asked me to post this recipe... so this is for you Barbara!


★★★★★ 3 votes

8 - 12
10 Min
15 Min
Stove Top



  • 2 can(s)
    (15 ounces each) stewed tomatoes
  • ·
    including juice (chopped large)
  • 1 c
    tomato juice
  • 1 tsp
    anise seed (optional)
  • 1 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 2 clove
    fresh garlic (minced/crushed)
  • 1 tsp
    dry basil (or 3 tbs fresh chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp
    each: ground black pepper, salt, red ground red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp

  • ·
    favorite bread (torn appart in 2 -3 - inch pieces)
  • ·
    (about a loaf of old bread)
  • ·
    (more or less depending on how thick you
  • ·
    like it, how big a loaf, etc)

  • 1 - 2 Tbsp
    grated parmesan cheese (shaker kind)
  • 1/2 c
    (8 - ounces) cubed mozzarella cheese

How to Make Italian Tomato Pudding


  1. Put stewed tomatoes, tomato juice, anise seed, garlic, sugar and all spices in a large sauce pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the parmesan cheese. Stir to mix in..

    Add the bread pieces and stir well. (If to mushy.. add more bread... if too dry...add a little tomato juice).
  3. Push the cheese cubes down into the pudding mixture to melt. Remove from heat and let sit a few minutes before serving.
  4. ***Serve family style, put in pudding dishes or plate with the other parts of your meal.

    *** Garnish with sprig of fresh basil or parsley or sprinkle of shredded cheese.

    *** This is meant to be served hot, but some people like it cold.

    *** Always taste the sauce to determine if you need to add more spices to your liking... but remember that there is salt in breads and that as foods cool down... the salt flavor sometimes gets stronger.. Easy on the salt!
  5. *** We make this as directed, but some people bake it as they would a sweet bread pudding... both ways are good... our family prefers this creamier and faster version.

Printable Recipe Card

About Italian Tomato Pudding

Course/Dish: Vegetables, Side Casseroles
Main Ingredient: Bread
Regional Style: Italian

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