This Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Bread Pudding made with fresh berries is a rich and delicious make ahead breakfast casserole your family will love.
This post will be about things that I love. I love fresh blueberries. They're tart yet sweet. They're full of antioxidants. They're easy to pick - either off a bush or from a carton at the store (that's what I did this time around). And they are delicious by the handful or cooked in a dessert or breakfast.
I also love bread. I would say I have a love/hate relationship with bread. I know I need to cut back on the carbs if I want to lose a few pounds, but bread is a love of my life. Why must it be so dang irresistible? Especially a wonderful crusty Italian loaf like this one.
Another thing that I love? Bread pudding. Now, I debated whether to call this bread pudding or french toast casserole. I stuck with bread pudding because it was just so darn rich. I mean, when you combine whole milk ricotta, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar, you end up with the most incredible base to soak your bread in. I wanted to call it a french toast because that's how we ate it. I served it up for breakfast with some pure maple syrup and my kids devoured it. And while we're on the topic of love, I love make ahead breakfasts. Much like I love preparing coffee the night before and hitting a single button in the morning as I reach for it with half awake eyes... It puts a huge smile on my face to wake up and know that all I have to do is slide something into the oven and less than an hour later we'll be enjoying a wonderful breakfast treat.
And the last thing that I love? Well, even though I made this recipe with fresh blueberries because its summer time, you can just as easily use frozen berries which means you can enjoy this bread pudding, errr french toast casserole, any time of the year! If you love bread pudding, you'll have to try this amazing savory bread pudding or this berry bread pudding recipe as well. If you're more in the make ahead french toast camp, I've done a ton of those too - campire blueberry peach french toast, cranberry cream cheese french toast, raspberry baked french toast, stuffed pumpkin french toast, and last but not least, banana macadamia french toast.
This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
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Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Bread Pudding
- 1 16 ounce loaf Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 16 ounce tub whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- just and zest from 1 lemon
- 1 ½ cups blueberries
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest. Add bread pieces and stir well to fully coat and absorb.
- Butter an 11x17 casserole dish. Add half of the bread mixture and spread to an even layer. Sprinkle most of the blueberries on top, reserving a handful for the top. Cover with remaining bread mixture. Be sure to also add any of the remaining ricotta mixture as well. Cover with remaining blueberries.
- Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, however this is best if refrigerated the night before.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake in preheated oven just until golden brown, about 45 minutes.
- Serve warm with pure maple syrup or powdered sugar with a squeeze of lemon.