Roasted Garlic & Leek Bread Casserole

September/October 2013

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This stuffing-like vegetable-and-bread casserole recipe is inspired by the vegetable tians of Provence. The soaked stale bread binds leeks, nutty raclette cheese, abundant roasted garlic and thyme. Serve with roast chicken and a green salad to make a swoon-worthy meal.

Roasted Garlic & Leek Bread Casserole

Makes: 6 servings

Serving Size: about 3/4 cup

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 large head garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups water plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 8 slices stale bread, crusts removed (see Tips)
  • 4 cups halved and thinly sliced leeks (about 2 large leeks; see Tips), white and light green parts only
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup shredded raclette or Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Remove the outer skin from the garlic and place the head in a small baking dish. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Roast, uncovered, until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel the cloves. Thinly slice and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Place bread in a shallow heatproof dish large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour in enough water to nearly submerge it. Let stand until the bread is saturated, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the bread to a colander in batches and gently press out the liquid. The bread should be somewhat moist, but not dripping. Tear it into irregular pieces. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks, 2 tablespoons water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender but still bright green, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the leeks to the bowl of bread along with the sliced garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, cheese, thyme, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; gently combine with your hands or a spoon. Spread the mixture into a shallow baking dish large enough to hold it in a 1-inch layer, such as a 9-by-13-inch pan. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil.
  6. Bake until crisp and golden in spots, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Tips & Notes

  • 1. To stale bread naturally, store at room temperature in a paper (not plastic) bag for 2 to 5 days. If you don’t want to wait, bake sliced or cubed bread on a large baking sheet at 250°F until crisped and dry, 15 to 20 minutes. One 1-pound loaf (12 to 14 slices) yields 8 to 10 cups 1-inch pieces.
  • 2. To clean leeks, trim off green tops and white roots and split lengthwise. Place in plenty of water and swish around to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.


279 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat, 8 g mono); 21 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 2 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 4 g fiber; 352 mg sodium; 241 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (38% daily value), Vitamin A (24% dv), Vitamin C (16% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 high fat meat, 1 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Total Time
More than 1 hour
Health & Diet Considerations
Low cholesterol
Low sodium
High calcium
High fiber
Main Ingredient
Vegetarian, other
Preparation/ Technique

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