Get ready to impress this holiday season with this Cranberry Brie Bread Bowl recipe. The warm bread stuffed with homemade, tart cranberry sauce, melty brie cheese, and sweet and crunchy pecans will go so fast and everyone will be begging for more!
Table of Contents
About this bread bowl
Unpopular opinion time...I don't think cranberry sauce is necessary for Thanksgiving. 😬 I much prefer the savory sides like green bean casserole, stuffing, and macaroni and cheese. HOWEVER, what takes the cake for me is a fruit and brie combination! It is far superior than any other Thanksgiving side dish. And that's how this Cranberry Brie Bread Bowl recipe came to be!
Homemade, tart cranberry sauce baked inside a warm load of bread that's stuffed with melty, cheesy brie and topped with sweet, candied pecans...it doesn't get much better than that, now does it?
Don't be intimidated by this Cranberry Brie Bread Bowl recipe if you've never made a bread bowl before. It's actually incredibly easy and you will not regret it for a second because it tastes so good!
Or if you want to try another holiday appetizer, be sure to check out this Charcuterie Wreath, Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa, this Cream Cheese Caramel Apple Dip, or these Asparagus in Puff Pastry with Bacon.
- Cranberries: We'll use 2 cups of fresh cranberries.
- Brown sugar: To sweeten our cranberry sauce. Coconut sugar will work, too.
- Pecans: You can use halved or whole. I used the Fisher Nuts brand. These will get caramelized with cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla and butter.
- Brie: This recipe requires a 6-inch wheel.
- Bread: I HIGHLY recommend you get this fresh from the bakery section of your grocery store. A circular shaped loaf is best.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
Brie: If you don't like brie, or want to try something else, you can substitute a wedge of another type of cheese, but I recommend a softer cheese like mozzarella or chèvre cheese because of their similar creamy, melty texture.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce: You don't have to make the sauce from scratch. If you have a can of cranberry sauce on hand, you could definitely use that. I suggest using whole berry cranberry sauce instead of jellied to maintain a similar texture.
Refined Sugar: You could easily swap the brown sugar in both the cranberry sauce and pecans for coconut sugar or a brown sugar stevia replacement in a 1:1 ratio. Alternatively, you can also use maple syrup or honey. Just be prepared for a runnier cranberry sauce and stickier pecans.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Heat a saucepan to medium-heat. Then, pour in washed cranberries, brown sugar, and orange juice.
2. Remove thyme leaves from the stalks and add to the pan. Then, stir with a rubber spatula for 6-8 minuets. The cranberries will expand and "melt" to create a jam. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Heat your saucepan over medium-heat. Add pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Then, stir with a rubber spatula for 4-5 minutes.
Once the pecans and brown sugar are warm, add butter. Continue to mix until the sugar has caramelized. Then, remove from heat and let cool.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a bread knife, cut a circular hole in the top of your bread loaf to make a bread bowl. Remove the dough from inside your hole.
Then, brush the inside of the bread bowl with olive oil. Using a spoon, spread the cranberry sauce inside the bread bowl. Add a layer of pecans on top of the cranberries.
5. Place the brie wheel inside the bread bowl. Top with more cranberry sauce. Then, garnish the top with more candied pecans.
6. Before placing the bread bowl on a pan and in the oven, place a large sheet of tinfoil on the baking sheet. Place the bread bowl on the tinfoil and wrap the tinfoil around the bread bowl. (It will be a loose covering but it will allow the brie to warm and cook without burning.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until brie is tender. Slice and enjoy!
If you have leftovers, they should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can reheat this in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until warm. A toaster oven also works great for reheating! The microwave would also work. Just be aware that if you choose this method, your bread bowl may become soft or soggy.
Save the inside of the bread you cut out to make the bowl! It's perfect for dipping into the brie. I also like to slice this extra bread, spray with cooking spray, and place in the oven alongside the brie for the last 8-10 minutes of baking.
Trader Joe’s Cornbread Crisps (or any cracker, really) would also be delicious to dip. You could also just slice the brie bread bowl like pie and eat with a fork and knife!
If you’re serving this to a group but want to prep it ahead of time, you can follow recipe steps all the way up to wrapping the loaf in tinfoil. Place your wrapped loaf in the refrigerator and wait to bake until just before you’re ready to serve it. The unbaked loaf will be okay in the fridge for up to a day in advance.
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Cranberry Brie Bread Bowl
- Baking sheet
- bread knife
- Rubber Spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
For the cranberry sauce
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 6 stalks fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp orange juice
For the candied pecans
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- pinch salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 6-inch brie wheel
- 1 fresh bread loaf, (circular is best)
- cooking oil or spray
To make the cranberry sauce
- Wash your cranberries with cool water.
- Heat a saucepan to medium-heat. Then, pour in washed cranberries, brown sugar, and orange juice.
- Remove thyme leaves from the stalks and add to the pan. Then, stir with a rubber spatula for 6-8 minuets. The cranberries will expand and "melt" to create a jam.
- Pour the cranberry sauce into a bowl and set aside. Rinse and dry the saucepan. We'll also use it to make the candied pecans.
To make the candied pecans
- Heat your saucepan over medium-heat again. Add in Fisher Nut pecans, ground cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Then, stir with a rubber spatula for 4-5 minutes.
- Once the pecans and brown sugar are warm, add butter. It should melt pretty quickly.
- Continue to mix until the sugar has caramelized. Then, remove from heat and let cool.
Now, we'll assemble the bread bowl
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a bread knife, cut a circular hole in the top of your bread loaf to make a bread bowl. To determine how much to cut, I placed the brie on top of the bread to see how large the hole needed to be.
- Remove the dough from inside your hole. You want the brie to sit inside the bread bowl.
- Then, brush the inside of the bread bowl with olive oil. You can also spray with cooking spray.
- Using a spoon, spread the cranberry sauce inside the bread bowl. Then, layer in the candied pecans.
- Place the brie wheel inside the bread bowl. Top with more cranberry sauce. Then, garnish the top with more candied pecans.
- Before placing the bread bowl on a pan and in the oven, place a large sheet of tinfoil on the baking sheet. Place the bread bowl on the tinfoil and wrap the tinfoil around the bread bowl. (It will be a loose covering but it will allow the brie to warm and cook without burning.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until brie is tender.
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