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Savory Trifle?

Hello, I'm a long time reader, a first time poster. I'm in search of a savory trifle recipe. This is the fourth year I've hosted a Torte or Tart Party. Last year I opened it to Tapas with great success, this year I decided to add Trifles. Through my cookbooks and internet searches I've only been able to find dessert trifles. Are there any savory recipes out there? About 15 people will show up at my house this Saturday, I like to set a good example of what can be made. I will be making a Squash, Gorgonzola, and Sage Tart, and would like to add something else to it in case the guests decide on 'sweet' this year.

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  1. I've seen salads served in trifle bowls, which might work. You layer the salad. A cobb would be interesting prepared this way.

    But I do think there's potential in what you are thinking. To complement your tart, maybe using brioche for the bread, layered with a sauteed mix of mushrooms and a goat cheese mascarpone cream?

    2 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      Or a greek layered salad...lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, feta, etc...

      1. re: katecm

        I had thought of a salad, but that sounded too normal. Something someone else would think of. I had not thought of using bread! What a good idea. I do like the idea of the greek salad, the ingredients are much more interesting. Also there are more colors available.

      2. You could do a torta rustica. There are many versions and I tend to play with different fillings.

        This is King Arthur's version. Keep in mind there are variations in crust and filling, depending on where you look.


        Or you can do it w/out layers:


        You could also consider doing a strata w/ layers but that would be baked--you'd still get the savory egg custard, though. Just layer the bread and filling and pour the egg custard over it. Let it sit overnight and bake.

        1. I love this idea. My immediate thought was a version of Panzanella (bread salad), with lots of bread, tomatoes and mozzarella. You could add in pancetta or Speck for texture. I might have to try it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: susan1353

            Panzanella is a word I'm not familiar with. I grow heirloom tomatoes every year, this will be great to try with all the different colored tomatoes for my summer gathering! Thanks susan1353.

          2. Reminds me of the shepard's pie trifle debacle from that show Friends.

            1. I make a savory french toast for my friends, exchange nutmeg, cinnamon, etc for cumin, garlic powder, etc. Then layer that with meat, eggs, cheese, whatever floats your boat, but something crispy like bacon should be included for texture.

              1 Reply
              1. re: moyzington

                This sounds really good. Bacon is a must. I knew Chowhounds would suggest some fabulous options!

              2. my initial thought would be in conflict with your tart, but first came to mind: toasted pumpernickel wedges layered with a parmesan and/or gruyere custard, a swiss chard puree, caramelized onions, and the top garnished with crispy kale.

                second thought - maybe not refined enough - but thought of a riff on an open faced turkey sandwich - layer bread, mashed potatoes, drizzle with gravy, then turkey, cranberry sauce, bread, stuffing, gravy, turkey, cranberry, bread, gravy, garnished with diced roasted sweet potatoes.

                or - do a riff on an eggplant sandwich - bread, olive tapenade, hummus, roasted/grilled eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bread, oil and vinegar... lather rinse repeat.

                last one - firm polenta, ragu, meatballs, veggies, cheese, repeat, garnish with parmesan and mozzarella...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Emme

                  Ha, ha, my first thought was a turkey/dressing kind of item. Then I thought of the turkey cake recipe that was around this past holiday season. Thank you for reminding me to take a sandwich and layer it in a bowl. I have a few choices to think about.

                2. Hmm. Have you thought of an Indian-themed trifle? I am thinking something like cornbread for the bottom (or you could do dokhla), then a nice layer of green chutney (blend cilantro, walnuts, lime juice, brown sugar, cumin, salt, red pepper and a few cloves of garlic--you will probably need some water to thin it), some plain yogurt, some cucumbers, another cornbread layer, a layer of aloo masala (diced potatoes sautéed in canola oil with a teaspoon of mustard and/or cumin seeds in the oil till they start crackling, 1tsp turmeric,, 2 tsps coriander powder, red pepper and salt to taste, another layer of yogurt, top with tortilla crisps and dot with green chutney.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: VeganIndianHousewife

                    I like this idea. Thank you, It would be a great potluck dish.