Twice Baked Pesto Parmesan Soufflés

Don’t let the word soufflé scare you. Think of it as a savory custard or pudding that’s made to puff up in the oven. In fact, that’s what soufflé means: a breath or a puff. These are of course best straight out of the oven, but don’t worry if they deflate before making it to the table. They’ll taste just as good.


  •  1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
  •  2 tablespoons + ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  •  ¼ cup shredded provolone (2.5oz)
  •  2 tablespoons shallot, finely minced
  •  1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  1 cup whole milk
  •  2 large egg yolks
  •  ¼ cup Armanino Basil Pesto
  •  ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  •  3 large egg whites
  •  1 pinch cream of tartar, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Put a pot of water or a kettle on to boil.
  2. Lay a double thickness of paper towels or a kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to hold the ramekins without touching and set the ramekins inside the pan. This will keep the ramekins from sliding during baking. Set aside until needed
  3. Place a small piece of soft butter in each of the six 4oz/½ cup ramekins. With a paper towel, rub the butter well along the bottom and sides of each ramekin
  4. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.
  5. Pour the mixture into one of the ramekins, shake to coat the bottom and then slowly rotate over the next ramekin to coat the sides with the crumbs. Empty the mixture into the next ramekin and repeat the process until all 6 are well coated.
  6. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat.
  7. Add the shallots and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until a smooth paste forms.
  9. Add the milk in two additions, whisking to prevent any lumps, and bring to a boil over medium high.
  10. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking, until thick, 3-4 minutes.
  11. Remove from the heat. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking quickly after each addition.
  12. Whisk in the ¼ cup parmesan, shredded provolone, basil pesto and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
  13. In a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) until stiff peaks just form. The egg whites should look nice and creamy and hold a pointed peak on the end of the beater.
  14. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk/pesto mixture.
  15. Gently fold the remaining egg whites in 2 additions, taking care not to deflate the whites while making sure little to no white streaks remain.
  16. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins, smooth the tops even, top with a pinch of grated parmesan and place the ramekins in the prepared pan without touching.
  17. Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the ramekins. Take care not to get water in the ramekins. If you must, remove one of the ramekins, pour the water into that empty space and replace the ramekin.
  18. Bake without opening the oven door until puffed and very lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes.
  19. Remove from the oven and transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let rest uncovered for 30 minutes. The souffles will be slightly underdone and will collapse a little. (Once completely cooled, the souffles can be removed from the roasting pan, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Let come to room temperature before baking a second time).
  20. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F.
  21. Bake the souffles on a sheet pan (not in a water bath) until puffed and heated through, 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  22. Serve hot or room temperature. The souffles will deflate a bit as they sit but will still be delicious.

Chef’s Tips

  • The breadcrumbs should be very fine – if using panko, put in a plastic bag and give a few rolls with a rolling pin to break up into smaller piece.
  • When whipping the egg whites, even the smallest trace of fat will prevent them from whipping into stiff peaks. Take care when separating the eggs to make sure none of the yolk gets into the white and make sure both the bowl and the beaters are very clean. A quick wipe with vinegar will help make sure the bowls is free of fats. While optional, cream of tartar will help the whites beat up nice and fluffy.
  • When pouring the water into the roasting pan, take special care not to get any into the ramekins. It helps to remove one of the ramekins to create an empty space for pouring and then replace the ramekin.
  • Do ahead tips- this is a great recipe to do ahead. Do the first bake, let fully cool then wrap and refrigerate. Let come to room temperature then reheat 5 minutes before serving. The twice baked souffles will puff a little during the second bake.
6 4-ounce ramekins
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes

More Recipes