The Best Turkey Stuffing RecipeEvery year, the holiday season begs for taking note of all things nostalgic. From shopping mall Christmas Santas to familiar family stories, reminiscing and relishing the familiar sights, sounds and smells of the holidays goes hand in hand with the season itself. While the destination of where we gather changes from year to year, being with those we love is always the centerpiece of our holiday table. Family is that one essential ingredient that makes the holidays the special occassions that they are: familiar but in so many ways, brand new. But sometimes, traditions are begging to be broken, and sometimes you just need to bust out of the same old and put a new spin on things. This year I’m creating a bold and spicy twist on the traditional holiday table. I’ve shared a few recipes with you so far this season, but it’s time to put them all together for one big dinner family favorite feast. I’ve added a little heat to the bird (plan on adding a few more napkins, too), and a lot more flavor to the sides and even boozed it up with a twist on the traditional pumpkin dessert. First up is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving table, the homemade stuffing. The play of savory and sweet is what makes this Thanksgiving stuffing recipe extra special. Ground sage and thyme deliver the traditional herbed stuffing flavor that’s accented with bites of sweetened cranberries and the crunch of onions, celery and earthy walnuts. Bake this stuffing in its own pan for a perfectly crisped pairing for juicy turkey or leave out the aromatics in the bird and stuff away.
What’s in This Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing?This homemade walnut and cranberry stuffing is a breeze to make and requires very few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this Thanksgiving stuffing recipe:
- Dry bread cubes
- Chopped walnuts
- Dried cranberries
- Yellow onions
- Fresh parsley
- Ground sage and thyme
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Chicken broth
What’s the Best Bread for Stuffing?Thanks to researching the best bread to use for stuffing, I chose a good quality, regular white sandwich bread that’s been cut into chunks and then left out on a baking sheet overnight so the bread dries out. If you’re in a hurry, you could pop it into 250 degree F oven for an hour or two.
How to Make Cranberry and Walnut StuffingTo make this homemade stuffing, you’ll first need to melt the butter in a skillet and cook the chopped celery and onions until browned. Stir in the rest of the aromatics, then toss the butter mixture with the dried bread cubes, cranberries, and walnuts. Drizzle chicken broth into the bowl and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish and bake until the top is a lovely golden brown.
Can I Prep Stuffing in Advance?Yes, to prep this cranberry stuffing ahead of time mix all the ingredients together as instructed, then tightly cover the unbaked stuffing with aluminum foil and pop it into the fridge. When you’re ready to bake the stuffing, let it come to room temperature before sliding it into the oven.
How to Reheat StuffingThe best way to reheat leftover stuffing is to bake it in a 350ºF oven, covered, for roughly 30 minutes, or until it’s warmed through. Remove the foil in the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to help the top crisp up again.
Can You Freeze Stuffing?Yes! To freeze this Thanksgiving stuffing, let it cool completely before storing it in freezer-safe bags or Tupperware containers. You can reheat the stuffing from frozen in a 350ºF oven.
Tips for Making This Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing RecipeTaste test and add more sage if desired. It’s the one flavor that I really think gives the stuffing my favorite flavoring. I usually stuff my bird, hence the name “stuffing.” “Dressing” is usually named for the same mixture cooked outside of the bird. So technically this cranberry stuffing recipe is cranberry dressing. If you’re stuffing your turkey, make the mix a bit drier, minus ½ cup or so of the chicken broth, as the juice from the turkey will soak into the stuffing as it cooks. Be sure your stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees if cooked in the bird. If your bird is done and your stuffing is not, transfer to a baking dish and continue to bake until it hits 165 to destroy all foodborne bacteria.
More Easy Thanksgiving Sides to Make This Year
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Green Bean Casserole with Onion Rings
- My Favorite Ambrosia Salad
- Easy Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing
- 10 cups unseasoned dry bread cubes
- 2 cups walnuts , chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 9 tablespoons butter
- 3 celery stalks , chopped
- 2 large yellow onions , chopped
- ¼ cup Italian parsley , chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground sage
- 1 tablespoon ground thyme
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ - 2 cups chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place bread cubes, walnuts and cranberries in large bowl and set aside.
- Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Melt remaining butter in skillet over medium-high heat and add celery and onions. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add parsley, ground sage, thyme, kosher salt and pepper and mix well. Add mixture to bread cube mixture and toss to combine.
- Drizzle 1 ½ cups of the chicken broth over mixture in bowl, and stir to combine. Add more chicken broth and salt and pepper as desired.
- Place stuffing in prepared pan and bake, uncovered, until top is lightly browned, about 50-60 minutes.
More Unique Thanksgiving Recipes to Try
- Caramel Apple Pie
- Mascarpone Pumpkin Mousse Cups
- Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
- Pumpkin Tiramisu
- Stuffed Pork Chops