This Cranberry Apple Stuffing recipes has all the classic flavors of your favorite old-fashioned Thanksgiving stuffing. Plus I have an easy tip to make sure your stuffing turns out perfect every time!
Stuffing or dressing? I grew up calling it stuffing, and even though this recipe is technically dressing because it doesn’t get “stuffed” into the turkey, I still call it stuffing. Whatever you call it, I think that we can all agree that stuffing is the BEST part of Thanksgiving. And guys, I have FINALLY come up with the best stuffing recipe. Even though stuffing is my favorite thanksgiving dish, for years I struggled with figuring out how to make the best stuffing from scratch. My stuffing always came out not quite right, and I could never figure out why. Well, friends, let me tell you I finally figured it out and it is the most simple thing.
It’s all about the bread. It makes sense, because the classic, old fashioned stuffing is a bread based recipe. But I made many mistakes over the years with the bread I chose for stuffing. Sometimes I would buy bags of pre-made cubed and dried bread to save a step. Although it does save a step, I found that it is NOT WORTH IT. My stuffing was disappointing every time
Then I started buying fancy, artisanal crusty loaves of bread from the fancy part of the bakery. Although I prefer that kind of bread for eating, it turns out it does NOT make the best stuffing. The texture of the bread is everything. You need bread that has some body and can hold up to the moisture in the stuffing without turning to mush, but also won’t suck up all the liquid and make the stuffing dry. Enter, the only bread you should use for stuffing.
Just plain old country white sandwich bread! This humble loaf of bread is the perfect bread for stuffing. You don’t want to go with the cheapest white bread you can find though. I bought a loaf of Oroweat (known as Arnold on the East Coast) Country White Bread. It was perfect! Then you want to make sure to toast your bread instead of just leaving it out overnight to get stale. This will create a much better texture in your final stuffing. It might be an extra step, but it’s thanksgiving so I think it’s worth it. This Cranberry Apple Stuffing is some of the best stuffing I have ever made. It goes perfectly with my Herb Butter Roasted Turkey!
Cranberry Apple Stuffing
Yield 8-10 servings
1 loaf of country white sandwich bread, cubed (about 12-14 cups)
6 Tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
2 onions, diced
3 celery sticks, sliced
2 cloved garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1 and 1/2 fresh rosemary, minced
3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 apple, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups low sodium turkey or chicken stock
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and spread bread cubes on 2 baking sheets in a single layer. Toast , stirring a few times until dry, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Increase oven temperature to 375 and butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
In a very large skillet or pot over medium-high heat, melt 6 Tablespoons of butter. Add the onions, celery and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Cook for 7-9, or until soft and golden.
Add garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, apple, cranberries and 1/4 teaspoons pepper, cook , stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add to the bowl with the bread cubes, along with the chopped parsley.
Pour chicken/turkey stock and beaten eggs over bread mixture. Stir until mixture is fully combined.
Transfer to the baking dish, top with buttered parchment paper and loosely wrap with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
To make ahead: After adding stuffing to the baking dish and covering, refrigerate until ready to bake.
Buying the correct bread and toasting it yourself will lead to a much better result. I don't recommend buying pre-dried bread cubes. For best results, use high quality country white sandwich bread.