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
- 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 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh sage minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons 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
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 300°F 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°F 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.
Collette Vaughan says
Another year of loving this – I LOVE all the things about this recipe, including how easy it is…..but I’m largely plant based now. I would think this recipe is fairly adaptable BUT i wasn’t willing to try under the gun. So my question to Meghan and other cooks is whether you have tried different egg substitutes yet and what did you like? I’m afraid of the flavor of a “flax egg” sub but thinking “Just egg” could be great. I already adapted the easier broth and butter to vegetable broth and Earth Balance butter. Cheers!
Hi Collette – I haven’t tried to make it egg free so I’m not sure! I think either the flax egg or the egg substitute would be a good bet. Let us know how it works out if you give it a try!
I am looking to use up some fresh cranberries and apples and thought this might go well with leftover turkey. Do you think fresh cranberries would be too tart instead of dried ones?
Hi Heather – I haven’t tried it so I can’t be sure. It might be a bit tart but I think it’s worth a try!
Hi Meghan, love this recipe and have made it several times per recipe – absolutely delicious. Regarding making ahead, since im trying to save time:
1) ” After adding stuffing to the baking dish and covering, refrigerate until ready to bake.”
If I do this a day ahead of time, wondering if the chicken stock and egg make their way to the bottom if it has any impact on the texture on the bottom? Kinda worried it might get soggy all over as well.
2) I may want to just toast the bread the day before, then mix it all together the next day, just to save 40 minutes the day i have to bake the whole thing. What are your thoughts on that? I’m thinking this way might help mitigate what my worries are for doing #1 and it will still save me 40 mins.
Hi Marty – I’m so happy to hear that you love the recipe! I think you would be fine with either make ahead option. Toasting the bread ahead of time would definitely save you some time, I would just store it in an airtight container at room temperature until the next day. Be sure to allow it to cook completely before storing it so you don’t get any moisture trapped in the container. I haven’t noticed that the moisture goes to the bottom if you make the whole recipe one day ahead. I think the bread does a pretty good job of retaining the moisture. Either way would save you time on the big day.
Just did Friendsgiving yesterday and it turned out every well!! I went ahead and made the stuffing a day ahead of time before I baked it. I gotta say, it turned out even better than making it the day of. Yes, you are right, the bread does very well in retaining the moisture and nothing pooled at the bottom. Thanks!
I’m so excited to try this recipe for my Friendsgiving dinner next month! I was wondering if you think making it in a crock pot would work? Thinking it might be easier to transport and not take up extra space in the oven at the host’s house?
Hi Kaitlyn – what a great question! I haven’t tried it in a crock pot so I can’t be sure. I imagine it would work though. You might want to put it under the broiler before serving so the top gets crispy.
Laurie Brown says
I am going too make your recipe for Christmas dinner and was wondering how many this serves? I have 14 people coming.
Hi Laurie, it makes 8 servings so you may want to double the recipe. The servings are on the large side.
What is sage?
Hi Rachel, sage is an herb, you can find it in the grocery store in the produce section with the other fresh herbs. You can sometimes find a pack that is labeled “poultry blend” and it has all three herbs in it that are in this recipe – rosemary, sage and thyme.
This Looks amazing! ! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I can’t wait to make it!
Yay! I hope you love it Heather!
Yep – I grew up calling it stuffing – although it goes ‘on the side’…and (also) like you – I love apples in my stuffing! This is a beautiful recipe!
Thanks Annie! It’s actually the first time I put apples in stuffing and I loved it!