Impress your guests this Thanksgiving or Christmas with homemade stove top stuffing. It’s easy, delicious and its prep does not require oven at all!
Stuffing (or dressing) is a tasty addition to all kinds of meals, not only Thanksgiving dinner.
It is one of the easiest side dishes to make and can be easily doubled if needed. You can customize it to your liking or dietary needs (we have vegan stuffing on our blog if you are looking for a meat-free stuffing recipe).
How to make stove top stuffing:
- French baguette
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
Kitchen tools needed:
- Chopping board + knife – to cut the veggies and fruits.
- Measuring cups & spoons – to measure out the ingredients.
- Large skillet/frying pan & lid – to cook this Thanksgiving dressing in, a 11 to 12-inch/28 to 30-centimeters wide. If you don’t have such large pan, use a Dutch oven or wide-bottomed pot instead.
- Spatula or wooden spoon – for stirring.
Cut French baguette into small cubes and air-dry overnight.
The next day, fry pancetta, if you haven’t done so already. Don’t discard the leftover fat – use it to saute the onion and celery in. If you bought ready-cooked bacon bits or you pre-cooked it yourself, you will need to add some oil to the pan to saute the veggies.
I like to saute them for almost 10 minutes so that they are nice and soft, especially the celery. At any stage, you can throw in some fresh cranberries. I like to halve them or cut them into quarters first.
The next step is adding the fruits. These only need about 5 minutes. At this stage, you can add butter as well and when melted add diced bread, stock, and seasoning. Mix well and cover with a lid.
Cooking with the lid on will take about 7-10 minutes. Check (and stir) it 2-3 times to make sure the seasoning is distributed evenly, and all the bread cubes are soaked in liquid.
What does this stovetop stuffing recipe contain?
Gluten: Yes (unless you use gluten-free bread)
Frequently asked questions
Can I substitute or omit some of the ingredients?
Yes, you can. Instead of olive oil, you can use another kind of oil (preferably vegetable, sunflower or canola oil). Instead of tarragon, try dried thyme! The stock of any kind will work just fine. If you don’t have fresh cranberries, use frozen or omit them.
You can also change the quantities of each ingredient, but I suggest trying the original recipe first and adjusting when making it next time.
I don’t have pancetta. What should I use?
You can use any bacon of your choice. Also, more can be added to this stuffing recipe. I sometimes use bacon slices that I cut up into strips and cook.
Can I make this vegan?
Yes, you can. Simply omit butter and bacon and use vegetable stock.
What to do with leftover stuffing?
You can turn it into savory waffles by adding some eggs and a little liquid (only if needed).
Save time – Use ready-cooked bacon bits!
Prep ahead – Air dry your baguette in advance (from a day up to 4 days ahead) and cook your bacon at the same time! Keep bacon in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to make the stuffing.
Cook until you like it – Is the mixture too soggy for you? Remove the pan and cook on medium-high until nice crispy. Don’t forget to stir from time to time! If you find the mixture too dry, add more stock, stir well and continue cooking with a lid on until you like what you taste!
More Thanksgiving dinner recipes you might like:
Homemade Stove Top Stuffing
- 6 cups French baguette , diced, see note 1
- 4 ounces pancetta , cubes, strips (120 grams), see note 2
- 1 cup onion , minced (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 cup celery , finely diced about (2 ribs, ends trimmed)
- ½ cup cranberries (fresh), halved or quartered, see note 3
- 1 apple (large), any kind
- 1 pear (small), any kind
- 3 tablespoons butter (50 grams)
- 1 cup stock , low sodium (250 milliliters), see note 4
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon , see note 5
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- fresh parsley , to taste (optional)
- Cut the baguette into 1/2-inch (1-centimeter) cubes and place onto a baking tray. Let it dry overnight (you can prepare it up to 4 days in advance).
- Next day: In a large skillet/frying pan (11-12 inch/28-30 centimeters wide) fry the pancetta pieces until cooked. Scoop them out and transfer onto a plate, save the fat.
- To the same pan with fat, add onion and celery and saute for 10 minutes or until they are soft. Stir occasionally. At any stage, add cranberries.
- When the celery is cooked, add diced apple, pear and butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add dried bread cubes, cooked bacon pieces and pour stock over. Stir well. Add rosemary, tarragon, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir everything well, making sure the seasoning is well distributed.
- Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low for 7-10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times. At this stage you can also check what the stuffing looks like (if too dry to your liking, add more stock, if too soggy, remove the lid, increase the heat and cook to your liking).
- Optional: Stir in finely chopped fresh parsley.
- Serve warm or cold!
- Use either French baguette or artisan bread. Cut it into ½-inch/1-centimeter cubes. I used 1 extra-large baguette.
- You can use any kind of bacon you like. It can be ready-cooked or raw that you will cook yourself. You will need at least 4 ounces (120 grams) raw or ½ cup cooked. If you buy ready bacon bits, you will need 1-2 tablespoons of oil for frying the veggies.
- Frozen cranberries will also work. Let them thaw and cut in halves. Or, add them whole in.
- Any kind of stock/broth will work. If you use regular stock, I recommend reducing the quantity of salt to avoid over-seasoning.
- Dried thyme can be substituted for tarragon.