As far as Thanksgiving sides go, I was never a fan of stuffing. I mean, what’s the appeal? Aside from the few crispy edges (if you were lucky), it always seemed to be a bland, one-note dish that did not deserve a coveted place on my holiday plate.
But over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to host a few of my own Thanksgivings, and I was not going to serve up the same-old stuffing of my youth. No. I served up this stuffing!
This is about as far from that old stuffing as you can get. Filled with apples, walnuts and dried cherries, this stuffing is colorful and flavorful, with an irresistible combination of textures and tastes.
And it is no more work than your grandma’s recipe. In fact, it might be even easier, as you can prep it the day before! This is a dream for the Thanksgiving hostess, taking one more task off your "day-of" list.
The secret, I’ve found, is to bypass the fancy baguettes and sourdough loaves at the market and go straight for the white bread. It is the perfect texture for the best stuffing, and it’s already sliced up!
Feel free to swap the apples for pears, or the walnuts for your nut of choice. And make room on your Thanksgiving plate—you're going to need it!
Apple, Walnut and Dried Cherry Stuffing
Meal side dish
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 100 minutes
Total 110 minutes
- 10 cups cubed white bread
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, diced
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Photos by Sheri Silver
- 1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees; grease a 9” x 13” baking dish and a piece of foil large enough to cover.
- 2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and apples, and saute for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- 3. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the broth and whisk again. Add the bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, dried cherries, walnuts and thyme; stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to your prepared dish. Cover with foil, greased side down, and bake for 40 minutes. (This is the point at which to cool and refrigerate overnight, if you're making it a day ahead.) Uncover and bake for another 40 minutes, or till browned and crisp. (If you made this the day before, add an additional 15 minutes to cooking time.)