Sourdough Stuffing for Thanksgiving and Beyond
Stuffing has always been my favorite thing about Thanksgiving. Karen likes mashed potatoes. She can wax poetic about those little spuds. I, however, dig stuffing the most. A few years ago I found this recipe from Suzanne Goin and my Thanksgiving table was changed forever. The first time I made this stuffing, I used vegetable stock and plant-based sausage because my dad had suddenly become vegan and my parents had just gotten divorced and I was making Thanksgiving goddamnit. The second time, I forgot to buy dried fruit and used dried cherries that had been sitting in my pantry for how long? No one knows. The third time I made this recipe, I followed it to a T; the fourth time I discovered my favorite substitutions. And now, we have this version—based on Suzanne’s OG recipe with all my preferred twists.
And you can make your own version, too. Literally everything in this recipe can be substituted for something else. Don’t like kale? Chard is your friend. Hate sourdough? You’re a monster, but you can use whole wheat or rye bread all the same. Opposed to bird sausage? Use pork. Not into walnuts? Go with almonds. The possibilities are endless, which is necessary when you’re hosting a whole slew of people for dinner.
Stuffing that wont stuff you
The key is this: This isn’t your Grandmother’s stuffing. We’re not making a custardy bread pudding with eggs here. This is a lighter, looser version—indulgent enough for Thanksgiving, but not so much that you’ll never make it again. Rather than binding with tons of butter and eggs, we toss bread and the rest with sherry and broth. The result is nutty, savory, and delicious. It’s stuffing you need to serve with a spoon.
Time: 1 hour
Active Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10 people as a side dish
Drink: Thanksgiving wine advice, right this way.
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Make croutons
Cut or tear your bread into 1-inch cubes; toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper; cook in the oven for 15–17 minutes until bread is nicely browned, with a touch of bounce on the inside.
While the croutons cook…
3. Mise en place
Dice your onion, de-stem your thyme, remove sausage casings, remove and mince kale stems, roughly chop or tear kale leaves, quarter your apricots, chop those walnuts.
4. Remove croutons from oven; let cool
Keep the oven on. Once cooled, place in a large mixing bowl.
5. Brown sausage
Heat a large Dutch oven or high-walled pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and crumble sausage into pan. Brown the sausage while breaking it up with a wooden spoon until just cooked through. This should take about 5 minutes.
Add the sausage to the croutons in the bowl using a slotted spoon.
6. Cook the aromatics
Turn the heat down to medium. In the same pan you used for the sausage, add a little olive oil to the sausage fat and cook the onions, rosemary sprig, thyme leaves, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions start to soften and get a little color. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add the kale
Add the kale and some more olive oil to the pan. You may need to do this in batches as the kale cooks down. Once the kale has wilted—but isn’t sad and dead—salt and pepper to taste and add the onion-kale mixture to the croutons and sausage. Remove the rosemary sprig. Mix in the apricots.
8. Reduce sherry and broth
Still using the same pan, increase the stove heat to high and add the sherry. Boil the sherry until it’s reduced by about half. Then, add the stock and boil the mixture until it’s reduced by half again. Add the butter and gently stir until it’s melted and incorporated fully.
9. Add sherry broth to the bread mixture
Toss well to make sure the bread soaks up every last drop of liquid. The bread should feel damp and heavy, so add more broth if you reduced the liquid too much.
10. Add nuts and mix well; salt and pepper to taste
11. Cook stuffing in the oven for 30 minutes
Put the stuffing in a casserole dish or a large cast-iron pan, cover it with foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the top of the stuffing is well-browned.
While the stuffing cooks…
12. Make a salsa verde out of the kale stems!
We hate wasting kale stems—they are so delicious sautéed into stir fry or blended into pesto. Stuffing can be notoriously heavy, so make a bright salsa verde to lighten it up using the same ingredients! Take the minced kale stems and add a 3:1 ratio olive oil to vinegar. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Voilà!
Um, excuse me?
Can I make this gluten free?
Yep! Go for gluten free bread—or replace bread all together with wild rice.
What is amontillado sherry?
Amontillado is type of sherry wine that’s a bit darker and nuttier than Fino sherry. Dylan loves to cook with it—especially when it comes to deglazing pans of mushrooms.
Should I stuff my bird with this?
I mean… you can if you really want to. However, I think stuffing is the best when it’s cooked outside of the bird as its own dish. Plus, cooking inside the bird makes everything take longer.
If stuffing isn’t stuffed inside the bird, isn’t is supposed to be called dressing?
Dressing. Stuffing. Who cares? It’s all the same.
How far ahead can I make this?
You can make this a day in advance (through step 10) and wait to bake it until the day of. Just reserve in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before you put it in the oven.
If I have 10 people over for Thanksgiving, is this recipe enough to give me left overs?
Nope! You may have a bit left over, but if you dream of opened faced sandwiches and stuffing-mashed potato tater tots the next day, make an extra batch.
Can I ask more questions about sherry?
Sure! DM us on Instagram @idratherbemeryl.