Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing  

Tart cranberries and toasted walnuts add flavor and a crunch to this crowd-pleasing holiday side dish. Rustic hunks of toasted bread form the backbone of this stuffing; a buttery sauteed mixture of onion, celery, herbs, and cooked sausage fills it out with rich flavor. Simmering the cranberries first in vinegar and sugar both intensifies and rounds out their distinctive tartness. Serve this versatile side with roasted turkey, pork, or beef.

Cranberry Walnut Stuffing
Photo: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins
Servings:
12

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

  • 1 (1-pound) day-old rustic bread loaf, torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 10 cups)

  • .50 cup red wine vinegar

  • .50 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 ¼ cups sweetened dried cranberries (5 1/4 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed

  • 1 large (12 ounces) yellow onion, chopped (about 2 1/4 cups)

  • 1.50 cups chopped celery (from 4 large celery stalks)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 2 small garlic cloves)

  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) dry white wine

  • 1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts, toasted

  • cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • .50 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with butter; set aside. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until light golden and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through bake time. Transfer bread to a large bowl; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375°F.

  2. While bread bakes, cook vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar, until mixture comes to a boil. Add cranberries and return to a simmer over medium-high. Remove from heat. Let stand until ready to use, about 20 minutes.

  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage; cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up meat using a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from skillet and set aside. Do not wipe skillet clean.

  4. Add butter to skillet, and melt over medium-high. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add sage, thyme, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in wine; cook, undisturbed, until almost evaporated, about 1 minute, 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

  5. Drain rehydrated cranberries. Add drained cranberries, cooked sausage, onion mixture, walnuts, and parsley to bread in large bowl; toss to combine. Whisk together eggs, broth, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture; toss thoroughly until bread soaks up all liquid.

  6. Transfer stuffing mixture to prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake until stuffing top is light golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with additional parsley, and serve.

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