The Ultimate Holiday Sourdough Stuffing.

While I love roasting a turkey for the holidays, the highlight of the meal for me is always the sourdough stuffing. A heaping pile of stuffing, a few slices of turkey, mashed potatoes and a drizzle of gravy is a nostalgic meal that never gets old.

sourdough stuffing

Why Sourdough Stuffing is Important to me:

I spent 4 and half years working for legendary French Chef Daniel Boulud. During that time I helped prepare holiday meals for thousands of people. I worked every Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday you can think of. In just one December I prepared more potato puree, more stuffing, more turkey and more gravy than most people prepare in their entire lives. When I first tried out for a job at Cafe Boulud NYC it was right before American Thanksgiving and I was tasked with dicing all the veg for the stuffing.

This job took me and another cook the better part of a day. In Daniel’s kitchens everything is about attention to detail. The way things are cut, cooked and served is always top notch.

I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned and one of my very favourite holiday menu items. This will forever remind me of my time in Daniel’s kitchen and I hope it helps bring a little holiday cheer to your table.

How to Prepare your Sourdough For the Stuffing

If you are an avid baker like myself, you will likely find yourself with extra sourdough bread from time to time. If not, and you know the holidays are approaching, you can bake 2 loaves and set one aside in anticipation of making your sourdough stuffing. You can check out my recipe for a beginner sourdough or 100% whole wheat sourdough if you’d like to bake your own. I like using half and half for a great flavour combination.

stale sourdough

Let the sourdough sit out uncovered for 2 days after baking then cut it into cubes. Leave the bread uncovered for another 2-3 days so it has a chance to dry out. You can also use a frozen loaf as the freezing/thawing process will help dry out the bread. You want it to be dry and stale so that the sourdough stuffing can absorb the fat and stock, giving you a great taste and texture.

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking dish for the stuffing
  • Peeler
  • Chef’s knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large dutch oven

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of double smoked bacon cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 pound of fresh pork sausage
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 medium sized carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of dried apricots diced
  • 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 loaf of stale sourdough cut into 1″/2.5cm cubes
  • 1/2 litre of chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh savoury (or fresh thyme), chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 stick of butter (about a 1/4 pound or 112 grams)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper to taste
sourdough stuffing mise en place

Instructions:

Heat a large dutch oven slowly over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan followed by the bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes to render out some of the fat. Remove the sausage from its casing and add it to the pan. Stir the pot with a wooden spoon to break the sausage into smaller chunks. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.

A little browning on the meat and in the pan is ok, but if it is taking on a lot of colour reduce the heat. At this point there should be a good amount of fat in the bottom of the pan. Do not remove the fat as this is going to absorb into the bread and help create a flavour story for your sourdough stuffing.

Add in a knob of butter, the diced onion, celery, garlic and carrot to the pan and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt but be careful not to over salt the sourdough stuffing as the sausage and the bacon contain a good amount of salt. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. The vegetables will begin to soften and turn translucent. A good test is to eat a small piece of carrot. It should not be crunchy at this point.

Add in the diced apricot and walnuts and stir to combine. Continue cooking stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes. At this point the vegetables should be softened and well mixed with the chunks of bacon and sausage. Stir in the chopped herbs and taste the stuffing for seasoning. Add the chicken stock and the stale sourdough bread. Mix well to combine thoroughly. Remove the sourdough stuffing from the heat.

A this point you can cool and refrigerate the stuffing for later. It will hold in the fridge for 2 days without any sacrifice of flavour. This works great to plan your meal in stages as holiday menu planning can be taxing and the more prepared you are the easier it will be to pull off an epic holiday feast.

If you are stuffing the turkey you can fill the turkey with the stuffing now. My personal preference is to cook the turkey unstuffed and cook the stuffing in a separate baking dish. If using a baking dish, fill the baking dish. Cut up the remaining butter cubes and place them on top of the sourdough stuffing. Cover with a piece or parchment paper then wrap the entire dish in aluminum foil.

sourdough stuffing

Bake the sourdough stuffing for 30 minutes at 325°F/162°C. Remove the cover and cook for another 20 minutes. The bread will take on some colour and start to crisp around the edges. If you like the stuffing a bit crispy you can leave it otherwise you can stir it half way through cooking to make sure it gets an even browning. My favourite part is the crispy edges so I like to leave it at this point.

Once the stuffing is cooked through you can serve it immediately or reserve it to be warmed up right before serving.

The Ultimate Holiday Sourdough Stuffing Recipe Card:

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sourdough stuffing

The Ultimate Holiday Sourdough Stuffing.

  • Author: Matthew James Duffy
  • Prep Time: 20 minutesa
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Holiday
  • Cuisine: French

Description

While I love roasting a turkey for the holidays, the highlight of the meal for me is always the sourdough stuffing. A heaping pile of stuffing, a few slices of turkey, mashed potatoes and a drizzle of gravy is a nostalgic meal that never gets old.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of double smoked bacon cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 pound of fresh pork sausage
  • 2 large onions, diced 
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 medium sized carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of dried apricots diced
  • 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 loaf of stale sourdough cut into 1″/2.5cm cubes
  • 1/2 litre of chicken stock 
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh savoury (or fresh thyme), chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 stick of butter (about a 1/4 pound or 112 grams)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large dutch oven slowly over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan followed by the bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes to render out some of the fat. Remove the sausage from its casing and add it to the pan. Stir the pot with a wooden spoon to break the sausage into smaller chunks. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. A little browning on the meat and in the pan is ok, but if it is taking on a lot of colour reduce the heat. At this point there should be a good amount of fat in the bottom of the pan. Do not remove the fat as this is going to absorb into the bread and help create a flavour story for your sourdough stuffing. 
  2. Add in a knob of butter, the diced onion, celery, garlic and carrot to the pan and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt but be careful not to over salt the sourdough stuffing as the sausage and the bacon contain a good amount of salt. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. The vegetables will begin to soften and turn translucent. A good test is to eat a small piece of carrot. It should not be crunchy at this point. 
  3. Add in the diced apricot and walnuts and stir to combine. Continue cooking stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes. At this point the vegetables should be softened and well mixed with the chunks of bacon and sausage. Stir in the chopped herbs and taste the stuffing for seasoning. Add the chicken stock and the stale sourdough bread. Mix well to combine thoroughly. Remove the sourdough stuffing from the heat. 
  4. A this point you can cool and refrigerate the stuffing for later. It will hold in the fridge for 2 days without any sacrifice of flavour. This works great to plan your meal in stages as holiday menu planning can be taxing and the more prepared you are the easier it will be to pull off an epic holiday feast. 
  5. If you are stuffing the turkey you can fill the turkey with the stuffing now. My personal preference is to cook the turkey unstuffed and cook the stuffing in a separate baking dish. If using a baking dish, fill the baking dish. Cut up the remaining butter cubes and place them on top of the sourdough stuffing. Cover with a piece or parchment paper then wrap the entire dish in aluminum foil. 
  6. Bake the sourdough stuffing for 30 minutes at 325°F/162°C. Remove the cover and cook for another 20 minutes. The bread will take on some colour and start to crisp around the edges. If you like the stuffing a bit crispy you can leave it otherwise you can stir it half way through cooking to make sure it gets an even browning. My favourite part is the crispy edges so I like to leave it at this point. 
  7. Once the stuffing is cooked through you can serve it immediately or reserve it to be warmed up right before serving.

Notes

  • If you are stuffing the turkey you can fill the turkey with the stuffing now. My personal preference is to cook the turkey unstuffed and cook the stuffing in a separate baking dish. If using a baking dish, fill the baking dish. Cut up the remaining butter cubes and place them on top of the sourdough stuffing. Cover with a piece or parchment paper then wrap the entire dish in aluminum foil.
  • To make this vegetarian simply remove the bacon and sausage then add a little extra olive oil when cooking. 
  • Change up the herbs and seasonings to make your own version of this stuffing. 

Keywords: sourdough stuffing,

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