Learn how to make my Sourdough Stuffing recipe that includes cranberries, apples, and fresh herbs! This side dish will be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving or holiday table!
I love this Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing because it has all of the classic stuffing flavors, but with an added punch from the cranberries and apples.
The cranberries and sourdough are tart, but the apples bring a bit of sweetness back into the dish. And they almost take on a wine flavor, which is delicious.
Basically, this is the perfect thing if you’re assigned to bring the stuffing to the family Thanksgiving dinner or holiday meal. Put down that box of Stovetop Dressing: You need to impress the relatives! 😜
If you’re intimidated by the thought of making a fancy stuffing for your turkey dinner, don’t be! Once you break it down, it’s actually really easy. And you can do several of the step beforehand (like drying the bread cubes, cooking the cranberries, onions, and celery, etc.) so all you have to do is mix and bake on the big day!
Now, if you’re doing the entire meal all by your lonesome, I understand if you don’t want a recipe this complicated. In that case, you can make my Simple Sage Dressing instead. It’s still really good, just not as fancy. 🙂
Let’s dive in!
Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need:
- 9 cups cubed sourdough bread: You can use either homemade sourdough bread or store-bought. You can probably find some decent sourdough loaves at your local grocery store, and real deal sourdough at your local bakery. If you’re an avid sourdough baker, my sourdough sandwich bread, whole wheat sourdough bread, or artisan sourdough bread recipe will all work here. 9 cups is about 3/4 of a rustic loaf of sourdough bread. You can use white bread, whole wheat bread, or a mixture!
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries: You’ll be making a cranberry sauce of sorts to go in this stuffing. I’ll explain why I chose to go the direction below. You could substitute whole cranberry sauce if you prefer, but keep in mind that the flavor profile will be different.
- 2 tablespoons water: This helps to cook the cranberries down a bit.
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup: This takes the edge off of the tartness of the cranberries.
- 8 tablespoons butter: I like to use grass-fed butter, but your favorite butter will work as well! I don’t really recommend substituting olive oil or coconut oil since butter adds such rich flavor, but if you’re dairy free you could opt for that.
- 1 whole red onion: I like to use a red onion here since it’s a little more mild in flavor. You’ll want to finely chop it.
- 2 stalks celery: Since celery takes a while to cook, you’ll want to cut it thinly.
- 2 teaspoons dried sage: This is the flavor that really says “stuffing” to me! Of course you can use fresh herbs instead, but I do find that dried sage is still quite lovely.
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary: If you can get it, I highly recommend using fresh rosemary. It echoes the flavor of the sage in a way that dried rosemary doesn’t quite equal. But if dried is all you have on hand, it’s still perfectly fine!
- 1 whole pink lady apple: Adding an apple helps to lend a bit of sweetness to the stuffing.
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth: You want to use enough broth to evenly saturate the bread cubes. Pacific makes a nice bone broth, and Thrive Market carries a turkey bone broth. Or you can make your own chicken broth. You can substitute chicken stock or vegetable broth as well.
- 2 large eggs: I use pastured eggs whenever possible!
- salt and pepper to taste
Okay, let me walk you through the process of making this stuffing:
How to Make Sourdough Stuffing:
To start off, you want dry bread cubes.
Because you’re going to pour chicken broth over them, you want your bread cubes dry otherwise your stuffing will be soggy. This is one of the few times you DON’T want to use fresh bread!
You can achieve this either by drying them out quickly in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet or leaving them out to dry on the counter for a day. This is a great way to use up already stale, day-old bread,
Cut the bread into cubes of your desired size. Smaller cubes will be more reminiscent of store-bought stuffing, and large cubes will have a more rustic, homemade stuffing vibe. I wouldn’t recommend going over about 1-inch cubes.
Now set your oven temperature to 350 degree Fahrenheit to bake the final stuffing.
Making the “Cranberry Sauce”
While the bread toasts in the oven, it’s time to work on the cranberries!
The first time I made this recipe, I just used raw cranberries with nothing added. They were perfectly fine, but I thought it was a bit sour since I was already using sourdough bread.
So the next time I cooked them with a little water and maple syrup to mellow them out a bit. That was just the ticket!
To make the “cranberry sauce,” place the cranberries, water, and maple syrup in a large skillet or sauté pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until most of the water has evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove to a plate. And that’s it! So easy!
Cooking the Vegetables
Wipe out the pan.
Now it’s time to cook up the rest of the veggies!
In the now-clean pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery. Cover and cook, stirring now and then, until the onion and celery are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the sage and rosemary and cook 2 more minutes.
Next you’ll want to place the bread cubes, apples, onions and celery (along with all the butter) in a large mixing bowl.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth and eggs. Pour that over the bread cubes and mix well. Fold in the cranberries.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
The reason I don’t give a specific amount of salt is the amount you need will vary based on how salty your broth is, if you use salted or unsalted butter, etc. At minimum you’ll want to use a few pinches of salt, though.
Baking the Stuffing:
Pour the whole stuffing mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish or casserole dish.
You could also use a large cast iron skillet to sauté the vegetables and bake the sourdough dressing. A 12-inch skillet should work fine. Keep in mind that the cast iron can impart a flavor to the final dish.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the bread cubes have absorbed the broth.
If you like a bit of a crispy top to your Sourdough stuffing, you can leave it uncovered in the oven.
Or if you prefer a steamed, soft dressing, you can cover it with aluminum foil before baking.
Oh, and BTW – you can now rate my recipes! So if you make this or any of my other recipes, would you please be so kind as to leave a star rating? Thanks so much!
Also, if you’d like more Thanksgiving recipes, make sure to check out my How to Host a Real Food Thanksgiving post!
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal!
More Thanksgiving Recipes:
- Sour Cream and Dill Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Little Potato Recipe
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Chicken Wild Rice Stuffing Casserole
- Simple Sage Stuffing/Dressing from Scratch
- Sourdough Pie Crust
- Pumpkin Sourdough Dinner Rolls
- Gluten Free Cheesy Potatoes
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Sourdough Pull Apart Rolls
- Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
- Perfect Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing
All of the classic stuffing flavors, with the added punch of cranberries, apples, and sourdough!
- 9 cups cubed sourdough bread about 3/4 of a rustic loaf
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 8 tbsp grass-fed butter
- 1 whole red onion finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (you can also used dried)
- 1 whole pink lady apple roughly chopped
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 2 large eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bread cubes on 2 baking sheets and bake until nice and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring once. Remove allow to cool.
Meanwhile, place the cranberries, water, and maple syrup in a saute pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until most of the water has evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Remove to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
In the now-clean pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery. Cover and cook, stirring now and then, until the onion and celery are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the sage and rosemary and cook 2 more minutes.
Place the bread cubes. apples, onions and celery (along with all the butter) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the chicken broth and eggs. Pour over the bread cubes and mix well. Fold in the cranberries.
Pour into a 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the bread cubes have absorbed the broth.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
DO AHEAD: You can make the bread cubes up to a week in advance. Make sure to store in an air-tight container!
You can cook up the cranberries and onion and celery up to 5 days in advance.
When I first made this recipe, I only used half of an onion. I prefer it with the whole onion, and Reuben likes it better with only half (he's an onion hater). So if you're not an onion fan, you can use the smaller amount!
Recipe adapted from my Simple Sage Dressing and Aberdeen's Kitchen
Originally published on Nov 15, 2017 at 08:10. Updated on October 26. 2022.