Easy Cranberry Stuffing Recipe

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 9 reviews

Easy Cranberry Stuffing is a festive take on a classic holiday dish. It’s loaded with chewy and tart cranberries, wild rice, and crunchy apple bits. Savory with fruity notes, even meat lovers go crazy for this stuffing!

Make your Thanksgiving table extra special this year. This Cheesy Baked Green Beans is the perfect appetizer before the start of the show: the most tender and flavorful Perfect Oven Roasted Turkey. Also, for dessert, don’t forget the Sweet Potato Pie!

cranberry stuffing

Best Homemade Cranberry Stuffing

Easy Cranberry Stuffing was such a surprise hit the first time I made it. Meats like sausage have always been a staple in this dish, so making a no-meat version was a kind of risk. And boy, did that risk pay off!

Everyone loved the combination of buttery bread cubes dotted with cranberries, apple bits, and bumped up with wild rice and seasonings. The texture is chewy with a sweet-tart flavor, thanks to the dried cranberries.

So this Thanksgiving, why not make cranberry stuffing for a lovely fruity variation on what’s otherwise a completely classic recipe. 

Aside from tasting amazing, this recipe is also a godsend during the holiday cooking rush. There’s no complicated step, just sauté and bake. It also freezes and reheats well so you can make it ahead of time.

cranberry stuffing ingredients

Cranberry stuffing ingredients:

Prepare around 12 cups of bread cubes, seasoned. For the fruits, you’ll need dried cranberries and chopped apples.

Cooked wild rice bulks up the dish further. Or, you could use regular white or brown rice. 

As for the seasonings, you need the usual salt and pepper plus poultry seasoning and parsley flakes. Celery and onion are the main aromatics that will be sauteed in butter. Get some chicken broth ready as well.

How to make Cranberry Stuffing?

  1. Get the oven ready for baking. Preheat it to 350F.
  2. Sauté. Melt butter in a 6-qt. stockpot and sauté the celery and onion. Then, add the rest of your ingredient including the seasonings, and toss together. Pour just enough broth to reach your preferred moistness
  3. Bake.  Next, transfer the mixture to a baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Bake for 30 minutes covered,. Then, uncover, and bake until lightly browned for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Serve. Garnish with more dried parsley flakes, and serve warm.

steps how to make cranberry stuffing

Cranberry stuffing variations and substitutions:

The basic savory-sweet profile of this dish is incredibly versatile! Feel free to swap out ingredients according to your taste. Here are a few delicious variations:

  • Add meat: Great with crumbled up Italian sausage, bacon, seasoned ground beef, chicken, turkey, or ham cubes.
  • Substitute with other bread: Feel free to use other bread variety. Sourdough boule, beer bread, Irish soda bread, and whole wheat bread is a great alternative. 
  • Use other fruits: Also, try using pineapple chunks, raisins,  grapes, or any of your favorite fruits.
  • Try other herbs and spices: Use ginger, rosemary, sage, red pepper flakes, and other flavorings to taste.
  • Make it vegan: Swap out the butter with a vegan alternative and use vegetable broth and veggie seasoning.

Can I use fresh cranberries for stuffing?

I love the chewiness that dried cranberries add to this dish, but yes, you can absolutely use fresh. Just make sure to drain well before using to eliminate excess moisture.

cranberry stuffing with dried cranberries

What to serve with homemade cranberry stuffing?

Anything you’d serve during the holidays, really! For mains, it goes well with Slow Cooker Pineapple Ham, the Perfect Dry Brined Turkey, and this easy Instant Pot Red Wine Beef Roast.

If you’re looking for other side dishes, try it with Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Cheesy Broccoli Casserole.

Storing instructions:

Cooked stuffing can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days and up to 1 month frozen. Ensure to cool it down first, then store in air-tight containers.

To heat, moisten with some broth and melted butter. Follow the steps for different reheating methods:

  • On the stovetop: heat oil or butter in a pan, then add the stuffing. Flatten like a pancake and cook each side until golden brown.
  • In the microwave: use a microwave-safe dish. Then, microwave for up to 3 minutes, stirring every minute for even heating.
  • In a baking dish: heat oven up to 350F. Place the stuffing in an aluminum-covered dish. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered, then uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • In a muffin tin: this method is great for individual servings! Scoop stuffing into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 350F until hot.

cranberry stuffing with rice

More cranberry recipes:

Recipe tips:

  • Pay attention to how much broth you’re pouring in. You can less or more than the amount in the recipe. Use only until the texture is moist enough for your taste.
  • Also, feel free to use your favorite apples. Any kind will work, but go with what you like the most.
  • If using other types of bread, tear into pieces and keep them out for a day or two for better structure.
Save Recipe
5 from 9 reviews

Easy Cranberry Stuffing

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 9 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Total time: 1 hr



Nutrition information

Carbohydrates: 98 Protein: 13 Fat: 43 Saturated Fat: 8 Sodium: 1672 Potassium: 475 Fiber: 13 Sugar: 24 Vitamin A: 1320 Vitamin C: 3 Calcium: 118 Iron: 4 Calories: 612
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Sarah Bailey

Now this sounds like an absolutely delicious stuffing recipe! I like the fact it has cranberries included, perfect for the upcoming holiday season.



I can't believe Thanksgiving is so near at hand! This would make a great addition to the meal this year.


Brandy Ellen Writes

I love the idea of making this easy cranberry stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving for the fam. I will have to try it out and see if I can make it as delicious looking as you made it.


Amber Myers

This looks incredible! I am a big fan of cranberries so I must try this.


Anita Fonte

This is a party in your mouth. I can’t believe we are a month away to Thanksgiving.



I would try this gluten free for my husband! My daughter would like it too



This will be perfect for Thanksgiving. Love the addition of cranberries.



I love a good stuffing recipe. I can’t wait to give this a try.


Nikki Wayne

This sounds so yummy, my family would love this.


Jennifer Van Haitsma

I'm the lone wolf at family gatherings that doesn't like the savory/sweet combo. I'll have to pass this along for them.



Your recipe for easy cranberry stuffing looks delicious! Going to give it a try.


Terri A Steffes

We love stuffing in this house! I like the idea of adding cranberries for that tart factor. I'll have to see if my family will let me mess with our tried and true version.



This looks amazing. I love stuffing. It's one of my favorite side dishes. I haven't tried a cranberry stuffing though. I'll be saving this to try later. I can't wait.


Nancy L

Oh my goodness this looks delicious! I like that you added healthy ingredients (nuts, raisins, etc.) into this beautiful and colorful stuffing recipe!



This looks so good. I'm not a big fan of stuffing, but I like you put rice in this recipe.


Ruth I

This is incredible! everything is in here. I'd love to make this one it looks delicious. My family would love to eat this. This gives so much flavor. I love this recipe thank you so much!


sara lafountain

I am going to make this stuffing for Thanksgiving this year. I love the addition of the cranberries!


Kita Bryant

The stuffing looks absolutely delicious. Cranberries are a really nice touch to a classic recipe.



Wow, what a unique stuffing recipe filled with so many great ingredients.


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