Last updated on August 30th, 2023 at 10:13 amJump to Recipe
Easy Cranberry Stuffing Recipe [Video]
Easy Cranberry Stuffing is a delicate sweet and savory twist to the classic holiday side 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!
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, and apple bits, and bumped up with wild rice and seasonings. The texture is chewy with a sweet-tart flavor, thanks to the dried cranberries. In addition, stuffing is easy to prep the day before, so it’s just a dump-and-go dish on Thanksgiving day.
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. So this holiday season, cozy up, and give this recipe a try! It will be a huge hit with friends and family!
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?
- Get the oven ready for baking. Preheat it to 350F.
- Sauté. Melt butter in a 6-qt. stockpot and sauté the celery and onion. Then, add the rest of your ingredients including the seasonings, and toss them together. Pour just enough broth to reach your preferred moistness
- 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.
- Serve. Garnish with more dried parsley flakes, and serve warm.
Recipe 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:
- Make sausage and cranberry stuffing: Feel free to add some Italian sausage and turn this into a full meal. Also, you can use other meats here, such as bacon, seasoned ground beef, chicken, turkey, or ham cubes.
- Substitute with other bread: Feel free to use other bread varieties. Sourdough boule, beer bread, Irish soda bread, and whole wheat bread 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 use fresh. Just make sure to drain well before using to eliminate excess moisture.
Can I use different types of bread for cranberry stuffing?
Absolutely! Traditionally, this recipe calls for white or wheat bread. However, you can use various types of bread such as cornbread, sourdough, or even whole-grain bread. The choice of bread can influence the flavor and texture of the stuffing.
How do I prevent cranberry stuffing from becoming too dry?
To prevent your stuffing from becoming too dry, make sure to use enough liquid (broth or stock) when moistening the mixture before baking.
You can also cover the stuffing with foil during baking to retain moisture and uncover it for the last portion of baking to achieve a crispy top.
What to serve with homemade cranberry stuffing?
Cooked stuffing can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days and for up to 1 month frozen. Ensure to cool it down first, then store it 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 the 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.
More cranberry recipes:
- Millionaire Cranberry Salad
- Cranberry Coffee Cake
- Easy Cranberry Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies
- Cranberry Cheesecake
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 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 them into pieces and keep them out for a day or two for better structure.
- You can also make this recipe with other types of berries. Some great alternatives would be blueberries or raspberries if you’re looking for a unique twist. Keep in mind that different berries might impart different levels of sweetness and tartness.
- You can buy cubed bread from your local store. Also, if trying to use your bread, make sure to cube it in adnace into bite-sized pieces. This speeds up the assembly process and ensures even distribution of flavors throughout the stuffing.
- Fresh or frozen cranberries both work well. If using frozen cranberries, there’s no need to thaw them before adding to the stuffing.
- Cranberries bring a balance of sweetness and tartness to the stuffing. Adjust the amount of sugar or other sweeteners if needed.
- Don’t Overmix the ingredients. Gently fold the ingredients together to avoid overmixing, which could result in a dense and compact stuffing.
Easy Cranberry Stuffing
- 1/2 cup butter cubed
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 celery rib chopped
- 12 cups seasoned stuffing cubes
- 1 green apple finely chopped
- 1 red apple finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked wild rice or wild rice mix
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried raisins
- 1 cup pecans roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth or veggie broth
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onion and celery and cook and stiring for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
- Add stuffing cubes, green and red apple, dry rice, cranberries, raisins, pecans and seasonings, toss to combine. Stir in enough broth to reach desired moistness.
- Transfer to a greased 9x13 inch baking dish, cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
- Garnish with slivered almonds and serve.
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