Recipe: Sage and Pecan Stuffing
This recipe from Serious Eats is my new holiday tradition. The stuffing stays moist, provides grand flavor and best of all, keeps your vegetarian guests happy! To get the most out of this recipe, I highly recommend using the homemade stock available in the link below. It takes a bit of time but can be made in advance and adds so much to this recipe.
Prep Time:2 hours (active time: 45 minutes)
- 2 1/2 pounds’ hearty rye bread (about 2 loaves), crusts removed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1-pound button, cremini or shiitake mushrooms (or a mix), roughly chopped
- 6 ounces’ pecan halves, toasted
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced fresh sage leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried sage leaves
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large leek, white part only, finely chopped
- 4 large ribs celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups Hearty Vegetable Stock (see note below)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Adjust two oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions. Preheat oven to 275 F, spread bread evenly in two rimmed baking sheets. Stagger trays on oven racks and bake until bread is completely dried, about 50 minutes total, rotating trays and stirring bread cubes several times during baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Increase oven to 350 F.
In two batches, pulse mushrooms in food processor until roughly chopped, about 8 short pulses. Transfer to a large bowl. Place pecan halves in food processor (do not wipe out bowl) and process until roughly chopped, about 12 short pulses. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until all moisture has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add half of sage and continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms are well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Add onion, leek, celery, garlic, and remaining sage and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add stock, half of parsley and chopped pecans and bring to a boil. Add bread cubes and gently fold in until evenly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture to a greased 9×13-inch rectangular baking dish (or 10×14-inch oval dish), cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until hot throughout, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until golden brown and crisp on top, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve.
This recipe includes a Hearty Vegetable Stock, which you must prepare beforehand. I strongly recommend using the stock recipe instead of store-bought vegetable stock, which I feel is universally inferior stuff. When making your own stock, add any extra vegetable or mushroom trimmings for extra flavor. If keeping the dish vegan is not of concern to you, feel free to substitute SeriousEats.com.