Walnuts and cranberries add crunch and a bit of sweetness to a simple stuffing recipe that's perfect not just for Thanksgiving, but any dinner shared with family and friends.
Call me crazy, but stuffing is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner. You can pair it with any other dish on the table and always have a savory bite of deliciousness on your fork. There are so many different ways to flavor stuffing by mixing in your favorite additions, so it never gets boring. And let's be honest, it's what really makes that leftover turkey sandwich extra special.
I couldn't wait until Thanksgiving this year to make a batch of stuffing, especially when I saw Olivia's traditional stuffing mix at my local food co-op. And why should we only enjoy it at Thanksgiving, anyway? Stuffing is a great side dish for plenty of meals this time of year.
🍞 Olivia's Stuffing
I like the idea of making stuffing from scratch. There was even a time when I made it with my own homemade bread. But I don't often have that kind of time these days. Luckily, I've found Olivia's Crouton Company makes a stuffing mix that tastes fresh, flavorful, and homemade. That all makes sense because their family-run bakery bakes the bread used in their stuffing mixes and croutons by hand in their nearby facility in Brandon, Vermont. In fact, I often drive by their facility on my way to Lake Dunmore in the summer.
Over the years, I've tried all of their stuffings, which include traditional, cornbread, and gluten-free. I've enjoyed them all. I'm especially a fan of their cornbread mix, though the gluten-free is great, too, especially when I'm cooking for my mother in law who can't eat gluten.
For this walnut and cranberry stuffing, I used Olivias' traditional stuffing mix that's made with French and multigrain bread and seasoned with their favorite poultry seasonings. What's great is that even when using their stuffings, you can still completely make them your own by adding in your ingredients of choice.
🥕 Key ingredients
Obviously, for a walnut and cranberry stuffing, I included walnuts and cranberries in addition to the stuffing mix. But this recipe is also made with:
- vegetable broth
You start by chopping up your vegetables and sauteing them in butter. This vegetable base will add a ton of flavor to the stuffing. Cook this for about 10 minutes or so and season with salt. The vegetables should be soft.
After the vegetables have cooked, stir in your stuffing cubes and toss them about to coat in the buttery vegetable mix. It's looking good.
Now's a good time to add in those walnuts, cranberries, and parsley. The stuffing is almost complete.
Pour in some broth and the beaten egg and stir to coat and moisten the stuffing cubes. I used a little over 2 cups.
I like to portion out my stuffing by baking it in a greased muffin tin. (I've done this ever since I saw Rachel Ray do it on 30 Minute Meals years ago.) I'm able to get about a dozen servings out of one batch if I don't fill them up too much.
Not only does baking stuffing in a muffin tin makes the portioning and serving easier, but you also get more crispy bits (the best part), AND the stuffing cooks in less time. Who doesn't want to save time on Thanksgiving? I don't think I'll ever bake stuffing any other way.
Oh yeah, to help the tops get crispy, you can add a little butter, cut into small cubes, to each.
Then bake the walnut and cranberry stuffing muffins for about 20-25 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
There are countless ways you can change the flavors of this stuffing. Here are a few ideas:
- Apples - Walnuts, cranberries and apples make a great flavor combo for stuffing. I left them out only to keep things simple, but I usually do include them. Just add one cup of chopped and peeled apples after you saute the vegetables.
- Other nuts and dried fruits - Walnuts and cranberries are just one stuffing combo when it comes to nuts and dried fruits. For nuts, try pecans, cashews or almonds. For dried fruits try figs, apricots, raisins or plums.
- Herbs - I think Olivia's traditional stuffing has a nice mild herb seasoning that will please most people. But if you like things to pack a more herbal punch, or if you have herbs from your garden you'd like to include, add a couple teaspoons of each chopped sage, rosemary and thyme when you cook the vegetables.
🍳 Other Cranberry Recipes to Try
Cranberries are one of my favorite fruits. If you're also a cranberry fan, here are a few other recipes from my blog to check out.Print