Roasted Grape and Pecan Stuffing is a savory, classic side with the juicy burst of caramelized grapes. A fun variation on a favorite.
Cooking grapes brings out their flavor and juiciness. Roasted, they are perfect for a savory stuffing. I often add a little touch of tart sweetness to this holiday side dish, whether it's dried apricots or cranberries, even dried cherries and chopped apples or oranges are always a favorite. Grapes are a unique addition, and I find roasting them creates a richer flavor to add to the stuffing.
I don't stuff my bird with my stuffing, or dressing. It gets soggy, and is hard to dig out! I mostly like to have the flavorful crispy bits that come from baking the stuffing in the oven.
I add savory sausage to my Roasted Grape and Pecan Stuffing for even more goodness!
Sausage is a staple in my stuffing. It gives a savory, flavorful punch to the mix, and it compliments the turkey too. I use a mild Italian sausage and combine it with the onions, celery and garlic. My stuffing gets to be super flavorful because I keep my turkey simple. I don't stuff my turkey with garlic because it makes the gravy drippings way too strong. Feel free to add garlic to stuffing and really punch up the flavor to eat with the bird.
As with most stuffings, this one is also make-ahead! So that big day isn't so overwhelming. I make it right in the dish I'm going to bake it in, cover it and keep it in the fridge until the big day. Enjoy!
Roasted Grape and Pecan Stuffing
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups (10 oz) red grapes
- ½ lb sweet Italian sausage casings removed
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 ribs celery diced
- 10 cups bread cubes from a 1-lb loaf country bread cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp finely chopped sage
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté grapes until soft and caramelized, about 10 min; set aside.
- In the same pan cook sausage breaking into small pieces, until golden brown. Remove sausage but leave fat in pan. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 min. Add celery and cook until just tender.
- In a large bowl combine onion mixture, grapes, bread cubes, herbs, pecans, salt and pepper. Separately whisk together chicken broth, butter and Worcestershire sauce, then stir into stuffing.
- Transfer to a 3-qt baking dish. If making ahead, keep covered and chilled for up to a day. To cook, cover with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 20 min. Remove cover and bake until golden, another 15 min.
- Caramelized grapes add sweetness. Prep it the night before and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to bake
You've got dinner figured out, so what about dessert! Thanksgiving is nothing if not the biggest pie holiday around! Try one of these this year.
Gooey Peanut Pie is a fun take on classic pecan pie. A sticky sweet filling has smooth peanut butter stirred right in and loads of salty peanuts.
Not a pie but a crostata! Pear Almond Frangipane Crostata has a layer of sugary almond filling under the juicy pears, and everything is wrapped in classic pie crust. An easy alternative to a fancy pie.
Recipe by Tara Bench
Food styling by Sara Neumeier
Prop styling by Penelope Bouklas
Photography by Raymond Hom
Originally Published in Ladies Home Journal Nov 2011