Autumn Country Bread Stuffing Recipe

If you are not well versed in all of the different types of bread, you may be wondering what sets country bread apart from the rest. According to recipe developer Kate Shungu, "Country bread is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside," and she uses the same adjectives to describe this stuffing, as well. If you can't find anything in the store labeled as country bread and you don't want to go to the trouble of making your own, Shungu tells us that "You can easily substitute Italian or French bread." (You might want to avoid sourdough though, as its distinctive taste could overwhelm the balance of flavors here.)

As for what makes this recipe so autumnal, Shungu says it's the cranberries that do the trick. Even though fresh cranberries are available in the fall, she says those won't work here, so the year-round craisin type is what she uses instead. That means there's actually no need to save this dish for fall meals when you can just as easily make it in any other season of the year. Regardless of when you make it, Shungu says it will make your home "smell like Thanksgiving."

Gather the ingredients for this autumn country bread stuffing

We've already mentioned the country bread you'll need, as well as the dried cranberries. The stuffing is also flavored with chopped pecans, fresh thyme, and onions, while celery helps bulk it up a bit. The other necessary ingredients for the dish include chicken broth, eggs, butter, and salt.

Toast the bread and cook the vegetables

Start off by getting a few little chores out of the way: Set the oven to 350 F to preheat and grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. (Shungu uses cooking spray for this.) Chop the bread into ¾-inch cubes, then, when the oven gets hot enough, toast them for 12 to 15 minutes. 

As they're cooking, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and fry the onions and celery. It should take about 5 or 6 minutes for the vegetables to soften, at which point, turn off the stove burner (but not the oven).

Stir up the stuffing

Whisk the eggs with the broth and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, stir together the bread and the cooked vegetables along with any melted butter that might still be in the frying pan. Add the thyme and cranberries to the bread, then pour the broth-egg mix over the top. Toss the cubes of bread so they're evenly coated with liquid, but don't stir too vigorously to prevent them from dissolving into mush.

Bake the stuffing then serve

Transfer the stuffing to the greased pan and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes. When it's done, the top will appear golden brown. Shungu says the stuffing is best eaten hot, although leftovers can be reheated and repurposed in numerous creative ways. (Stuffing waffles, anyone?)

Before you get to the leftover stage, use this loaded stuffing to round out a meal of roast poultry or pork or, as Shungu suggests, "roasted spaghetti squash for a vegetarian meal." In this case, however, you might need to add another side that's heavy on protein, since the amount of nuts in this stuffing is sufficient to add plenty of crunch and delicious flavor, but not quite enough to turn it into a main dish.

Autumn Country Bread Stuffing Recipe
4 from 1 ratings
Enjoy this savory autumn country bread stuffing recipe with your favorite protein side. Loaded with contrasting flavors and textures, this dish is a winner.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
52
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
stuffing on white plate
Total time: 57 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf country bread
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.
  3. Cut the bread into ¾-inch cubes and toast them on a baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
  5. Fry the onion and celery in the butter for 5 to 6 minutes until soft.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs with the broth and season with salt.
  7. In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes with the cooked onions, celery, and any melted butter remaining in the pan.
  8. Add the thyme, cranberries, and pecans to the bread.
  9. Pour the broth mixture over the cubes of bread and toss to combine.
  10. Transfer the stuffing to the greased pan.
  11. Bake the stuffing for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is brown.
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