Perreca’s Best Ever Holiday Stuffing

Maria Perreca Papa shares her recipe for holiday stuffing. 

Photography By Liz Lajeunesse | November 16, 2017

About this recipe

Maria Perreca Papa suggests that this stuffing is a meal unto itself! It accompanies chicken as well as turkey.


Serves 8 to 10

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 stick (¼ cup) salted butter

1½ pounds loose Italian sausage 

1 large yellow onion, diced (or 2 small)

5 celery stalks, diced

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 package (1½ pounds) Perreca’s Italian Bread seasoned stuffing

5–6 cups chicken or turkey stock, warmed

2 Granny Smith apples, finely diced

½ pound roasted chestnuts, peeled with meat diced

1 can cranberry sauce, whole cranberry style

In large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and butter. Add sausage, cook until done but not browned. Add onion, celery, salt and pepper, and sauté until translucent. Transfer the onion/sausage mixture to a very large bowl and add the stuffing. Stir in the stock ½ cup at a time, making sure it is completely absorbed into the croutons and does not pool in the bottom of the bowl. Taste a crouton; it should be moist throughout but not crunchy or mushy. You may not need all of the stock. Mix in the apples, chestnuts and cranberry sauce.

To bake the stuffing alongside the turkey, transfer the prepared stuffing to a buttered 4-quart baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and crisp, 30–35 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

To bake the stuffing inside the turkey, let the stuffing cool to room temperature, then spoon it loosely into the body and neck cavities of the turkey immediately before roasting. Be sure the stuffing reaches 165° after roasting. Serves 8–10.

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