Cranberry Stuffing – A Tart Twist on a Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish

Cranberry Stuffing

When it comes to holiday feasts, cranberry stuffing is a mouthwatering treat that adds a festive touch to any table. Whether you’re a fan of traditional stuffing recipes or want to explore new variations, cranberry stuffing is a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of the season.

From the tart sweetness of cranberries to the savory goodness of herbs and spices, cranberry stuffing is a crowd-pleasing side dish that everyone will love. In this section, we will explore different variations and recipes to help you elevate your holiday feasts with this delightful treat.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cranberry stuffing is a delicious and festive side dish for holiday feasts
  • There are many variations of cranberry stuffing to explore
  • The flavors of cranberries, herbs, and spices make cranberry stuffing a crowd-pleaser
  • Cranberry stuffing pairs well with roasted turkey and other main dishes
  • Healthier alternatives to traditional cranberry stuffing are available, using wholesome ingredients

Easy Cranberry Stuffing Recipes

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious side dish to complement your holiday feast, try making one of these easy cranberry stuffing recipes. You don’t have to be an expert chef to whip up a tasty batch of stuffing, and these recipes are perfect for beginners or those short on time.

Cranberry and Herb Stuffing

1 pound white bread, cut into small cubesPreheat oven to 350°F. Spread cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy.
1/2 cup dried cranberriesIn a large mixing bowl, combine bread, cranberries, and herbs.
2 tbsp chopped fresh sageIn a separate pan, sauté onion and celery until soft. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
1 onion, choppedPour broth mixture over bread mixture and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a greased baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top.
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chicken broth

This recipe features a flavorful blend of herbs, including fresh sage, to complement the sweetness of the dried cranberries. Plus, it’s made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Cranberry and Sausage Stuffing

1 pound Italian sausage, casings removedPreheat oven to 375°F. Crumble sausage into a large skillet and cook over medium heat until browned.
1/2 cup dried cranberriesRemove sausage from skillet and set aside. Add onion, celery, and garlic to skillet and sauté until softened.
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsleyIn a large mixing bowl, combine sausage, vegetable mixture, bread cubes, cranberries, and herbs.
1 onion, choppedAdd chicken broth and stir to combine.
2 stalks celery, choppedTransfer mixture to a greased baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound white bread, cut into small cubes

This savory stuffing recipe combines the richness of Italian sausage with the tart sweetness of dried cranberries for a mouth-watering holiday side dish.

Cranberry and Mushroom Stuffing

1 pound sourdough bread, cut into small cubesPreheat oven to 350°F. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy.
1/2 cup dried cranberriesIn a large mixing bowl, combine bread, cranberries, and herbs.
2 tbsp chopped fresh thymeIn a separate pan, sauté mushrooms and onion until tender. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
1 onion, choppedPour broth mixture over bread mixture and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a greased baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top.
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth

This stuffing recipe balances the earthy flavors of mushrooms and thyme with the sweetness of dried cranberries. It’s a great choice for vegetarians or anyone looking for a meat-free alternative to traditional stuffing.

These easy cranberry stuffing recipes are sure to impress your dinner guests without causing you any extra stress. So why not give them a try?

Traditional Cranberry Stuffing Recipe

Nothing beats the comforting and rich flavors of a classic cranberry stuffing recipe. This traditional dish is a staple on many holiday tables, and for good reason. Here’s a simple step-by-step recipe to make your very own:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Toast 8 cups of cubed bread in the oven until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Heat up 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add 1 diced onion and 3 celery stalks, both chopped. Cook until tender.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of dried sage and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  5. Add 1 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and the toasted bread. Mix until all ingredients are combined well.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes until the stuffing is golden brown.

You can adjust the measurements of the ingredients and the cooking time to your liking, depending on your personal preferences and oven performance.

Now you can enjoy a traditional stuffing recipe that will satisfy your taste buds and impress your guests. This recipe is so easy and straightforward that even beginners can master it in no time.

Cranberry and Apple Stuffing

If you’re looking for a unique twist on traditional stuffing recipes, give this delightful apple-cranberry stuffing a try. The combination of sweet apples and tangy cranberries with the savory notes of sage is sure to delight your taste buds.


12 cupsCubed whole wheat bread
1 cupChopped celery
1 cupChopped onion
1 cupChopped apple
1 cupFrozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 cupButter
1 tablespoonDried sage
1/2 teaspoonSalt
1/2 teaspoonBlack pepper
1 1/2 cupsChicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Spread the cubed bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until slightly browned.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. Add celery and onion, and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the chopped apple and cranberries and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cranberries burst.
  6. Season with sage, salt, and black pepper. Stir until well combined.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted bread with the cranberry mixture. Stir until well incorporated.
  8. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring well after each addition until the bread is moist but not soggy.
  9. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Enjoy this delicious apple-cranberry stuffing as a side dish for your next holiday feast. For an even more delightful pairing, serve alongside roasted turkey and cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Walnut Stuffing

Add a crunchy twist to your Thanksgiving table with this delectable cranberry walnut stuffing recipe that will leave your guests begging for seconds.

1 loaf of bread, cubedPreheat oven to 350°F.Spread the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
1 cup of walnuts, choppedIn a skillet over medium heat, toast the chopped walnuts until fragrant.
1 onion, dicedIn a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the diced onion in 2 tablespoons of butter until soft and translucent.
1 cup of dried cranberriesAdd the dried cranberries and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
2 cups of chicken brothCombine the toasted bread cubes, chopped walnuts, sautéed onions, and dried cranberries in a large mixing bowl.Add the chicken broth and mix until the bread cubes are moistened.Transfer the mixture into a large baking dish and cover with foil.Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top.

This cranberry walnut stuffing pairs perfectly with roasted turkey and green bean casserole. For a vegetarian option, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth and serve as a side dish with roasted vegetables.

Tips for Making Perfect Cranberry Stuffing

Want to impress your guests with the best cranberry stuffing they’ve ever tasted? Follow these simple tips to ensure your stuffing turns out perfectly every time.

Choose the Right Bread

The bread you use for your stuffing can make all the difference. Avoid using pre-seasoned or overly sweet bread, as it can overpower the flavors of the stuffing. Instead, opt for a crusty sourdough or French bread, which provides a sturdy base for the stuffing and complements the tangy sweetness of the cranberries.

Prep Your Ingredients

Preparing your ingredients ahead of time can save you time and hassle when it comes to assembling your stuffing. Chop your vegetables, measure out your herbs, and thaw any frozen ingredients beforehand to ensure they’re ready to go when you start cooking.

Use the Right Herbs

The right herbs can take your cranberry stuffing to the next level. Sage is a classic choice for stuffing, as it complements the flavors of the cranberries and adds a savory note. Other herbs that work well in cranberry stuffing include thyme, rosemary, and parsley.

Don’t Overstuff Your Turkey

If you’re stuffing your turkey with cranberry stuffing, be careful not to overstuff it. Overstuffing can result in uneven cooking and potentially unsafe poultry. Instead, pack the stuffing loosely into the cavity, allowing for air circulation.

Make a Test Batch

If you’re trying a new recipe or variation of cranberry stuffing, it’s always a good idea to make a test batch before the big day. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments and ensures that your final product meets your expectations.

Follow a Recipe, But Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

A great stuffing starts with a solid recipe, but don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own. Try adding different ingredients like nuts or dried fruit, or swapping out spices to create a unique flavor profile that suits your tastes.

By following these simple tips, you can make the perfect cranberry stuffing to impress your guests and elevate your holiday feast.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

No holiday dinner is complete without the perfect side dish to complement the main course. Cranberry stuffing is the perfect addition to a roasted turkey, adding a burst of flavor and texture to every bite.

For a classic pairing, serve your cranberry stuffing with a juicy roasted turkey. The savory flavors of the turkey will perfectly complement the sweet and tangy taste of the cranberry stuffing.

If you’re looking for a more unique pairing, try serving your cranberry stuffing with a honey-glazed ham or roasted pork loin. The rich flavors of the meat will contrast perfectly with the bright flavors of the stuffing, creating a delicious and memorable dining experience.

To elevate your holiday feast even further, consider serving your cranberry stuffing alongside other classic sides like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and gravy. And don’t forget the cranberry sauce! This tangy accompaniment is the perfect finishing touch to any holiday meal.

Table: Best Main Dish Pairings for Cranberry Stuffing

Main DishFlavors and Textures
Roasted TurkeySavory, juicy, and tender meat perfectly complementing the sweet and tangy taste of the cranberry stuffing
Honey-Glazed HamThe rich flavors of ham cut through the bright flavors of the stuffing, creating a tasty and balanced contrast
Roasted Pork LoinThe hearty texture of pork perfectly pairs with the crunchy nuts and soft bread cubes in the stuffing

Whether you’re serving a classic roasted turkey or a more unique main dish, cranberry stuffing is the perfect side dish to bring out the flavors of the season and make your holiday dinner a memorable one.

Healthier Cranberry Stuffing Alternatives

If you’re looking for a healthier twist on classic cranberry stuffing, there are plenty of wholesome ingredients you can use to create a delicious and nutritious dish. Here are some tips and ideas to get you started:


One of the easiest ways to make your stuffing healthier is to choose wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients. For example, you can use whole wheat bread or brown rice instead of white bread or traditional stuffing mix. These options are higher in fiber and protein, which can help you feel fuller and more satisfied.

You can also add fresh herbs like sage, rosemary, or thyme to boost the flavor and nutritional value of your stuffing. These herbs have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can support your immune system and overall health.

Finally, try using vegetable stock instead of chicken or turkey broth. This will reduce the amount of saturated fat in your stuffing and add extra vitamins and minerals.


In conclusion, cranberry stuffing is a delicious and festive treat that adds a touch of holiday joy and comfort to any feast. Whether you prefer a classic stuffing recipe or want to experiment with new variations like apple-cranberry or cranberry walnut stuffing, there are plenty of options to choose from.

When making cranberry stuffing, be sure to choose the right bread and add the right herbs and seasonings to enhance the flavors. Consider healthier alternatives like using whole wheat bread and vegetable stock to make your stuffing more nutritious.

Serving cranberry stuffing alongside roasted turkey or other main dishes is a great way to elevate your holiday dinners and impress your guests. And don’t forget the cranberry sauce to complement the flavors of the stuffing!

From easy cranberry stuffing recipes for beginners to more traditional ones for seasoned cooks, there’s a cranberry stuffing recipe for everyone to enjoy. So, don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and try new things this holiday season!


What is cranberry stuffing?

Cranberry stuffing is a delicious side dish made with a combination of bread, herbs, and cranberries. It adds a touch of sweetness and tartness to your holiday feasts.

How do I make cranberry stuffing?

To make cranberry stuffing, you will need bread, cranberries, herbs, and other ingredients of your choice. Follow our recipes and instructions for different variations to create a mouthwatering stuffing that will impress your guests.

Can I make easy cranberry stuffing recipes?

Absolutely! We have a selection of easy cranberry stuffing recipes that are perfect for beginners or those who want a quick and delicious side dish. Choose from our collection and create a delectable stuffing in no time.

Is there a traditional cranberry stuffing recipe?

Yes, we have a traditional cranberry stuffing recipe that captures the classic flavors of the season. Follow our detailed instructions to make a stuffing that will remind you of cherished holiday memories.

What are some variations of cranberry stuffing?

Cranberry stuffing can be made with different variations, such as cranberry and apple stuffing or cranberry walnut stuffing. These variations add unique flavors and textures to your stuffing, giving you a range of options to choose from.

Do you have any tips for making perfect cranberry stuffing?

Yes, we have some useful tips to ensure your cranberry stuffing turns out perfectly every time. From choosing the right bread to adding the perfect blend of herbs, our tips will help you create a stuffing that is flavorful and moist.

What can I serve with cranberry stuffing?

Cranberry stuffing pairs well with roasted turkey, making it a delicious side dish for your holiday dinners. However, it can also complement other main dishes or be enjoyed on its own as a flavorful and comforting treat.

Are there healthier alternatives to traditional cranberry stuffing?

Yes, if you’re looking for healthier options, we have recipes that use wholesome ingredients like whole wheat bread and vegetable stock. These alternatives still deliver the delicious flavors of cranberry stuffing while offering a healthier twist.

Why should I try cranberry stuffing?

Cranberry stuffing adds a touch of holiday joy and comfort to any feast. Whether you prefer a classic recipe or want to try new variations, cranberry stuffing is sure to delight your taste buds and become a beloved addition to your holiday traditions.

Cranberry Stuffing

Cranberry Stuffing

Savor the sweet-tart burst of cranberries melded with earthy herbs in this delectable stuffing, perfect for elevating any festive meal.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
Keyword: cranberry dressing, cranberry stuffing, thanksgiving stuffing with cranberries
Servings: 10 servings


  • 1 loaf of bread cubed
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and cook until soft.
  • In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, onion mixture, thyme, rosemary, cranberries, and apple. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, chicken broth, and melted butter. Pour the mixture over the bread mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top.


  • Bread Choice: This recipe is versatile and can be made with various types of bread, including sourdough, French bread, or even cornbread for a southern twist.
  • Nuts: Add walnuts or pecans for an additional crunch and depth of flavor.
  • Meat Lovers: Add cooked and crumbled sausage or bacon for a richer taste.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Substitute butter with vegan butter or olive oil and omit the eggs (or use a vegan egg substitute).
  • Freshness: The freshness of herbs can make a significant difference. However, if fresh herbs are not available, dried herbs can be substituted. Use 1/3 the amount specified for fresh herbs.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the stuffing a day in advance, refrigerate, and bake the next day. This can intensify the flavors and make meal prep smoother.
Enjoy your cranberry stuffing as a delightful side dish that complements a wide range of main courses, especially during the holiday season!
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