Some people confuse Thanksgiving dressing with stuffing because they are both one in the same however, one is cooked inside of a turkey cavity, while the other is baked in a casserole dish. I don’t know many who prefer stuffing over dressing anymore, it sort of became out-of-style when we all figured out we could get a better dressing experience in a crunchy topped casserole.
Dressing is sometimes the highlight of the Thanksgiving meal, for many of us anyway. The dried cubes of bread soak up the sauteed vegetables, herbs and stock and make for a delightful meal all in itself. For many years I have been making a dressing with cornbread and sausage, but this year I thought it would be nice to try a little something different and give one to the vegetarians.
Mushrooms act like meat in this Thanksgiving side dish because they are hearty enough to hold their own in this dressing. The sauteed mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic lend their hand to the most robust flavors and become the star of the show. After baking, the bread cubes on top become crisp, while the meatless center stays spoonably tender. The fresh herbs add a nice fragrance to the dish and let’s face it, sage is a Thanksgiving necessity.
You can prepare this dish one-day ahead and cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Right before baking, add another 1/2 cup of broth over the top and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. If preparing the same day – proceed as written below.
1 loaf French bread, cubed and dried
2 tablespoons butter, divided + more for dish
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, any variety
1 white onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
10 fresh sage leaves
1 quart chicken broth + 1/2 cup more if making a day ahead
salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saute pan, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place pan over medium heat. Add onions and celery and saute for 4 minutes.
- Add garlic, poultry seasoning, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, stir.
- Add dried cubes of bread to a bowl (cube the night before and dry out on sheet pan, or toast in the oven for 25 minutes).
- Pour hot mushroom mixture over top of cubes. Add broth to bowl and stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, add more if needed. Mince sage leaves and add to dressing, stir.
- Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish and dot with remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Bake in oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove and serve. Enjoy!