Some people confuse Thanksgiving stuffing with dressing because the recipes are both one in the same however, one’s cooked inside the turkey cavity, while the other is baked in a casserole dish. I don’t know many who still prefer to stuff their turkey’s, but I’m sure there are a few of you out there. I prefer the texture of dressing over stuffing because the top gets super crunchy, while the middle is still soft and flavorful.
Dressing is the highlight of any Thanksgiving meal, for many of us anyway. The dried cubes of bread soak up the sautéed vegetables, herbs and stock and make for a delightful meal all in itself. For several 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 make it strictly vegetarian.
Mushrooms act like meat in this Thanksgiving side dish because they are hearty enough to hold their own in this dressing. The sautéed 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 creamy and delicate. Fresh herbs, like sage, really are fragrant and make the dish pop with freshness.
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 with recipe as written.
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 or vegetable broth + 1/2 cup more if making a day ahead
salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions and celery and sauté 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!