Elevate your holiday table with a twist on a classic side dish, our Smoked Stuffing is a culinary masterpiece waiting to happen in your own backyard. It's where the rich, aromatic blend of fresh herbs meets the satisfying chew of sourdough, all infused with a delicate smokiness that brings the traditional and the contemporary into delicious harmony.
This is a traegar smoked stuffing recipe, however this can easily be adapted to a pellet smoker or popped into an oven.
Stuffing has long been the heartwarming sidekick to Thanksgiving turkeys and festive roasts, with each family often having their own cherished version.
This Smoked Stuffing recipe, however, takes tradition to new heights by combining the classic comfort of the dish with the rustic charm of smoke flavor.
It's an homage to the days of open-fire cooking and a perfect guest at any holiday table or a Sunday family dinner, offering a story in every bite.
It's a delicious smoked dressing that's perfect for a smoked turkey or to use as an alternative to your ordinary Thanksgiving stuffing.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Aromatic Freshness: The hand-picked selection of sage, parsley, rosemary, and thyme delivers a garden's worth of flavor.
- The Smoky Twist: Each spoonful comes with a whiff of nostalgia, courtesy of the smoker's charm.
- Textural Delight: Sourdough's resilience gives this stuffing recipe an irresistible mouthfeel, blending crunch with tenderness.
- Versatility: Whether it's a side dish or the main attraction, it holds its own with elegant versatility.
- Customization Ready: Adaptable for various dietary preferences without compromising on taste.
Sourdough Bread Cubes: You can make your own dried bread cubes or use prepackaged bread cubes. Regular dried bread cubes will work well too.
Chicken Broth: Opt for a high-quality broth to imbue your stuffing with depth and warmth.
Red Onion & Celery: Fresh, crisp, and finely diced, these vegetables are the bedrock of flavor.
Eggs: They act as the binder, so select the freshest you can find.
Butter: Go for salted to complement the herbs and add richness.
Fresh Herbs: Their lively and aromatic characteristics are unmatched – always opt for fresh if possible.
Seasonings: Coarse ground pepper and salt are the essential enhancers, so don't skimp on quality.
- Smoker: The star tool, providing that irreplaceable smoky flavor. If unavailable, a regular oven can be used as an alternative. I used oak pellets, but pecan and hickory would be a fabulous choice as well.
- Casserole Dish: A 3-quart size will be your vessel for both preparation and presentation. You could also use a large cast iron pan.
- Mixing Bowls: A variety of sizes for separate tasks will keep your process smooth and organized.
- Skillet: A medium one to sauté your veggies and herbs to perfection.
- Stirring Utensils: From wooden spoons to spatulas, ensure they're sturdy for gentle folding.
Note: While we used a Traeger pellet smoker, you can follow this exact recipe and pop it in the oven or an offset smoker and it'll still come out delicious.
1. Smoker Preparation: Begin by preheating your smoker to a steady 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature allows for a controlled cooking environment that will gently coax the flavors to meld together while imparting a subtle smokiness to the dish.
2. Aromatic Sauté: In a medium skillet, create the flavor base. Melt the butter over a medium heat, then introduce the finely diced red onion and celery, fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, and celery seed and seasoning them with salt and coarse ground pepper.
Sauté until the onions are translucent and the fragrance of the herbs fills your kitchen, approximately 5-7 minutes. This process is essential to build layers of flavor.
3. Egg Incorporation: In a separate, small mixing bowl, beat the eggs lightly. These will act as a binder, ensuring your stuffing is cohesive and moist, rather than crumbly.
4. Assembling the Mixture: Place the dried sourdough bread cubes in an extra-large mixing bowl, providing ample space for even mixing.
Drizzle the beaten eggs over the bread, ensuring each piece is lightly coated, followed by the aromatic sautéed mixture.
Finally, pour the chicken broth over the top. With a gentle hand, fold the ingredients together until well combined, taking care not to compress the bread cubes. This is where the stuffing begins to take shape, with each bread cube soaking up the herbed buttery broth.
5. Transfer to Casserole: Carefully pour the well-incorporated stuffing mix into a 3-quart casserole dish. Spread the mixture evenly, preserving the fluffiness. This allows for maximum heat circulation and smoke penetration.
6. Smoking the Stuffing: Introduce the casserole dish to the preheated smoker, uncovered. Smoke for 30 minutes, during which the bread will form a slight crust, contrasted by the moist, savory interior—a hallmark of good stuffing.
7. Final Touch and Service: Once removed from the smoker, let the stuffing stand for a moment to settle. Then, just before serving, garnish with the freshly minced parsley for a fresh, herbaceous note.
- 8 Cups Dried Sourdough Bread Cubes
- 3 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Red Onion, diced
- 3 Celery Stalks, diced
- 2 Large Eggs
- 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter (½ stick)
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, minced
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Celery Seed
- 1 Teaspoon Coarse Ground Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- Preheat smoker to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In medium skillet, combine sage, rosemary, thyme, celery seed, butter, celery, onion, salt, and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- In small mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs.
- In extra large mixing bowl, place bread cubes. Add eggs, sauteed mixture, and chicken broth sequentially.
- Fold ingredients to combine; ensure bread is well-coated.
- Transfer mixture to casserole dish; spread evenly.
- Top with minced parsley.
- Cook in smoker, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.
For optimal flavor, choose a quality sourdough bread and fresh herbs. When making dried bread cubes, ensure they are toasted evenly for the best texture in the stuffing.
Smoke Selection: While oak pellets are recommended, consider the type of poultry or meat you are serving with. Applewood can bring a subtle sweetness, while mesquite might offer a stronger smoky hit.
Herb Handling: If using fresh herbs, chop them just before adding to the recipe to preserve their essential oils and freshness.
Checking Moisture: During smoking, if the stuffing seems too dry, you can tent it with aluminum foil to retain moisture without compromising the smoky flavor.
This Smoked Stuffing shines brightest when served fresh, but it's still delightful as a leftover when stored properly:
Refrigeration: Cool the stuffing quickly to prevent bacterial growth. Once at room temperature, place in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Freezing: Wrap tightly with cling film and place in an airtight container. Label with the date, and freeze for up to 1 month for the best quality. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Revitalizing Leftovers: To recapture some of the dish's initial crispness and smokiness, reheat leftovers in a smoker or oven at a low temperature until just heated through.
- Broth Varieties: Feel free to use turkey or vegetable broth to align with dietary preferences without sacrificing taste.
- Bread Alternatives: Not a fan of sourdough? Any sturdy bread will do – just adjust the liquid accordingly.
This smoked stuffing recipe is perfect for your next turkey dinner or holiday meal! Let us know what you think.