What’s more satisfying than stuffing?!
Bread, veggies, stock—YUM!
So it's obvious there will be stuffing on the Thanksgiving table, but now the question is...
What veggies do you put in there?
What will give you both sweet and savory flavors, along with different textures?
Butternut squash immediately popped into my head, even though I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of squash in stuffing.
After trying it out though, I know it's the right choice!
The squash is hearty and dense and sweetly contrasts the tartness of the apples and the strong, sharp onions.
Good stuffing is nothing fancy—it’s all about the right combination of ingredients to make a satisfying comfort food.
And when you strike that perfect chord, it's definitely music to your ears…and stomach!
Butternut Squash + Apple Stuffing
servings: 6 to 8
- One 8-ounce loaf crusty bread, cut into 1-inch dice (about 6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeds removed + chopped into ½-inch dice (about 5 cups or 1½ pounds)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 medium green apples (such as gala apples), chopped into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, more for a garnish
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 3 cups turkey (or chicken or vegetable) stock
- Crushed pink peppercorns for a garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast them until they are dried out—8 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside, but leave the oven on.
- In a large skillet over high heat, add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, add the squash along with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper, then cook without stirring until the bottoms of the squash pieces are very dark—12 to 15 minutes. Stir slightly to flip the squash pieces and cook 5 minutes more, then stir again to flip the squash and cook an additional 5 minutes; when you are finished with this process, all sides of the squash should be evenly very dark.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and to the squash mixture add the apples, onion, celery, thyme, sage, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Then add 1 cup of the stock and simmer until the onion and celery are soft—about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread, cooked veggies, and the remaining 2 cups of stock. Once mixed, transfer to a two- to three-quart baking dish sprayed with cooking oil. Bake until the top of the stuffing is crisp and golden brown—20 to 25 minutes. Before serving, garnish with the thyme leaves and pink peppercorns.