Savory Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
Originally published July 13, 2009, Updated on 10/5/20
This Savory Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing is BY FAR my favorite stuffing recipe. Definitely one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving and the Christmas season!
As with many of my recipes, there is a certain aspect of "to taste" in this one. I've never bothered to measure the bread, chicken stock or savory, for example.. I just tend to toss things in till it looks/tastes great!
Evolution of Savory Mushroom Stuffing
Growing up, turkey stuffing was a very standard, specific thing.
Bread was cut up into bite sized squares, seasoned with poultry seasoning, and tossed with butter, celery, onions, and broth.
So far as I’m aware, no recipe was ever used. My grandmother was the one who taught me how to make dressing. As I’ve mentioned before - Gramma’s Potato Salad - She, uh, had a unique way of conveying recipes.
So, it was less “Use x number of loaves, and this specific amount of seasoning”, and more “cut up ENOUGH bread, maybe a bit more. Ok that looks good. Now put enough poultry seasoning in, until it looks right. Ok, a bit more...”
So, every Thanksgiving and every Christmas, it was the same dressing - remarkably consistent, for something with no real recipe!
I made it the same way myself, after moving out... until I moved to Newfoundland. That’s where I discovered...
I LOVE summer savoury!
I’d never even heard of the stuff before moving to Newfoundland in the late 90s, but it was love at first... bite. SO good.
The odd thing about savoury? Although I’d never had it before that point, it made everything - turkey, soup, pork roast, French fries - taste like Thanksgiving.
... it tastes literally nothing like poultry seasoning, so... I don’t know. Brains are weird.
Anyway, I think I’ve used poultry seasoning in stuffing exactly 1 time in the past 20 years or so, as a throwback thing. I’m ALL about the Summer Savoury now!
When it comes to cooking with savoury, I usually measure it by the handful ... at least when I’m not doing a recipe up for the blog. A handful in pea soup, a couple handfuls in chicken or turkey soup, a handful or so in a batch of gravy, toss another handful over roast poultry or pork... whatever.
Eventually, changing my grandma’s traditional “Recipe” went beyond swapping out the seasoning. I added mushrooms - my husband and I both love mushrooms - and roasted chestnuts.
I love the texture that roasted chestnuts add to the mix, and I think of them - savoury, mushrooms, and chestnuts - as kind of a trifecta of AWESOME when it comes to stuffing.
So, this has been my go-to recipe for about 15 years now. SO good!
Stuffing vs Dressing
Have you ever noticed that “stuffing” and dressing” get used interchangeably at times? It’s actually kind of interesting how they’re used.
So to some people, they are 100% the same thing, with no restrictions.
To other people, the difference is how it’s cooked. If it’s in the turkey - stuffed - it’s “stuffing”, but if the exact same thing is cooked in a pan, separate from the turkey.. Then it’s dressing.
... so I guess you could make a batch of this, and end up with half of it stuffing, and half dressing!
To others - Newfoundlanders, for the most part - it doesn’t matter if it’s in the roast or served on top of fries*, it’s made with bread crumbs - actual crumbs, not cubes/shreds/etc, and it’s “dressing”.
*“Fries Dressing and Gravy” is a super popular side item at fast food and fried fish places. It’s just fries and hot gravy, topped with Newfoundland style dressing.
While I have a dressing recipe elsewhere on the blog - my Gluten-Free Cod Cheeks and Dressing recipe - I consider this “stuffing”.
... and I consider it to be “Stuffing”, whether cooked inside or outside of the turkey, TBH. Your mileage may vary, and you can obviously call it whatever you want - it’s super tasty, either way!
Roast Chestnuts For The Stuffing
As I’m redoing this recipe - 11 years after posting it! - I notice that I didn’t actually include instructions for roasting the chestnuts.
Generally speaking, the day before making my Savoury Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing, I’d roast up a batch of chestnuts - twice what I’d need for the recipe. I’d separate out what I needed for the stuffing, and we’d snack on the rest.
If you have more self control than I do, you’re welcome to just roast up what you need for the recipe. I’m way too “One for me, one for the bowl” to do that, however!
How to Roast Chestnuts
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Use a sharp knife to cut and “x” shape into the rounded side of each chest nut. This is IMPORTANT - it prevents them from exploding in the oven. No, I’m not kidding.
The shells can be really hard to cut sometimes, so I usually pierce each with the tip of a knife, then cut from the hole, if that makes sense.
- Once all chestnuts have had the Xs cut into the, spread them out -cut side up - on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the shells have curled back from the cuts, and the “meat” of the nut has softened.
- Let them cool a couple minutes, then place a cutting board on top and press down to crack the shells a bit. This makes peeling easier.
- Remove the shells and discard.
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday spread? Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any of the other holidays, here's a few ideas for you!
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Chicken Based Potato Sausage Recipe - Potatiskorv
Gluten-Free Chicken Mushroom Tortiere
Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
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Now, on to that Savory Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing recipe!