This Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing is one of my favourite stuffing recipes ever. Such a great mix of flavours and textures, always a hit!
Originally published July 13, 2009. Updated on 11/28/2022
It’s my own version of a Thanksgiving classic - a fusion of my grandmother’s stuffing, and a traditional chestnut stuffing... with a bit of Newfoundland flavor thrown in!
It’s the BEST stuffing, IMHO, and definitely one of my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, and of the Christmas season in general.
That said, this chestnut dressing can be used far beyond the holiday table - it’s goes really with many roasted main dish options.
Stuff it in a roast turkey or roast chicken, or bake it in a pan and serve it alongside roast beef or a pork loin.
As with many of my recipes, there is a certain aspect of "to taste" in this one.
Before writing this point, I’d 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 my Chestnut Stuffing Recipe
Growing up, our Thanksgiving turkey stuffing recipe 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.
I’d say it was an easy recipe, but - 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 stuffed turkey for every Thanksgiving and every Christmas dinner, 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.
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.
Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Gluten-Free Dumplings
Easy Keto Turkey Gravy
French Canadian Pea Soup
Gluten-Free Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere
Gluten Free Cod Au Gratin
Gluten Free Stuffing
Hearty Beef Stew
Keto Shepherd's Pie
Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze
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”.
While I have a dressing recipe elsewhere on my other blog - my Gluten-Free Cod Cheeks and Dressing recipe - I consider *this* recipe to be “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!
Got the most part, you should be able to find all these ingredients in most grocery stores.
A few notes for you:
You can use whatever bread you like - I tend to prefer this recipe with some form of white bread, though.
I usually make it with French bread, Italian bread, or sourdough bread, but it also works well with an eggy brioche.
Super fresh bread is harder to cut into bread cubes, though, so I like to buy it a few days before I’m making the stuffing.
Note: Nutritional information in the recipe card is an approximation only and will vary based on your choice of bread.
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 fresh 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!
Anyway, I now have a dedicated post: How to Roast Chestnuts!
Feel free to use a couple packs of vacuum-packed chestnuts !
The batch of chestnuts I roasted up to do new photos for this post ended up having a HUGE percentage of rotten chestnuts .
A quick trip to a local Italian cheese shop on Thanksgiving morning augmented my meager supply of chestnuts. No harm, no foul!
This recipe uses onions (yellow or white), mushrooms (ideally crimini, but button mushrooms are fine), celery, and garlic cloves.
Depending on how big you want the vegetable bits, you can use a food processor to chop them, to save a little effort.
Also, consider the amounts of the vegetables to be a suggestion onion. If you like your dressing with less onion, or more celery .. Have at it!
Rounding out this recipe, you will also need:
Chicken Broth (or Turkey broth)
Ground black pepper
... I just don’t have anything to add, as far as these last few ingredients go!
This stuffing recipe makes a great base for your personal customizations!
A couple ideas:
Change the Herbs
I love Summer Savory , but it can be hard to find in some areas.
In place of - or in addition to - the summer savoury, try using one or more of:
Fresh sage is my favourite alternative in this recipe, fresh thyme is also really nice.
Before sauteeing the onions, brown up some sausage meat - I like a sweet Italian sausage for this.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage mixture from the drippings, and set aside.
Cook the onions in the sausage drippings, then add the sausage back to the pan once the veggies are cooked down.
How to Make Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is a pictorial walk through.
Use a sharp knife to chop the chestnuts into small pieces.
Note: I’ll usually quarter them - I like nice chunks of chestnut in the stuffing, sometimes I’ll go a bit smaller to get more distribution.
Place the chestnuts in a medium bowl, set aside.
Place bread pieces in a large mixing bowl, along with a couple handfuls of dried summer savory.
Toss till the savory is spread out through the cubed bread.
Add the chopped chestnuts to the large bowl of bread cubes, along with as much pepper as you figure you want - but don’t go overboard!
Note: You can use 2 Tablespoons of butter, if you prefer. Just melt butter before adding the onions to the large skillet!
Add the mushrooms and celery to the cooking pan. cook until the vegetables are tender.
Add the butter and about 1 cup of the chicken stock, stir well to melt the butter and combine everything.
Once the butter is melted, add the bowl of seasoned bread mixture to the pot, carefully stir to combine. If it’s a bit dry, add more soup stock.
I’ll usually aim for “just moist” for stuffing a bird, then add a little more broth to any remaining stuffing, to bake in a shallow casserole dish.
Season with salt and additional pepper, to taste.
For use in poultry
Use wet hands to stuff the cavity of a turkey and roast as usual.
A few notes:
I usually gather stuffing into loose balls and put those into the cavity, as I find that’s easier than trying to get loose stuffing in.
Don’t pack it hard!
You’ll want to stuff the turkey immediately before roasting the bird - you want to minimize the time that the now-contaminated stuffing mixture spends in the “danger zone” temperature.
So do NOT store a raw, stuffed turkey in the fridge!
Also, if you’re stuffing your turkey, you’ll be handling raw meat at the same time you’re handling the stuffing. Any stuffing that doesn’t fit in the bird NEEDS to be baked after handling, to avoid potential food poisoning.
To use outside of poultry
Spray a large baking dish (I think ours is a 2-quart casserole) or Dutch oven with nonstick spray.
As a little bit more chicken broth to the stuffing - because it won’t be absorbing the juices from the bird, you want it a little more moist when baking it in a pan.
Transfer stuffing to the prepared baking dish, and cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or so, until the top of the stuffing is golden brown.
Let cooked stuffing cool to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap or transferring to an airtight container for storage in the fridge.
Should keep for about a week - we never have any last that long, though.
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 Potato Sausage Recipe - Potatiskorv
Egg Nog Sticky Buns
Gouda Mashed Potatoes
Gluten-Free Chicken Mushroom Tortiere
Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Classier Version
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Trashier Version
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
Southern Comfort Pecan Pie
Traditional Cranberry Mousse
Traditional Pumpkin Mousse
Share the Love!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense. Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Finally, if you love this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating and/or a comment below, and maybe even sharing this post on social media!
Savory Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing Recipe
- 1 Large loaf French bread or sourdough. or sourdough.
- Dried Summer savory
- 20-30 Roasted chestnuts
- Ground black pepper
- 2 Medium onions Chopped
- 5 Garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1.5 lbs Sliced mushrooms we prefer baby bellas
- 4-5 Celery Ribs
- ¼ cup Butter
- 1 ½ cups Chicken Broth This is a minimum amount, have more on hand.
- Rip the bread up into small chunks.
- Place bread in a large bowl, toss in a few handfuls of savory. Toss till the savory is spread out through the bread.
- Add the chestnuts to the mixing bowl, along with as much pepper as you figure you want - but don’t go overboard!
- In an extra large pan or deep pot, cook the onions & garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and celery to the cooking pan. cook until the vegetable are tender.
- Add the butter and about 1 cup of the chicken stock, stir well to melt the butter and combine everything.
- Once the butter is melted, add the bowl of seasoned bread mix to the pot, carefully stir to combine. If it’s a bit dry, add more soup stock.
- Season with salt and additional pepper, to taste.
- Stuff into the bird and roast as usual.