The holiday season is notorious for bringing families together and carrying on traditions. Stuffing or dressing is a classic dish that in many households has transcended its status as a simple side to something of a tradition in itself.
Whether you're looking to liven up an old-school recipe, wanting to start a stuffing tradition of your own or simply need a dish that can be cooked outside your crowded and often over-stuffed (no pun intended) holiday oven, we think this homemade holiday stuffing recipe is just the thing.
Plus, this dish will add some texture with a fabulous crunch and fresh green color that is far from your every-day brown stuffing.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 large yellow onion
- 5 celery stalks, diced
- 8oz fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 can water chestnuts
- ¾ teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped sage
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 12 oz chicken broth (Turkey drippings are even better)
- ½ cup water
- 10 cups (about 12oz) bread crumbs
1. Preparation is Key
Start by melting butter in a 12” skillet over medium heat on an outdoor or indoor stove. Add your onions and celery to the pan and cook until slightly tender. Then stir in the mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
After you have cooked your mushroom, onion and celery mixture you should stir salt, pepper, sage, chicken broth water and water chestnuts into the pan and then remove the skillet from heat.
2. Bring on the Bread
Combine breadcrumbs and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Then mix bread and parsley with the wet ingredients from the skillet by tossing them together in a large bowl.
Once all the ingredients are combined you should return the mixture to your 12” skillet for baking.
3. To the Pellet Grill
Preheat the pellet grill to 325° and place your skillet on the grill and allow it to bake for 40 minutes at 325 or until cooked through and starting to brown. You might choose to cover with foil for the first 30 minutes to achieve a softer texture and then remove for the last ten minutes to let the stuffing brown.
The Stuffing vs. Dressing Debate
During the holidays it is not uncommon to hear stuffing being called dressing and vice versa. So is dressing the same as stuffing? Yes and no.
The Same but Different
Dressing and stuffing are essentially made the same way with the same ingredients. Where they differ is how they are served. “Stuffing” is literally served stuffed inside of the traditional turkey dish. “Dressing” on the other hand is served like a casserole as a side rather than part of the main entree.
To Stuff or Not to Stuff?
While this recipe can be served as a dressing, you can keep with tradition by actually “stuffing” it inside your cooked turkey this holiday. Dressed or stuffed, health experts recommend cooking this dish in its own pan regardless of how it is used.
Make sure your main turkey dish is fully cooked before stuffing to avoid foodborne illness.
Why Choose a Pellet Grill for this Holiday Dish?
Traditions and family are commonplace during the holidays as are overfilled, overworked ovens. Don’t let cook-space be a limiting factor that can make-or-break the holiday meals that you have planned and work tirelessly to prepare.
That’s just one reason we love to make this holiday stuffing dish in a pellet grill. It can be easily prepared on an indoor or outdoor stove top and then left to cook and seep in smoky flavors right next to the holiday turkey, leaving your kitchen oven open for the next dish.
But don’t forget about the flavors! Space is not the only plus to cooking this traditional dressing in your pellet grill. The pellets and smoke-flavor that they provide is enough to elevate this stuffing to a level beyond the plain side dish you may have come to expect.
Grow Your Own Ingredients: Yellow Onions
Onions are powerhouse ingredients that add to the flavor, texture and overall experience of many dishes. While you can capture these flavors by swinging into the local shopping center and carefully scouring the shelves for the freshest produce, nothing quite compares to the taste, trust and pride that ultimately comes from using onions and other ingredients from your own garden.
Picking Onion Perfection
Before any stirring, baking or browning can be done, you must determine the onion varieties that you would like to plant. With a variety of onion options, you will want to consider the many uses that you have for the vegetables and find a type that fits your needs.
Good yellow onion varieties for this classic dressing dish include:
- Candy Onions
- Yellow Spanish Onions
- Highlander Onions
- Walla Walla Onions (sweeter onion)
Growing the Onion
Onions are versatile culinary gateways to flavor that all begin with the right start/bulb, soil nutrients and climate. Onions should be planted in late March to early April across much of the intermountain west.
The plants will need fertile soil that is well drained. Consider adding a garden fertilizer or organic mulches to provide your onions with the nutrients that they need. Depending on the variety of onions that you have decided to grow, many bulb onions will take anywhere from 100-120 days to grow and will be ready to harvest once the tops have started to fall over.
A productive garden starts with the right tools and knowledge. Be sure to stop by your local IFA for gardening tips and all that you will need for productive onion plants.
Keeping With Tradition and Growing Your Own
Whether a classic stuffed turkey or side of dressing are already a part of your holiday celebrations or not, we think that the homestyle, classic flavors and feeling of this dish would make an excellent addition to your dinner table.
Be sure to stop by your local IFA Country Store for cast iron cookware as well as the pellets and supplies to keep the grill hot this holiday season.
Information for this article was provided by Dan Jensen, IFA Foods and Outdoor Cooking Category Manager, and Adam Fox, IFA Marketing Communications Creative Director.