This Chestnut Stuffing with Kale and Turkey Bacon is full of rich, savory flavors and a crisp crust. Add it to your Thanksgiving table this year for a twist on an old favorite!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, but really. We are t-minus 10 days until we’ll all be spending a day surrounded by good food, friends and/or family, and a few days off from work. Can we ask for anything more?!
I’m finally sharing one of my favorite turkey day dishes with you – my mom’s chestnut stuffing.
The recipe isn’t really hers, moreso an adaptation of my favorite things (kale and turkey bacon!) into her base recipe, but the inspiration comes from years of peeling roasted chesnuts by hand at home, burning fingertips and getting chestnut shells under my nails for a small handful to add to the stuffing.
I can’t eat stuffing without the rich, starchy sweet flavor of chestnuts! The crispy top of the large chunks of bread also sets the stage for a great side dish, with minimal butter compared to normal stuffing recipes.
While roasting chestnuts is a lovely tradition, it takes some time. Thankfully, all the grocery stores you and I frequent carry jarred and bagged roasted chestnuts this time of year – and they’re a great time saver. I hope you consider adding them to your Thanksgiving table rotation!
- 6 cups diced whole wheat crusty bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces turkey bacon
- 1 medium yellow onion (1.5 cups diced)
- 2 large celery stalks (1 cup diced)
- 3 packed cups finely diced curly kale
- ½ cup whole roasted and peeled chestnuts
- 1 and ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoon butter, divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Dice a loaf of crusty bread and measure out 6 cups, using as much of the crust as possible. Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until dried out and toasted. Remove it from the oven and add it to a large bowl to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a pan, heat olive oil. Chop turkey bacon into small pieces and add to the pan. Brown the bacon for about 7 minutes over medium heat, and then remove the crisped bacon using a slotted spoon. Add it to the bowl with the bread.
- Dice the onion and celery. Add them to the pan with the remaining olive oil and bacon fat and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown. Add in the finely diced kale to wilt, and salt and pepper to taste, before transferring the mixture into the bowl with the bread.
- Chop chestnuts and add them to the mixture.
- Whisk together chicken stock, egg, and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Pour this over the bread mixture and mix until all absorbed.
- Grease a 9x9 baking pan and transfer the stuffing into it. Dot the top of the stuffing with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover the pan with tented foil.
- Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and uncover the pan. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the top of the stuffing is browned and crispy.
- Allow the pan to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
If you’re set in your ways with what stuffing you’re making for Thanksgiving, then at least share how you make it with me in the comments!
I love hearing about what’s around your turkey table.