This Dressing with Apples, Bacon and Caramelized Onions is a fabulous side dish addition to a holiday meal!
Everyone has their favorite holiday side dish. Stuffing tends to be a big draw for me. I’m calling this Dressing with Apples, Bacon and Caramelized Onions “stuffing” since that’s what we called it when I grew up (regardless of whether or not we stuffed the turkey with it or cooked it by itself!) The apples and caramelized onions add a little sweetness to the stuffing. The bacon just makes it more delicious!
How to make Dressing with Apples, Bacon and Caramelized Onions:
You’ll need a loaf of rustic-style white bread. Anything you can find in your market’s deli section is fine. I like to use a rustic French bread. The (day old) bread is cut into cubes and spread out on a baking sheet to get a little bit stale while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. I like to do this early in the day, giving the chunks of bread a chance to get good and stale (not hard, but crusty).
The bacon is chopped and fried in a skillet. Then you’ll remove the bacon from the pan and save all of the bacon grease that the cooked bacon generated.
Chopped onions are cooked in some of the bacon fat with a little bit of sugar. Then the onions are removed from the pan.
Next, you’ll sauté apples, celery, parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper- again in a little bit of the bacon fat.
And finally, in a large bowl you’ll combine the bread cubes with the cooked vegetables and bacon. Eggs, chicken broth, salt and pepper are mixed in. Because this is dressing (and not stuffing), this Dressing with Apples, Bacon and Caramelized Onions is baked in a casserole dish.
And the result is a delicious holiday side dish that is brimming with all kinds of amazing flavors!
Serve it with roasted turkey or chicken. Drizzle a little homemade gravy on it, if you’d like. Enjoy, and happy holidays!
Here are a few more recipes using caramelized onions that you might like to try:
- Potato Casserole with Caramelized Onions
- Bacon Burgers with Balsamic Caramelized Onions
- Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Pancetta
- Filet Mignon with Marsala Caramelized Onions
- Smoked Caramelized Onion Butter
- Crostini with Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onions and Fig Jam
- Caramelized Onion Hummus
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, Brie and Sage
Dressing with Apples, Bacon and Caramelized Onions
- butter for the pan
- One 15 to 16-ounce loaf of day-old rustic-style white bread
- 8 ounces sliced bacon, cut into ½-inch slices
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples (peeled and chopped), about 2½ cups
- 3 large ribs of celery, chopped (about 1½ cups)
- 2/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and spread them on a baking sheet to dry at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet; reserve the extra. Put the onion in the pan and sauté over medium-high heat until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the onion and sauté, stirring constantly to prevent sticking or burning, until the onion turns deep golden and the edges caramelize, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the onion into a large mixing bowl.
- Return the pan to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat. Add the apples and celery. Sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the parsley, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of pepper; sautê another minute. Scrape the contents of the pan into the bowl with the onion.
- When you're ready to bake the stuffing, add the bread cubes and bacon to the bowl of sautéed vegetables and toss. Add the beaten eggs, broth, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a few more grinds of pepper; mix well. Transfer to the prepared baking pan.
- Bake uncovered at 350° F. until the top is light and crusty, about 1 hour.
For the holidays, I like to prepare as many dishes before hand that freeze and bake or reheat, as I can. Can this stuffing be frozen; and if so, should it be baked and then frozen or just frozen and then baked? I like to try different stuffing versions and this one appeals to me with the bacon, apples, and caramelized onions being tucked into traditional bread and seasonings.
Hmmm, I’ve never had any experience with freezing stuffing. I would think it would dry out too much?