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Chestnut Stuffing

You will need to dry the bread cubes overnight; transfer them to resealable plastic bags until you're ready to make the stuffing, up to 1 day more. Cover; bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until hot and golden brown, 30 minutes more.

  • Servings: 12
Chestnut Stuffing

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2005


  • 2 loaves good-quality white bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 20 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh chestnuts (4 cups), scored with an X
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 small onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 bunch celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 5 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Spread bread cubes in single layers on baking sheets. Let dry at room temperature, uncovered, overnight.

  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add chestnuts; cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain; let cool slightly. Peel and quarter chestnuts; set aside. Peeled chestnuts can be refrigerated in an airtight container 2 to 3 days.

  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add sage; cook 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup stock; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

  4. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining 4 1/2 cups stock, the chestnuts, bread, salt, and parsley; season with pepper. Toss to combine. If not stuffing turkey, transfer to a buttered 17-by-12-inch baking dish. Cover; bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until hot and golden brown, 30 minutes more.

Reviews (13)

  • cat_fewd 29 Nov, 2013

    This was delicious. I grew up in a house that generally did not eat stuffing at Thanksgiving, so I am just now discovering it. Last year, I tried a recipe that used eggs and did not turn out very well. This one is DELICIOUS! I used veggie broth, because our family is vegetarian and DRIED sage, because I didn't have any fresh. So good. I think I'll be making it throughout the year.

  • Kristi5 4 Nov, 2012

    I have made this dressing recipe for the past few years and everytime it has a purple look to it. I thought maybe the chestnuts combined with the sage caused some reaction, so I changed to walnuts. That didn't help. It still has a light purple look to it that puts people off. The flavor is excellent, but the appearance is more Halloween than Thanksgiving. Please help!

  • AnnBrennan 15 Jan, 2012

    At Sur La Table you can purchase a chestnut cutter and a roasting pan just for chestnuts. When in season I roast chestnuts just about every night - YUMMY. Heat oven to 375 place prepared chestnuts in for 13 minutes - shake - another 13 minutes. If the nuts are small cut your time to 10 - 11 minutes each time.

  • Debradac 23 Nov, 2011

    Hi, hope I'm not too late with tips on the chestnuts. I've made chestnut stuffing for many years and cut the x's. what a task!! A couple of years ago I had the idea to ust a nut cracker (I started with a hammer). The nutcraker takes a little effort but much easier than the x's. Trust me..I boil mine. It's also easy to get the meat out of the nuts with a fork. In fact, I just finished 3 lbs of getting them ready. I also use pork/beef/giblets w/sage, rosemary, thyme & parsley. Use bags of bread.

  • abedell 15 Dec, 2010

    Unfortunately there is no quick way to shell chestnuts. In my experience anyway... the trick, I've noticed, is to make sure they are cooked. And use a paring knife, catching the edge of the X and slicing it as if you were peeling a potato. It'll still take a while, though... but I think it's worth it in the end. :)

  • hasshoes 21 Nov, 2010

    Does anyone have any chestnut shelling tips? I do the "x", but it still takes me hours (and serious finger pain!) to shell them. Thanks!

  • peoplecallmemartha 16 Nov, 2010

    I have made this entire menu for 5 years now. My family LOVES all the recipes. The stuffing is wonderful! I do part in the turkey and part in a pan to get the edges crispy. I also finish the portion from the turkey in the pan (stuffed in the turkey from this menu also... YUM!!!! ). I also started adding some italian sausage the last couple years and it's incredible!

  • KevCountry 5 Dec, 2008

    I thought this recipe was the best stuffing I have ever made. I have made it for two years now and everyone wants the recipe. I admit I did alter it by adding 1 cup of craisins, using half the amount of parsley and chestnuts and adding one cube of chicken bullion to the broth to give it a kicked up chicken flavour.
    I don't quite understand how the woman who wrote dry and bland made it happen that way. There is plenty of liquid to make it very moist.
    Kevin Willeford

  • crainny 5 Dec, 2008

    Didn't like it. Dry and bland.

  • crainny 5 Dec, 2008

    Didn't like it. Dry and bland.

  • PrincessKitty 20 Nov, 2008

    Turkey cooks faster and more even if not stuffed. Also I make the basic stuffing shown here but separate into 2 baking dishes and add smoked oysters to one because we have some guests that love it that way others are purists! For the record it is called stuffing if it is in the bird and dressing if it is baked in a dish--Martha said so in one of her shows a few years back__makes sense.

  • oldthymegal 13 Nov, 2008

    Lots of folks don't like their stuffing baked in the bird. In our family, we have a couple of strict vegetarians, so we make our stuffing with vegetable broth and bake it in a casserole so everyone can enjoy it. Those who want the "meaty" flavor can add gravy made from the turkey broth.

  • PatKauf 13 Nov, 2008

    I'm curiious why the stuffing is baked and not put into the turkey. Any idea?

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