A spin on traditional French bread stuffing, this Bacon Stuffing is sure to be a hit at this year’s Thanksgiving table! This decadent stuffing dish calls for bacon, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, cheese and more. Topped with bacon crumbles, this homemade stuffing recipe is sure to appeal to a crowd at any holiday gathering. Makes 8 servings.
Looking for a vegetarian stuffing? My Brioche Bread Stuffing Recipe is perfect for you!
French Bread Stuffing has been a thing in my family for as long as I can remember and a mainstay at Thanksgiving dinner.
It’s our family’s thing, and I’ve spent many hours by my mom, aunts and grandmother as they showed me how to make the traditional side dish, gleaning tips each time, as we prepare it for the holiday table.
My grandmother taught me to tear the bread up into bite-sized pieces, insisting this way was better than slicing. And if she were still here, she’d tell me to tell you to stress the whole bite-sized pieces thing because I tore the bread into too large bites for her liking.
My mother taught me how to mix it together with her hands, explaining that massaging the ingredients together gently made the texture even more wonderful.
Why I love this recipe:
Bacon Baguette Stuffing is not a traditional stuffing recipe, but it’s hearty, comforting and totally delicious.
It’s different than my mom’s Sage Stuffing, and it’s different than the Cornbread Dressing served at many Southern Thanksgiving festivities.
But… this Thanksgiving stuffing is a unique one and it’s one I think many of you will love because it brings some different flavors to the table. It also pairs beautifully with a Thanksgiving turkey. (If you’re in the market for a recipe, check out my Browned Butter Turkey and Cajun Turkey for some inspo.)
If you love bacon, this is the BEST stuffing recipe for you because it will hit the spot!
Want more holiday recipe inspiration? Head on over to my Thanksgiving recipe index.
What you need to make this recipe:
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Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baguette — we want this to be day old, toasted and torn into bite-sized pieces. Stale bread is key for stuffing. You can also cut it into bread cubes using a serrated knife.
- Thick cut bacon — or your favorite type of bacon!
- Vegetables — we use a combination of finely chopped carrots, celery stalks, onions and garlic cloves.
- Herbs — we need a combination of fresh herbs for this Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, too, which include rosemary, sage and fresh parsley. Think of this as a homemade poultry seasoning.
- Parmesan — purchase a block of parm from the store and grate or shred it by yourself!
- Chicken stock — I like to use a low-sodium stock in recipes like these that also have bacon, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Vegetable broth and turkey broth work, too.
What kind is the best bread to use in Thanksgiving stuffing?
That depends on you and your tastebuds. My family likes to use day-old bread (a French baguette, to be specific). Why? This helps the texture of the entire dish.
If your bread is fresh and you don’t have time to let it get stale, tear it into bite-sized pieces (or cut into 1-inch cubes) and put it on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at a low heat for 10-20 minutes, or until it’s crispy and golden brown. This will help the texture of the stuffing.
Different types of bread to use in stuffing include sourdough bread, a loaf of French bread or another crusty bread, because it won’t fall apart with the other ingredients.
How to make this Bacon Stuffing recipe:
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy, then remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
Leave the bacon grease in the pan!
Crumble the bacon once cool, and set it aside to use as a topping for the stuffing.
Cook the carrots, celery, onions and garlic in the bacon grease. Measure in the rosemary and sage, and cook until the vegetables are soft and have pulled all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Remove the veggies from the heat once softened.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick baking spray (or smear with butter), and set aside.
Place the baguette pieces in a large bowl.
Add the cooled veggies to the bread. Measure in the parmesan and parsley, too.
Use your hands or a large spoon to combine the ingredients, tossing them gently together.
Slowly pour in a cup of the stock, using your hands to mix everything together. While you could do this with a spoon, I like to use my hands.
Massage the stock into the bread and vegetables, and slowly continue to do this until the mixture is combined.
How do I know when it’s ready?
If it feels a little dry, add more stock. If it feels sticky and a little squishy, it’s good to go!
Make this by feel. You want the ingredients to be soft and you want there to be enough stock to soak into the bread pieces, but you don’t want it to be sopping wet.
Transfer the stuffing to the buttered baking dish. Top with the crumbled bacon bits and cover with foil.
Transfer to the preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
When the stuffing is crispy on top, remove from the oven, and enjoy warm!
Quick tips and tricks to the best Thanksgiving stuffing:
- Make it early. You can put together this baked stuffing the day before Thanksgiving Day and store it in the refrigerator. Bake it the day of your gathering straight from the fridge!
- Swap out the bacon. If you don’t eat pork, use turkey bacon! You’ll need to add some oil to the pan to help the veggies cook after the turkey bacon is crisp.
- How to store leftovers: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in bursts in the microwave until warmed through.
Other stuffing recipes to try:
- Vegetarian Cornbread Stuffing
- Gluten Free Stuffing
- Mom’s Classic French Bread Sage Stuffing
- Brioche Bread Stuffing Recipe
Here’s how you can make this stuffing:
A spin on traditional French bread stuffing, Bacon and Baguette Stuffing is sure to be a hit at this year's Thanksgiving table! This decadent stuffing dish calls for day-old baguettes and bacon, as well as onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, cheese and broth. Bake in a separate baking dish, topped with bacon crumbles, until the stuffing is cooked. Serve with turkey and other traditional Thanksgiving side dishes for a delicious meal!
- 24 oz. baguette, day old, toasted and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 12 oz. thick cut bacon
- 3 large carrots, finely chopped
- 5 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 3 large onions, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel, but leave the bacon grease in the pan. (When the bacon has cooled, crumble it, and set it aside as the topping for this stuffing.)
- Add the chopped carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the bacon grease. Add the rosemary and sage, as well, and cook until the vegetables have softened and soaked in all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- When softened, remove the vegetables from the heat, and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a large baking dish, and set aside.
- Place the bite-sized pieces of the baguette in a large bowl. Scoop the cooled vegetable mixture into the bread, and measure in the parmesan, as well as the parsley.
- Using your hands or a large spoon, combine the ingredients.
- Slowly pour in a cup of the stock, using your hands to mix everything together. (I'm sure you could do this with a spoon... but using your hands really helps.)
- Massage the stock into the bread and vegetables, and slowly continue to do this until the mixture is combined. If it feels a little dry, add more stock. If it feels sticky and a little squishy, you're good to go! Go by feel -- you want the ingredients to be soft and soaking in the stock, but you don't want them to be sopping wet.
- When the stuffing has been made, transfer to the greased baking dish. Top with the crumbled bacon bits from earlier. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Transfer the stuffing to the preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- When crisp on top, remove from the oven, and enjoy warm!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 524Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 1496mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 30g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.