This Italian Ciabatta Dressing Recipe is about to become your new go-to for Thanksgiving. Whether you serve it on it's own or use it as a stuffing for your turkey, this easy dressing adds a flavorful twist to a traditional holiday dressing!
Try some other great Thanksgiving recipes like Baked Artichoke Hearts, Garlic Green Beans and French Onion Mashed Potatoes.
Italian Ciabatta Dressing Recipe
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So here's the thing. I'm not a huge dressing (or stuffing if you prefer) fan. I think we're all a little weird about textures in our own ways and for me that means I'm not into mushy textures. And in my experience, I've found most homemade dressing recipes to be sort of mushy.
But this Italian dressing for Thanksgiving is definitely one that I can get on board with. Yes, it's soft in the middle. But it gets a subtle golden brown crispiness on the top as it bakes and the flavor is spot-on. When I brought some of it to my daughter's daycare for the teachers to sample, they all immediately asked when it would be on the blog, it was a total hit! Trust me when I say, this will become a new holiday favorite like it has for my family!
Tips for making this Italian Stuffing Recipe
- I like to cut it into 1 inch chunks and leave it out overnight so that it's a little bit stale. Then, while I'm making the rest of the dressing components on the stove, I toast it in the oven to crisp it up a bit more so that it absorbs the broth nicely.
- I use a mix of butter and olive oil for sautéing my veggies to prevent the butter from burning.
- Once I mix the bread into the stovetop mixture, I keep stirring and folding it in so that it starts to break down. I still like to keep some of the bread chunky and intact, but that's more a matter of personal preference. You can also let the bread break down more if you'd like.
- I'm not normally a dried fruit fan in my cooking, but the raisins really help round out the flavor. You can also substitute dried currants, cherries or cranberries if you prefer.
- Like all my recipes, taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings to your taste.
What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?
It's all in the name. I tend to use the terms interchangeably, but technically stuffing is used to stuff a turkey (or chicken) while dressing as served on the side. But you do you!
Do you put eggs in stuffing?
I don't think this recipe needs them, but some recipes use eggs as a binder.
Can I use this dressing to stuff my turkey?
Yes! You can make everything up until the step where you place the dressing into the 9" x 13" and instead stuff it into the cavity.
Is it safe to stuff a turkey?
Yes- just be sure to stuff the cavity just before placing the turkey into the oven (letting it sit in the turkey can introduce bacteria) and make sure that the internal temperature of the stuffing in the turkey reaches 165 degrees in addition the turkey to avoid food-borne illness.
Do I have to use wine?
I think it adds a better flavor but you could always substitute more broth.
Can dressing be made ahead?
Yes, you can assemble this up to a day ahead and bake before serving.
How long does this dressing last?
This will last up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator.
Ingredients for making this Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe
- Ciabatta bread
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Italian seasoning
- White wine
- Chicken broth
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Italian Ciabatta Dressing Recipe
- 8 cups day-old ciabatta cut into 1 inch chunks (this was around 1 ½ loaves for me but it will depend on the size of your loaves)
- Cooking spray
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ¼ cup diced onion
- 1 ¼ cup diced celery
- 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¾ cups white wine
- 3 cups chicken broth (or turkey broth)
- 1 ½ cups raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment.
- Spread bread chunks onto pan in a single layer (use multiple pans if you need to) and toast in oven for 10 minutes.
- While the bread toasts, melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and celery and saute for around 4-5 minutes, stirring often to soften.
- Add garlic and saute a minute more until fragrant.
- Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and deglaze the pan with wine.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer wine for 2 minutes.
- Add bread, raisin and broth to the pan and stir well to combine until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid.. As you stir, the bread break down, this is good. You can leave some chunky or stir until it's fully broken down, depending on your texture preference (I like to leave some chunks for a little texture).
- Pour the mixture into a greased 9" x 13" pan and spread into an even layer.
- Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Check it half way through and if it browns too quickly, cover it in foil until the last couple minutes.
- Serve immediately.
If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions!
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