Stuffing

Stuffing is such a fun recipe to make from scratch since it’s one of those “everything but the kitchen sink” type of dishes. Whatever herbs, nuts, and fruits you’ve got on hand, you can toss into the mix and see what happens. And speaking of fruits, here are 11 different fruits that you can use in your holiday stuffing this year. Have fun experimenting!

  1. Cherries: Cherries are a wonderful fruit to use in wintry dishes. Their bold red color and sweet-tart flavor both make a festive pop for your holiday menus. Most stuffing recipes that include cherries call for dried cherries, as they are typically sweeter, but try using fresh cherries for a tartness that complements meats, fresh herbs, and any other sweet fruits you may have in the stuffing.
  2. Apricots: Dried apricots aren’t a popular fruit for modern holiday stuffing recipes, which is a shame. These pucker-sweet fruits are really user-friendly and complement most meats, nuts, and herbs. Try pairing with pork, rosemary, and pecans for a winning stuffing combination.
  3. Blueberries: Blueberries are not your typical winter fruit, but you can find quality frozen blueberries in the freezer aisle, and they’re worth a shot for the adventurous cook. Otherwise, give dried blueberries a shot, as they can be easily subbed in for cranberries or raisins in most stuffing recipes.
  4. Figs: Dried or fresh, figs are a fabulous choice for your stuffing. They pair especially well with other sweet fruits like dates and dried cherries, as well as tart fruits like Granny Smith apples or fresh cherries. They’ll be a nice accent to sausage or vegetarian stuffings alike.
  5. Dates: Dates are full of brown sugar-like “caramely” sweetness, and a few will go a long way in a savory dish like stuffing. Use them sparingly so that the dish doesn’t become cloyingly sweet, and chop them finely so that the flavors are dispersed evenly.
  6. Cranberries: A no-brainer for stuffing, cranberries are one of the most common go-to fruits in holiday stuffing recipes. And rightfully so! These tiny dried fruits add just enough of a sweet-tart punch to complement all of the herby, savory flavors in any stuffing. (Save the fresh cranberries for a homemade cranberry sauce.)
  7. Apples: Tart apples are good choices for a holiday stuffing, as they balance out the sweet and savory ingredients you may have in there (such as a salty meat and a sweet fruit like figs). Peel your apples if you must, but it’s perfectly fine to leave the skins on for your stuffing; just chop the apples into nice small cubes.
  8. Pears: Similar to apples, pears offer that element of balance between sweet and savory, and they’re a great addition to a stuffing that has both salty ingredients and sweeter fruits.
  9. Persimmons: Looking for a way to use these unusual winter fruits? Toss ‘em into your stuffing! Persimmons can be subbed in for apples or pears in most stuffing recipes, or used in addition to. They pair well with rich, smoky flavors like bacon, chestnuts, and pecans.
  10. Quinces: Another less-common winter fruit, quince can be used in place of apples or pears in your stuffing recipes. They pair well with bacon, cornbread, and wild rice.
  11. Grapes: Yes, grapes! Fresh grapes, red or green, add a lovely surprise to any holiday stuffing, and they’ll undoubtedly impress your guests as the secret fruit. They pair well with Italian sausage inside the stuffing, and will complement most chicken dishes.

Image: silvia song