Sheet Pan Stuffing with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

November 13, 2014


Author Notes: Baking stuffing on a sheet pan ensures a high ratio of crispy edges to custardy center. If you like a more traditional pan, use whatever you have -- this recipe will yield enough for several vessels: two 9 x 13-inch casseroles, a casserole pan and a small sheet pan, a large sheet pan and a small casserole dish, etc.

Also, feel free to tailor the add-ins to your liking. I like a small amount of bacon, pancetta, or sausage. Celery and onion (or leeks) and sage are a must for me. I like to remove the crusts from the bread and dry out the cubes in the oven versus letting them stale on their own. A small amount of wine or Cognac adds a bit of flavor but isn't necessary. A flavorful stock and a lot of it will ensure the stuffing stays creamy in the center as it crisps on the edges. Baking the stuffing covered with foil for the first 30 minutes moreover helps ensure the center of the stuffing will not dry out.

To separate the brussels sprout leaves: Make a cut above the stem a little bit higher than you would normally. Then, using a paring knife, core each sprout. Then, peel away the leaves. When you reach the heart of the sprout, it will be really hard to peel anymore leaves. Stop peeling and either thinly slice the hearts or save them for a future roasting recipe.
Alexandra Stafford

Serves: 15 to 20

Ingredients

  • 2 large loaves of bread (about 2 3/4 pounds before crusts are removed / 2 pounds once crust is removed)
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups small-diced onion
  • 2 cups small-diced celery
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small bunch sage
  • 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stemmed, cored, and leaves separated (see notes above)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac, white wine, or sherry
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 eggs
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275º F. Remove the crusts of the bread. (Discard or save the crusts for breadcrumbs.) Tear or slice the bread into cubes or shards about 1-inch square. Spread bread onto two sheet pans. Place pans in the oven for about 45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway. Set pans aside to cool. Once bread is completely cool, transfer it to one very large mixing bowl or to two large mixing bowls.
  2. Meanwhile, place pancetta in a large sauté pan over medium to medium-low heat. Cook until fat is rendered and pancetta is crisp -- adjust the heat as necessary to avoid burning. Transfer pancetta to a plate.
  3. Preheat oven to 350º F. Add 4 tablespoons butter to the pan along with the diced onions and celery. Cook over medium heat with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced sage and the brussels sprout leaves, toss to coat, then transfer contents of the pan to the bowl of dried bread.
  4. Add Cognac or wine to pan and cook until it has nearly reduced, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, then scrape the contents into the bowl of bread. Add crispy pancetta bits to bowl, too.
  5. Add two cups of stock, a big pinch of salt, and freshly cracked pepper to taste to the bowl of bread. Toss to coat. Taste. Add more salt if necessary -- this is your last chance to ensure the stuffing is sufficiently seasoned before the eggs are added. Whisk eggs with one cup of the remaining stock. Pour into the bowl of bread and toss to coat. Each cube of bread should feel saturated with liquid. There shouldn't be any liquid sitting in the bottom of the bowl, however, but if there is, toss the bread again and let it sit for 5 minutes. If the bread seems dry, add more stock, 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. Choose your vessels (see notes above) and grease each lightly with butter. Transfer bread to vessels and cover each with foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 350º F covered with foil. Raise the temperature to 425º F and bake for 10 to 20 minutes longer depending on your oven. If the stuffing isn't browning, you can turn the temperature up to 450º F, just be sure to keep an eye on it -- it will burn quickly. Let rest five minutes before serving.

More Great Recipes:
Stuffing/Dressing|Vegetable|Celery|Cognac|Sage|Sheet Pan|Serves a Crowd|Winter|Thanksgiving|Christmas|Fall|Side

Reviews (31) Questions (0)

31 Reviews

Hallie L. November 16, 2018
Stumbling upon this recipe and it looks amazing! Could it be made with cornbread instead?
 
Amanda H. November 16, 2018
I don't see why not -- sounds like a good combo!
 
cookinalong December 17, 2017
Made this for Thanksgiving 2015 & it was such a hit that it's become a favorite side dish, turkey or not! I don't separate the leaves, but I do run the sprouts through the food processor with the slicing blade to make quick work of shredding. I have also been known to take the shortcut of using a bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix & skipping the bread. Lazy, I know. But it's a shortcut everyone likes, and that's the whole point, isn't it? If you decide to follow me to the cooking hall of shame, just adjust the seasonings. You may need less sage and more pepper, depending on your audience.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. December 20, 2017
You're hilarious, I love this — so many great ideas. Glad to know the shredder attachment works. Will try that next. Thanks!
 
Amanda H. December 17, 2017
I made this for Thanksgiving 2017, to many raves -- if you're lazy (like me), you can just slice the brussels sprouts (with a knife or mandoline), rather than separate the leaves.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. December 20, 2017
So great to hear this! Separating the leaves is a real pain. I imagine sending the sprouts down the food processor chute would also work. Happy holidays!
 
trbriones November 24, 2016
This is the best stuffing I have ever tasted (or made). I made two substantial changes, though: I substituted rainbow chard for the brussels sprouts (I have little kids and can't yet use them as sprout-peeling sous chefs), and I used half the amount of bread. THANK YOU.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 25, 2016
So great to hear all of this!! I love the idea of using chard — thanks for that! — and I love the idea of a higher ratio of vegetables to bread. Nice. Happy Thanksgiving!!
 
KatieBrooks November 14, 2016
can I make this in advance? if I do, what do I need to know/do?
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 15, 2016
Yes! I would assemble it up until the point where it says cover with foil. Stick the covered pan in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Then proceed with recipe. If you want to bake it and reheat it, that can be done too. I would reheat it covered with foil in a 350ºF oven for 15-20 minutes.
 
KatieBrooks November 16, 2016
thanks!<br />
 
Pointer35 November 2, 2016
This looks soo good, just in time to try a new Stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 3, 2016
Yes!
 
Tracy November 2, 2016
I have about 1/2 lb of cubed whole wheat baguette (with crust) in the freezer. Do you think this can be used as part of the bread in this recipe? Any adjustments needed?
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 3, 2016
I think that would be fine! No adjustments necessary. I think as long as you taste and adjust seasoning as necessary in step 5, it will be fine.
 
Ashley L. November 25, 2015
What kind of bread did you use here?
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 25, 2015
Just a chewy, peasant-style loaf. It was from the bakery section of the grocery store, so not fancy, but not sandwich bread. Hope that helps!
 
Nancy November 20, 2015
My family hates brussle sprouts, but the rest of it sounds amazing! Would you just omit the sprouts, or would you do a substitution of some kind? Love crunchy stuffing!!!!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 20, 2015
yeah, just omit them! Will make for much faster prep. If you want something green, however, you could thinly slice kale or chard. No need to pre-cook it.
 
cookinalong November 7, 2015
I made this last year when we did Thanksgiving at my house for 25, but this year we're doing it at oldest son's place and there is, no exaggeration, requests from 2nd cousins for this stuffing. RSVPS are hanging on this!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 7, 2015
Yay!! So happy to hear this. I love it.
 
Pointer35 November 6, 2015
I realize tis is an old recipe, but I'm in love with it today and plan to make for my family Thanksgiving get together.................sounds wonderful.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 7, 2015
Wonderful! Do it :)
 
Sherri S. November 24, 2014
I made this for dinner tonight (!), oh my god amazingly delicious, wow.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 24, 2014
Yay! So happy to hear this!
 
Susan November 18, 2014
Oh yum. I adore stuffing. I adore Brussel sprouts. How can I not adore them together!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 24, 2014
Me, too :)
 
AntoniaJames November 17, 2014
As I've said before and will say again; Cognac, yes. So, so yes. ;o) P.S. Definitely going to try this one, soon.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 17, 2014
Haha, YES, I love it :)
 
AntoniaJames November 17, 2014
I have this crazy urge to make this with cubes of herbed polenta that have been lightly toasted first in the oven, instead of bread. Stay tuned . . . . ;o)
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. November 17, 2014
Oh, yes, please do! That sounds amazing. Staying tuned :)