This cranberry and pistachio dressing is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving Day feast. It is flavored with bacon, sage, rosemary, and thyme. This is a perfect compliment to the rest of your favorite sides for the big day.
I have always had a hit or miss experience when it comes to dressing during Thanksgiving. Sometimes they have been too wet or too dry or too bland and I need to use a lot of gravy. Well, this was my way to rectify the situation. This dressing is so easy to make, and it tastes great. Try it this year for your Thanksgiving Day meal and watch how quickly this dressing disappears from everyone’s plate.
In this recipe
There are a few ingredients in this recipe, however they come together quite easily which makes this recipe a great one to make on a busy holiday.
Bread: you want to make sure your bread is a day old and a little dry in order to absorb all of the chicken broth.
Pistachios: will add texture as well as flavor to the dressing. Feel free to chop them smaller if you don’t want whole nuts in your dressing. I chop about half of them.
Cranberries: will add some tartness to the dressing
Bacon: adds some smokiness to the dressing as well as some additional texture to the dressing. You can chop the bits smaller if desired.
Cooking the vegetables
I like to just use butter as there is a lot of bacon already in the dish, however, feel free to use bacon drippings to cook the vegetables. Once the shallots and celery have softened then you want to add the herbs and garlic. This will allow the herbs to release their oils and flavors into the entire mixture. This will make sure the flavor is dispersed evenly through the dressing. They only need a minute to cook since you don’t want the garlic to burn.
Crispy bacon for the win
One of the things I like in this dressing is the nice crispy bacon. The key to this is cooking them on medium heat as well as cutting them before cooking. By cutting the bacon before cooking it makes it easier and faster to cook the bacon than if it were whole as you increase surface area. You can also cook them in the oven if your stove is otherwise occupied. This is also a step that can be prepared a day or two in advance to save time on the big day.
Baking the cranberry and pistachio dressing
While there are some recipes that have you cover the dressing, first this is one you will want to cook uncovered. The cranberries will release additional liquid into the dressing so baking uncovered will help keep it from getting soggy. You can stir the dressing about halfway through the dressing but that may cause the cranberries to burst. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing it will also help dry out dressing as well.
Looking for other Thanksgiving recipes?
Cranberry and Pistachio Dressing
- 9 x 13 inch baking dish
- Mixing Bowl
- 12 cups bread cut into ½ inch cubes
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ¾ pound bacon chopped into small pieces
- 1 ½ cup celery chopped
- 1 ½ cup shallots chopped
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 cup pistachios shelled
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 3 tablespoons garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons sage chopped
- 2 tablespoons rosemary chopped
- 2 tablespoons thyme fresh
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, 177°C, or gas mark 4. Grease a 9 x 13-inch backing dish.
- In a skillet heat the butter over medium high heat, add the celery and shallots and cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sage and cook for another 1 minute longer.
- Once the celery mixture is cooked, remove it from the skillet and place it into a mixing bowl. Return the skillet to the heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the drippings.
- In a mixing bowl combine the bread, bacon, celery mixture, cranberries, pistachios and chicken stock. Gently toss to mix well.
- Pour the dressing into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy on top.
- Allow to cool for 5 -10 minutes before serving.