If you’re looking to change up your traditional stuffing this pancetta apple fennel brioche stuffing is just what you need! Buttery brioche bread mixed with sweet apples, fennel, dried cranberries, and salty pancetta come together to create the BEST stuffing!
I know we are super close to Thanksgiving but I have one more recipe just in case you’re doing some last minute menu planning.
I actually forgot I made this stuffing because if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that I’m still not organized.
BUT lets get over the fact that I almost forget to post this recipe and get to talking about this AMAZING stuffing!
It’s packed with salty pancetta, sweet apples, flavorful fennel, and buttery brioche bread.
While it’s not necessarily traditional it sure is delicious!
What is brioche bread?
Brioche bread is a light, soft, and made with lots of eggs and butter and is just honestly one of the best breads ever.
It has a butter flavor with a super soft texture.
Where can I buy brioche bread?
Nowadays you can typically find brioche bread in almost any grocery store.
I have seen in on a regular basis at both Trader Joes and Whole Foods.
If you cannot find brioche bread you can substitute it with challah bread or soft potato bread.
What is pancetta?
If you have never had pancetta you’re in a for a real treat!
It’s basically a cured pork salumi.
It’s flavored with juniper berries, garlic, rosemary, and tastes very porky in flavor.
In essence it’s a lot like streaky bacon but with out the smoky flavor.
Where can I buy pancetta?
I typically find pancetta in the deli section of the grocery store.
Sometimes it’s sold pre-packaged (sliced or chopped) near the other Italian packaged meats or you can find it freshly sliced in the deli.
If you’re buying your pancetta from the deli counter ask for it thick cut because it will dice up easier.
What is the best apple to use in this stuffing?
My personal favorite apple to use in this dish is a tart apple.
So, for me, that means granny smith.
Which is super easy to find and normally found year round in most grocery stores.
If you can’t find granny smith, or are looking for a less tart apple, you can substitute it with McIntosh, Cortland, or a Jonathon apple.
Do I have to taste my bread for stuffing?
In my opinion, YES!
Since you’re adding stock to the stuffing you’re bread will lightly soak up the bread and then when it cooks it wil turn out perfectly moist wihtout being soggy.
However, if you use soft fresh bread it will soak up the liquid and can turn out soft and soggy.
Pro tip: hate keeping chicken stock cartons in the pantry? I love keeping better than bouillon in my fridge! It means I can have all the stock I need on hand!
Do you love this pancetta apple fennel brioche stuffing?
Why not try a few of my other stuffing recipes!
- Thanksgiving Stuffing Topped Hummus
- Bacon Corn Sourdough Stuffing
- Texas Toast Stuffing
- Potato Bread Sausage Cranberry Stuffing
- Chorizo Sheet Pan Stuffing
- Sourdough Kale Sausage Bacon Stuffing
- Pumpkin Cornbread Chicken Sausage Stuffing
- Sage and Cornbread Stuffing
- 6 cups brioche bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 ounce diced pancetta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel
- 1 cup peeled diced tart apple
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1-1/2 cup chicken stock
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- On 1 or 2 rimmed sheet pans (depending on size) add cubed bread and spread out onto 1 layer.
- Add bread to the oven, cook for 5 minutes, toss, and brown for another 5 minutes or until the bread is toasted and lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the rest of the filling.
- Set a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the pancetta to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until the pancetta starts to render some of its fat.
- Add the unsalted butter to the skillet and after it melts add-in the sliced fennel.
- Cook for 5 minutes or just until it starts to soften.
- Add in the diced apple, shallots, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
- Stir together and saute for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl add sauteed vegetables, toasted bread, dried cranberries, and chicken stock.
- Stir together until well mixed.
- Taste, and season with the desired amount of kosher salt and black pepper.
- Add mixture to a 9x13 pan and add to the preheated oven.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
- If the mixture starts to brown too quickly you can lightly cover the stuffing with foil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 860Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 258mgSodium: 835mgCarbohydrates: 103gFiber: 5gSugar: 38gProtein: 18g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.