It’s the first day of November, so it is time to turn our thoughts to the Thanksgiving holiday menu. And my holiday menu always includes this dressing with bacon and mushrooms.
My late mother-in-law was always trying new recipes. One year, when she and Pops left Kansas to spend the holidays with us here in Arizona, she brought this dressing recipe. I thought it was delicious and have been in love with it ever since.
I love this dressing because it calls for fresh ingredients. Another reason I love it is because it doesn’t call for celery. I don’t have anything against celery. It’s just that I like this dressing the way it is.
Over the years I have shared this recipe with friends and co-workers when they wanted ideas on what to take to holiday parties. They always came back saying the dish was a huge hit, often being the first on the table to disappear. Therefore, I thought it would be a great dish to share here!
Let’s See What Goes into This Bacon Dressing with Mushrooms
See what I mean by fresh ingredients? Fresh basil, parsley, mushrooms, and even fresh bread. Seems like most dressing recipes call for dry bread. However, with fresh bread the texture is completely different.
In addition to the fresh ingredients, this dressing is the bomb because, I’ll just go ahead and say it, there is no lack of fat. One whole package of bacon and one full cup of butter. I know, but it is SO GOOD!
Let’s Look at the Steps
Start by getting a big bowl in which to mix the dressing. Making this dish is like one of those new recipe videos where they just keep adding ingredients to a single vessel.
Next, cube the entire loaf of bread. I stack 4 slices at a time. Then I use a serrated knife and cut three equal lengths one way, and cross-cut three equal lengths the other way. Repeat until the entire loaf has been cubed. By the way, I use the heels too.
After cubing the bread, coarsely chop the entire onion and slice the mushrooms. Then sauté the onion and the mushrooms in separate pans, both in 1/2 stick of butter each. Yeah, that’s where part of the moisture for the dressing comes from.
Cook them only until just softened. You want them to retain their shape and texture in the finished dressing and not get mushy.
It’s important to scrape the cooking pans clean as you pour the onions and mushrooms onto the bread cubes. You will want every drop of butter to come with them. Then give the mixture a good stir to distribute everything evenly.
Then stir in the bacon and pecans.
Next add the basil and parsley, and stir again.
Then add the nutmeg and paprika. This is also the time to add your salt. Stir everything really well and taste it for seasoning. Set your salt level at this stage unless you are using salted stock in the next step. If using salted stock, allow for the stock to finish salting the dressing.
Finally, drizzle the stock over the dressing instead of dumping it all in one place. You want everything to be equally moistened. Stir very well.
I find that one cup is the perfect amount for the texture of my dressing. But if you want yours a little wetter, add more stock.
Pour the dressing into a prepared 11 x 8.25 baking dish. Be sure to spread it evenly and into the corners.
Then into the oven it goes for 20-30 minutes.
And it comes out looking like this and smelling like heaven. It is so delicious, and baconey, and mushroomy, and herby!
Either eat it plain or doused with your holiday gravy. You can’t go wrong either way.
But don’t forget to let me know how it turned out!
- 1 loaf of sliced sandwich bread, white
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter (1/2 cup each)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 8-ounce package of fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup chicken or turkey stock
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Cube the entire loaf of bread and add to a large bowl.
- Sauté the onion in ½ cup of butter just until softened, then add to the cubed bread.
- Stir well.
- Sauté the mushrooms in ½ cup of butter, then add to the bread and onion.
- Stir well.
- Add the bacon, pecans, parsley, and basil then stir.
- Add the nutmeg and paprika and salt to taste, then stir again.
- Drizzle the stock in a slow circle over the mixture and stir well to distribute the moisture evenly, adding more stock if preferring a wetter dressing.
- Pour dressing into a buttered 11 x 8.25 baking dish.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until browned on top but still moist inside.
- Serve hot.