Chestnut, bacon & cranberry stuffing

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
This festive stuffing brings together all the trimmings in one gorgeous mass

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:40 mins
    Plus 1 hour to soak the cranberries
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 123
  • fat 7g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 12g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 4g
  • salt 0.65g


  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 50ml ruby port
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 rashers unsmoked back bacon, cut into strips
  • 50g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 450g sausagemeat
  • 140g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 140g peeled, cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten


Choose the best chestnuts
The best fresh chestnuts come from Italy, France or Spain. They should be glossy-skinned and plump, and weigh heavy in the hand – a sure sign of a good fat nut lurking inside. To save time, buy them freshly roasted from a friendly street vendor and peel while still warm on the way home.


  1. Soak the cranberries in the port for an hour. Fry the onion and bacon gently in the butter, until the onion is tender and the bacon is cooked. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so.

  2. Cool slightly, then mix with all the remaining ingredients, including the cranberries and port, adding enough egg to bind – I find it easiest to use my hands. Fry a knob of stuffing in a little butter, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

  3. To Cook: This stuffing can be baked in a dish, or rolled into balls that will be crisp on the outside and moist inside. To bake, press the stuffing into a greased ovenproof dish in a layer that is around 4cm thick. Bake at 190C/gas 5/fan 170C for about 40 minutes, until browned and, in the case of sausagemeat stuffing, cooked right through. Alternatively, roll into balls that are about 4cm in diameter. Roast the stuffing balls in hot fat (they can be tucked around the turkey or done in a roasting tin of their own) for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and nicely browned on the outside.

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