Mushroom Stuffing Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min.
Try this mushroom stuffing recipe when you need a savory side dish that can serve several people. Packaged cornbread stuffing mix helps get this recipe ready in a little over an hour.

Updated: Jun. 07, 2024

Stuffing gets its name from the fact that it’s supposed to be cooked while stuffed in the cavity of a turkey or other poultry. But that type of cooking carries a couple of risks: food poisoning and overcooking the bird. Stuffing contains a lot of bread that’s very absorbent, and the idea behind cooking it inside a bird is that the juices from the meat will drip into the stuffing, providing a lot of extra flavor. The problem is that having all that stuffing inside the bird creates a large mass that the heat from the oven can’t always penetrate. You risk ending up with stuffing that has undercooked poultry juice that potentially contains bacteria. But if you try to cook everything so that the center of the stuffing reaches a safe temperature, the meat itself becomes overcooked and dry.

The answer is to prepare the stuffing like dressing. Stuffing and dressing are essentially the same thing, only dressing is baked in a pan by itself. At least it is in traditional preparations. Nowadays, the real difference between the two is purely based on name and region, with Southerners calling the mixture dressing even if they stuff it inside a turkey, and everyone else calling the mixture stuffing even if they bake it on its own. This mushroom stuffing recipe is baked, and it’s a crowd-pleaser.

Mushroom Stuffing Ingredients

  • Bacon strips: Bacon fat melts during cooking and infuses the stuffing with a salty, umami flavor.
  • Celery ribs: Celery looks unassuming, but it’s a flavor powerhouse when cooked and added to food. The celery and the onion in this recipe also change the texture of the stuffing, giving you something relatively crunchy compared with the broth-softened bread.
  • Onion: Chopped onion softens and develops a sweeter flavor after being sauteed.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are, obviously, the central ingredient of this recipe.
  • Sage: Rubbed sage (not ground) provides flavor that’s light and works well with the bacon and mushrooms.
  • Cornbread stuffing: Cornbread adds bulk to the recipe. Use a packaged mix to save time.
  • Celery leaves: Celery leaves, like the ribs, add a lot of flavor. Use the paler leaves from the center of the celery bunch, as those have a more delicate flavor. Darker leaves tend to have a bolder flavor, and you don’t want one flavor dominating everything else.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley is another flavoring agent. It provides a slightly sharper flavor, although it shouldn’t overpower other flavors at all.
  • Eggs: You have to bind all the stuffing mix somehow, and eggs keep everything together. They create structure and act as a leavening agent, which helps the stuffing mixture rise a bit and become less dense.
  • Chicken broth: Broth provides the moisture necessary to ensure the stuffing doesn’t end up as a thick, dry mass.
  • Butter: Just before baking, you’ll add dots of butter to the top of the stuffing. The butter will melt and give the stuffing a buttery taste and aroma.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the bacon

Place the diced bacon in a skillet and cook it till crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and place it on a paper towel or oil-absorbing paper. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan; discard the rest.

Editor’s Tip: You can save extra bacon grease for future use.

Step 2: Cook the celery, onion and mushrooms

Add the celery and onion to the pan, and saute them in the bacon drippings. When those are tender, add the mushrooms, sage, salt and pepper; cook and stir for about five minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 3: Prepare the rest of the stuffing

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the stuffing mix, celery leaves, parsley and bacon. In another bowl, combine the eggs and broth, then add those to the stuffing mixture.

Step 4: Bake the stuffing

Add the stuffing mixture to a greased 13×9-inch pan (this could fill up the entire pan). Dot bits of butter on top of the stuffing, then cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until stuffing temperature reaches 165°. Uncover, and bake 10 minutes longer, until lightly browned.

Mushroom Stuffing Variations

  • Try different mushrooms: You’re not limited to one type of mushroom for this stuffing. Try white or button mushrooms for a milder, less mushroomy flavor, or cut up some cremini mushrooms for flavor that’s still mild but more mushroom-like. You could try slicing up fresh or rehydrated shiitake mushrooms too. This recipe is easy enough to make that you could halve it and make a few variations to try.
  • Make your own cornbread: Using a packaged mix saves a lot of time, but if you prefer, you could bake up your own cornbread and crumble it once it’s cooled down. Use a recipe that doesn’t include sugar.

How to Store Mushroom Stuffing

This recipe stores very well in both the refrigerator and freezer. Divide up the stuffing, preferably into individual portions, and put them in airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you want to freeze the stuffing, divide it into individual portions (otherwise you’ll have to let the entire block of stuffing thaw in order to cut off one piece). Place each in freezer-friendly bags or containers, and use within three months.

Can you make mushroom stuffing ahead of time?

If you’re using your own cornbread recipe, make the cornbread the day before, for example, and chop or mince anything that needs to be chopped or minced. Store each prepared vegetable and herb in separate containers, and add enough water to the celery container to cover the chopped bits. As for the rest of the stuffing recipe, try to make it the day you need it. It makes so much food that trying to reheat the entire pan could take longer than anticipated, or it might not reheat fully, leading to a food-safety issue.

Mushroom Stuffing Tips

Can you cook this like traditional stuffing inside a turkey instead?

Cooking this stuffing inside a turkey isn’t a good idea. This recipe is meant for baking in a pan only, and there’s no guarantee that it would turn out the same if you tried to cook it as traditional stuffing inside a turkey. Plus, you’d be at risk of not cooking the stuffing enough, or overcooking the turkey in the name of food safety.

How do you discard bacon drippings?

If you aren’t going to save the rest of the bacon grease, you can discard it. But be careful. First, don’t pour it down the drain; it will cool and congeal into a clog. Second, don’t try to throw it in the trash while it’s hot. Pour off the grease that you’re not using or saving into a heat-safe cup that you’ve lined with foil. Let the grease cool and solidify, then throw the foil and grease into the trash.

How do you avoid stuffing that’s too moist?

This recipe calls for 2-1/2 cups of chicken broth, which sounds like a lot. It’s obviously easier to add broth than to remove it, so if you’re concerned that 2-1/2 cups will be too much, reserve 1/2 cup or so, mix the eggs with the remaining 2 cups and add that mixture to the stuffing mix. Wait a few minutes after adding the mixture, then check to see if any broth has dripped to the bottom of the bowl. If you don’t see any, add another 1/4 cup of broth. Repeat mixing and waiting, adding the last 1/4 cup if needed.

Mushroom Stuffing

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 40 min
Yield 13 cups.

Ingredients

  • 4 bacon strips, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (16 ounces) cornbread stuffing
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings.
  2. Saute celery and onion in drippings until tender. Add mushrooms, sage, salt and pepper; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the stuffing, celery leaves, parsley and bacon. Combine eggs and broth. Stir into stuffing mixture.
  3. Spread in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish (dish will be full). Dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes and stuffing temperature reaches 165°. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 235 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 764mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein.

I first tried this stuffing a few years ago, and it quickly became our family's favorite. Just flavor a hearty cornbread mix with mushrooms and bacon and taste the spectacular results. —Kathy Traetow, Waverly, Iowa