Chestnut, bacon & cranberry stuffing

Chestnut, bacon & cranberry stuffing

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(27 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus 1 hour to soak the cranberries


Makes 24 stuffing balls
This festive stuffing brings together all the trimmings in one gorgeous mass

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per stuffing ball

  • kcal123
  • fat7g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.65g
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  • 100g dried cranberries


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 50ml ruby port
  • 1 small onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 rashers unsmoked back bacon, cut into strips
  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 450g sausagemeat
  • 140g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 140g peeled, cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped



    'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' that kitsch old Nat King Cole song perfectly…

  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…


  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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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (39)

Anniebrat's picture

This chestnut stuffing recipe is the best I have ever was absolutely delicious. I used a good quality sausage meat as I was quite concerned after reading wilbo1's comments but it worked perfectly. I added some chestnut mushrooms and an extra egg, baked it in a small, well greased, lasagne dish, with a baco foil cover at gas mark 5 on the middle shelf until it was cooked right through. Everyone loved it and we will be having it every Christmas from now on.

Anniebrat's picture

We are having an early Christmas lunch with family members today, I made this stuffing last night, it looks and smells delicious and I can't wait to taste it. Will let you know later.

aimee66uk's picture

These are lovely, I made them last Christmas the week before Christmas Day and froze them on a baking tray (uncooked), got them out Christmas Eve to defrost and placed straight in the oven on Xmas day, perfect and a real time saver!

abident's picture

These are amazing. I made them last year and will be making them again- now!

dawnshields1's picture

Amazeballs! Have made these for past 3 years and always go down very well. I make them Christmas eve usually, they keep very well in the fridge and are delicious cold for tea or on boxing day.(that's if you have any left!)

granniec's picture

These are delicious and come highly recommended. We have made them for the last two years and they're a firm favourite.

clairecourtney's picture

Can I freeze this? If so at which step please?

clairejen's picture

I have made these for the last 3 Christmases, the best stuffing I have made, even better in bubble and squeak!

doodle89's picture

Could anybody tell me if this could be made in a loaf tin so I could just carve it at the table?? Thanks x

sharonbk's picture

used apple instead of chestnuts! dried cranberries available in health food shops and aldi. also made a batch with turkey sausage meat...really tasty!! (made 2nd batch cos 1st 1 devoured by hungry sons!..was preparing for freezer for Christmas day!). I cooked them fully and plan to heat through in oven on the day.

amr9864's picture

Gorgeous, well worth the effort. These are the best stuffing balls I have ever tasted. Great cold too.

jeralie's picture

I have been trawling stuffing recipes over the last few days and this one seems to have some of the best reviews. I would like to try and make it ahead of time though and the freeze it. If anyone has done this successfully could you please advise at what point in the recipe you froze it?
Thanks - will post a review when I have made it. Will be interesting as I have not yet managed to make a stuffing that my family & visitors really like!

Little_BC's picture

Hi Jeralie,

Did you freeze these in the end? I'd like to do the same for Christmas Day :)

joannepd's picture

Really tasty with the Christmas turkey and just as good cold the next day. I used a sausage meat from Morrisons which had some cranberries added to it already and this enhanced the fruity flavour. Will definitely make again .

dollmakers's picture

Looked jewelled, tasted sublime (the many leftovers lasted until the following morning...just), wonderfully festive - can't wait to make them again next year!

chef-supreme's picture

Absolutely delicious! I made them for Christmas Day this year, and they were fab!!!

catcalledcharlie's picture

Delicious! Kitchen smells divine! Just like Christmas should! Will be freezing for Christmas day... that is if they last that long, may have tucked in before then!

chessyalden's picture

A definite recipe for the Christmas feast next year. Homemade stuffing is so easy to do, and gives domestic goddess brownie points for minimum effort!

absfabmum's picture

Very tasty although doubled the amount of port suggested to the cranberries and warmed slowly on the hob to speed up the process.

janewebb's picture

Made these for Christmas and will never buy stuffing again. Easy to make and delicious what more could you ask!


Questions (5)

fitnessjonas's picture

I want to make these but don't have any port. What can I exchange it for. On Christmas Day I need to make alcohol free stuffing could I soak the cranberries in something else?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hello, you can use orange juice or just boiling water. There are lots of flavours in this stuffing so it is fine to leave out the port if you want to.



vhallam's picture

I would like to make my chestnut stuffing in advance but i'm not sure if i can freeze it? Does anyone know?

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes this will freeze for up to 1 month in a freezer bag. If you want to shape the mixture into balls in advance, open freeze them on a tray before packing into a container interleaved with cling film or baking parchment. Thaw in the fridge.

PinkLady_83's picture

Can people let me know what meats they have eaten this with - i was thinking of doing pork for Christmas (family do not like turkey) and wondered if people will think this will be okay? Thank you x

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