Chestnut, bacon & cranberry stuffing

Chestnut, bacon & cranberry stuffing

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(31 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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26th Dec, 2016
Used this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was an absolute winner. Will definitely use it again. Fab-u-lous....... I followed the recipe to the letter and the end result was delicious. Worthy of more than 5 stars :-) I won't be using any other one from now on.
27th Dec, 2014
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.
23rd Dec, 2014
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.
29th Nov, 2014
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!
30th Oct, 2014
These are amazing. I made them last year and will be making them again- now!
20th Dec, 2013
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!)
18th Dec, 2013
These are delicious and come highly recommended. We have made them for the last two years and they're a firm favourite.
24th Nov, 2013
Can I freeze this? If so at which step please?
11th Jan, 2013
I have made these for the last 3 Christmases, the best stuffing I have made, even better in bubble and squeak!
16th Dec, 2012
Could anybody tell me if this could be made in a loaf tin so I could just carve it at the table?? Thanks x


10th Nov, 2017
Sorry, had another question. Can I use jarred already peeled Chestnuts for this recipe? This jar simply says "cooked" , do you think it will have the right flavor? thank you!
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Nov, 2017
Yes, that should work well.
10th Nov, 2017
I really want to make this but have a question about the sausage. Here in the US sausage is all about type and flavors. What kind of sausage is intended for use in this recipe. Is it just a plain ground pork? what type of seasonings work best? sausage here would have sage, be sweet or hot italian. or plain. also have specialty chicken sausage with herbs added. not sure which direction to go for best marriage between other flavors in recipe. Any suggestions? appreciate help.
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. Sausagemeat would usually be ground pork and may include a small amount of flour, seasoning and spices such as nutmeg, herbs such as parsley or sage. Hope that helps.
21st Dec, 2015
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
22nd Dec, 2015
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.  
12th Dec, 2015
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
18th Dec, 2015
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.
30th Oct, 2015
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
21st Dec, 2017
Add 1 small bramley apple, 2tbls dried sage and use a pkt of Lancashire sausages (skinned) for a tasty but more child friendly flavour