Giada's Family Stuffing Recipe Only Takes 20 Minutes to Prep—and Fans Say "It's the Best You Will Ever Have"
If you're still scrambling to decide on a stuffing (or dressing) recipe to make for the holidays, don't stress—we may have just stumbled across the perfect one for you. Plenty of families have heirloom Thanksgiving recipes they make year after year, and that includes some of our favorite celeb chefs. We were obsessed with Jennifer Garner's grandmother's sweet potato pudding, and now we have a new recipe to add to the list: Giada De Laurentiis' Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta.
According to a post from The Giadzy, De Laurentiis' cooking blog, this Thanksgiving recipe comes courtesy of Giada's aunt, Raffaella De Laurentiis, aka Aunt Raffy. The recipe uses day-old ciabatta chunks as the bread base for this custardy pan of stuffing, then mixes in pancetta, veggies, fresh herbs, chestnuts, Parmesan cheese, chicken broth and egg. (If you can't track down pancetta at the grocery store, you can swap in bacon.)
To begin the recipe, cook some pancetta in a skillet with butter until it's nice and crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pan and add in more butter, plus chopped onion, carrots, celery, fresh rosemary and garlic and cook for about 12 minutes. When your veggies are tender, stir in the chestnuts and parsley, then add the mixture into a large bowl with your pancetta. Toss in your chunks of ciabatta and grated Parmesan and toss until everything is evenly distributed. Then pour in enough broth to moisten your stuffing—if you prefer a dryer bake, you can limit the broth, or add in even more for a super custardy, steamy pan of stuffing. Be sure to season the stuffing to taste before adding in two eggs and mixing them in well.
When the bowl of stuffing is well mixed, pour the mixture into a 15- by 10-inch baking dish and cover it with a layer of foil coated with a little bit of butter. (If you're trying to dial back on butter, you could spray on a little olive oil instead.) Bake the stuffing for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake on until the top is golden and crisp. In total, the stuffing needs about 45 minutes in the oven.
Plenty of reviewers and commenters are head over heels for this Thanksgiving essential, and they even say that it takes well to modifications. "World's best stuffing recipe," one review reads. "Seriously... My family looks forward to it every year, and last year I made a vegan version which was really tasty too." For a vegan take, you'll want to swap the chicken broth for veggie broth and swap the butter for a vegan version. You'll also want to remove the pancetta, egg and Parmesan cheese. In our vegan stuffing recipes, like our Vegan Sourdough Stuffing, we don't use an egg or meat substitute, but you could pack in more of your favorite veggies or dairy alternatives for a boost of flavor and texture.
If your Thanksgiving menu is all set, you might want to keep this recipe around for later holidays. "Christmas is not Christmas without Giada's stuffing," another reviewer writes. "It's the BEST you will ever have! YUM!" The chestnuts in this recipe definitely make it festive enough to enjoy around the Christmas tree.
No matter what you bring to the Thanksgiving table this year, you're sure to indulge in one of the best meals of the holiday season—try one of our 50 best Thanksgiving recipes if you need a little more holiday inspiration.