Bacon rye bread stuffing with onions is a mouthwatering twist on traditional stuffing that brings together a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. This stuffing is a celebration of rich, savory, and hearty ingredients that make it an irresistible side dish for any holiday feast or special occasion.
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Table of Contents
- Rye Bread Stuffing with Bacon and Onion
- How to Make Bacon Rye Stuffing
- Tips and Tricks To Perfect Bacon Rye Stuffing
- What to Serve With Bacon Rye Stuffing
- Bacon Rye Stuffing
Rye Bread Stuffing with Bacon and Onion
The star of this stuffing is, of course, the bacon. Its smoky, salty, and slightly crispy goodness adds a layer of depth and indulgence to every bite. When the bacon is cooked to perfection, its rendered fat becomes the foundation for sautéing onions and other aromatic elements, infusing the stuffing with a delightful savory essence.
Rye bread, known for its earthy and slightly tangy flavor, replaces traditional white bread in this recipe, offering a unique and robust taste. The bread’s dense texture soaks up the flavorful broth and melds with the other ingredients, resulting in a stuffing that’s simultaneously moist and tender while maintaining a delightful chewiness.
The addition of caramelized onions introduces a touch of sweetness and an extra layer of complexity to the dish. As the onions cook down, they become tender, fragrant, and subtly sweet, enhancing the overall flavor profile. Together with the bacon, rye bread, and a medley of aromatic herbs and spices, this stuffing becomes a savory symphony of flavors that elevates any holiday meal to a new level of deliciousness.
Bacon rye bread stuffing with onions is a crowd-pleaser that balances the rich and savory aspects of a holiday feast. Whether served alongside roast turkey, chicken, or as a delicious stuffing for vegetables, this dish is sure to become a cherished favorite, delivering a fusion of comforting and indulgent flavors to your table.
How to Make Bacon Rye Stuffing
First you will need to assemble the following ingredients:
- Rye Bread Cubes: These serve as the base of the stuffing. Rye bread adds a distinctive, slightly tangy flavor and a dense texture that contrasts nicely with the crispy bacon.
- Bacon: Bacon brings a smoky, salty, and savory element to the stuffing. When it cooks, it releases its flavorful fat, which is used for sautéing the onions and garlic, infusing the entire dish with its delicious essence.
- Onion: Finely chopped onion adds sweetness and depth to the stuffing. As it cooks, the onion becomes tender and aromatic, contributing a rich flavor to the overall dish.
- Garlic: Minced garlic provides a pungent and aromatic quality. It complements the other ingredients and adds a layer of complexity to the stuffing’s taste.
- Butter: Butter is used for sautéing the onions and garlic. It imparts a rich and buttery flavor to the stuffing, contributing to its overall richness and creaminess.
- Dried Herbs (Sage, Thyme, Rosemary): These dried herbs infuse the stuffing with earthy, herbaceous notes. Sage adds a touch of warmth and depth, thyme contributes subtle mint-like undertones, and rosemary offers a pine-like aroma.
- Salt and Pepper: These seasonings are essential for balancing the flavors in the stuffing. Salt enhances the overall taste, while black pepper adds a hint of mild spiciness.
- Chicken or Vegetable Broth: Broth provides moisture to the stuffing, preventing it from becoming too dry. It also imparts a savory depth of flavor and ensures that the stuffing binds together.
- Chopped Fresh Parsley (Optional): Fresh parsley adds a pop of color and a fresh, herbaceous flavor to the finished dish. It serves as a vibrant garnish.
- Together, these ingredients create a harmonious and flavorful bacon rye stuffing. The smokiness of the bacon, the earthy herbs, the aromatic onions and garlic, and the savory richness of butter and broth all come together to make this stuffing a delectable side dish, perfect for Thanksgiving or any other festive meal. Whether served alongside roast poultry or as a standalone dish, bacon rye stuffing is sure to satisfy with its hearty, comforting flavors.
After you gather ingredients, we will use this method:
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Prepare the Bread Cubes: If your rye bread isn’t already stale, you can toast the cubed bread in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes until it’s dried and slightly crispy. Alternatively, you can leave it out to air-dry for a day or two.
- Cook Bacon and Onion: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until it becomes crispy, then remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet. In the same skillet, add the chopped onions and cook until they become translucent and slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Add Butter and Herbs: Add the butter to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Once the butter is melted, stir in the dried sage, thyme, rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Allow the herbs and spices to infuse into the butter for a couple of minutes.
- Combine Bread and Bacon: In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted rye bread cubes and the cooked bacon. Pour the melted butter and onion mixture over the bread and bacon. Toss everything together until the bread is evenly coated.
- Moisten with Broth: Gradually pour the chicken or vegetable broth over the bread mixture. Start with 2 cups and add more if needed. You want the mixture to be moist but not overly soggy. Stir gently to combine. The broth will help bind the stuffing together.
- Bake: Transfer the stuffing mixture into a greased baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
- Uncover and Continue Baking: After 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top of the stuffing is golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Garnish and Serve: Once the bacon rye stuffing is done, you can garnish it with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness. Serve it alongside your favorite roast meats or as a delicious side dish for your holiday meal.
Tips and Tricks To Perfect Bacon Rye Stuffing
Use Stale Bread: To ensure your stuffing has the right texture, use stale rye bread. You can either let fresh rye bread sit out for a day or toast it in the oven until it’s slightly crispy. Stale bread absorbs flavors and moisture better.
Choose Quality Bacon: Opt for high-quality bacon that has a good balance of meat and fat. The bacon will infuse your stuffing with its smoky and savory flavors, so its quality matters.
Render Bacon Properly: When cooking the bacon, make sure to render it until it’s crispy. This not only provides a satisfying crunch to your stuffing but also releases bacon fat that can be used to sauté the onions and herbs.
Caramelize Onions: Take your time caramelizing the onions. Slow-cooked onions develop a sweet and savory flavor that complements the richness of the bacon and the earthiness of the rye bread.
Choose the Right Herbs: Dried sage, thyme, and rosemary are classic choices for stuffing, but you can adjust the herbs to your preference. Fresh herbs can also be used for a burst of freshness.
Adjust Seasoning: Taste your stuffing mixture before baking and adjust the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Remember that the saltiness of your bacon and broth can vary, so it’s essential to taste and season accordingly.
Gradually Add Broth: When adding the chicken or vegetable broth, do it gradually. You want the stuffing to be moist but not soggy. It’s easier to add more broth if needed than to try and dry out an overly wet stuffing.
Cover While Baking: Cover the baking dish with foil for the first part of the baking time. This will help steam the stuffing and keep it moist. Remove the foil for the last part of the baking time to achieve a crispy top.
Fresh Herbs for Garnish: Consider using fresh herbs like chopped parsley or chives as a garnish when serving. These fresh herbs can add a pop of color and brightness to the dish.
Rest Before Serving: Allow the stuffing to rest for a few minutes before serving. This gives the flavors a chance to meld together, and the stuffing will hold together better when scooping it out.
Customize: Feel free to customize your stuffing by adding ingredients like sautéed mushrooms, chopped nuts, or dried fruits for extra flavor and texture.
While rye bread is traditional for this recipe, you can experiment with other bread types like sourdough, whole wheat, or even a mix for a unique flavor. Just ensure it’s slightly dried or toasted for the best texture.
Yes, you can prepare the stuffing ahead of time. Assemble it up to the point of baking, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, bake it in the preheated oven. You may need to add a little extra baking time since it’s starting from a cold temperature.
Yes, you can make vegetarian or vegan variations. For a vegetarian version, skip the bacon and use vegetable broth. For a vegan version, omit the bacon and butter, use vegetable broth, and substitute vegan butter or oil. Ensure that your bread and other ingredients are vegan-friendly.
Absolutely! You can personalize this stuffing by adding ingredients like sautéed mushrooms, diced apples, chopped nuts, dried cranberries, or fresh herbs like parsley or sage. Just be mindful of the quantities to maintain a balanced texture.
To reheat leftover stuffing, you can place it in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and warm it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until it’s heated through. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.
Yes, you can freeze leftover stuffing. Ensure it’s cooled to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Label with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Absolutely, you can use turkey or chicken sausage as a leaner alternative to bacon. Simply cook the sausage until it’s browned and crumbled before adding it to the stuffing mixture.
Store leftover stuffing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you need to store it longer, consider freezing it.
What to Serve With Bacon Rye Stuffing
Roast Turkey: Bacon rye stuffing is a classic companion to roast turkey. It complements the flavors of the turkey and adds a savory element to your holiday meal.
Roast Chicken: Whether it’s a whole roast chicken or chicken pieces, the rich and smoky flavors of bacon rye stuffing work beautifully with poultry.
Pork Roast: Consider serving bacon rye stuffing alongside a succulent pork roast. The combination of the savory stuffing and tender pork is a match made in heaven.
Beef Roast: A well-seasoned beef roast, such as prime rib or sirloin, can be an excellent partner for bacon rye stuffing. The stuffing’s hearty texture complements the richness of beef.
Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: For a vegetarian option, pair bacon rye stuffing with an assortment of grilled or roasted vegetables. The stuffing adds substance and flavor to the vegetable medley.
Cranberry Sauce: The tartness of cranberry sauce contrasts beautifully with the savory and smoky notes of bacon rye stuffing. It’s a classic Thanksgiving combination.
Gravy: A rich, homemade gravy drizzled over the bacon rye stuffing can enhance its flavors and add extra moisture. It’s a fantastic addition if you’re serving poultry.
Green Beans: Steamed or roasted green beans provide a fresh and vibrant side dish that complements the hearty stuffing.
Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes and bacon rye stuffing create a comforting and satisfying combination. Top with gravy for extra indulgence.
Salad: A crisp and refreshing salad, such as a simple garden salad with vinaigrette, can balance the richness of the stuffing.
Cranberry Relish: In addition to cranberry sauce, consider offering a homemade cranberry relish for a tangy and sweet contrast.
Cornbread: If you want to double up on the stuffing, serve a side of cornbread alongside your bacon rye stuffing. The two stuffing variations can complement each other.
Fruit Compote: A warm fruit compote with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg can add a touch of sweetness to your meal and pair nicely with the savory stuffing.
Bacon Rye Stuffing
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- 6 cups rye bread, cubed (preferably stale)
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (adjust for desired moisture)
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- If your rye bread isn’t already stale, you can toast the cubed bread in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes until it’s dried and slightly crispy. Alternatively, you can leave it out to air-dry for a day or two.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until it becomes crispy, then remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet. In the same skillet, add the chopped onions and cook until they become translucent and slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Add the butter to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Once the butter is melted, stir in the dried sage, thyme, rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Allow the herbs and spices to infuse into the butter for a couple of minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted rye bread cubes and the cooked bacon. Pour the melted butter and onion mixture over the bread and bacon. Toss everything together until the bread is evenly coated.
- Gradually pour the chicken or vegetable broth over the bread mixture. Start with 2 cups and add more if needed. You want the mixture to be moist but not overly soggy. Stir gently to combine. The broth will help bind the stuffing together.
- Transfer the stuffing mixture into a greased baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top of the stuffing is golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Once the bacon rye stuffing is done, you can garnish it with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness. Serve it alongside your favorite roast meats or as a delicious side dish for your holiday meal.
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HexClad Hybrid Nonstick Frying Pan, 12-Inch, Stay-Cool Handle, Dishwasher and Oven Safe, Induction Ready, Compatible with All Cooktops
Mora Ceramic Baking Dish with Handles For Casserole, Lasagna, Gratin, Broiling, Roasting, and Baking. Large 9×13 in Pan, Extra Deep – Porcelain Serving Bakeware from Oven to Table. Freezer Safe – White
Serving Size about 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 93mgSodium 657mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 27g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix – please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
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