Stuffing With Mushrooms, Leeks and Bacon Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Stuffing With Mushrooms, Leeks and Bacon Recipe (1)

Total Time
2 to 2½ hours
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Discord swarms around the issue of stuffing. Should it be cooked in the bird or baked alongside, as dressing? White or corn bread? Firm enough to slice or soft as pudding? Call this recipe the peacemaker, because it’s adaptable enough to make everyone happy. You can use white or corn bread (and gluten-free corn bread works perfectly). The mushrooms allow vegetarians to nix the bacon without sacrificing all the flavor. We advocate baking it separately (which technically makes it dressing), but if you want to stuff the turkey, you can do that, too.

Featured in: Essential Thanksgiving

Learn: Melissa Clark’s Thanksgiving

Learn: How to Cook a Turkey

Learn: How to Make Stuffing

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Yield:8 to 10 servings

  • 3tablespoons melted butter, more as needed for greasing pan
  • pounds sliced white bread or corn bread
  • ½pound thick-cut bacon
  • 2large leeks, trimmed and sliced (3 cups)
  • pounds mixed mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾teaspoon black pepper
  • 2tablespoons chopped sage
  • ½cup dry white wine
  • cups chicken stock, more as needed
  • ¼cup apple cider, if using white bread
  • 3tablespoons chopped parsley

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

359 calories; 16 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams sugars; 14 grams protein; 575 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Stuffing With Mushrooms, Leeks and Bacon Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Heat oven to 250 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Trim the crusts from the white bread and cut into 1-inch cubes; if using corn bread, coarsely crumble it. Spread the bread pieces out on one or two large baking sheets. Toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until very dry, about 30 minutes for white bread, 1 hour for corn bread. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.

  2. Step


    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon strips until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the leeks to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until mushrooms are tender and most of their juices have evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, about 2 minutes.

  3. Step


    Spoon the mushroom mixture over the dried bread. Stir in stock. If using white bread, stir in the cider. Add parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. The mixture should be moist and very soft. If you like your stuffing extremely moist, add enough stock to make it seem slightly soggy but not wet. (Think pudding.) Crumble bacon and stir it in.

  4. Step


    Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared baking pan. Drizzle 3 tablespoons melted butter over the stuffing. Bake until golden, 35 to 45 minutes.



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Cooking Notes


To make the cooking less hands-on and dirty fewer pans, I laid the bacon in the bottom of the casserole dish and topped it with the leeks and mushrooms. I cooked it at 400 until the bacon was crispy and the vegetables cooked, stirring occasionally and adding chopped pecans during the last 5 minutes. I also used hard cider rather than the wine and regular cider.
I brought it to the teacher Thanksgiving lunch today and have already had several requests for the recipe.


I made this and was surprised to find I didn't like it with bacon. I did like adding celery.


Yes. Make ahead. Works just fine the way you're planning.

Janis Hirsch

In 40+ years of either making bad stuffing or begging someone else to bring it, I have finally found THE PERFECT recipe. And here's the bonus: I assembled but not baked it a day ahead of time, then brought it to room temp and cooked as directed. This is a wonderful recipe.


Three years running I've used this base recipe. It's always great, but my story? I've never once used bacon (vegetarians in my family) or mushrooms (don't really care for them myself) and it always comes out a winner. I do substitute a lot of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.


Excellent recipe! I agree with the comment that it's best not to leave this until Thanksgiving morning. I made the cornbread on Monday, then did steps 1-3 on Wednesday and put it in the fridge. I took it out of the fridge an hour before the turkey was done on Thursday, then added about half a cup of stock and baked it when the turkey came out. It was a hit! The leftovers were still getting raves on Saturday. I'll definitely make this again!


This is an excellent recipe. The first time I made it it was a little dry -- the next time, I added more turkey stock and it was really delicious. I made this one day ahead and it was fine, but do have extra stock on hand for reheating to make sure it stays moist.


Cook the leeks in olive oil (or olive oil and butter.)

Substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock.

Works perfectly well this way.


I was really disappointed with this. It was on the dry side, and the mushrooms were the only thing you could taste. If I make it again I'll add more bacon and stock or pan drippings.


I'm with you, Sarah, it doesn't clearly state that we can make it ahead. However, it is grouped under the "Make Ahead" Thanksgiving Recipes...I'm inclined to do the same thing as you're thinking, unless someone responds otherwise!


I made the corn bread version last year and it was great, so I made it again last night. It's somewhat labor intensive so it's best not to leave this one to Thanksgiving morning. The only minor adjustment I made was to pour off all but a few tablespoons of the bacon fat as the thick-cut bacon produces a lot of fat.


Made this with a loaf of crusty wheat bread cut into biggish pieces and it was delicious. But then I made it with a smaller cut white bread and it was even better. Also, I substituted a sweet Italian sausage for the bacon, which worked out really well too. This is a great recipe!


Can I make this 4 days ahead, put in the refrigerator and then cook in the oven to be ready at the same time the turkey is ready on Thanksgiving day?


I prepped the stuffing 48 hours ahead and just reheated on low heat covered with foil while the turkey was resting. Fantastic ! It was just perfectly moist and so tasty. A go-to recipe for thanksgiving and perfect to prep ahead of time.


Delicious! Like Tara, a previous commenter, I did steps 1–3 the night before. On the day, I poured about 1/2 a cup of additional stock over the mixture before putting it in the oven. It was perfect!

John H

Tastes better next and even better the next -consider cooking 2 days in advance then reheating. add mare stock thancalled for if needed to keep very moist


If you make this without bacon, as suggested for vegetarians in the description, it’s kinda boring. You’ll need to bump up the salt to compensate for the lack of salty bacon. Maybe it needs a plant-based sausage, celery, artichokes, etc.

Mushroom Heavy

Great recipe if you’re a big fan of mushrooms, bacon, and leaks. I’d recommend cutting the mushroom quantity in half and adding celery.

David Richter

Skipped the bacon, used soaked dry porcini in addition to portobello mushrooms, started with a mirepoix and it was delicious with turkey gravy.

Dr. Babs

Was quite good. Didn‘t use bacon. Used celery. Cut toast bread 2 Lbs. into little cubes and toasted in batches in the oven.


Made this with a pound of sourdough (didn’t remove crust) and omitted apple cider. Added fresh rosemary and thyme along with the dried sage. For the stock, I used a store-bought broth and enhanced it with better than bouillon. Came out beautifully!


I'm sold on this stuffing. I used brioche and my parents -- who initially balked at the $6 a loaf cost -- were complete converts. I used sausage instead of bacon and subbed chicken broth for wine because we had a guest who cannot have alcohol at all. I prepped the whole thing the day before and cooked day of. Still delicious 2 days later.


Great recipe but adding celery is a must. Ill make it without bacon next time.


Season more, Tjs 21 spice, more stock.


This is now our official Thanksgiving Dressing, everyone enjoyed it so much!. I cut the bread into small cubes and left the crust on. Everything else I did by the recipe, except I did not use Apple cider. We will be making this every year now,


Added two eggs to make it stick more together and a shallot with no bacon (sub celery). It was fantastic!

Leif Arvidsson

Easy to do and gone with the wind when you put on the table.

Diane Hourigan

I have an issue with the video that goes along with the recipe which says to use two large leeks, about three cups. I don't want to use the tough green parts of leeks so have nowhere near three cups because the recipe isn't clear and I can't remember what I did last year. In the video it looks like they are using scallions and not leeks and again it would take more than two large scallions to get three cups. The leeks I have are about an inch in diameter and scallions are never that big. Help


The stuffing looks amazing but where can I purchase the beautiful green bowl?

Missing from the instructions…

When do you add the parsley?

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Stuffing With Mushrooms, Leeks and Bacon Recipe (2024)


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