This Pretzel Bread Stuffing is a crave-worthy recipe you’ll want to serve again and again. This unconventional stuffing twist, packed with the perfect blend of pretzel bread, thick-cut bacon, apple, and more, will have you hooked from the very first bite—irresistible and non-traditional, it’s a flavor adventure you won’t want to end.
Stuffing is one of the easiest ways to add something unexpected and creative to your holiday table.
Sweet, savory, or the perfect fusion, stuffing is that versatile side dish that is open to countless interpretations. I often refer to stuffing as the chameleon of my holiday side dishes, always evolving. And since you can never have too much stuffing, keep your classic recipe, but invite this flavorful variation to the table. I promise no one will be upset!
Related: Challah Bread Stuffing
One of the best upgrades of this stuffing is obviously the pretzel bread. Its robust flavor, steals the show, especially when it joins forces with the bold notes of beer and bacon. Its perfect for your holiday feast or a repeat performance with weeknight roast chicken.
And while I call this recipe “stuffing” I do not “stuff” my turkey, so many of you might refer to this as “dressing”. Either way, it’s so good!
Why I Love Pretzel Bread Stuffing
- The pretzel bread has distinct flavor that really elevates the taste.
- The whole beer, bacon, pretzel vibe is a winning combination of flavors.
- The apples and dried cherries play the perfect supporting role when it comes to sweet and savory flavors.
- This recipe is perfect for a holiday feast, but makes a weeknight dinner really special.
Thanksgiving Menu with Pretzel Bread Stuffing
- Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule or Pumpkin Pie Martini
- Fall Harvest Appetizer Board
- Dinner Rolls for a Crowd
- Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole or Sweet Potato Pasta Salad
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Pretzel Bread Stuffing
- Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
- Mayonnaise Turkey
- Sweet Potato Pie or Pumpkin Mini Pies
Fresh and Pantry Ingredients for Pretzel Stuffing
Pretzel Bread: The recipe star that adds the distinctive flavor and texture to this stuffing.
Butter: Add richness to the sauté and mouthfeel to the overall recipe.
Celery: Adds and fresh and crunchy element and flavor.
Yellow Onion: A classic stuffing ingredient that has both sweet and savory flavors.
Flat-Leaf Parsley: Adds herbal undertones.
Salt & Pepper: Flavor boosters.
Beer: Adds depth and complexity.
Chicken Stock: Moistens the stuffing, contributing to its overall tenderness and providing a rich, savory base.
Eggs: Acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the stuffing together during baking.
Bacon: Adds a savory, smoky flavor and a crispy texture.
Granny Smith Apples: Introduces a subtle sweetness and a refreshing contrast to the savory elements.
Dried Cherries: Adds unique sweetness and a chewy texture.
Swap Out These Ingredients to Suit Your Tastes
Butter: Swap with olive oil for a lighter alternative or use a plant-based butter for a vegan option.
Celery: If you’re not a fan, try using fennel for a slightly sweet and licorice-like flavor.
Flat-Leaf Parsley: Substitute with fresh cilantro or dill for a unique herbal twist.
Beer (or Chicken Stock): For a non-alcoholic version, stick with chicken or vegetable stock, or even apple juice for a hint of sweetness.
Thick-Cut Bacon: Opt for smoked sausage or mushrooms for a vegetarian option.
Yellow Onion: Swap with red onion or leeks for a milder or slightly sweet flavor.
Granny Smith Apples: Experiment with other apple varieties like Honeycrisp or Fuji, or use pears for a different fruity note.
Chicken Stock: Vegetable stock works as a suitable vegetarian alternative.
Eggs: Try flax eggs or silken tofu for an egg-free version.
Dried Cherries: Use golden raisins, cranberries, or chopped dried apricots for a different burst of sweetness.
How to Make Pretzel Breading Stuffing with Bacon
The full recipe and printable instructions can be found at the end of this post.
Step One: Spread bread cubes on baking sheets to dry overnight or follow instructions to dry out in the oven.
Step Two: Sauté ingredients in a skillet for the base of the stuffing.
Step Three: Combine bread cubes, vegetable mixture, liquids and mix-ins and add to a baking pan.
Step Four: Bake and let rest before serving.
- For optimal texture, make sure the bread cubes are thoroughly dried.
- Adjust the ratio of chicken stock, beer, and eggs to achieve your desired level of moisture in the stuffing. Aim for a fully incorporated mixture without excess liquid at the bottom.
- Make sure bacon is crispy before adding it to the stuffing.
- Keep an eye on the baking time to achieve a slightly golden brown top.
- Allow the stuffing to sit for 15 minutes after baking. This resting period ensures that the flavors meld together, and the texture settles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use a different type of bread for the stuffing? Absolutely! While pretzel bread is what makes this stuffing recipe unique, feel free to experiment with rye, whole grain, or your favorite hearty bread for another twist.
Can I make this stuffing ahead of time? Yes. Prepare the stuffing up to the baking step, cover, and refrigerate. Bake it when ready, adding a few extra minutes if starting cold from the refrigerator.
What’s a good substitute for beer in the recipe? Chicken or vegetable stock is the best alternative if you prefer a non-alcoholic version.
Any recommendations for a gluten-free version? Opt for gluten-free bread, ensuring all other ingredients, including the beer, are gluten-free.
How do I prevent the stuffing from becoming too dry? Adjust the liquid ingredients to your desired moisture level. Mix well and consider adding a bit more stock if needed.
How do I reheat stuffing leftovers? A: To reheat the stuffing, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the desired portion in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. For individual servings, the microwave is also an option, but the oven will help maintain the desired texture. Add a splash of chicken stock if needed to revive moisture.
Can I freeze leftover stuffing? A: Yes, freeze in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
How to serve leftover stuffing? One of my favorite ways to serve leftover stuffing is to heat up a waffle iron and add a heaping scoop of stuffing and press and heat the stuffing into a “waffle”. Serve it as the base for leftover turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes.
More Stuffing Recipes
- Fig and Almond Stuffing with Fennel
- Bread and Sausage Stuffing with Cranberries
- Rustic Multigrain Stuffing with Nuts and Dried Fruit
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Pretzel Bread Stuffing
Ingredients for Pretzel Bread Stuffing:
- 10 cups cubed pretzel bread, 1" pieces*
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsps.) butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 6 stalks celery, diced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/4 cup minced, fresh, flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup beer or more chicken stock
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 16 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
- 1 cup chopped dried cherries
How to Make Pretzel Bread Stuffing:
- Spread out bread cubes on two rimmed baking sheets and let sit out uncovered, overnight, to dry out. (Or alternatively place in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.)10 cups cubed pretzel bread, 1" pieces*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, apples, parsley, salt and pepper until softened; about 5-7 minutes.1/4 cup (4 tbsps.) butter, 1 large yellow onion, chopped, 6 stalks celery, diced, 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced, 1/4 cup minced, fresh, flat-leaf parsley, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- Add the bread cubes to a large bowl and mix thoroughly with chicken stock, beer and eggs until fully incorporated. (No liquid should remain in the bottom of the bowl.) Fold in onion mixture, bacon and cherries.1-1/2 cups chicken stock, 1/2 cup beer or more chicken stock, 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, 16 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled, 1 cup chopped dried cherries
- Bake in a 9”x13” pan for 40 minutes until bread on top is slightly golden brown.
- Let sit 15 minutes before serving.
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