Date, Bacon & Sourdough Stuffing

Serves 8 to 10

This unbelievably good stuffing tastes like a bacon-wrapped date, but with the crunch and texture of hand-torn sourdough croutons. The apple, aromatics and fresh herbs hit all the savory notes you crave in a stuffing, each bite coated in bacon fat and punctuated with sweet Medjool dates. Be sure to let your croutons get really dry and crisp before assembling. The drier your croutons are, the more liquid and flavor they will absorb. We’ve also added beaten eggs here, which helps bind the stuffing and gives it an almost bread pudding-like texture. A night in the fridge before baking is highly recommended as it allows all of the ingredients to mingle and the bread to really soak up all of the liquid.


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
  • 1 day-old medium sourdough boule (about 1 pound), torn into bite size pieces (about 10 cups)
  • ½ pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored and finely chopped
  • 8 Rancho Meladuco Medjool Dates, pits removed and sliced into coins (see Note)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2½ cups low-sodium broth or chicken stock
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Spread the croutons in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake the bread until very crispy and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, spread the croutons on a rimmed baking sheet and leave uncovered on the counter overnight and up to 2 days. Transfer to a very large bowl.

In a large skillet (ideally 12-inches), cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crispy and browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the dates, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. 

Scrape the bacon-date mixture into the bowl with the croutons. Add the melted butter and 1½ cups of the chicken stock and gently toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock with the eggs. Pour over the bread mixture and gently toss to coat. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. 

Scrape the stuffing into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes longer. Let cool slightly before serving.

NOTE To cut your dates into coins, remove the pit from the top of the date with pliers or strong tweezers. Check out the Rancho Meladuco Instagram page for a quick video tutorial on how to do this.

MAKE AHEAD The stuffing can be prepared through step 4 up to 1 day in advance. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Let sit at room temperature while your oven preheats.

Recipe & Photos by Julia Heffelfinger @JuliaHeff

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