Published on November 14, 2017

Chef Drew Labreris stuffing mix

Better-For-You Holiday Dressing

Festive foods are a big part of any holiday – and what goes better with the Thanksgiving turkey than a flavorful dressing? Nothing – but it can be a bit on the rich side.

This recipe provides an approach that cuts some of the fat, keeps all the flavor and will impress your guests this November.

Better-For-You Holiday Dressing


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil
  • ½ cup White wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 4 cups bread crumbs
  • Seasoning mix (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (basil, parsley, oregano)
  • ½ tablespoon thyme
  • ¼ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tablespoon sage
  • ¼ tablespoon tarragon


  1. In a large sauté pan, add oil and cook onions until translucent.
  2. Add jalapenos, celery and apples, and then add salt, pepper and garlic. Cook until flavors combine.
  3. Deglaze the pan with white wine, then add stock, and reduce to simmer.
  4. Cook about 20 minutes or until reduced by about two-thirds the volume remains.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooked ingredients with bread crumbs and seasoning (if using) and mix until consistent.
  6. At this point, the stuffing is ready to go into the turkey. Fill the turkey cavity with stuffing, and bake until instant-read thermometer reaches inserted into the turkey breast reads 160 degrees F.
  7. For the safest possible meal, you should remove the stuffing and re-bake it until its central temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  8. Do not bake the turkey to 165 degrees F as it could dry out the meat. Instead remove the bird, take out the stuffing and return it to the oven.
  9. While an extra step, you will want to take it to avoid drying out your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Source: Avera McKennan’s Executive Chef Drew Labreris

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