Filed Under: Side Dish | Thanksgiving

Soft Pretzel Thanksgiving Stuffing

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
November 4th, 2021
5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

How to make the BEST stuffing ever - Soft Pretzel Thanksgiving Stuffing! This recipe is so easy to make and your friends and family will surely be coming back for seconds. You might have just found your new favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipe.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 50 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The epitome of savory goodness.
Texture: Not overly mushy or dry!
Ease: Super simple and easy.
Appearance: We dotted a few toasted pretzels on top so people could see this wasn’t just a regular stuffing.
Pros: Fun and tasty twist on a Thanksgiving classic.
Cons: Absolutely none, you will go nuts over just how good this smells cooking.

Never have I been more excited to share a savory recipe here!

It does use Pretzels, one of my favorite recipes we published on the site in 2021, but the level of savory satisfaction this Soft Pretzel Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe provides is unparalleled.

In fact, I can’t even take credit for this recipe. It was developed by our food stylist, Brendan McCaskey, who helped to style those gorgeous pretzel photos.

I asked if he’d be available to help us shoot some Thanksgiving content. The next few words out of his mouth included, “Pretzel Stuffing” and I practically leapt out of my seat in food excitement. Yes… that happens more than it probably should.

To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of stuffing. It wasn’t until recent years I realized that it was because I’ve only had the box stuff. The moment I had a bite of homemade stuffing that wasn’t too soggy, rubbery, dry, or bland I was sold. And felt mournful for all those Thanksgivings I had missed out on good stuffing.

I really hope you’ll give this recipe a try for your celebrations this year. It’s SUCH a joy for me and the HTH team to see you guys use our recipes for the holidays. It’s like we get to celebrate with you!

How to Make Pretzel Stuffing

Ingredients for the best stuffing ever:

  • Pretzels or pretzel rolls – I highly recommend using homemade pretzels or pretzel rolls for the best flavor and texture. Though, you could also buy pre-made pretzel rolls from the store if you must.
  • Unsalted butter – make sure to use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt used in this stuffing.
  • White onion – diced. You could also use a yellow onion.
  • Carrots – thinly sliced.
  • Celery – diced.
  • Mushrooms – don’t skip these, they’re so good in the stuffing!
  • Fresh thyme – fresh is best here.
  • Fresh rosemary – fresh is best here.
  • Salt & pepper
  • Low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock – to keep this recipe vegetarian, you could use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Make sure to buy low sodium so that you can control the amount of salt used in this stuffing.
  • Red wine vinegar – such a rich and savory dish needs a dose of acidity to bring out all those flavors.
  • Worcestershire make sure to purchase vegetarian Worcestershire if you need to keep this side dish veggie-friendly.
  • An egg – this helps bind the stuffing together into a casserole.

How far in advance can I make the pretzels?

A couple days, but toasted and dried bread is actually better than simply stale bread. Bread that’s too stale will yield a more tough or rubbery stuffing texture. The same is true for pretzels. If you buy pretzels or make them too far in advance, just freeze them then defrost before toasting to use in the stuffing.

How do I prevent soggy Thanksgiving stuffing?

Going through the extra step of toasting the cubes to dry them out further is one of the best things you can do for stuffing. It’ll help ensure the perfect texture, not too soggy or too rubbery, with crisp bits on top and at the edges.

Be sure not to underbake the stuffing which can also create a soggy texture.

Lastly, don’t skip removing the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking!

Why is my stuffing dry?

If you don’t use enough liquid and fat in the form of stock, melted butter, and an egg, then your stuffing will dry out quickly. Truly the secret is in lots of butter!

Also avoid overcooking. This is easily done when you make the stuffing in advance and then heat it again for too long to serve later. See my advance prep tips below.

Covering the stuffing with foil for most of the cooking time as directed in the recipe will also prevent it from drying out.

How to make stuffing ahead of time:

If you’re bringing stuffing to a friend or family member’s house, cook it as directed but just shave off about 5 minutes from the cooking time. Then when it’s almost time to serve, just pop it back in a 350°F oven to finish it off.

Once the wet and dry ingredients mix, the stuffing should hit the oven soon after. You can complete steps 1-3 in advance by drying out the pretzel cubes and letting them sit uncovered at room temperature, and sautéing the veggies and refrigerating them a day in advance. Then just proceed with step 4 the day you plan to serve.

How to store stuffing leftovers:

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat, covered with foil, in a 300°F oven or in the microwave until warmed.

Can I make this stuffing recipe with sausage?

Yes! I haven’t tested it specifically, but it would taste absolutely delicious with some ground sausage. I think pork sage sausage would be perfect, but feel free to use what you have.

To add sausage, I would omit 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook the sausage, remove with a slotted spoon, then add the butter to the pan and sauté the veggies as the recipe directs. Add the sausage back in when you toss all the ingredients together.

What to make with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Got too much leftover stuffing? Use it up in these Leftover Stuffing Muffins.

More Thanksgiving side dishes:

P.S. Check out my full Thanksgiving recipe headquarters HERE!

5 from 1 vote

How to make
Soft Pretzel Thanksgiving Stuffing

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
How to make the BEST stuffing ever – Soft Pretzel Thanksgiving Stuffing! This recipe is so easy to make and your friends and family will surely be coming back for seconds. You might have just found your new favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 homemade or store bought pretzels or pretzel rolls, cut into 1/2” cubes (about 8 cups)*
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place cubed pretzels on a large sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing them halfway through, until dried out but not hard. Set aside to cool.

  2. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart casserole pan or 9 by 13-inch pan with butter or non-stick spray.

  3. While the pretzels toast in the oven, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add onions, celery, and carrots to butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook an additional 4 minutes. Add thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the cooled, toasted pretzels cubes with cooked vegetables, tossing so the pretzels are coated in the butter. Gradually stir in chicken stock to mixture. Add red wine vinegar, Worcestershire, and egg, and mix.

  5. Pour stuffing into greased casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and serve.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pretzel stuffing, stuffing recipe, thanksgiving stuffing

Photos by Joanie Simon | The Bite Shot

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating




  1. #
    JOANNE — November 4, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    I love this recipe and have made this stuffing for the past few years. I’ve added sausage, bacon and apples with some added Dijon mustard as well. Can’t wait to make it again this year!

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed