Last-Minute Thanksgiving Sides: Savory Butternut Squash Dressing

Photo by Reed Davis

Countdown to Thanksgiving

I love a lot of things about Thanksgiving, but the stuffing may be my very favorite item on the table. There are so many different recipes to experiment with, and they can really change the profile of your meal.

After trying a myriad of stuffing recipes, this is the one that I’ve ended up making for the past few years. It gets rave reviews from my family and friends.  It’s more like a savory bread pudding than a standard stuffing – and it brings together all the warm fall flavors I love. With the eggs and cream in the dish, it stays perfectly moist, and can be made ahead of time then cooked alongside your turkey.

Savory Butternut Squash Dressing
Prep: 50 minutes  |  Bake: 50 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes  |  Cool: 10 minutes

This recipe initially appeared in Better Homes & Gardens.


  • 2 Tbsp.  butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup  fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups  chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup  uncooked wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 1-1/2-lb.  butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp.  finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 medium  onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks  celery, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups  half-and-half or light cream
  • 8 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups  turkey or chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth
  • 3/4 cup  dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp.  finely chopped fresh sage
  • 8 cups  dried sourdough bread cubes

1. In Dutch oven melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add fresh cranberries; cook for 1 minute more. Add 2 cups chicken stock, the rice, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Drain.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Return Dutch oven to medium heat. Add remaining butter, squash, and thyme. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add onion and celery. Cook and stir 3 minutes more. Sprinkle salt and pepper; set aside.

3. In bowl whisk together half-and-half, eggs, and 1-1/2 cups stock. Stir in cooked rice, squash, dried cranberries, sage, and bread cubes. Transfer to shallow 3-quart casserole dish. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for 30 minutes more or until golden. 8 (1/2-cup) servings plus leftovers

4. Make Ahead: Prepare up to 2 days in advance; cover and refrigerate. Reheat, covered, in a 350 degree F. oven, for 50 minutes.

For more great recipes from the Kendall-Jackson culinary team, visit our online Recipe Database.