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Herbed Leek and Bacon Stuffing

Made with fresh herbs, applewood bacon, and leeks, this Leek and Bacon Stuffing is the perfect side dish for any Thanksgiving dinner. Make-ahead instructions included!

A small blue serving dish of leek and bacon stuffing

Making This Leek & Bacon Stuffing

Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without stuffing, don’t you agree? Stuffing seems to often be the big debate this time of year. Everyone has their own family recipe and thinks that their family’s recipe is THE BEST.

Growing up, we usually had cornbread stuffing with pork sausage. It was our family’s tradition.

My husband has never particularly liked stuffing, but I just can’t bring myself to not have it on the table. It’s traditional!

Even though I still enjoy my family’s traditional stuffing recipe, I’ve created a new recipe that’s also well loved.

I tweaked my classic recipe just a tad. Instead of Italian sausage, I am using bacon and I’ve swapped out onion for leek to create this Leek and Bacon Stuffing. Delicious!

Leek & Bacon Stuffing Ingredients

Making homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving is easier than you might think, and you don’t need any special ingredients. Here’s what I used for this bacon stuffing recipe:

  • Applewood bacon
  • Celery
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • White wine
  • Pears
  • Fresh herbs
  • Dried stuffing cubes
  • Chicken broth
  • Butter
  • Dried cranberries
  • Golden raisins
  • Chopped pecans

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make Leek & Bacon Stuffing

This leek and bacon stuffing recipe couldn’t be simpler to make! Here’s an overview of the cooking process:

  1. Cook the bacon, then crumble and set aside.
  2. In the same pan you cooked the bacon in, saute the celery in the bacon grease until bright green and tender.
  3. Add the leeks and garlic and saute an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
  5. Add the pear, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and gently stir in the stuffing cubes.
  7. Pour in the broth until your desired moistness and consistency is reached. Gently stir in the melted butter, cranberries, raisins, and pecans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F in a covered casserole dish until stuffing is heated through, about 20-30 minutes. Remove the cover halfway through baking.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

A small blue serving dish of leek and bacon stuffing

Can This Stuffing Be Cooked Inside a Turkey?

No, I don’t recommend stuffing a turkey with this Leek and Bacon Stuffing if you are roasting it. The risk of bacteria makes me nervous and I don’t like the end result in the consistency.

Here’s why you shouldn’t stuff a roasted turkey:

  • The Leek and Bacon Stuffing may not reach a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria.
  • Your turkey will cook faster without a stuffed cavity.

How to Safely Stuff a Turkey

If you really love stuffing inside your turkey, there is a way to safely stuff a turkey.

  • First, prepare and cook the Leek and Bacon Stuffing separately while the turkey roasts.
  • Then, place the stuffing into the turkey once it is done roasting.

There you go! Turkey is stuffed with this delicious Leek and Bacon Stuffing, AND no one gets sick.

Can Thanksgiving Stuffing Be Prepared in Advance?

Yes! This bacon stuffing does well assembled — but not baked — 1-2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Then, just bake before serving.

Tips for the Best Thanksgiving Stuffing

  • You must saute the veggies on the stovetop prior to adding them to the stuffing mixture. The stuffing isn’t in the oven long enough to cook the vegetables all the way through.
  • Be sure to clean the leeks properly prior to sauteeing them. Leeks often contain lots of sand, so you need to rinse it all out!
  • Leftover stuffing is perfect for making Thanksgiving sandwiches the next day!

More Easy Thanksgiving Sides:

I have lots of Thanksgiving recipes on my site already, but here are some of my family’s all-time favorite sides.

Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing is a fantastic vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing recipe loaded with tons of veggies and flavors.

These Spinach Stuffing Balls make a great appetizer for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

In this Sliced Sweet Potato Casserole, sweet potato slices are baked in a spiced orange maple glaze and sprinkled with juicy, bright pomegranate arils.

I love how easy this Apple Cider Roasted Squash recipe is to prepare! It is a great, easy acorn squash side dish to prepare all winter long, but it’s especially great for Thanksgiving!

Classic mashed potatoes are elevated thanks to the addition of plenty of browned butter and fresh grated parmesan in this Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes recipe.

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bacon cranberry stuffing

Herbed Leek and Bacon Stuffing

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This year I tweaked my recipe just a tad and instead of Italian Sausage I am using Bacon and I’ve swapped out onion for leek to create this Leek and Bacon Stuffing.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces Applewood bacon strips
  • 1 1/2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 1/4 cup leeks, chopped and cleaned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1-2 pears (ripe but firm), peeled and chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 cups dried stuffing cubes
  • 8 ounces Swanson Certified Organic Chicken Broth
  • Extra broth or water to reach desired consistency
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove and crumble, then set aside.
  2. If there is excessive grease in the pan, remove extra leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. If necessary, add olive oil or canola oil. Saute the celery in the bacon grease until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the leeks and garlic and saute an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, making sure to scrape up any browned bits.
  5. Add the pear, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Stir until well combined.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and gently stir in the stuffing cubes.
  7. Pour in the broth, adding additional broth or water until your desired moistness and consistency is reached.
  8. Gently stir in the melted butter, cranberries, raisins, and pecans. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F in a covered casserole dish until stuffing is heated through, about 20-30 minutes. Remove the cover halfway through baking.

Notes

Make ahead: Stuffing does well assembled but not baked 1-2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Then, just bake before serving.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 576Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 75mgSodium 1135mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 4gSugar 16gProtein 24g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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