My Mother’s Cranberry, Orange, and Pecan Bagel Stuffing


Courtesy of Instacart

By Anthony Curioso and Jackie Wright

This is an independently submitted op-ed for our Quill section. Views and statements made in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of  The Tower.

For as long as I can remember, my mother has made this specific stuffing recipe nearly every year as a side dish to go along with our Thanksgiving meal. Especially in recent years, every time someone has asked me what my favorite Thanksgiving food is, I would tell them about this stuffing recipe because I believe that it is the most delicious stuffing I’ve ever eaten. We have also eaten this recipe with our lunch on Christmas Day some years. Despite the fact that the flavor combination for this stuffing seems a bit unorthodox, myself and nearly all of my family members love to eat it (though we do not actually eat it stuffed inside of a turkey, as my mother is a vegetarian). 

My mother got this recipe from Noah’s New York Bagels, a bagel shop in Seattle, when my parents were living there in the early 1990s.  My family and I would strongly recommend that you cut the recipe in half unless you are feeding a large quantity of people, as it makes an extremely large amount of stuffing; in my family, even with 6-8 people eating more than one serving from a half batch, most of the stuffing is still leftover when we have eaten our fill.  Most stale bagels you have on hand will work well.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it tastes just as good when one eats it hot as it does when one eats it cold, which is not an easy feat to accomplish with any recipe (regardless of what the recipe is for). Additionally, one can still eat it for several days after it was first made and it will still be delicious every time. If you want to enjoy this recipe with gravy, you are in luck because it pairs well with most types of gravy. My family also loves eating this stuffing with cranberry sauce.

Here are the ingredients you need for this recipe:

  • 8 plain or cranberry bagels, day-old
  • 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups granny smith apples, diced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • ½ cup honey
  • 6 oz. dried cranberries
  • 3 oranges, zested and juiced
  • ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 cups chicken broth**

 **If you do choose to stuff this into a turkey weighing approximately 12-14 pounds, you should decrease the chicken broth by ½ cup.

Here are the instructions to follow:

Preheat oven to 400℉. Cut the bagels into cubes and place in a large bowl. Toss the bagels with the pecans and apples. In a large skillet, saute the onion and celery in the butter until tender. Add the honey, dried cranberries and orange zest and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the orange juice and seasonings. Pour the onion mixture and chicken broth over the cut bagels and mix well. Place in a greased baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.

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