Olive Oil Dressing (Stuffing) with Chicken & Walnuts

Olive oil walnut whole wheat bread stuffing

We show how to use meat as a “condiment” in this recipe, which also includes olive oil – no butter – and whole wheat bread. Walnuts, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, give the dish a subtle, nutty flavor and delightful texture.

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 1 medium-large yellow onion
  • 2 large stalks celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 lb. Italian chicken sausage (can be omitted for vegetarian option)
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 loaf whole wheat bread
  • 1-2 cups homemade very low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, halves and pieces


  1. Cut the onion and celery into a small dice (1/4”). Mince the garlic. Mince the leaves of the sage, rosemary, and thyme. The fresh and dried sage is essential – the other herbs are not. Cut the bread into 3/4” cubes and set aside. If using, take the casings off of the sausage.
  1. Heat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the walnut pieces on a baking sheet, and toast for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned.
  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan or dutch oven over medium heat. If using, put the chicken sausage in the pan, and break up into small pieces as it cooks. Cook the sausage for 8-12 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sausage is browned. Add the onion, celery, garlic, another tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-low and sweat the veggies for 6-8 minutes until translucent.
  1. Add the minced herbs, dried sage, and black pepper, and stir frequently for 30 seconds. Add the bread cubes and another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the bread cubes, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes until everything is evenly mixed. Start to add the stock, a little at a time, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do so. Add stock until the bread is nicely moist, but not mushy. When the right consistency is achieved, add the walnuts and cranberries.
  1. Heat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the stuffing into a 9×11 baking dish, and bake for 15-25 minutes, checking frequently, until the top is lightly toasted.

More recipes to Prioritize Plants for Healthy Holiday Cooking

Nutrition information per serving (1/8 of recipe):

With chicken sausage:
395 calories, 19 g protein, 53 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 17 g sugar (includes 0 g added sugar), 551 mg sodium, 56 mg potassium, 13 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono, 7 g poly, 0 g trans), 28 mg cholesterol

Without chicken sausage:
354 calories, 12 g protein, 53 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 17 g sugar (includes 0 g added sugar), 337 mg sodium, 56 mg potassium, 11 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono, 7 g poly, 0 g trans), 0 mg cholesterol

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