Stuffing is a holiday meal highlight, with flavors and textures that pair perfectly with poultry for the perfect bite. Is there a way to make stuffing a weekday main course? Jeanette’s chicken stuffing bake recipe transforms this beloved accompaniment into a casserole, adding chicken to make it a one-pan meal. Learn how to have stuffing any night of the week with this satisfying dish that pairs well with a variety of sides.
Winter Weeknight Dinners: Chicken Stuffing Bake
Like any busy family, the team at your local appliance service has little time for chicken and stuffing recipes that take hours of preparation. Jeanette’s chicken stuffing bake uses canned soup, packaged stuffing, and cooked chicken as shortcuts that still deliver familiar flavor. But before we detail how to make this simple weeknight dinner, here’s what constitutes stuffing in all its various forms.
What Is Stuffing?
Traditionally, this mixture of herbs and starch, typically bread, was used to stuff the cavity of a meat or vegetable. Doing so enabled the food to retain moisture and flavor while it cooked. While stuffing is still used for this purpose today, it’s also served as a baked side dish, typically with turkey or other poultry. Its name can also vary depending on the region. In the U.S. most areas use the term stuffing, while Southern states refer to it as dressing.
As for the recipe, classic versions combine bread crumbs with celery, onion, and herbs. However, sausage, bacon, and even oysters are also commonly used for savory flavor and contrasting texture. Meanwhile, European variations sweeten it with dried fruits or chestnuts while Middle Eastern stuffings are typically rice-based. Jeanette’s chicken stuffing bake incorporates chicken to make it a one-pan meal that goes well with a variety of vegetable sides.
What Goes Well With Chicken Stuffing Bake?
Since this chicken stuffing bake contains a combination of starch and protein, a vegetable side dish is an ideal accompaniment. While a green lettuce salad offers a fresh bite, multiple other options offer complimentary flavor.
The following sides go well with chicken stuffing bake:
- Glazed carrots: the sweetness of the carrots and a honey glaze contrast well with the more savory stuffing.
- Roasted root vegetables: Adding a balsamic glaze provides sweetness while leaving a bit of bite to the veggies provides a complementary texture to the soft casserole.
- Steamed broccoli or green beans: Steaming retains the vegetables’ color, flavor, and nutrients and can provide a contrasting crispness.
Chicken Stuffing Bake Recipe
This easy chicken and stuffing casserole bakes in 30 minutes and can be assembled in advance and refrigerated until dinner time. Meanwhile, canned soup, packaged stuffing and cooked chicken simplify the prep even further.
Here’s how to make Jeanette’s chicken stuffing bake recipe:
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of celery soup
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups cooked chicken breast, diced
- ½ cup butter, divided
- 1 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 6 oz package of premade stuffing mix
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Whisk the cans of soup and milk together in a large bowl. Add the cooked chicken and stir to combine all the ingredients.
Pour the soup mixture into the greased baking dish and sprinkle it with salt and pepper before setting it aside. While the mixture rests, saute the onions, garlic, and celery with 4 Tbsps of butter over medium heat. Cook until the onions and celery are soft and translucent.
Add all the contents of the stuffing package to the vegetables, along with water, and stir until combined. Pour the mixture over the chicken and soup in the baking dish and spread evenly. Melt the remaining 4 Tbsps of butter and drizzle it over the top of the dish.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the topping has browned.
Need more easy weeknight dinner ideas? Try Jeanette’s creamy chicken Florentine recipe. Or, set it and forget it with her CrockPot ranch pork chops and potatoes, or slow cooker chicken and rice burrito bowls!