Celebration Stuffing

By Mary McCartney | November 16, 2015
My mum taught me how to make stuffing. The basics are bread, celery, onions, and herbs. You can make it into balls to bake, or as one whole piece in a baking dish. Gluten-free bread will work here too, as long as it is a light loaf, not too heavy, and if you want a vegan option you can leave out the beaten egg. No festive roast is complete without stuffing, and this recipe fits the bill perfectly. You can prepare it in advance and simply reheat it in the oven when needed.


  • 3 slices sandwich bread (approx. 4 ¼ ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 7 tablespoons butter, or 4 tablespoons light olive oil or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing baking sheets/dish
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 pear, cored and chopped into 1⁄3-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup pine nuts
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste (optional; you may not need extra salt if your stock is already salty)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten (optional)


Serves 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350°F. If making balls of stuffing, lightly grease two baking sheets; if baking in one piece, grease a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.

Spread the cubes of bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until crisp. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter or heat the oil over medium to low heat. Add the onions, leek, celery, and pear and sauté for about 15 minutes until softened and golden.

Mix in the toasted bread cubes, herbs, and pine nuts, and season with black pepper and sea salt to taste. Stir in the vegetable stock and the beaten egg, if using, and leave for 10 minutes to thoroughly soak in.

If making stuffing balls, scoop up 1 tablespoon of stuffing at a time, then mold it into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Or, if baking in one piece, simply press the stuffing mix gently into the prepared baking dish.

Bake the stuffing for 25–30 minutes (25 minutes for balls and 30 minutes if baking in one piece) until crisp and golden on the outside, but still soft on the inside.

Reprinted with permission from At My Table  published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Text and photography © 2015 by Mary McCartney

  • celebration stuffing recipe by Mary McCartney