This bacon beer cheese stuffing will kick your side dish game to the next level! Classic stuffing spiked with citrus beer, savory bacon, and cheddar cheese.
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Table of Contents
- About Cheesy Beer Bacon Stuffing
- What’s in cheesy beer bacon stuffing?
- Is there a difference between stuffing and dressing?
- Can you use precooked bacon?
- How should you prepare the bread?
- Can you make herb stuffing in advance?
- How long is stuffing good for?
- Can you freeze stuffing?
- notes & tips for this bacon stuffing
- More great recipes for holiday dinner
- How to make cheesy beer bacon stuffing
- Recipe Details
About Cheesy Beer Bacon Stuffing
When it comes to comforting side dishes, this Bacon Beer Cheese Stuffing hits all the marks.
And by marks, I mean the three crucial flavor profiles that simply make any dish better.
First, there’s the bacon. Because, well… bacon. I don’t think I really need to sell you on the deliciousness of bacon, but if I do, just imagine everything amazing about savory meats in the form of a crispy culinary treat. It just makes everything better, and there’s a hefty portion of it in this stuffing.
What’s in cheesy beer bacon stuffing?
In order to make your own casserole dish full of this bacon cheesy goodness, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Thick-cut bacon and cheddar cheese – Two-thirds of the delicious flavor profile in this stuffing! Feel free to use whatever type of bacon (sweet, smoked, etc) or cheese (mild, sharp, etc) that you’d like.
- French bread – Because every good stuffing needs some quality bread. Feel free to adjust this to other types of bread, if you’d like.
- Salted butter, salt, black pepper, eggs, and chicken broth – Classic cooking ingredients.
- Celery and sweet onion – Traditional vegetables for stuffing that add amazing flavor and soft texture.
- Beer – The third part of this flavor trifecta, beer adds some malty flavor and keeps the stuffing moist. I recommend using an amber beer with citrus highlights, like Blue Moon.
- Worcestershire sauce, sage, and thyme – Classic seasonings to compliment this stuffing.
Is there a difference between stuffing and dressing?
If you want to get technical, “stuffing” is supposed to refer to whatever is actually stuffed inside the main dish (such as stuffing the cavity of turkey or chicken). And by classic standards, a bread-based side that’s baked in a dish is usually called “dressing.”
But despite that, you’ll find areas all over the United States who will prefer to call this stuffing so that it isn’t confused with a liquid sauce dressing (like ranch, thousand island, etc). And then you’ll find whole pockets of the southern United States who will refuse to use the word “stuffing” because of how unpleasant it sounds.
So, what should you call a dish like this, then?
In the end, you can call it whatever makes the most sense to you. Neither is wrong and everyone will know what you mean. And this is exactly what I do when I cook stuffing for company: we all use our favorite word, multiple times a day, as if there’s a competition going on (there is) and whoever says their word the most wins (I will totally win).
Can you use precooked bacon?
Yes, you totally can!
The bacon in this Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is cooked within the dish, so it will heat and crisp up with the rest of the ingredients while in the oven.
However, if you’re concerned at all about the texture of the bacon, you could nuke it in the microwave (or even pan fry it for a few minutes) to take some of the moisture out and get it to a crispiness that you like.
How should you prepare the bread?
One of the keys to making delicious stuffing is a simple trick:
Cut the bread into bite-size pieces, then leave it out, uncovered, overnight.
This will allow the bread to dry out some, which is very important for the texture and flavor of the stuffing. Even using slightly stale bread is okay. It gives the bread some crunch (but not too much) and encourages the bread to absorb flavors without becoming too mushy.
Can you make herb stuffing in advance?
Stuffing is typically made for big holiday dinners, and one of the keys to success is timing. With limited counter space and oven room, the more you can make in advance, the better.
The bad news here is that stuffing is still best baked just before serving. But fear not! You can prepare most of the recipe steps in advance so that when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is mix and bake. Such as:
- Store the bread separately. This should be the easy part, since you’re already leaving the bread on the counter overnight so that it dries out (see point above about bread). If the bread has dried out to your liking but it’s not ready to cook yet, just store it in a bag or sealed container until it’s time.
- Cook the veggie ingredients per recipe instructions (butter, celery, onion, beer, salt, pepper). Once prepared, transfer the ingredients to a sealed container, then store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to move forward.
- If you’d like, cook and crumble the bacon in advance. Just keep in mind that refrigerated bacon can soften once chilled, which could make this an unappealing step to do in advance.
- Hold off on doing anything with the liquid ingredients (eggs, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth). Those are mixed in just before baking, so there’s nothing you need to do in advance.
How long is stuffing good for?
Once prepared and cooled, this bacon cheese stuffing can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Can you freeze stuffing?
Yes, you totally can!
Once prepared and cooled to room temperature, herb stuffing can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for one to three months.
notes & tips for this bacon stuffing
- For most stuffing recipes, you’ll need a trusty 9×13 baking dish. I like this one because not only is it good quality but it also makes a pretty serving dish.
- You’ll also need a large bowl for this recipe. I like this 13 quart mixing bowl because it’s light, easy to handle, and more than big enough for all the ingredients.
More great recipes for holiday dinner
How to make cheesy beer bacon stuffing
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Before you get started, make sure you’ve dried out your bread (see point above) and that you’ve cooked or crumbled your bacon (or you’re using precooked bacon).
Step 2 – Toss the butter in a skillet and allow it to melt. Add the celery, onions, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the veggies until tender.
Step 3 – Pour beer into the skillet and bring it back up to a simmer. Allow everything to cook until the liquid has reduced by half and it turns an opaque golden color. Remove the skillet from heat.
Step 5 – In a very large bowl (I like using a 13-quart mixing bowl), add the french bread, 1/2 of the bacon, 1/2 of the cheddar cheese, 1/2 of the thyme, and the sage. Pour in the cooked veggies, as well as the chicken broth mixture, then gently toss the mixture to coat the bread.
Step 7 – Cover with aluminum foil and bake. Remove the foil halfway through.
Step 8 – Serve and enjoy!
Cheesy Beer Bacon Stuffing
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1/2 cup amber beer, such as Blue Moon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 10 cups French bread, dried out and cubed *
- 10 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped, divided
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, divided
- 2 teaspoon fresh chopped sage
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add celery and onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until veggies are tender.3/4 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion, 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch black pepper
- Add beer to skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is reduced by 1/2 and is an opaque golden color. Remove skillet from heat.1/2 cup amber beer
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten, then pour in Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth. Stir until mixed, then set aside.2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- In a large mixing bowl, add French bread, 1/2 of the bacon, 1/2 cup cheddar, 1/2 tablespoon thyme, and sage, then toss to mix. Pour beer buttery veggies and chicken broth mixture in bowl and then gently mix until bread is thoroughly saturated.10 cups French bread, 10 slices thick-cut bacon, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, 2 teaspoon fresh chopped sage
- Pour stuffing in prepared baking dish and gently smooth into an even layer. Garnish the top of the stuffing with the remaining bacon, mild cheddar, and thyme.10 slices thick-cut bacon, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, 2 teaspoon fresh chopped sage
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and cook for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the top of stuffing is lightly crisp and golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.