Christmas bird stuffing

The world’s best Christmas stuffing – yours!

The title for the world’s best Christmas stuffing is hotly contested. And with so many Christmas stuffing recipe options to choose from, there’s no excuse for your stuffing not to be as delicious as the bird it’s served with.

Traditionally Christmas stuffing ingredients typically included sausage meat, sage, onion, chestnut, and breadcrumbs, but since stuffing is so easily varied according to taste, why not come up with your own, personal version this year?

Here we’ve taken the traditional stuffing recipe and given options for variations so that you can be empowered to create your unique version of this Christmas table essential.


2 tbsp olive oil

25g butter

2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)

1 onion (or 3-4 shallots, or 1 leek)

180-200g nuts, chopped (Try any of the following: walnut, pistachio, pecan, almond, macadamia, hazelnut or pine nuts– or mix it up and use a combination of more than one nut.)

450-500g pork mince (or sausages, case removed)

140g breadcrumbs (use any bread you like – or why not try rice, couscous, polenta or quinoa for an unusual twist?)

1 egg, beaten

4-6 tbsp chopped herbs (try a combination of any of the following: sage, thyme, parsley, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, rosemary – you could even add a bay leaf)

1 apple, grated (optional)

1 celery stalk, finely chopped (optional. Actually, you could add a small quantity of almost any vegetable, such as mushroom or zucchini)

2 rashers of bacon, chopped, or pancetta cubes (optional)

50-100g dried fruit, chopped (optional, but if you do, why not try cranberry, apricot, currants or juniper – you could also consider pre-soaking dried fruit in alcohol such as brandy or port.)

Lemon or orange zest (optional)

Chicken or vegetable stock, as needed


Fry the onion and garlic in the oil and butter until soft. Set aside to cool while you assemble the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

 Add the cooled onion and garlic mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. It’s the pork mince that really holds the mixture together, so keep an eye on the consistency of the mixture. If it’s dry, add more pork mince or even a little chicken stock, if it’s wet, add more breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture. You can refrigerate the stuffing until you are ready to cook the bird (up to one day ahead).



Serves 6-8

Preparation 20 mins Cooking time As per instructions for roasting the meat

TIP This recipe makes enough stuffing for a large bird. Halve the mixture for a small bird, or roll the leftover stuffing into balls and bake separately at 180C fan forced (25-30 mins) to make stuffing balls.


Too much choice when it comes to the variations? Then try one of these Christmas stuffing combinations:

Pistachio, parsley and/or sage, bacon and apricot

Hazelnut, parsley, cranberry, and lemon zest

Pine nuts, couscous or quinoa, sage, and currants

Macadamia, oregano and/or thyme, polenta and pancetta

Almond, tarragon, bacon and lemon zest

Looking for ideas to decorate your Christmas table?

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