Sourdough Stuffing with Ham and Pears

I have saved this recipe for years, from back when I’d photocopy recipes from library cookbooks. So unfortunately I can’t offer up the recipe creator or cookbook source.

For me, this was a perfect recipe to learn early on in my cooking “career” that stuffings or dressings can be quite varied. They don’t have to be big blobs of wet bread, or dry dressings made from purchased stale cubes of bread.

The sourdough bread base is one difference with this stuffing, but the highlights are the bacon, ham and pears. The pears add subtle flavor but mostly moistness to the stuffing.

This could be served as a lovely side to a pork tenderloin, but certainly at Thanksgiving time. If you want it more festive, you can add dried cranberries and walnuts.

Sourdough  Stuffing  with  Ham  and  Pears

1 – 1 pound loaf sourdough bread, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces, approximately 12 ounces after trimming
2 ounces butter
3 ounces double smoked bacon, cut into 1/4” pieces
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 large celery bunch, with leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 pound smoked ham, cut into 1/2” pieces
2 large pears, cored, cut into 1/2” pieces
1/4 cup minced parsley
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons white wine

Preheat the oven to 375 and gently toast the bread cubes on a large baking sheet, turning them over as necessary. It should take about 20-25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Set aside to cool.

Melt the butter, then cook the double-smoked bacon for a minute. Add the shallot, celery, garlic, and thyme and sauté for about 15 minutes, or until everything is fairly soft.

At this point, you could add some Cognac or Armagnac or Calvados and flambé the mixture, but I didn’t this time.

Add the ham and cook with the bacon and vegetables for a few minutes, then add the pears and parsley.

Combine this mixture with the bread cubes in a large bowl, and pour the broth and wine over the stuffing.

Toss gently, occasionally, for about 30 minutes for the bread to absorb the liquid; taste for seasoning.

Bake the stuffing in a greased 9 x 13” baking dish, covered with foil, for one hour. I only baked half of the stuffing, and used a 9″ square baking dish.

The other half I stuffed in a chicken and roasted.

If you wish for more browning, remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes.

The whole amount of stuffing is a perfect volume for a 15 pound turkey.

I sliced the roast chicken and served with the stuffing and some tomato jam.

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen December 6, 2021 at 7:15 AM - Reply

    So many possibilities with stuffings. I love that you used the pear in this.

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:01 PM - Reply

      Apples work well too. I haven’t gotten very creative beyond those two in the fresh fruit category!

  2. Ron December 6, 2021 at 7:43 AM - Reply

    Looks great Mimi. You know stuffing/dressing is virtually unknown in our neck of the woods. I recently served Southern cornbread dressing at our American Thanksgiving party and most of our Swedish guests turned their noses up at it. But, I think your version might be salable. I’ve just added your version to our American Christmas dinner menu that we’ll host on the 25th (we celebrate Christmas on the 24th here)…

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:00 PM - Reply

      Very interesting that no one would like it, when I’m sure it tasted wonderfully. Do you think it was the concept that turned them off?

      • Ron December 7, 2021 at 1:57 AM

        I don’t think it was the concept, but more a textural taste thing. Cornbread as made in the US isn’t seen here as well, so that may also have been part of it. They all tasted it, but went for the mashed potatoes instead. Potatoes are the main starch consumed here, so it makes sense. But we also love sourdough bread, thus I’m confident they will like your version, but will likely still go or the mashed potatoes…

      • chef mimi December 8, 2021 at 8:17 AM

        Very interesting.

  3. Charlie DeSando December 6, 2021 at 8:22 AM - Reply

    Looks great, very tasty

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 5:59 PM - Reply

      It’s very nice, and not dry, which is what I prefer!

  4. David Scott Allen December 6, 2021 at 10:29 AM - Reply

    This recipe is amazing, Mimi! Best stuffing I have had in years! I could easily make this as a stand-alone meal. Just perfect, thanks!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 5:58 PM - Reply

      Glad you ended up loving it. Nice and tasty and moist.

  5. chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 5:58 PM - Reply

    That will be a perfect use of some leftover ham!

  6. chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 5:59 PM - Reply

    Thank you! It really is!

  7. Jovina Coughlin December 7, 2021 at 4:11 PM - Reply

    A delicious way to cook ham.

    • chef mimi December 8, 2021 at 8:17 AM - Reply

      The ham is so good in this stuffing!

  8. spicedblog December 8, 2021 at 6:39 AM - Reply

    Stuffings and dressings really are quite versatile – and they don’t just have to be a Thanksgiving side dish! The ham + pears in this one sound fantastic. I also don’t think I’ve ever used sourdough in a stuffing…I need to try that!

    • chef mimi December 8, 2021 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      It’s a subtle thing, but a fun change to use a different kind of bread. My favorite was when I made a raisin bread for a stuffing.

  9. kitchenriffs December 8, 2021 at 9:58 AM - Reply

    Wow, this looks great! Almost could serve as a main dish. Neat combo of flavors — thanks.

    • chef mimi December 8, 2021 at 10:02 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome!

  10. Tandy | Lavender and Lime December 9, 2021 at 2:47 AM - Reply

    I am thinking that bacon, ham and pears might make for a great pizza topping as well :)

    • chef mimi December 9, 2021 at 3:21 PM - Reply

      Huh! Very interesting. And lots of white cheese!

  11. For the Love of Cooking December 9, 2021 at 11:17 AM - Reply

    This reminds me of my dad–he loved sourdough stuffing! It looks and sounds wonderful.

    • chef mimi December 9, 2021 at 3:21 PM - Reply

      Thanks. The pears are the star in this one — a subtle flavor but lots of moisture!

  12. Katherine | Love In My Oven December 9, 2021 at 2:04 PM - Reply

    Ham and pears, I’ve never tried that combo before! But I’m sure it’s delicious. This sourdough stuffing sounds absolutely wonderful. Something different and unique!

    • chef mimi December 9, 2021 at 3:20 PM - Reply

      I’ve also made stuffings with raisin bread and pannetone – they’re just so much fun to make! Love the pears in this one.

  13. chef mimi December 9, 2021 at 3:20 PM - Reply

    That’s exactly why I loved coming across this recipe years ago. There can be so many different and delicious versions of stuffing, and they’re all worth trying!

  14. Hannah Kaminsky December 10, 2021 at 7:41 AM - Reply

    You had me at “sourdough.” I love the balance of sweet and savory flavors here, plus the really robust chunks of bread. I can’t stand a mushy stuffing. I’ll have to try this with seitan for the ham!

    • chef mimi December 10, 2021 at 7:42 AM - Reply

      Me neither! Or to dry, for that matter. The pears really are the stars in this stuffing!

  15. chef mimi December 10, 2021 at 7:44 AM - Reply

    It’s very good! I need to use pears more often!

  16. sherry December 11, 2021 at 7:45 PM - Reply

    this sounds very flavourful. not that we are eating much meat these days…

    • chef mimi December 12, 2021 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Just a bit of leftover ham will do it!

  17. February 17, 2023 at 9:02 AM - Reply

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