Recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing That’s Special


Cary, NC — Tired of sausage and sage in your Thanksgiving stuffing? How about a little prosciutto and a bit of fall pear? Pears lend a lovely sweetness, and the prosciutto a salty less heavy flavor than traditional sausage.

Pear & Prosciutto Thanksgiving Stuffing


  • 5 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 3 cups cooked rice, cold (I use Thai jasmine rice, because I love the fragrance it adds)
  • 9 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 ribs celery, strings removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 firm pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into cubes

To Make

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cornbread and rice, and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, melt 5 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.
  4. Add carrots, and saute until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add shallots and celery, and saute until shallots are translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Add green pepper, and saute 1 minute.
  7. Combine vegetables and cornbread mixture.
  8. In same skillet, sauté prosciutto  over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned. Remove prosciutto with slotted spoon; mix with cornbread mixture, along with poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper.
  9. Discard rendered fat from skillet.
  10. Add stock, 1 cup at a time; mix. (You may not need all stock.) Stuffing should be well moistened.
  11. In the meantime, drizzle pears lightly with olive oil and roast in 375 degree oven.
  12. Gently toss in with prepared stuffing and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
  14. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter; drizzle over top of stuffing.
  15. Bake until top is golden and stuffing is heated through, 45 to 50 minutes.
  16. To reheat, bring to room temperature, and cover; bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove cover; bake until heated through, about 10 minutes more.

This recipe will feed the usual Thanksgiving army and will go along with a 15- 20 pound turkey. Or a smaller crowd with plenty of leftovers.


Recipe by Preeti Waas, Executive Chef of the Matthews House in Downtown Cary. Second in a series of Thanksgiving menu ideas. Illustration by Louis Goodtree.