Prosciutto, Parmesan & Pine Nut Stuffing

My mom, like so many mothers, is a wonderful cook and always willing to share a recipe with me. Sometimes we’ll talk about a party menu like two giddy teenage girls rehashing a homecoming dance. “Do you know what were a huge hit? The stuffed mushrooms! They were so easy to make that I was embarrassed to take the complement”. So, it’s no surprise this came from my mom as she has years of experience and an ocean of food loving friends that like to share their ideas, tips, and recipes with one another. She isn’t sure of the exact origin but thinks it came from a Minneapolis newspaper…”I think I got it from Janet Miller, she got it out of a newspaper.”
This stuffing has made its way to our Thanksgiving table for many years and it’s a must-have for our family. The tart cranberries are a nice contrast with the salty prosciutto and Parmesan, while the sage maintains the familiar and traditional stuffing flavor. It is so good you’ll be looking for opportunities to make it well beyond Thanksgiving. Not only is it great with Turkey but also a wonderful side dish for pork tenderloin, beef, and other hearty main courses during the fall and winter seasons. Who am I kidding? it’s a meal in and of itself and you don’t need to make a main course to serve with it. I have made it on the weekend and then reheated it for a quick supper or lunch throughout the week. It should also be noted this recipe won my office Holiday Potluck competition a few years back!
Unable to find the original source I’ve included my mom’s version with a few minor adjustments. I recommend waiting until the end to add additional salt & pepper to taste. It is tempting to season as you go but given the saltiness of the prosciutto, Parmesan, and stuffing mix you may not need extra. This is why I prefer to use unsalted butter and low sodium chicken broth as well.
TIP: Leeks are filthy! Cut them lengthwise and soak them in cold water to remove the sandy grit that accumulates between the layers. The dirt and sand will sink to the bottom and the leeks will come out nice and clean.
Mise en place
I can’t stress it enough! Watch this video to learn more about it and understand the importance. It will save you time and sanity.
Stuffing vs. Dressing
They are one in the same but if you want to split hairs – stuffing goes inside the meat and dressing is baked on the side. The only items we stuff our turkey with are lemon, herbs, butter, salt, and pepper.
I suppose then, this recipe should be called dressing and not stuffing? Regardless what I call it, this is a great dish to make a day ahead and bake on turkey day.
Make it ahead!
As we all know, Thanksgiving day can be hectic with oven space in short supply. This stuffing can be made the day before and stored the fridge and baked the day of. About an hour before you bake it, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature. By removing the chill, the stuffing will bake faster and you won’t lower the temp when you place it in the oven. That holds true for other sides as well that you make the day before.

Prosciutto, Parmesan & Pine Nut Stuffing

Serves 8 – 10
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 45 – 60 minutes
Mise en Place 
  • 3 quart baking dish (a 9×13 in. pan will work)
  • one large mixing bowl
  • 6 ounces Pine Nuts, toasted
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for buttering the baking dish
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 1 (12 ounce) package Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix
  • 6 ounces Dried Cranberries
  • 5 ounces Prosciutto sliced thin, crosswise
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 – 4 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth. (Buy a 32 oz. container and use any extra in the turkey gravy)
  • additional salt and pepper to taste (may not need it given the saltiness from the Parmesan, prosciutto, and stuffing mix. Taste and see what you think.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly coat the baking dish with butter
  3. Trim the ends off of the leeks and slice them lengthwise, then soak/submerge in water
  4. Toast the pine nuts by gently heating them in a skillet, stirring frequently. Or toast them in the oven, being careful not to burn them. Set aside.
  5. Rinse and dry the leeks then slice them crosswise.
  6. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 8 Tablespoons of butter and sauté leeks 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
    • NOTE: The leeks will be ‘swimming’ in butter and that is okay. The extra butter will be infused with the flavor from the sweet leeks and add richness to the stuffing mix.
  7. Warm the broth in the microwave or on the stove. (Warming the broth helps the bread absorb the moisture faster.)
  8. In large mixing bowl, combine stuffing mix, pine nuts, cranberries, prosciutto, Parmesan and leeks.
  9. Add 2 1/2 cups of warm broth to the bowl and mix. Let it sit for a minute. Add another 1 cup of broth and mix. Taste a piece of the bread, you don’t want it to be ‘crunchy’. I typically end up using 3 1/2  cups. If you buy the 32 oz tetra pack you should have plenty of broth..
  10. Spoon stuffing mixture into prepared baking dish and cover.
    • At this point you can store the stuffing in the fridge.
    • Take it out of the fridge about an hour before you bake it to remove the chill.
  11. Bake until heated all of the way through, about 40 minutes, depending on how much you have in your oven and how frequently you open the door.
  12. Remove the cover, fluff with a fork and bake uncovered an additional 10 – 15 minutes allowing the top to crisp up a bit.
  13. Enjoy!

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Kitchen Composure

Doing what I can, with what I have, in my kitchen.

4 thoughts on “Prosciutto, Parmesan & Pine Nut Stuffing

    1. Andrea – let me know what you think. It’s so good I eat it out of the bowl before it is een warmed in the oven. The left-overs are equally delicious and fantastic stuffed inside a spaghetti or winter squash. You can easily reinvent this all week as left-overs.

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