Cheatsgiving Recipe Contest: Santa Clara Valley Stuffing


This recipe is an entry in our Cheatsgiving Easy Recipe ContestIt comes to us from reader Greta Y. Voting begins 11/21!

During the dust bowl, my great-grandparents packed the family of 7 children and all their worldly possessions into a Model A Ford and drove from North Dakota to California, where they settled in the Santa Clara Valley and grew cherries, walnuts, almonds, and apricots. Though nowadays nearly all the orchards in this area have been replaced by freeways, condos, and tech firms, every Thanksgiving we make this stuffing to remember our agricultural roots and honor our family history. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to Stouffer’s + sausage!

Don’t let the ingredient list fool you — this recipe is super easy and has only four steps. (It can also be easily modified to accommodate vegetarian/vegan guests). To save time, I’ll often give the parsley a quick pulse in the food processor rather than hand-chopping. I also use the bags of pre-chopped & roasted nuts so I don’t burn four batches while dealing with inevitable distractions.

The best part about this recipe? It calls for 1/4 C of wine to stew the dried fruits in. I’ll let you decide what to do with the remainder.

Cheers, and enjoy — from my family to yours!


1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup white wine

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup chopped prunes
1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp dried sweet basil, crumbled.
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted)
1/4 cup chopped parsely
1 box stuffing (cornbread stuffing is my personal favorite)
2 cups chicken broth


Chop apricots, prunes and put in small pot with 1/4 cup wine. Bring to boil. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.
Melt butter in skillet; add celery, onion, basil & thyme. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add to stuffing mix along with cooled fruits, nuts, parsley, and chicken broth.
Toss well, spoon into buttered baking dish, cover, and heat in 325 F oven for 30 min before serving.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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