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This fig and pancetta stuffing is an easy yet delicious side dish that is perfect for the holidays.

Fig and Pancetta Stuffing (or dressing)

The contrast between the sweet figs and salty pancetta here provides deep, rich overall flavor. This is an excellent stuffing for roast turkey and regular chicken, too.
Author Denise Wright (Recipe used with permission from Workman Publishing Company.)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 6 ounces pancetta chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces black Mission figs coarsely chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur such as
  • triple sec or white wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 12 slices whole wheat bread torn or cubed and dried (6 to 8 cups)
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten (use if cooking the stuffing outside the bird in a baking dish)


  1. Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, pancetta, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta begins to render its fat, the onions become translucent with lightly caramelized edges, and a cheesy scent develops, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the broth and figs and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes to plump the figs, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the orange zest and juice, liqueur (if using), and sage to the pan and stir to combine.Pour the contents of the saucepan over the bread pieces in a large bowl and stir until well combined. If using to stuff a bird, cool the stuffing and follow the cooking instructions for that recipe. If using as a dressing (or if you have extra after stuffing your bird), stir in the beaten eggs and transfer the mixture to a buttered 2½-quart baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and crispy, to 15 minutes more.
  3. Makes 1½ quarts