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Caramelized onion and apple stuffing or dressing

What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing? Dressing involves the same ingredients and preparation as stuffing, but it is cooked outside the bird whereas stuffing is cooked in it. 



Caramelized Onions

  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry Sherry or dry white wine


  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) diced day-old crusty bread (crusts left on), cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh sage
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Caramelized Onions
  • 1/2 cup (35 g) diced dried apples


Caramelized Onions

  1. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter (or oil). Add the onions, thyme and a little salt and pepper and stir to coat the onions. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon until the onions begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes. About halfway through cooking, when brown bits start sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a splash of the Sherry (or wine) and use the wooden spoon to loosen them. Continue to cook the onions, adding splashes of Sherry (or wine) to lift the browned bits, until they are a rich brown, an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and let the onions cool. Chill until needed.

Make-Ahead Tip: You can refrigerate these in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or freeze them for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Tip: To gradually caramelize the onions, use stainless steel, cast iron or enamel-coated pan. A non-stick pan may seem ideal, but you actually want the onions to stick a little. Once the splashes of Sherry or wine are added, the pan deglazes as you stir the onions, pulling those flavourful bits from the bottom.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 12-cup baking dish with butter.
  2. Place the diced bread in a large bowl. Whisk the stock, egg, sage and salt together and pour over the bread. Add the caramelized onions and apples and toss well, giving the bread a few minutes to soak up the liquid.
  3. Transfer the dressing to the prepared pan and dot the top with butter. Lightly cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is a rich golden brown.
  4. Let the dressing cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! 

Make-Ahead Tip: You can prepare the dressing one day ahead and refrigerate it, well-wrapped, overnight. Cook it straight from the fridge, but add an extra 10 to 15 minutes to the cooking time.


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