Ah stuffing: the glue that binds us. Or binds the great Sunday roast, at least. Stuffing takes your roast from a standard affair to really special, and it never ceases to excite a table of hungry people when a glorious bowl of stuffing is served. (Who hates stuffing, right?)
This recipe is a fantastic stuffing to enjoy year round. Lemon and parsley stuffing is light, fragrant and designed to give your tastebuds a welcome contrast to all those delicious but heavy flavours that dominate a roast dinner plate.
Ever heard of palate fatigue? It is where your tastebuds quite literally get fatigued from experiencing too many similar flavours. And this is what can leave you feeling full or bored of your meal despite having only gotten started.
The fresh herbs and a fruity infusion in this recipe will pep your palate right up!
This is a meat-free stuffing so vegetarians will love this one also.
Equipment for Lemon and Parsley Stuffing
- Chopping board
- Large bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Tin foil
- Medium Baking dish
Ingredients for Lemon and Parsley Stuffing
- Serves 6
- 200g panko breadcrumbs
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 1 apple, grated
- 80g mixed, dried fruit
- Zest & juice of 1 lemon
- Large handful of fresh chopped parsley
Make your lemon and parsley stuffing.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 200c. When prepping your ingredients use a nice large chopping board and line up the completed, chopped ingredients to one side. They’ll all be going in at once so no need to separate them out.
Before those fresh ingredients go in, add your panko breadcrumbs to the bowl with the flour, mixed herbs, nutmeg and butter. Season well. Next add 300ml boiling water, doing so a little at a time and stirring well until the mix is combined and moist, without being soggy. You don’t want your mix to be swimming!
Now add all those lovely fresh ingredients that are going to make this stuffing sing! Onion, apple, mixed fruit, lemon (juice and zest) and parsley. Give it all a good mix.
Cook your lemon and parsley stuffing.
Time to cook! Add your lemon and parsley stuffing mix to your baking dish and spread evenly, without patting down too hard and compressing the stuffing. You want it to be light and fluffy.
Cover with tin foil and place in your oven for 20 minutes. With the foil on the ingredients will cook and get to know each other. All those lovely flavours will mingle!
Now remove the foil from your lemon and parsley stuffing and cook for a further 10 minutes. This will allow the top of your stuffing to become nice and crisp, giving you that lovely contrast in texture.
Serve your lemon and parsley stuffing.
I always think it’s nice with mixed dishes for people to see the flavours that they are eating. I therefore like to serve this lemon and parsley stuffing with thin slices of lemon laid on top, and a sprinkling of some more freshly chopped parsley for garnish. A splash of colour really makes a difference; it’s a feast for the eyes as well!
Different ways you can serve your stuffing.
Some people like to dig into a hearty bowl of stuffing and help themselves t a big spoonful. Others enjoy their stuffing in uniform balls. The choice is yours! I enjoy family style eating, but stuffing balls are just as wonderful. Plus you’ll have more crispy bits if that’s your things.
If you’d like to adapt this recipe to be in stuffing ball form instead, simply switch out your baking dish for a greased baking tray and shape your stuffing to no bigger than a ping pong ball, and space evenly on the tray.
Cook for the same amount of time, covering with foil and then removing as before to get a lovely combination of soft insides and a crispy shell.
Meat free stuffing
The beautiful thing about stuffing is how many wonderful forms it can come in. I’m a fan of them all, but I do favour meat-free stuffings. I find them lighter, plus on a meat-centric plate like a roast dinner (particularly one with all the trimmings such as pigs in blankets) It’s think it’s nice to have a non-meaty stuffing to accompany. Let the roasted meats do the carnivorous talking!
Fruit in stuffing
I adore fruit in stuffing. A hit of sweetness on your fork when enjoying a roast dinner is incredibly welcome, and utterly delicious. My stuffing uses a mix of dried fruit which adds texture, as well as fresh fruit like lemon and grated apple, which adds moisture and freshness.
The correct amount of moisture in stuffing is a balancing act that you need to get just right. Too little and you’ll have a crumbly, moisture sapping bite. Too soggy and it will taste bland with an unenjoyable texture.
Apples are a fantastic way to inject moisture into your stuffing. Some varieties can however hold incredible amounts of moisture. You’ll notice this when grating, if you’re getting pools of juice.
To fix this, simply use clean hands to gently squeeze the grated apple, either over the sink or a bowl, to get rid of excess moisture. One this is done it’s ready to use in your stuffing recipe.
I love to use panko because it is so light. It really compliments the light and fresh flavours within this recipe.
However if you’ve got some stale bread you can of course use this. Reducing waste is always a great idea. Simply blitz the bread in a processor, ensuring you get a large breadcrumb than a fine powder.
For extra flavour and better texture, toast the bread crumbs in a dry pan for a few minutes on a low heat, tossing regularly.
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