Spinach and Oyster Dressing

  • Yield: 12 to 16 servings

"This recipe has been a part of every holiday gathering in my family for many, many years. It is always the most popular dish, and whenever I make it, I never fail to have many requests for the recipe. It's definitely one of my most prized recipes."


12cups French or Italian bread, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
1/2pound pancetta or bacon, chopped
2tablespoons olive oil
2cups finely chopped onion
1/2cup thinly sliced leeks
1 1/2cups thinly sliced celery
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1tablespoon minced garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
1/2teaspoon salt
1teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2cups chicken or turkey broth
1 (10-ounce) container shucked oysters, drained


  1. Arrange bread cubes on sheets of wax paper or foil in a single layer and let dry overnight. (Or place cubes on foil-lined oven racks and bake in a 325F oven 25 minutes, or until golden.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
  4. Add olive oil to pan drippings. Stir in onion, leeks and celery. Reduce heat to medium and cook until celery is tender, about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Combine bread cubes, pancetta, onion mixture, spinach, butter, sage, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss until well blended. Stir in broth and fold in oysters. Spoon mixture into pan.
  6. Bake, covered with foil, 30 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until lightly golden.

Recipe by Robin Spires, Tampa, Fla.