Pineapple & Pecan Dressing

Pineapple stuffing was an important part of Easter dinner during my youth. Served along side the classic honey baked ham and green bean casserole, it was all part of the tradition. As a kid, one of my jobs was to help make the stuffing (which I now know is actually dressing because it is not baked in a bird). I helped my mother tear bread, measure sugar, and squish it all together in my hands.  The casserole was soft, sweet, and buttery. It was my favorite part of the meal. More importantly, since my sisters didn’t love it like I did, there were plenty of leftovers.

Unfortunately, as I got older, I didn’t get to eat it very often because my sisters out voted me 2:1.  They just don’t dig the sweet savory thing as much as I do. I try to block out the memories, but I am sure that I suffered through mashed potatoes or something equally boring.

My adult self cringes about the ingredients of the casserole, but the kid in me is still horribly gluttonous in a bad-for-you way.  Mom’s recipe called for a loaf of cheap white bread, lots of butter, lots of sugar, and some tinned pineapple.

My more adult version uses heartier bread, less butter, less sugar and adds some savory. To make this a one pan meal, add some chopped ham to the mix.

Pineapple & Pecan Dressing

  • 10c bread cubed, I recommend chewy stale rolls but any will do
  • 1-15oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½c-1c chopped pecans
  • 2 med. sprigs rosemary
  • 1t salt
  • Black pepper

Begin by greasing an 8×8 baking pan or med sized casserole dish.

Melt butter. Remove the leaves from the rosemary by pinching the stalk and running your pinched fingers down it. The little leaves should fall off.

Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add pineapple, melted butter, pecans, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat.  Work the moisture into the bread by gently squeezing. When the bread is saturated, scoop the mixture into the greased pan. Gently pack down to remove any air pockets.

Add crumble topping.

To make the crumble topping, combine

  • 2T butter
  • 2T ground pecans
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1/4t minced rosemary

These can be combined by hand but if you have a mini food processor, now is the time to use it.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole and bake at 375 for 1 hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

To complete this meal, serve it with baked ham and an arugula salad.

This bread pudding is appropriate for dinner, brunch, and even dessert!

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