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Porcini Pancetta Dressing

Porcini Pancetta Dressing is simple yet elegant holiday dressing with earthy porcini mushrooms and rich pancetta that’s bound to please your guests.

Serving of porcini pancetta dressing on a white plate and a fork, with fresh herbs in the background.

Stuffing is my FAVORITE dish at Thanksgiving. Even over the bird!

My favorite is a very simple recipe of onions, bacon, and celery with herbs and bread. It’s not fancy, but I love it.

A couple years ago I made a Sage Apple Cranberry Dressing. It’s fantastic. But I can’t be content to just make that again, where’s the fun in that?

A hearty serving of holiday dressing full of leeks, porcini mushrooms, and pancetta garnished with fresh thyme.

How to Prevent Stuffing From Drying Out

You know that soggy bit at the bottom of the bowl when you’ve mixed the batch up? Well, it has an important purpose. I add to the very top when putting it in the casserole or at the opening of the bird where it is exposed to the most direct heat. That soggy bit helps prevent the rest of the dressing from drying out.

What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing?

It’s aptly named dressing because I cooked this OUTSIDE the bird, and I was always told when you put this INSIDE the bird, it is stuffing. But does it really matter? It’s delicious either way you roll.

How to make Porcini Pancetta Dressing

Ingredients needed to make the dressing/stuffing: herbs, seasonings, pancetta, olive oil, butter, leeks, celery, shallots, dried porcini, dried bread, broth, and white wine.

The key to whipping this stuffing, erm, dressing up is to have everything ready to go, diced, sliced, chopped, soaked, measured, etc.

Rehydrating dried porcini mushrooms in simmering chicken broth.

First step is to rehydrate the dried porcini mushrooms in simmering chicken broth (vegetable stock works too). They need to steep for about 30 minutes, so while they’re soaking, prep everything else.

Leeks, shallots, garlic, celery, and pancetta sautéing in a stainless steel pan.

Sauté the leeks, shallots, garlic, celery, and pancetta in a large skillet or pan.

Straining the porcini mushrooms after steeping in hot chicken broth.

Once the porcini mushrooms have rehydrated, strain them through a fine mesh sieve. There will be some grit. Reserve the juice for either mixing into this recipe or save for a later use. It’s too good to toss.

Diced porcini mushrooms have been added to the leeks, shallots, garlic, celery, and pancetta sautéing in a stainless steel pan.

Add the diced porcini mushrooms to the veggies sautéing in the pan.

Bread, seasonings, sautéed vegetables and pancetta have been added to a large stainless steel bowl.

Add half the bread, seasonings, sautéed vegetables, and pancetta to a large stainless steel bowl. Toss together, then add the wine and some of the broth. Stir really well.

Adding broth to the bread mixture to make stuffing/dressing.

Then add the remaining bread, seasonings, sautéed vegetables, and pancetta, and the butter. Gradually, about 1/2 a cup at a time, add the broth until it reaches the desired consistency.

The porcini pancetta dressing is completely made and ready to be cooked.

I’ve made this 3 or 4 times for the holidays, I’ve used as little as 1 1/2 cups of broth and as much as 3 cups. I really think it depends on how dry the bread is. This version I used a bakery package of dried bread versus drying it myself.

Either stuff in the business end of your bird or place in a casserole dish for later baking.

Baked in a white casserole pan, porcini pancetta dressing is ready to serve garnished with fresh rosemary and thyme.

Side Dish Recipes for Thanksgiving

If you’re still needing to round out your holiday table with options, here’s a bunch from my fellow food bloggers.

Make sure to check out all the awesome Holiday Side Dishes:
  • 5 Ingredient Corn Casserole from Cheese Curd in Paradise
  • Skillet Sausage Stuffing from Dutch Oven Daddy
  • Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad from Blogghetti
  • Bacon Wrapped String Beans from Family Around the Table
  • Cranberry, Apple, & Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf from Sweet Beginnings
  • Creamy Potato and Apple Gratin from Palatable Pastime
  • Disney’s Pumpkin Soup from Simply Inspired Meals
  • Dudhi Kofta (Bottle Gourd Fritters) from Cook with Renu
  • Orange Cranberry Sauce from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
  • Pancetta Brussels Sprouts from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
  • Pumpkin Rolls with Herbs and Sea Salt from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Onions from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Roasted Carrots with Fresh Herbs from Our Good Life
  • Rosemary and Thyme garnished casserole pan of cooked stuffing.
    Close up serving of the stuffing on a white plate with a fork.

    Porcini Pancetta Dressing

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Poricini Pancetta Stuffing
    Prep Time: 40 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 276.96 kcal
    Author: Michelle De La Cerda

    Porcini Pancetta Dressing is loaded with flavor from leeks, shallots, porcini mushrroms, and pancetta.



    • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
    • 43½ oz chicken broth Three – 14.5 oz cans; divided, warmed
    • 2 tbsp butter divided, one part melted
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • cup shallots (1 large/2 small)
    • 2 cups leeks (1 large, 2 small); cleaned and sliced
    • 1 tsp garlic (3 plump cloves); minced
    • 1 cup celery (2 ribs); diced
    • 5 oz pancetta diced
    • 12 oz dried bread (1 loaf); cubed
    • 1 tsp dried sage divided
    • 1 tsp dried thyme divided
    • 1 tsp dried rosemary divided
    • ½ cup white wine room temp; (see notes)
    • ½ tsp salt to taste
    • ½ tsp pepper to taste


    Rehydrating Porcini Mushrooms

    1. Pour one can (2 cups) of broth into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

    2. Add the mushrooms and stir.

    3. Turn off the heat, cover and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes.

    4. After mushrooms are fully hydrated, drain them. (see notes)


    1. In a large sauté pan add 1 tbsp butter and the olive oil over medium-high heat. 

    2. Add the shallots, leeks, garlic, and celery to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes or until they begin to soften.

    3. Add the pancetta. Cook an additional 5 minutes. Once cooked, drain off excess rendered fat, if there is any.
    4. Once the porcinis have been rehydrated, dice them and toss with the pancetta mixture.

    5. In a very large bowl, add half the bread, pancetta-veggie mixture, and half of the herbs/seasonings; toss together.

    6. Add the wine and ½ cup of broth; mix as well as possible (see notes)

    7. Add in the remaining bread, pancetta-veggies mixture, herbs, salt/pepper, and the tablespoon of melted butter.
    8. Slowly add the remaining broth, about a ½ cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

    9. Cover and chill until ready to be baked.


    1. If stuffing a bird, stuff it and bake it according to bird directions.

    2. If making as dressing, place in a casserole dish, cover.

    3. Place in a pre-heated 350°F oven.

    4. Bake for 30 minutes (if using a shallow baking dish, about 45 minutes if using a deep one), uncover and cook an additional 5 minutes to crisp up the top.

    5. Add to a serving bowl if cooked in the bird or serve in a casserole dish.

    6. Serve and enjoy.

    Recipe Notes

    If you wish to save the mushroom broth for soup, gravy, etc, use a fine mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter. You want to strain out the grit. It can also be used in this recipe instead of additional chicken broth. 

    Wine can be omitted and additional broth used instead. 

    Nutrition Facts
    Porcini Pancetta Dressing
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 276.96 Calories from Fat 122
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 13.55g21%
    Saturated Fat 4.81g30%
    Cholesterol 19.22mg6%
    Sodium 1088.53mg47%
    Potassium 373.68mg11%
    Carbohydrates 28.88g10%
    Fiber 2.87g12%
    Sugar 3.95g4%
    Protein 8.17g16%
    Vitamin A 521.62IU10%
    Vitamin C 14.09mg17%
    Calcium 89.82mg9%
    Iron 2.63mg15%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    This post has been updated from its original November 20, 2015 publishing with new content, photography, clarified recipe card, and links to other recipes.

    Porcini Pancetta Dressing ~ A simple and quick dressing or stuffing that has the rich and elegant flavors of porcini mushrooms and pancetta, bound to please every guest at your table ~ The Complete Savorist by Michelle De La Cerda
    Original November 20, 2015 published photograph

    Thank you for sharing!

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  • Reply
    Kacey @ The Cookie Writer
    November 24, 2015 at 6:12 am

    I never thought about “dressing” and “stuffing” used interchangeably, but your description makes sense! This looks really wonderful and the ultimate gourmet dressing 🙂

  • Reply
    November 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    This is so unique, pancetta goes so well with mushrooms. I definitely want this on my holiday table!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Stewart
    November 24, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I love pancetta and even though I am not a mushroom fan, I have some dried porcinis on hand for a spice mix I was making. I might surprise my fungi loving husband with this twist on dressing!

    • Reply
      Michelle De La Cerda
      December 1, 2015 at 1:52 am

      Oh I hope you can enjoy it. I understand not liking mushrooms, I’ve only like them for a few years now.

  • Reply
    Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen)
    November 25, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I am in LOVE with this flavor profile! I am a huge fan of the earthy nature of porcinis. Now if I could convince my husband as well… The heck with him! I’ll make this for myself! :o)

  • Reply
    Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella)
    November 27, 2015 at 5:18 am

    What a lovely dressing! I love the porcini-pancetta combination!

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  • Reply
    November 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! You have so much good stuff in your stuffing. I can’t wait to try it because it sounds so flavorful.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    5 stars
    This looks beautiful! I can’t wait to try it out for Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Wendy Klik
    November 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I so love stuffing and this version has me drooling.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Stuffing is probably my favorite Thanksgiving dish too! Yours sounds delicious.

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  • Reply
    Lisa Kerhin
    November 3, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Tons of flavors in your stuffing…love it!

  • Reply
    Simply Inspired Meals
    November 3, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Sounds like some great flavors. My family is going to have trouble choosing a dressing recipe this year!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2019 at 4:28 am

    5 stars
    I have never tried this type of mushroom as I did not have any delicious recipe to try. Your recipe sounds fascinating to me and I am sure to try this one.

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