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Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing combines crusty bread, leafy Swiss chard, briny olives, sweet raisins, and crunchy pine nuts in one super delicious side dish!

Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing

Hard to believe – exactly four weeks from today – Thanksgiving will already be over! That’s right, you and I will both be enjoying all sorts of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers! (I can’t wait!)

We’d like to strongly suggest that you add this delicious, super flavorful Italian Mother-In-Law dressing to this year’s Thanksgiving menu. Not only is it a fantastic option for serving something a little different – but we think it tastes even better the next day as all of the different flavors meld together.


Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing

What is Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing?

We found this recipe over on Bon Appetit – and this colorful dish initially caught my eye when I read the recipe title. As soon as I read the words “Italian mother-in-law” I could immediately predict that this would be a very delicious recipe!

Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing combines cubes of crusty bread, chopped Swiss chard, green olives, golden raisins, and pine nuts – and the results are a fantastic dressing that is buttery, sweet, briny and salty – all in one.

This eclectic dressing is also a wonderful mix of textures. The country bread we used is crunchy and caramelized on the edges, but chewy on the inside. As you bite into the sweet raisins and salty olives – each is a burst of flavor in your mouth. The salty pine nuts add a nice crunch as well.


Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing

Can I make this dressing the day before?

Yes! You can do all of the prep a day ahead, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.  We do recommend that you take the pan out of the refrigerator an hour or so before baking, so it has time to come back up to room temperature.

Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing

What do you serve with Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing?

While this dressing is a perfect choice for Thanksgiving dinner alongside a roast turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce – this Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing would also be great any time of the year with an oven-roasted chicken, or pork tenderloin.  Enjoy!

You may like these other Stuffing recipes:

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Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing

Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing

  • Author: Martha
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


1 pound loaf of crusty bread cut into half inch pieces (we used a French Country loaf)

Butter for the baking dish

¼ cup golden raisins

3 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided

1 cup pine nuts

1 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 large bunch red Swiss chard, at least 20-25 large leaves

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ½ cups yellow onions, diced

2 ½ tablespoons fresh garlic, minced

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

Kosher salt, if needed


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Place cut up bread onto sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and toss bread and bake for 30 more minutes. Place dried bread into a large bowl and set aside.

If baking dressing now, raise heat to 350 degrees F.

While bread is drying, liberally butter a 9X13 inch baking dish and set aside.

Heat one cup of the broth and pour over the raisins and let soak while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Dry toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a dry pan until toasted, about 4-5 minutes. Pour into the bowl with the bread.

Add the olives, oregano, rosemary and pepper flakes to the bowl with the bread and pine nuts and toss.

Remove the leaves from the stems of the Swiss chard. Tear the leaves into pieces and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Chop the stems into one-inch pieces and rinse.

In a large saute pan, heat two tablespoons of the oil and over medium high heat, saute the leaves for two minutes until wilted then add to the bowl with the bread.

Add two more tablespoons of oil and saute the stems until starting to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add to the bowl.

Add the remaining four tablespoons of oil along with the four tablespoons of butter and once the butter has melted, add the onions and garlic and saute up to ten minutes or until the onions have started to brown. (mine took seven minutes on medium high).

Add the vinegar and sugar to the cooked onions and cook just a minute until the vinegar evaporates then add the contents of the pan to the bowl.

Add the raisins that have been soaking along with the broth they were soaking in to the bowl.

Beat the two eggs in a medium bowl and then drizzle in the remaining stock as you whisk. Make sure the stock is not hot.

Pour this mixture over the bread then toss the entire bowl with two wooden spoons.

Depending on how salty your stock was and how briny your olives were, you may or may not need additional salt. To test for salt and without eating raw eggs, I took out a small spoon full of the dressing and quickly cooked it up in a saute pan, then tasted it. I found that I did not need additional salt but add salt as you think you need to.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and cover the top with a piece of parchment paper then foil and bake for 40 minutes. (or refrigerate if baking at a later time). If preparing in advance and baking from a chilled state, bake until the center registers 160 degrees F on a probe thermometer which may take more than 40 minutes before you remove parchment and foil to brown.

After 40 minutes remove foil and parchment and bake for 40-45 more minutes until the top is browned and crusty.

Serve immediately.

Keywords: Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing, Thanksgiving dressing recipe


Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing

Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing


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