For best results, use firm, sturdy bread such as French bread, and dry it in the oven at a low temperature. Or let it sit out overnight. Coat one side of foil with cooking spray, and place it, coated side down, over the stuffing to prevent it from sticking to the foil during baking.
8 ounces firm white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped bottled chestnuts
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 250º.
Place bread cubes on a large baking sheet. Bake at 250º for 1 hour or until dry, tossing occasionally.
Increase oven temperature to 350º.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, and celery to pan, and sauté 5 minutes. Add apple and cranberries; sauté 5 minutes. Add chestnuts; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, sage, and thyme.
Combine pumpkin and the next 4 ingredients (pumpkin through eggs) in a large bowl. Add bread and mushroom mixture; stir gently to combine. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; cover with foil. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the top is crisp.