Dressing Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

holiday, thanksgiving, recipes, dressing, stuffing

Chef Ryan’s holiday dressing recipe.


Dressing Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Ease of Preparation: Easy Recipe

Dish Description:
A savory and aromatic staple in holiday meals. Most often paired with turkey, but also goes well with chicken and ham. This recipe has been modified with the chemotherapy patient in mind.

Tasting Guidelines:
Taste is savory.
Weight is medium and can be lightened with red wine vinegar.
Texture is soft and moist when cooked properly.
Good for people with low to severe treatment side effects.
Emotional response of Thanksgiving at Grandma’s kitchen table.
Best categorized as traditional American.

Ingredients:
14 oz stuffing breading
1 medium yellow onion, medium diced
6 celery ribs, thinly sliced
½ lb carrots, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 c. chicken broth

Flavor Balancers:
1 tsp. Kosher salt or sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper, finely ground
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar, granulated white

Aromatics:
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. sage, ground

Recipe Directions:
In a large saute pan, saute in oil, garlic, onions, celery, and carrots over a medium-high heat. Add the salt and black pepper to mixture (mirepox) and saute until onions are translucent. Next, add 4 c. of chicken broth, Old Bay seasoning, sage, and bring to a boil. Cook until celery and carrots are fully cooked. Now add 1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar followed by 1 tbsp. of sugar. Return to a boil, stirring well. Place dry bread mixture into a large mixing bowl. Pour mirepox and chicken broth into bread mixture. Mix well. Transfer dressing into a large casserole dish. Bake in the oven with turkey until outsides of stuffing are crispy. About 30 minutes. Turkey oven temperature is typically 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chef Tips:
If you buy a bread mixture that is pre-seasoned with herbs and spices, watch the sodium content. If sodium is high, omit kosher salt from recipe. Try to use reduced sodium chicken broth as well.

For chemotherapy patients, I recommend making dressing instead of stuffing the turkey. This is because the easiest place to get food poisoning during a Thanksgiving meal is from improperly cooked stuffing. In addition to this, you have to cook the turkey for longer when there is stuffing inside of it. This makes it easier to over cook the turkey and make it dry.

You will notice that this recipe calls for no meat in the stuffing. This is because heavier meats like sausage or pungent meats like oysters and giblets can cause nausea and loss of appetite in chemotherapy patients because their weight and smell. If desired, you may add 8 oz. of country sausage that has been well cooked and drained of it’s grease, under the circumstance that your loved one has demonstrated the ability to tolerate or enjoy the sausage in recent meals.


Cooking for Chemo focuses on teaching you how to make your food taste good again during cancer and chemotherapy treatments. The flavor and cooking techniques contained within our easy to make recipes will help improve your quality of life as you go through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Our cooking and flavor techniques can be integrated with any diet regimen. All of our recipes can be made with organic ingredients if you choose. Our holistic approach to cooking will help you not only be able to eat but to also enjoy the taste of your food again during and after cancer and chemotherapy treatments. We have many healthy recipes, crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, dinner recipes, shrimp recipes, pasta recipes, soup recipes, vegan recipes, salad recipes, vegetarian recipes, breakfast recipes, and even a great chili recipe. Talk with your oncologist and dietitian to come up with a quality nutrition plan. This site is not to be taken as or used instead of professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor, oncologist, and dietitian before starting any new diet.

For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy of Cooking for Chemo …and After! by Chef Ryan Callahan on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Have specific questions? Email us at cookingforchemo@gmail.com