Paw Paw Stuffing

Paw paws might sound like they’re an exotic fruit, but they actually grow in abundance right here in Pennsylvania! These fruits, which sort of resemble unripened mangoes, have a sweet flavor and a custard-like texture, a bit like bananas, mangoes  and cantaloupes. Generally harvested in the fall, ripened paw paws are a delicious treat.

Though not as commercially common as other PA fruits, like apples and stone fruit (paw paws are a fragile fruit which ferments quickly when stored incorrectly), they’re experiencing a bit of a food trend moment right now, as interest in native fruit grows: We’ve seen paw paw ice cream at The Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia, and paw paws brewed up into a Belgian blonde ale by Millworks in Harrisburg.

If a neighbor you know is growing a paw paw tree, or you come across some at the farmers market, try this incredible paw paw stuffing recipe, courtesy of Adam Diltz, chef/owner of Elwood Restaurant, a BYOB in Fishtown, that celebrates the rich culinary traditions of Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania region.

Chef Diltz says about paw paws:

My favorite way to eat paw paws is fresh out of the hand. Having some in the freezer is a great idea, especially since the season is so short. While it’s natural to use them in dessert applications, try this savory recipe for a paw paw stuffing, basically a bread pudding that goes great with a meat like duck.

Try a batch of this stuffing during the holiday season, and let us know your favorite ways to use Pennsylvania paw paws!

Paw Paw Stuffing

Serves 4
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
15 min 40 min 55 min


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 cups bread, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups local paw paw flesh
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, sweat the garlic, onions, celery and thyme in the butter. Add the white wine and reduce by half.
  3. Add the bread and mix together.
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix the egg, paw paw puree, and chicken stock (an immersion blender is perfect, but a whisk will do fine). Combine the bread mixture with the paw paw mixture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and bake at 350° for about 40 minutes.
  • Photo and recipe: Adam Diltz

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