Butternut Squash and Cornbread Stuffing Muffins

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This stuffing is so fabulous it’s not just for Thanksgiving. The muffin presentation is fun and unique but it also cooks quickly and stays moist. So cute too! 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Michael Symon.

I love trying new recipes for our Thanksgiving feast, but, even though I have served this stuffing in the past I had to made it again this year. It’s delicious! I used Trader Joe’s cornbread mix but homemade or another not-too-sweet store-bought cornbread would work well too. I roasted the squash and made the cornbread a day in advance. I think it was our favorite side dish this year- Great!

Yield: 18 muffins

  • One 3-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • Vegetable oil, for rubbing
  • coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds prepared cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used Trader Joe’s cornbread mix- the perfect amount)
  • 3/4 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T chopped sage
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  1. Bake the cornbread. Cool and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the squash halves cut sides up on a large rimmed baking sheet and rub with oil. Season with salt and pepper and turn the squash cut sides down. Roast for about 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool slightly.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 375°. Spread the corn bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until toasted. Let cool completely. Leave the oven on.
  4. Generously butter a 12-cup muffin tin, and 6 cups in an additional tin. (I used cooking spray.)
  5. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate.
  6. Heat 1/4 cup of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the celery, garlic and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bacon.
  7. Peel the roasted squash. Transfer 4 1/2 cups of the squash to a food processor, add the sugar and puree until smooth.
  8. Season the mixture with salt, add the eggs and process until incorporated. Add the chicken stock and process again.
  9. In a large bowl, combine the toasted corn bread with the squash puree and let stand for 5 minutes.
  10. Stir lightly, add the onion-bacon mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir again.
  11. Mound the stuffing in the prepared muffin cups.
  12. Bake the muffins in the upper third of the oven for about 40 minutes, until crisp on top and heated through. Unmold the stuffing muffins and serve hot.

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