I loved that this recipe used buttermilk to moisten the stuffing- in addition to the more typical stock and butter. The sausage was not overpowering in the finished dish but added great flavor. I used locally made sweet Italian sausage with fennel seeds- perfect.
This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Yewande Komolafe. The sausage could be omitted for a vegetarian version. The original recipe notes that if store-bought or boxed mix cornbread is used, it should be crumbled and and spread out on a sheet pan to dry for 4 to 12 hours prior to assembling the dish. I made the accompanying cornbread recipe, which does not require drying time, two days prior to making the dish.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
For the Cornbread:
8 T/115 grams/1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing the pan
1 1/2 cups/250 g medium-coarse yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup/114 g all-purpose flour
1/4 cup/55 g granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups/470 milliliters buttermilk, preferably full-fat (I used low-fat)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the Dressing:
3 T unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1 T neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola, plus more if needed
1 pound loose pork sausage (I used sweet Italian sausage)
1 large yellow onion, very finely chopped (2 cups)
4 celery ribs, very finely chopped (2 cups)
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 T chopped fresh sage (from 10 large leaves)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe cornbread for dressing, broken into 1-inch pieces, or 10 cups loosely packed cornbread
1 1/2 cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
1 cup buttermilk, preferably full-fat (I used low-fat)
To Make the Cornbread:
Heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch skillet, preferably cast-iron, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. (I weighed the dry ingredients when possible.)
Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk and eggs. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until incorporated.
Fold in the melted butter.
Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and smooth the top.
Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sides pull away cleanly from the skillet, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool completely and serve warm or room temperature, or reserve to make cornbread dressing.
To Assemble & Bake the Dressing:
Heat oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Heat a large skillet over medium and pour in the oil.
Add the sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate, keeping any fat in the skillet. Add a few additional tablespoons oil if needed to evenly coat the bottom.
Add the onion and celery to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, fennel seeds and sage, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Return the cooked sausage to the skillet and stir to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the cornbread pieces and toss to combine.
Pour in the stock and buttermilk, and stir until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
Transfer the cornbread mixture to your prepared dish and spread evenly.
Drizzle the melted butter over the top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake until heated through, 30 to 35 minutes.
Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees, remove the foil and bake until the surface is golden brown in spots, 15 to 20 minutes.
I am not usually the biggest fan of Thanksgiving stuffing but I was in love with this version. This classic Southern stuffing had wonderful flavor and a perfect balance of crunchy and custardy texture. Perfect. It will definitely be part of my Thanksgiving menu next year.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Josh Miller. The skillet cornbread is baked in a piping hot cast iron skillet sprinkled with salt- resulting in a fabulously crispy crust. This cornbread would be delicious on its own as well. I made the cornbread a day in advance. The stuffing can be completely assembled one day before serving and baking.
4 cups torn (1-inch pieces) white Pullman bread slices
3/4 cup unsalted butter (6 ounces), melted, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cups chopped Gala apple
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
3 1/2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
Toss together 5 cups cornbread cubes, torn white bread, 1/2 cup melted butter, and sage in a large bowl.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high. In 2 batches, add cornbread mixture to skillet; cook, stirring, until bread is toasted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer corn-bread mixture to a large bowl, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean.
Add bacon to skillet; cook over medium, stirring often, until crisp, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon; add to cornbread mixture.
Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings in skillet; discard remaining drippings or reserve for another use.
Add onion, apple, celery, parsley, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add onion mixture to cornbread mixture.
Crumble remaining 5 cups cubed cornbread into cornbread mixture.
Whisk together 3 cups broth, eggs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl until blended. Fold into cornbread mixture.
Spoon mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup broth and remaining 1/4 cup melted butter. Bake in preheated oven until lightly toasted, about 35 minutes.
Note: Dressing may be assembled up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill until ready to bake. Bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature in the center of the casserole is 165 degrees.
My husband and I traditionally celebrate our wedding anniversary by having an extravagant dinner at VOLT in Frederick, Maryland. It is the restaurant of Bryan Voltaggio, of Top Chef fame. On our 19th anniversary, we brought home an autographed cookbook after enjoying our lovely meal. Last Thanksgiving, I made two side dishes from this special book. ❤
This stuffing recipe was adapted from Home: Recipes to Cook With Family and Friends by Bryan Voltaggio. I modified the proportions and used prepared stock as well as store-bought sausage as shortcuts.
Both the cornbread and the poultry seasoning can be made days in advance, which is always helpful. It was interesting to me that the cornbread was made without a leavening agent, making it more dense than a typical cornbread. The stuffing had a deep celery flavor from the celery seed and chopped celery. Nice.
Yield: 10 servings
For the Cornbread:
nonstick cooking spray
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
5 T (1/3 cup, 75g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp (9g) fine sea salt
3 large eggs
2 tsp (12g) molasses, honey, or sorghum syrup
1/4 tsp (0.6g) freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup (240g) buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 1/2 T whole milk
2 2/3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (276g) cornmeal
For the Poultry Seasoning:
2 tsp (2g) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp (0.5g) finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp (1g) finely chopped fresh sage
1 tsp (1g) finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp (2g) ground celery seed
1 tsp (2g) ground coriander
1 tsp (2g) onion powder
1/2 tsp (3g) fine sea salt
1/2 tsp (1.5g) freshly ground black pepper
For the Topping:
2/3 cup (50g) panko breadcrumbs
2 1/2 T (25g) poultry seasoning (above)
2 T unsalted butter, melted
For the Stuffing:
nonstick cooking spray
3 T extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
4 1/2 cups (300g) freshly baked and cubed cornbread
1 pound loose sweet Italian pork sausage
2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 to 6 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken or turkey stock (preferably homemade)
For the Royale:
3 large eggs
1 cup (240g) milk or heavy cream
To Make the Cornbread:
Preheat the oven heat to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection. Spray or butter the bottom and sides of two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. (One 13-by-18 inch casserole pan can be substituted.)
Put the sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and the salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is fully incorporated before adding another.
Beat in the molasses and nutmeg.
Reduce the mixer to low speed, add the buttermilk and milk, and beat until incorporated.
Add the flour and cornmeal, and beat on low speed until well combined.
Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is well-blended and thick, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour the batter onto the prepared baking dishes. Tap each dish on the counter to settle the batter.
Bake until the cornbread springs back lightly when pressed with your finger, 22 minutes on convection or up to 30 minutes in a standard oven.
Cool completely in the dish on a wire rack.
The cornbread may be made 3 days in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and held at room temperature.
To Make the Poultry Seasoning:
Combine the parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme in a small bowl.
Add the celery seeds, coriander, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
The seasoning can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To Make the Topping:
Put the panko breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and add the poultry seasoning (the remainder may be used to season gravies and other holiday dishes).
Drizzle with the melted butter and toss with your fingers to moisten the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
To Make the Stuffing:
Preheat the oven heat to 325 degrees F, preferably on convection. Spray a 9-by-13-inch flameproof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Cube the cornbread and put into a large mixing bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up into small pieces with the back of a spoon so it cooks evenly, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to the cornbread.
Return the same skillet with the drippings to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the carrots and celery, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables to the cornbread and sausage.
Put the eggs in a blender to make the Royale. Start the blender on low-speed and mix until the eggs are just blended.
Put the milk or cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and heat until a thermometer registers 180 degrees F. Add to the eggs in the blender and mix on low speed until homogenized.
Add the egg mixture to the cornbread mixture.
Add 2 cups of stock. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold everything together with a rubber spatula until fully combined and the stock has mostly been absorbed. The stuffing will seem a little too wet before baking.
Spread the stuffing in the baking dish. Lightly tap the dish on the counter to even out the mixture in the pan.
Add the topping, letting it fall from your fingers in an even layer across the top.
Bake the stuffing until very hot and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.
Turn the broiler on high, and broil the stuffing until the crust is GBD (Golden Brown and Delicious), 3 to 5 minutes.
Serve family-style from the casserole dish.
Note: When blending hot liquids, first let cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open; this will prevent the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters and pulse until smooth.
I have gone to a hair salon owned by a lovely Greek family for many years. Beyond being a relaxing experience to just be there, we often discuss food and new restaurants- it’s great. After hearing about this Greek Thanksgiving stuffing for almost as many years, I finally got the treasured family recipe. 🙂
This dish is reminiscent of one of my son’s favorite rice and meat dishes, Thai One-Pot, with a Greek twist. It incorporates cinnamon, raisins, roasted chestnuts, as well as pine nuts.
My friends eat it as part of their Thanksgiving feast, but it is also hearty enough to be served as a main course. We ate it for dinner with roasted broccoli on the side. I modified the original recipe by using fresh mushrooms and ground turkey instead of ground beef. It was very unique and delicious!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a main dish
4 T unsalted butter
1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup flat parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
24 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup white Basmati rice
2 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock
13 oz organic roasted, peeled chestnuts, crumbled lightly
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 cinnamon stick
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 pound ground turkey or ground beef
1 turkey liver or 2 chicken livers, finely chopped
1-2 T ground cinnamon
1/2 T freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a 14-inch skillet.
Add the chopped celery and onion; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley, and continue to sauté for another minute.
Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice: In a medium pot, bring chicken stock, rice, and 1/2 tsp salt to a simmer. Add the chestnuts, crushed tomatoes, pine nuts, raisins, and cinnamon stick; mix. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. (I used an enameled cast iron pot so that I could use it to finish the dish.)
While the rice is cooking, add the olive oil to the hot 14-inch skillet, followed by the ground meat and chopped liver.
Season the meat with 1 T salt, 1/2 T black pepper, and 1 T ground cinnamon. Cook until no longer pink, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
When the rice is tender, remove the cinnamon stick.
Add the onion, celery, and mushroom mixture to the cooked meat, followed by the cooked rice mixture. Stir to incorporate.
Okay… back to my belated Thanksgiving feast posts…
I struggle selecting a “stuffing” for our Thanksgiving Menu. This version was simple and perfect. I loved that it was a traditional Southern recipe and that it incorporated an unsweetened cast iron skillet cornbread.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Kim Severson. I used medium grind cornmeal. The cornbread is made the night before so that it can harden slightly. I let the cubed white bread sit out overnight as well. We ate it without incorporating meat, but this base recipe could easily be modified to include sausage or even nuts and/or apples. The author suggested eating leftovers mixed with shredded leftover turkey as well.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
For the Cornbread:
4 tablespoons/56 grams butter or bacon drippings
2 cups/340 grams yellow cornmeal, medium grind (use the freshest, best quality you can find)
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups/473 milliliters buttermilk, preferably full fat (I used low-fat)
For the Dressing:
3 cups soft white bread, crusts removed and torn or cut into 1-inch pieces (do not pack)
½ cup butter (1 stick), plus more for the pan
2 cups chopped sweet onions
1 ½ cups chopped celery (4 or 5 stalks)
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 ¼ tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 to 5 cups rich chicken or turkey stock, preferably homemade
3/4 pound pork sausage (such as spicy Italian sausage, fresh andouille or spicy Southern-style sausage)
2 1/2 cups of toasted pecans, chopped
Make the cornbread: Heat oven to 450 degrees, preferably on convection.
Put butter in an 11-inch skillet. Cast-iron is best here, but any ovenproof skillet will do. Heat butter in oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until butter has melted and is just starting to brown.
While butter melts, whisk together cornmeal, salt and baking powder.
In another small bowl, lightly beat eggs, then add buttermilk and stir until mixture is combined.
Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and stir well.
Remove hot pan from oven, pour butter into batter and stir until batter looks uniform.
Pour batter back into the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the top has begun to just brown.
Remove cornbread and let it cool on a rack.
Tear or cut it into large pieces and place in a large bowl. Let it sit out overnight to dry out slightly.
Prepare the dressing: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cornbread and white bread in a large bowl, tossing to mix, and breaking cornbread into smaller pieces.
Melt butter in a large skillet, and add onions, celery and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until vegetables have softened, about 6 minutes.
Add vegetables to bread mixture and combine.
Lightly beat eggs and add to bowl.
Sprinkle in herbs, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper and toss together.
Add 4 cups broth and stir well.
Using your hands, work the mixture to get a very lumpy, thick, batter-like consistency.
Add another cup of stock if needed. The mixture should be very wet and pourable but without standing liquid.
Butter a 2-quart ovenproof dish. (such as an 8-by-11-inch baking dish. A deeper vessel could take longer to bake; a more shallow dish less time.)
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake until dressing puffs slightly and has browned well around the edges, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If you have drippings from a roasted turkey, spoon some over the top about 30 minutes into the baking time.
To Add Sausage: Brown 3/4 pound pork sausage in a pan, crumbling it into small pieces as it cooks. Add to the bread mixture along with the vegetables.
To Include Nuts: Add 2 1/2 cups of toasted pecans, chopped, to the vegetable and bread mixture.
My son was begging me to make the stuffing muffins that I served last Thanksgiving. I had to break his heart to try this recipe because it could also double as a vegetarian main dish. I also loved that it incorporated farro- a new love of mine. Mushrooms, greens, and cheese… What’s not to like? It had a really special and earthy taste.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Kay Chun. I substituted one pound of organic baby spinach for the mustard greens, increased the amount of garlic, and used Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro. I started prepping the ingredients two days before Thanksgiving (steps 2-5, as well as grating the cheese), and assembled and baked the complete dish on the big day.
Yield: Serves 12
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese (6 ounces), separated
Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 4-quart baking dish.
In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the farro until al dente, about 20 minutes. (I cooked my par cooked farro according to the package directions.) Drain well; transfer to a very large bowl.
Meanwhile, spread the bread on a large baking sheet and toast until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. (I did this ahead of time and stored the toasted bread in a ziplock bag.)
In a large nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the greens in batches and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the bowl.
In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add half of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of oil and mushrooms.
Add the stock, lemon juice, eggs, scallions and 1 cup of the cheese to the bowl and mix well.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes longer, until golden.
Note: The assembled stuffing can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
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
Bake the cornbread. Cool and cut into 1-inch cubes.
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.
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.
Generously butter a 12-cup muffin tin, and 6 cups in an additional tin. (I used cooking spray.)
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.
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.
Peel the roasted squash. Transfer 4 1/2 cups of the squash to a food processor, add the sugar and puree until smooth.
Season the mixture with salt, add the eggs and process until incorporated. Add the chicken stock and process again.
In a large bowl, combine the toasted corn bread with the squash puree and let stand for 5 minutes.
Stir lightly, add the onion-bacon mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir again.
Mound the stuffing in the prepared muffin cups.
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.