Traditionally, stuffing went inside of poultry and cooked along with the bird. I’m not sure when stuffing left the bird and ended up as its own dish, but I’m so glad it did. Ever since watching that episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air where all the moms, the sisters, and the grandmothers compete to make the best stuffing, I knew that I wanted to create my own. Maybe it was my eternal love for Stove Top Stuffing (I proudly admit that I find this simple-to-make stuffing comfortingly delicious) or my desire to lay the smack down on a bunch of early 90’s fictional characters, but a few years ago my stuffing was born. I had an idea of how to make it, but I looked up a bunch of recipes and pieced together what I liked to create my own. The result of my efforts is below and every year I make this stuffing, I find myself required to make more and more of it due to my friends demanding enough for leftovers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Makes enough to feed a small crowd at a potluck
Total Calories = 4375 for the whole pan
- 1 bag of good quality sliced White/Italian Bread (Something like Arnold Brand White) hand cut into 1/4 inch cubes (about 1920 calories depending on the kind of bread you use)
- Half a bag of light multi-grain bread hand cut into 1/4 inch cubes (about 35 calories per slice or 385 calories total)
Note: If it’s Thanksgiving, just go all out with the bread, but if you’re looking to cut calories, try using a half bag of good quality bread and a full bag of light bread to save a bit. I do like to use two different kinds of bread regardless though to vary the stuffing.
- 1 pound of ground mild/sweet Italian sausage or you can buy it as links and take the filling out of the casing (about 1020 calories)
Note: For a vegetarian friendly version, just skip the sausage.
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh Sage
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Rosemary (no stem, just leaves)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 Diced medium or large yellow onions (about 40 calories each or 80 calories total)
- 2 Granny Smith apples (peeled and cored) chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 80 calories per apple or 160 calories total)
- 1 cup of diced celery
- 2 to 3 cups of chicken broth or stock – canned is totally fine (about 5-15 calories per cup)
Note: A vegetarian friendly option is to make stock using chicken flavored bouillon cubes. I would recommend this over vegetable broth, but be careful since bullion cubes can often be salty.
- 8 tablespoons (or 1 stick) of unsalted butter (about 800 calories)
- A cutting board
- A very sharp, long serrated knife
- An herb chopping knife or food processor
- A large bowl
- 1 – 2 baking sheets
- 1 – 2 baking dishes/pans
- Large saute pan
- A spatula or wooden spoon for mixing
- Stove and Oven
- This is the most time consuming part, so be patient! Using a long, sharp, serrated knife, cut the bread into cubes (you can do more than one slice at a time to speed up the process if your knife is sharp enough) and place the cubes on baking sheets. Avoid squishing the bread though at all costs.
- Pre-heat the oven to between 325-350 degrees F.
- Make sure the bread cubes are in one layer on two large baking sheets/pans and toast them in the oven until a deep golden brown (approximately 10 minutes). If you have a lot of bread then just bake the bread in batches.
- Remove the bread cubes from the oven, let them cool, and then place them in a large bowl.
- Saute the sausage in a skillet on medium-high heat until fully cooked and crumbling (add just a little oil if the sausage sticks too much).
- When the sausage is done, drain the liquid from the sausage and then move the sausage into the bowl with the bread/croutons.
- Chop the herbs, vegetables, and apples.
- Melt the butter in the same sauté pan/skillet over medium heat.
- Add the diced onions, apples, and celery to the pan and sauté them until the onions are soft/almost translucent.
- Add in the freshly chopped sage and rosemary and cook until well mixed.
- Add this mixture to the bowl with the croutons. Then add the raw parsley and pepper. Mix everything very well together.
Note: At this point, you can let these ingredients sit as they are until you are ready to use them. They will stay well in the fridge covered with saran wrap for a day or so, which means you can prepare this the night before you want to serve it.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Lay the stuffing into a large baking dish (or two dishes depending on how large or small the dishes are)
- Add in the salt and 2 cups of the chicken stock/broth evenly, but just enough to make the bread moist yet not squishy (no chicken broth should pool in the bottom of the baking dish). Mix the ingredients again. Add in more broth if you need.
- Bake the stuffing at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until the top is crispy and the center is hot. It is ready to serve immediately, but if it cools off a bit, don’t worry. If the stuffing gets a little cold/soggy, you can always add a little more broth and then re-toast it in the oven.
- Stuff your face.
- Also, don’t forget about leftovers! I even used some stuffing for breakfast as a bed for my omelet!