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Thanksgiving stuffing recipes

These simple stuffing recipes are sure to impress this Thanksgiving.

Sausage and chili cornbread stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 (9-by-13-inch) pan of cornbread,
Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski; Recipe by Pervaiz Shallwani

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 (9-by-13-inch) pan of cornbread, cut into 1⁄2-inch chunks
2 links (about 1⁄2 pound) lamb sausage, removed from casing (spicy Italian or chorizo can be substituted)
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped, green and white parts separated
Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn cut from the cob or 1 cup frozen corn
1 serrano chili, finely diced (include seeds and veins if you want added spice)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cornbread chunks in large baking pan or a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish and toast in oven, tossing every 10 minutes, until all the pieces are crisp and dry. Remove and set aside to cool.

2. Place sausage in a large saute pan and cook over medium-high heat, crumbling with a wooden spoon until crisp. Transfer sausage to a large bowl and set aside. In the same saute pan, melt the butter, add onion and garlic, and saute until soft. Add white parts of scallions, corn, chili and salt, and saute until soft.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and chicken stock. Mix in cilantro and green parts of scallion.

4. When cornbread is cool, add sausage to the casserole dish and gently toss with the butter-and-onion mixture to distribute ingredients evenly. Pour the stock mixture a little at a time over the stuffing, making sure to coat all the bread. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Take off the foil and bake 10 minutes longer, or until stuffing is set and brown on top. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Aromatic Sausage and Herb Stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 16 cups bread cut into
Photo Credit: Doug Young; Recipe by Kevin Penner

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
16 cups bread cut into 2-inch cubes, white or sourdough (1.5 pounds or so)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 onions)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sweet fennel sausage, casings removed and broken up
3 cups dark poultry stock (or canned, low-sodium broth)

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Place the toasted bread cubes in a very large bowl.

2. In a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onions, garlic, sage, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add to the bread cubes.

3. In the same saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, stirring often to keep breaking up the sausage. Add to the bread-and-vegetable mixture.

4. Add the chicken stock to the mixture, mix well, and add it to a buttered 9 inch-by-12-inch Pyrex or enamel baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm or reheat in a 300 degree over if necessary. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Herbed Bread Stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:4 tablespoons unsalted butter1 white
Photo Credit: Doug Young; Recipe by Jennilee Morris

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, chopped
4 ribs celery, diced
1 sprig fresh sage, whole
1  1⁄2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, minced
1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, minced
7 cups stale potato bread cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
7 cups (about 1 baguette) French bread cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
2 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt
Pepper

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 4-quart baking dish.

2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sage, thyme, marjoram and parsley. Cook until fragrant. Remove the whole sage leaves and reserve for garnish.

3. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and add the bread, broth, eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Scrape into the buttered baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake uncovered until golden brown, another 10 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Cornbread, cranberry and walnut stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2⁄3 cup 1 percent milk
Photo Credit: Marge Perry

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2⁄3 cup 1 percent milk
2 large eggs
2 (8.5-ounce) packages corn muffin mix
6 slices bacon
2 cups chopped onion
1 1⁄2 cups diced carrot
1 1⁄2 cup diced celery
3⁄4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon dried crushed sage
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Whisk the milk and eggs in a large bowl; stir in the muffin mix and let stand 2 minutes. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and cut in 1⁄2-inch cubes. Allow to stand at room temperature 1 day or place on a baking sheet and toast in a 400-degree oven until golden.

3. Cook bacon in a large skillet: remove and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Crumble the bacon when cool.

4. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the drippings in the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are somewhat softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and broth; cook 5 minutes.

5. Combine the cornbread cubes, crumbled bacon, vegetables, walnuts, thyme, sage, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to the baking dish and bake 20 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Makes 12 servings.

Note: To omit the bacon, cook the vegetables in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Leek and herb stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 12 cups cubed bread
Photo Credit: Doug Young; Recipe by Patty Gentry


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
12 cups cubed bread from white or whole-grain baguette or peasant loaf
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, divided
4 large (or 6 small) leeks
10 sage leaves
2 sprigs rosemary leaves, stripped
8 to 10 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup chopped parsley
2 cups turkey stock or chicken broth

HOW TO:

1. To dry out bread, either leave out on counter for 24 hours, or spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until dried and beginning to color, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Trim most of the green tops from the leeks. Cut each lengthwise into quarters and then slice ¼-inch thick. Soak sliced leeks in cold water to remove dirt. Drain thoroughly.

3. Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet; add leeks, sage, rosemary and thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, so leeks soften but do not brown, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and stir to combine. Pour contents of skillet into bowl containing bread and stir. Add stock, stir and taste for salt and pepper.

4. Butter or spray a 13-by-9- inch baking pan. Spread stuffing evenly in pan and top with little pieces of remaining butter. Cover tightly with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. (Or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before baking, or increase baking time.) Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown on top, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes and serve warm. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Mushroom-herb stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: ½ ounce dried mushrooms
Photo Credit: Newsday / Bruce Gilbert; Recipe by Erica Marcus


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
½ ounce dried mushrooms
1 (14-ounce) package of cubed herb-seasoned stuffing (See note)
1½ to 2½ cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1 large rib celery, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound mixed variety of mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

HOW TO:

1. To rehydrate dried mushrooms, place in a heatproof measuring cup and cover with ½ to 1 cup very hot water. Soak mushrooms for about ½ hour and up to 2 hours. When you are ready to make the stuffing, lift the mushrooms out of the liquid with your fingers to leave any unwanted debris behind. Rinse mushrooms quickly in cold water, squeeze dry, chop and set aside. Strain the soaking water through a fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter and reserve.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Empty the package of stuffing mix into a bowl large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. Put the mushroom-soaking liquid and enough broth to make 2½ cups into a saucepan. Add 1 stick butter, cover pot and simmer until butter melts. Turn off the heat and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, preferably nonstick, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the celery, sage, thyme and 2 tablespoons of parsley and onion. Saute until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. If you find the pan is too dry, add butter or vegetable oil. When the vegetables are done, scrape them into the bowl of dry stuffing.

4. In the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add the fresh mushrooms and saute until they give up most of their moisture. Add reserved dried mushrooms and cook off most of the liquid, then scrape mushrooms into the bowl of stuffing. Add the pecans and mix all ingredients thoroughly.

5. Pour the broth-butter mixture into the bowl and combine well until all the liquid is absorbed by the bread cubes. Put the stuffing into a lightly buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake ½ hour. If you like your stuffing with a crusty top, remove the cover and bake 10 minutes longer. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Note: You can certainly use unseasoned cubes of dried bread for this stuffing; if you do, make sure you season the celery-herb-onion mixture and the fresh mushrooms with salt and pepper.

Classic stuffing with bacon

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 8 slices thick-cut bacon 2
Photo Credit: Marge Perry

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
8 slices thick-cut bacon
2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
3 cups chopped onion (2 large)
10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 14-ounce bag seasoned dry stuffing cubes
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium low. When crisp, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Chop when cooled.

3. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the stuffing cubes, broth and eggs. Stir in the bacon and transfer to the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes. Makes 14 servings.

Nanny's Stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 12 ounces thick-cut bacon,
Photo Credit: Doug Young; Recipe by Ann Bauer and Marc Bynum


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
12 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 (13-ounce) loaf white sandwich bread (nothing fancy)
8 eggs, beaten
Butter or cooking spray for greasing pan

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saute pan over medium heat, cook bacon until fat renders and it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and start to color, 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Place bread slices in 3 or 4 stacks and cut each stack, tick-tack-toe style, into 9 squares. Place bread in a large bowl. Drain excess fat from bacon-onion mixture and add to bread.

3. Add beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to well-greased (or nonstick), oven-safe 11-by-7-inch baking dish or 10-inch skillet. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes, then remove foil and bake until puffed and nicely browned, about 20 minutes longer. Makes 8 servings.

Bread stuffing with chorizo, almonds and smoked paprika

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 12 cups cubed bread
Photo Credit: Doug Young; Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
12 cups cubed bread from a stale loaf of challah
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces chorizo, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup finely chopped minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cups slivered almonds
½ cup Peppadew peppers or other mildly spice pickled peppers, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until light golden and dry, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook chorizo, onion and celery until softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in smoked paprika and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Add chorizo mixture to bowl along with parsley, salt, broth, eggs, almonds and peppers. Mix thoroughly.

4. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon stuffing into baking dish and drizzle with melted butter. Cover tightly with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown on top, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes and serve warm. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Umbrian Stuffing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive
Photo Credit: Michael Gross; Recipe by Matt Connors


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound fresh fennel pork sausage, out of casing and crumbled
1/8 pound pancetta (unsmoked Italian bacon), sliced into matchsticks (or substitute bacon)
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms, shiitake, cremini, button, or any combination
12 slices white bread, or brioche or challah, slightly stale and diced or hand-torn into bite-size pieces
1½ cups chicken broth
¾ cup grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons more for sprinkling on top
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
Nonstick spray

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-low flame. Add the sausage and pancetta and cook slowly until brown, stirring to break them up. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (except nonstick spray!) and toss well with your hands, making sure everything is well combined and the bread is thoroughly saturated.

2. Coat an 11-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spoon in stuffing mixture. Sprinkle with a few spoonfuls of Parmesan. Bake until heated through and golden brown on top, about 40 minutes. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

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