Stuffing is one of the easiest things to make for Thanksgiving, and one of the easiest to embellish. Thanks to my mom’s creativity in the kitchen, I have never made a stuffing exactly like the package recipe, but instead add to it to make it my own and create an even tastier dish for Thanksgiving.
Everyone has their favorite stuffing mix that they use. My favorite? Whatever’s on sale. This week, Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffing is on sale at G&G for $2.50 a box. To make enough for a small crowd of 24, I bought two boxes – the original recipe and the cornbread mix. Also, while some people enjoy stuffing their turkey with it, I prefer to make it into a casserole. This ensures that it gets cooked enough without fear of salmonella. If you do stuff your turkey, I hope you have heard at least a million times that you are not to insert the stuffing until just before it gets ready to cook. If not, let me be the first to tell you – DO NOT STUFF THE BIRD UNTIL JUST BEFORE YOU COOK IT.
Stuffin’ Casserole Recipe
(according to Mrs. Cubbison, including additional ingredients by Wine Country Mom and WC Mom’s Mom.)
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 boxes of Mrs. Cubbison’s Stuffing
4 sticks of butter
2 cups chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
3 cups turkey broth
1.5 lbs pork sausage meat
1 jar Franco-American Turkey Gravy
Cook the sausage until it is cooked through and crumbly in the pan. Set the cooked sausage aside, but leave the drippings in the pan. Add the butter and the veggies and sauté lightly until the butter is completely melted. In a very large bowl, combine the butter, veggies, meat, and stuffing, mixing until well coated. Mix in the gravy. Stir broth in one cup at a time, stirring well before adding another. When completely mixed, transfer into a 5 or 6 quart greased casserole dish.
The beauty of stuffing is you can either make this ahead and set it in the refrigerator until it is ready to be baked, or you can bake it immediately after preparing it. Bake the stuffing, covered, for 30 – 40 minutes at 350 degrees. If you refrigerated it before cooking it, add a little more time. Remove cover and bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes for a crispier top. Makes 24 ½ cup servings.
The finished product:
Want more creativity with stuffing? You can add things like bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, apples, cranberries, pecans, and even use fruit juice instead of broth to make it sweeter. The possibilities are endless. Also, lighter versions are possible by reducing the amount of butter used, and increasing the amount of liquid – even using water instead of broth.
For additional stuffing side dishes, don’t miss Diane Peterson’s blog, A full-bodied stuffing in Kitchen Talk.
Want even more recipes? Visit the Recipe Box in the SantaRosaMom.com forums. You’ll find recipes for Banana Sour Cream Bread, Butternut Squash Soup with Ravioli, Perfect Apple Pie, and more. Or, add your own and share with the community!