I confess, when it comes to stuffing, I am definitely a pretty finicky customer.
I do not like most bread dressings, especially those with things like raisins or fruit in them and I don’t care for the sort-of sogginess of bread in stuffing.
I much prefer the more southern style of stuffing that is based around savory cornbread. Before I started making my own stuffing, I always preferred Pepperidge Farm or even Stove Top stuffing to any alternative as long as it was cornbread based.
Now, I have my favorite….a savory sausage and cornbread stuffing enhanced with a tiny bit of sweetness from roasted sweet potato chunks.
The other thing is that when I take a scoop of stuffing out of the pan, I like to get as much of the crispy baked top of the stuffing as I possibly can. If I could just use the large serving spoon and take just the top inch or so from across the pan, that would be fantastic, but then I’d have bad manners and no one else would get any.
Needless to say, this creates a dilemma for me.
However, I think I’ve solved my problem. These Stuffin Muffins are baked in individual muffin tins which causes all sides of the stuffing inside to get crisp and golden.
If a sweet potato in stuffing freaks you out, just leave them out. You’ll love the sausage and sage cornbread-based dressing instead.
To make the stuffing you’ll need six cups of cubed cornbread. It’s really best if you make the cornbread yourself, which is why I shared this recipe with you a few days back (click here for my Southern Iron Skillet Cornbread recipe). If you just can’t fathom making the cornbread, you can buy the pre-packaged bags of cornbread stuffing (use six cups), but buy plain because we’re going to add the seasoning to this recipe and you don’t want it to be too seasoned. If you do make the cornbread, cube it up, lay it out on a cookie sheet or two and pop it into your oven and let it stay there for a day to dry out somewhat. It makes for better stuffing!
Now let’s get cooking shall we? First cut up 1 ½ cups of celery, onion and peeled sweet potato into small cubes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and add a pound of mild breakfast sausage, and add it and all three of the vegetables you just cut up into the skillet after the oil heats up over medium high heat.
Stir this all around for about 10 minutes, or until the sausage is browned, and the vegetables have softened up but not browned. Add them into a large mixing bowl along with your cornbread cubes.
Chop up about 8-12 sage leaves depending on how big they are.
Mine were pretty big. You want about two tablespoons of chopped sage for this recipe. You can also add in any other herb you love. I also added 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary.
Toss them into the stuffing mixture along with a teaspoon of salt.
Now, melt one stick of butter or (½ cup) just until it’s all melted. Add in three beaten eggs and one cup of chicken stock.
Whisk this all together and then pour it right over your stuffing mixture. Use a large spoon and gently fold the stuffing ingredients together trying to keep some of the cubes of cornbread intact while incorporating the wet ingredients into them.
Spray or grease 18 non-stick muffin tins. Now, take a large tablespoon and begin to fill the muffin tins.
You want to mound the stuffing up like a muffin would look like after it has puffed up and baked. Take your spoon and turn it upside down and press gently on top of each of the stuffing muffins to mold them somewhat together.
Another genius idea would be to use a large ice cream scoop to scoop the stuffing mixture into the tins.
Pop the muffin tins into the oven for about 50-60 minutes or until the tops are browning nicely and getting nice and crisp, like what the top of a pan of stuffing would look like.
Take a small rubber spatula or knife and run it around the edge of each Stuffin Muffin and let set for 5 or so minutes to cool a bit, then remove to a serving platter or plates. Serve with turkey gravy and have at em!
Kids and adults alike will love getting their own Stuffin Muffin flecked with the colors of autumn this Thanksgiving! The crispiness on all sides will make them completely unaware that they are eating their vegetables!
And that’s always a good thing!
For LOADS more of my Thanksgiving cooking ideas, please click here!
- 6 cups day old cornbread cut into cubes
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 lb. mild breakfast sausage
- 1½ c. celery chopped
- 1½ c. chopped yellow onion
- 1½ c. peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
- 1 c. chicken stock
- ½ c. melted butter
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 T. chopped fresh sage
- 2 T. Chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 t. salt
- A day before, cut corn bread in cubes and lay out on pan to dry out. Or toast it in the oven on 350º for about 10-15 minutes before making cornbread.
- Preheat oven to 325º
- In large skillet, add olive oil and turn on medium high heat
- When oil has heated, add sausage, celery, onion, and sweet potato. Stir, breaking up sausage, and continue to cook about 10 minutes or until sausage is cooked, and vegetables have softened. Add into large bowl along with cornbread cubes
- Mix eggs, melted butter and chicken stock together and pour over top of cornbread and vegetables
- Chop sage an rosemary and add in with salt to the mixture
- Using a large spoon, fold the ingredients together gently so that some of the cubes stay intact.
Please visit these other delicious bloggers to see what they’re cooking up for Thanksgiving sides dishes this year for Food Network’s Fall Fest!
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