How to Put Your Own Spin on Stuffing [Infographic]
Ah, stuffing. Every family has a recipe for this humble holiday staple—whether it’s just “open the box” is your own business. But every now and then, we all feel the urge to break with tradition. Stuffing is the perfect jumping off point for new flavors and textures.
Follow our simple base recipe and mix and match the ingredients to suit everyone’s tastes and showcase seasonal favorites. Picky kids? Bring them into the kitchen and let them approve your selections to ensure a clean plate (or maybe even second helpings!).
Here’s how it all comes together:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Heat a heavy-bottomed 10-inch cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 1lb of meat and cook until the fat has rendered out and the meat is mostly cooked through. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Not using meat? Skip this step and add your mushrooms with any other vegetables in step 4.
Add a tablespoon or two of fat and turn the heat up a bit. Once hot, add 2 cups of your aromatics and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
Stir in about 2 tablespoons of herbs, cook for a minute more, then add 2 cups of vegetables and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and toss in 3-4 cups of your chosen starch and the cooked meat, folding to combine. Pour 2 cups of your liquid of choice over the stuffing and toss it all together. If you’re feeling so inclined, add a little drizzle of olive oil or melted butter over top.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden brown.
What will you create? If you’re still not sure where to start, here are some of our favorite combinations to add to or tweak:
Cornbread + Brown Butter + Scallions + Sage
Add meat (chorizo is great), or keep it vegetarian with some peppers and squash.
Rustic Bread + Pancetta + Leeks + Thyme
Build on this classic flavor combination with plenty of seasonal vegetables.
Rye + Bacon + Onions
Salty bacon and earthy rye are a great base to build on with your favorite herbs (you can even go crazy with a sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese before it comes out of the oven)
Wild rice + Breakfast sausage + Scallion + Chard + Oregano
The complex, nutty flavor of wild rice makes this the perfect gluten-free option.
Brioche + Mushrooms + Onions + Garlic
Vegetarians won’t leave hungry when you start with a buttery, rich brioche and sauté hearty mushrooms with plenty of onions and garlic.