Dad's Thanksgiving Stuffing

Serves 10-12 people


Dad and I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner together my whole life. We have a solid, meticulously timed system down, including our Dunkin' Donuts runs.


We have tried many different recipes for Thanksgiving sides throughout the years, but the one dish that's always remained is dad's stuffing—a delicious meaty mix of Italian sausage and ground beef with celery and onion. Several years ago, I decided to take dad's stuffing and add some cornbread croutons and fresh sage, elevating it to next, NEXT level. This recipe collab has been a hallmark of our Thanksgiving table every year, and a testament to our handiwork in the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

2 lbs Italian sausage, sweet, hot or a mix

2 lbs ground beef

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped white or yellow onion

⅓ cup chopped fresh sage

3-4 cups of chicken stock

1 loaf mom's corn bread

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Red pepper flakes

WHAT YOU'LL DO


Preheat your oven to 400º.


Slice your cornbread into 1" cubes and place on a baking sheet. Gently brush your bread with olive oil until all sides are coated.

Important: While it may be tempting to throw the bread chunks into a bowl, douse them in olive oil and toss with your hands, please resist. You will end up with a bowl of oily crumbs.


Roast your cornbread cubes for 45-60 minutes, until they're nicely browned and dried out. We want cornbread croutons at the end of this! Set these aside for now.


A note: This is a GREAT step to do in advance, like a few days even. The more dried out the bread gets, the better.


Ok let's get our veggies and meat going. First, turn your oven down to 350º, then grab a large pan or dutch oven. Add 2 cups chopped celery and 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion to a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until cooked and translucent.


Okay it's time to meet your meat. I use 2 lbs of Italian sausage and 2 lbs of ground beef. This is my favorite combo, but there is so much room to play around here, and I encourage it. You don't need my permission, but you have it anyway!


Break up your meats into chunks and add to your pan. Continuing on medium heat, cook your meat, breaking it up further as you go, until is close to being cooked fully. You wanna leave a little room for the oven cooking that will happen so the meat doesn't get dry!


Add your cornbread croutons to your dutch oven along with ⅓ cup chopped fresh sage, 3-4 cups of chicken stock, salt and pepper. Stir everything until combined. Add enough stock so there is some

visible liquid. This will help keep your stuffing moist while it bakes.


You can absolutely bake your stuffing in the pan you have made it in, but I like to use a deep 9x13 baking dish, which I butter before adding the stuffing.


Place your dish into a 350º oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is nice and crisp to your liking.


This stuffing is such a wonder to behold, and I always make sure I get plenty of the crispy top parts on my dish.


Keep in mind that if you are preparing this for your big Thanksgiving meal, you can bake in advance and then throw it in the oven before the meal to heat up and crisp a bit more!


Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving from me and Dad!


Make it step-by-step with me below!

1. Preheat your oven to 400º. Slice your cornbread into 1" cubes and place on a baking sheet.

2. Gently brush your bread with olive oil until all sides are coated.

While it may be tempting throw the bread chunks into a bowl, douse them in olive oil and toss with your hands, please resist. You will end up with a bowl of oily crumbs.

3. Roast your bread for 45-60 minutes, until it is nicely browned and dried out. We want cornbread croutons! Set these aside for now.


A note: This is a GREAT step to do in advance, like a few days even. The more dried out the bread gets, the better.

4. Ok let's get our veggies and meat going. First, turn the oven down to 350º, then grab a large pan or dutch oven. Add 2 cups chopped celery and 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion to a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until cooked and translucent.

5. There ya go!

6. Okay it's time to meet your meat. This is 2lbs of Italian sausage and 2 lbs of ground beef. This is my favorite combo, but there is so much room to play around here, and I encourage it. You don't need my permission, but you have it anyway!

7. Break up your meats into chunks and add to your pan. Continuing on medium heat, cook your meat, breaking it up further as you go, until is close to being cooked fully.

8. You wanna leave a little room for the oven cooking that will happen so the meat doesn't get dry! This is a good stopping point.

9. Add your cornbread croutons to your pan along with ⅓ cup chopped fresh sage, 3-4 cups of chicken stock, salt and pepper.

10. Stir everything until combined. Add enough stock so there is some visible liquid. This will help keep your stuffing moist while it bakes.

11. You can absolutely bake your stuffing in the pan you have made it in, but I like to use a deep 9x13 baking dish, which I butter before adding the stuffing.

12. Place your dish into a 350º oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is nice and crisp to your liking.

13. This stuffing is such a wonder to behold, and I always make sure I get plenty of the crispy top parts on my dish.


Keep in mind that if you are preparing this for your big Thanksgiving meal, you can bake in advance and then throw it in the oven before the meal to heat up and crisp a bit more!


Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving from me and Dad!