Preparing the perfect Christmas Eve dinner can take a lot of time and effort, although it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, as Christmas 2016 approaches, there are new and old recipes alike that are surfacing, and they promise flavorful food without all the fuss.
Because the holidays are already pretty stressful, it’s important to go easy on yourself if you’re the one cooking for your family and friends.
Here are a couple of recipes for turkey stuffing that are tasty, unique, and easy enough to make. Stuffing is a perfect side dish for any occasion, but it’s especially popular during the holidays.
Turkey Stuffing Recipes for Christmas Eve Dinner
Cornbread, Sausage, and Chestnut Stuffing: Serves 10
- 2 Bartlett pears, skin on, cut into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 8-oz jar roasted chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 lbs cornbread, crumbled (about 9 to 10 cups)
- 12 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
- Sprinkle of paprika
1. Heat the oven to 300° Break the cornbread into crouton-size pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange them in an even layer. Bake the cornbread croutons until dry and golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Next, toss them with the sage and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Increase the oven temp to 350°F.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook it while breaking it up into small pieces until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with paper towel and drain. Wipe out the skillet after.
3. Next, heat 2 Tbsp each of oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, celery, and onion and season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Finally transfer to a large bowl.
4. Heat 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the pears, increase heat to high, and cook while stirring occasionally until they just begin to brown—3 to 4 minutes (they should not be too soft). Add them to the bowl with the vegetables along with the sausage, parsley, and chestnuts and mix to combine.
5. Add the cornbread and sprinkle the chicken broth and wine over the top and let sit for 2 minutes.
6. Butter a 3-quart baking dish. Transfer all the stuffing to the dish and dot with the remaining 1 Tbsp butter. Sprinkle with the paprika. Cover the stuffing with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake until golden brown and heated through, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Here is a list of pre-made and prepared stuffing mixes, which can be purchased at the grocery store, if you want something extra easy and can’t be bothered with turkey stuffing recipes.
- Beckman’s Traditional Butter & Herbs Stuffing Mix: $5.99 at Whole Foods
- Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing Mix: $3.99 for 12.4 oz
- 365 Organic Cranberry Stuffing Mix: $3.99 for 10-oz bag, available at Whole Foods
- Signature Select Artisan Old Fashioned Stuffing: $2.99 for 12-oz bag at Safeway
- Bill Baron’s Savoury Secrets Traditional Herb Hearty Stuffing Mix: $5.99 for 8.5 oz, available at Whole Foods
Thym, J., “Taste-Off: The best turkey stuffing — and the gloppy stuff,” The Mercury News web site, December 15, 2016; http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/13/taste-off-the-best-turkey-stuffing-and-the-gloppy-stuff/, last accessed December 22, 2016.
“25 Terrific Turkey Stuffing Recipes Your Thanksgiving Guests Will Love,” Woman’s Day web site, October 4, 2016; http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/g35/turkey-stuffing-recipes/, last accessed December 22, 2016.