Thanksgiving Stuffing Done Four Ways

Wayne shares his mom’s, his friends’ and his favorite stuffing recipes

Our meteorologist, Andy Avalos, gave me the idea of exploring different types of stuffing for Thanksgiving.  I decided to ask my mom for her recipe as well as my facebook friends for their favorite versions or suggestions.  Not surprisingly, I received a number of responses.  There was definitely a group who preferred to stay traditional “like mom always makes”.  But, I also received a few fun ideas that I decided to explore as well.  So, here’s my take on two traditional recipes as well as two that might offer up a tasty alternative for your Thanksgiving buffet.  You can enhance the flavor of all four stuffing recipes by adding a few tablespoons of drippings from your turkey.

Andouille Sausage and Apple Stuffing
about 8-10 servings


1 loaf French Bread, about 22” long
3/4 lb Bulk Andouille Sausage, or links removed from casings
2 tsp Fresh Sage, finely chopped
4 tbl Butter
1 lg Yellow Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Celery Stalks, split and chopped
2 med Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 3/4 cu Turkey or Chicken broth, or a combination
1/2 cu Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
2 lg Eggs, beaten with 1 cup of the broth from the above quantity
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 cu Walnuts, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Cut French bread into small 1/2" cubes.  Please on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes until all the moisture is gone and cubes are crisp.  Remove from oven and place in a large mixing bowl.  Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Break sausage into a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Continue to break sausage up as it cooks until the meat has lost its color.  Reduce heat to medium.  Remove sausage from the pan and set aside.  Add butter, onion, garlic and celery.  Saute until onions are tender, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.   Add apples and continue to sauté for an additional 5 minutes until apples soften.  Remove from heat. 

Pour sausage, vegetables, parsley and walnuts over bread crumbs.  Toss to combine.  Add egg mixture and remaining broth and toss again.

Pour stuffing into a 9”x 12” baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove aluminum and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until a nice crust has formed.

Mom’s Cornbread Stuffing
modified from my mom’s recipe
about 8 servings


1 cu Yellow Corn Meal
1 cu All Purpose Flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cu Milk
1/4 cu Vegetable Oil
1 med Onion, finely chopped
1 med Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 Celery Stalk, split and finely chopped
1 lg egg, beaten
2 cu Turkey Broth
1 1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 cu Fresh Parsley, chopped

To make cornbread: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine corn mea, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Add milk, egg and oil and beat until smooth.  Bake in a buttered 8” square baking pan for 20-25 minutes until cornbread springs back when pushed down on top.  Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Break cornbread into crumbs to yield about 6 cups.  Place in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.  Pour into a 9”x 12” baking pan.  Cover with aluminum and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove aluminum, stir and bake uncovered for 30 minutes until crispy on top.

Wild Rice and Saffron Stuffing
courtesy of Azi Najafi
about 8-10 servings


1/2 tsp Saffron Threads
2 tbl Hot Water
1 cu Uncooked Wild Rice
1 cu Uncooked Brown Rice
2 cu Turkey Stock
2 1/3 cu Water
1 tsp Tumeric
4 tbl Butter
1 lg Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 oz Gourmet Mushroom Blend, roughly chopped
1/2 cu Barberries, if you can’t find them use Zante Currants
1/2 cu Walnuts


Grind saffron threads into a powder between your thumb and forefinger.  Place in a small bowl.  Pour 2 tablespoons of boiling water over saffron and mix to combine. Set aside.

Cook the wild rice and brown rice separately.  Put the wild rice, 1 cup of turkey stock, 1 1/3 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt into a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Stir, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes. 

Put the brown rice, tumeric, 1 cup of turkey stock, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt into a separate pot.  Bring to a boil.  Stir, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove both pots from the heat and let them rest, covered, for 10 additional minutes.  Fluff up each with a fork and combine the two in a large bowl. 

In a large saucepan, sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter until tender.  Add to the rice mixture.  Melt remaining butter in the pan over low heat.  Add barberries (or currants) and saffron water and simmer just until barberries plump up a bit and absorb some of the liquid.  Pour into rice mixture.  Add walnuts and mix thoroughly.  Pour ingredients into an 8” square baking dish and cover with aluminum.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Potatoes and Fennel Stuffing
courtesy of Angela DiAnna
about 4-6 servings


4-5 Thick Pancetta Slices, coarsely chopped
2 tbl Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
12 small White Potaotes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 generous palm full of Ground Fennel Flowers (fennel pollen)
2 tbl Sea Salt
2 tbl Black Pepper
1/3 cu Flat Leaf Parsley, roughly chopped

Saute pancetta and garlic in olive oil over a medium heat until translucent.  Add potatoes, fennel, salt and pepper and sauté until potatoes are just tender.  Toss in parsley and transfer mixture to an 8” square baking pan.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 10-15

This stuffing is great for wild game.  Angela used it with rabbit in Italy

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