You can use stuffing to stuff a turkey, or you can tuck it into a casserole dish and bake it up by itself. Or you can form it into some cute little single-serving balls that bake up a little crisp on the outside and doughy and tender on the inside. That latter option is what my grandma usually went with and while it gains points because it’s a fun way to serve stuffing, it also happens to be the version I always find myself craving because it’s so darn delicious.
These don’t start with any silly stuffing mix. You just need regular ol’ white or wheat bread and a few of the usual stuffing suspects to get started. You cube the bread up, but there’s no need to let it sit overnight to dry out; the softer texture works well for these balls.
You saute up some onions and celery with some sage, thyme, and salt and pepper. That mixture gets added to the bread, along with some chicken broth and eggs to bind everything together.
Everything gets mixed together (with some parsley too) until it’s moist enough that you can easily shape it into balls.
And then they head into the oven to bake.
While some of the corners gain a bit of crispiness, these end up moist and tender (but never mushy). The flavor is well and above anything you can get from a box – they’re full of savory herb flavor even though they’re so easy to make.
One of the best things about these is they’re done in just 30 minutes! When you’re making a big feast, you’re generally not looking for your side dishes to take a ton of extra time or effort and these certainly don’t. During the holiday season, or even just a basic weeknight meal anytime of year, they make for an excellent simple side dish.
MeeMaw's Baked Stuffing Balls
Serves 4-6; 30 minutes
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 10 cups white or whole wheat bread, cubed
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, sage, and thyme, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and chicken broth. Stir in bread and parsley, followed by onion mixture. Mix until combined.
- Form mixture into 2-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Easy Peasy Foodie.