When the air turns crisp and leaves start their dance to the ground, kitchens begin to buzz with the warmth of seasonal cooking. Among the beloved classics that grace the dining table, stuffing – a true hallmark of comfort food – takes on a whimsical form in this recipe: stuffing balls. These bite-sized morsels encapsulate the essence of homely feasts, transforming the traditional side dish into a star player that’s both playful and satisfying.
Stuffing balls are the perfect solution for those seeking the flavors of a classic stuffing without the fuss of filling a turkey or creating a casserole. They’re convenient, easy to serve, and offer a crisp exterior that gives way to a moist, flavorful interior, brimming with the aromatic herbs and spices that herald the festive season. Whether you’re setting the stage for a Thanksgiving banquet or simply spicing up a Sunday roast, these delightful orbs are sure to entice and satisfy.
The beauty of stuffing balls lies not only in their taste but also in their versatility. This recipe pays homage to the traditional, with sage, thyme, and parsley playing key roles, while also leaving room for personal touches and creativity. Whether they’re a stand-alone snack, an accompaniment to your main, or a novel addition to a potluck, these stuffing balls are poised to ignite culinary joy and become a cherished recipe in your collection.
1 loaf of day-old bread (about 450g), cut into cubes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2–3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking sheet with butter or line it with parchment paper.
Dry the bread: Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for about 5-10 minutes in the preheated oven until slightly dried out. Alternatively, leave them out overnight to stale. This helps absorb the flavors and moisture better.
Cook the vegetables: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
Combine the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, toss the dried bread cubes with the cooked onions and celery, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper until well combined.
Add broth and eggs: Pour the broth over the bread mixture and stir until evenly moistened. Then add the beaten eggs and mix until everything is well combined. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more broth; it should be moist but not soggy.
Form the stuffing balls: Grease your hands with some butter and shape the stuffing mixture into balls, each about the size of a golf ball. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between each ball.
Bake: Place the stuffing balls into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crisp on the outside.
Serve: Remove the stuffing balls from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. They’re perfect as a side dish for poultry or as part of a holiday feast.