Growing up, stuffing was exclusively a Thanksgiving-meal food, and I recall being deeply suspicious of it.
So it’s bread? But wet? With other stuff mixed in with it? Hmm. No thanks, I’ll just take a double helping of the marshmallows on top of the sweet potato casserole.
I think of these as the “Before Stuffing” years. Kind of like BC, we can abbreviate this time as “BS.” That seems like a fitting acronym.
After many years BS, I started to give stuffing a chance. Not immediately, not overnight, but little by little. These are the “After Deliciousness” (“AD”) years. At first, I boldly took a very VERY small spoonful of stuffing as it was passed around the table, and placed it on my plate. I worked around it for a while, but inevitably, it was time to actually give it a try. The chronology probably went something like this:
Year 1, AD: Hey! There’s sausage in here. I like sausage. Okay, I guess this isn’t all bad.
Year 2, AD: Oh, pecans too? Cool, pecans are tasty. And raisins! Yum, I kind of like the raisins and the pecans together.
Year 3, AD: Celery, I see what you’re doing here, with your crunchiness to contrast the soft bread and all of those spices! Nicely done!
And it seems like every year since, I understand another delightful nuance in the stuffing recipe my mom has been making every year. With all of the sausage, pecans, raisins, celery, and spices mixed in, it’s great as a side dish, but totally self-sufficient on its own. A bowl of stuffing is probably my favorite Thanksgiving leftover – it’s warm, hearty comfort food at its best!
Sausage Pecan Stuffing
With chunks of sausage, earthy pecans, crunchy celery, and pops of golden raisins, this stuffing is perfect for Thanksgiving or all by itself!
- 2 Medium Onions
- 1 lb. bulk pork sausage
- 2 six oz packages herb stuffing mix
- 1 package (15 oz) golden raisins
- 1 C. pecan halves
- 6 celery ribs
- ¼ t dried basil
- ¼ t oregano
- ¼ t curry powder
- ¼ t caraway seeds
- ¼ t poultry seasoning
- ¼ t garlic powder
- ¼ t salt
- ¼ t pepper
- 2 ½ C Chicken Broth
- Preheat oven to 325°. Chop onions.
- In a very large skillet, cook sausage and chopped onions over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles. Add herb packets from stuffing mixes. Stir in raisins, pecans, celery and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
- Add stuffing mixes and broth; mix well. Cook and stir about 5 minutes.
- Place stuffing in a greased baking dish; refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Bake stuffing, covered, 1 hour. Uncover; bake 10 minutes.