Creative stuffing recipes get a twist from favorite ingredients

Beef sausage stuffing with apples and cranberries, photo provided by Beef It's What's for Dinner
Beef sausage stuffing with apples and cranberries, photo provided by Beef It's What's for Dinner /

While some people might ask for a second helping of mashed potatoes, creative stuffing recipes could take prime space on that holiday plate. It does not mean that grandma’s dish loses its luster. Instead, it adds another layer of flavor to the celebrated meal.

Instead of focusing on the terminology, methodology, or even presentation, creative stuffing recipes focus on what is really important, flavor. Whether the dish starts with the bread component or a protein element, the home cook wants to ensure that the final product is the best possible combination of all the ingredients.

Stuffing usually starts with the bread ingredient. Instead of just another loaf of bread, St Pierre’s Brioche Stuffing is a rich option. The contrast of textures from the crispy crust to the pillowy center make it a great choice for a stuffing. When combined with all the other seasonings, it is a strong base for the dish.

For cooks who prefer a familiar option, Auntie Anne’s has a pretzel stuffing recipe. Although those classic pretzels are great with some cheese, they are even better with some seasonal seasonings.

Sometimes that creative stuffing recipe uses pantry staples in a new way. For example, the Savory Sausage Apple Stuffing uses Mott’s No Sugar Added Applesauce Granny Smith. Instead of having to run to the store and get even more frazzled, it is time look to food that is within reach. And, it could be the hit of the feast.

Lastly, Thanksgiving might be about the bird but it does not have to be the only protein on the table. Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner has a suggestion that uses ground beef. While the dish takes minimal effort, the flavor is complex. More importantly, the addition of the ground beef ensures that the stuffing moist. It might become the new tradition for years to come.

Creative stuffing recipes
Beef sausage stuffing with apples and cranberries, photo provided by Beef It’s What’s for Dinner /

Beef Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries Recipe


  • 1 pound Ground Beef (93% or leaner)
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) unseasoned dried bread cubes
  • 2-1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups peeled, diced Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


1.Combine Ground Beef, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon rubbed sage,1/2 teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove beef mixture from skillet with slotted spoon into large bowl; set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. In same skillet, heat butter on medium heat until hot. Add leeks, cook and stir 5 minutes. Add leeks to beef mixture. Stir in bread cubes, broth, apples, cranberries, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic powder, remaining 1 teaspoon onion powder, remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to beef mixture. Cook’s Tip: You may substitute a fresh baguette, cubed and toasted, for unseasoned dried bread cubes.

3. Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place beef mixture into prepared dish; cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 350°F oven 30 to 40 minutes until heated through.

Cook’s Tip: For a drier stuffing, bake covered 30 to 40 minutes, then bake uncovered 10 to 15 minutes until top of stuffing is crisp

Creative stuffing recipes deserve space on the table. It could become the new tradition that everyone asks for year after year.

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