Aggie's Kitchen

Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing …a family tradition

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My family’s Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing … a recipe my grandmother made for our family for as long as I can remember – it’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving!

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My family's Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing ... a recipe my grandmother made for our family for as long as I can remember! It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com

I seriously can’t even believe we are just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving already. I also can’t believe I’m posting a recipe for Thanksgiving before Thanksgiving. I’ve never really been good about keeping up with holidays ahead of time here on the blog, but this recipe for my family’s Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing has been around for quite a few years and last year I finally remembered to take photos of it so I can share it again with you in time for the holidays this year.

Obviously, this is not your typical holiday stuffing, but this is the only stuffing I know. With my family being from Sicily, Thanksgiving wasn’t really a big holiday for us when I was young. We celebrated it, yes, but I wouldn’t say it was as traditional of a holiday as most other families I knew. We had the turkey, but up until probably high school, we would eat manicotti or a big plate of ziti before the turkey even hit the table. I never knew what green bean casserole was until I was in college. Sweet potato casserole? I think I first had sweet potato casserole (or candied yams) the year I was engaged to my husband. This stuffing is not very traditional, but I love it and look forward to it every year.

My kids do too and that honestly always warms my heart. Tradition makes me truly happy.

My family's Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing ... a recipe my grandmother made for our family for as long as I can remember! It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com

My Nonna made the stuffing for as long as I can remember, but over the years my mom, sister and I have taken on most of the cooking for the big holidays, you know how it goes. I kind of took over making this recipe for our Thanksgiving a few years ago and have made it my own, as close to the original “recipe” as possible (my family doesn’t really have exact recipes).

I love to use corningware to cook the stuffing in because of the size and the glass covers. (best wedding shower gift ever!)

My family's Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing ... a recipe my grandmother made for our family for as long as I can remember! It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com

So now you know one of my family’s oldest Thanksgiving recipes, let me know about yours. Leave a comment below!

Print Recipe

Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2.5-3 lbs ground Italian pork, turkey or chicken sausage, removed from casing (I prefer turkey sausage)
  • 1 lb box of Ditalini pasta (short tubes), cooked
  • 2 10 oz boxes of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed/drained well
  • 5 -6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 14 oz bag of herbed stuffing (I use Pepperidge Farms, blue bag)
  • 2-3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook 1 lb Ditalini pasta as directed. When cooked, drain and set aside to cool.
  2. While pasta is cooking, crumble and brown Italian pork, chicken or turkey sausage in large saute pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine pasta and sausage in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped spinach to bowl and stir to combine. Add herbed stuffing and continue to stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then add beaten eggs to mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour stuffing mixture into lightly greased baking dishes (I usually use corningware). Pour chicken stock evenly over stuffing. Cover the casseroles and place into 350 degree oven for about 30 - 35 minutes until cooked through and starting to brown. At this point, take cover off casseroles and let cook for another 5-10 minutes so top gets golden brown and crunchy.

You can make this ahead and reheat on the day you are serving. If you are reheating, add more chicken broth before warming up (about a cup or so). Warm up in 350 degree oven for at least 25 minutes covered.

My family's Italian stuffing is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving! Ditalini pasta, crumbled sausage and spinach makes it unique and extra delicious!Follow Aggie’s Kitchen’s Thanksgiving board on Pinterest.

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38 Responses to “Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing …a family tradition”

  1. Erica posted November 20, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    ugh- are you sure you have to go? I will miss your posts too much! This stuffing looks incredible and unique! I wish I was in charge of the stuffing- I would make this! Have sooooo much fun! Can’t wait to read about your trip 😉

  2. Lisa posted November 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    I’ve never had stuffing with pasta before.My grandmother cooked more northern Italy so her stuffing was the kind with Luganega(a type of Italian sausage). I will have to try it. We would have antipasto and either lasagna or tortellini first. By the time turkey came no one was hungry. And I never had a sweet potato casserole either.We will miss you. Have a nice week and a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Lucy posted November 20, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Lisa… I too have never seen a stuffing w/pasta and that looks sooooo good!! Thanksgiving was pretty much the same w/the Italian goodies and the turkey and all it’s fix’ins came last and ….. who could eat another bite!!! So after many pleas, we convinced Mom to cut out the pasta dishes… eventually we had a very normal TG w/all the fix’ins.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!!!

  4. Pam posted November 21, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Yum. I love this stuffing. I’ve never had stuffing with pasta but it looks and sounds amazing. Have a great trip and Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Sarah posted November 21, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Happy T-giving and enjoy your trip! I love the fact that you sub in ground turkey sausage with good results; I’m always looking for new recipes that steer away from beef. Please pass a generous plateful of that down to me 🙂

  6. Katherine Aucoin posted November 21, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Your stuffing looks so rich and savory. I would love to try this since I haven’t had stuffing with pasta in it before. Hope you have a wonderful time in the Smokies – stay warm!

  7. Colleen posted November 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Wow, this looks amazing! I have starred this and can’t wait to try it!

  8. Kaitlin posted November 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    this looks delicious!

  9. Paula posted November 21, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Oh Aggie, I’m sure you’ll make Nonna proud! This looks so delicious; I’ve never seen a stuffing like this. I’d love to eat this anytime, not just on Thanksgiving. YUM! Hope you have a wonderful trip!

  10. Maria posted November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Wow, your stuffing looks so much better than the regular stuff! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

  11. Mary Ann posted November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    This looks super delicious! How fun to have a family recipe that you have made traditionally every year. I hope you have a great trip. I love driving in the South, especially from Fl to TN, because then you get to go through Ga. Have a lovely time! I will look forward to your return!~

  12. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen posted November 21, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Hey Aggie! That reminds me of Thanksgiving with my grandparents. We always started with Italian wedding soup and then ravioli and THEN the turkey. My grandmother always made a sausage stuffing too – but no pasta! Man those were the days! Glad to see you are keeping the traditions alive! 🙂

    Have a great time on your trip!

  13. Aggie posted November 21, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you all so so much for all the kind comments! I love hearing about all the other Italians that got stuffed on pasta before turkey!

    Have a wonderful holiday!!

  14. Mandy posted November 22, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Stuffing is one of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving. Aparantly lots of people think like I do. I put a poll on my blog and stuffing is winning as a favorite. Love this recipe Aggie, thanks for sharing.

  15. mikky posted November 22, 2008 at 3:53 am

    what a great stuffing… thanks for sharing your family tradition… happy thanksgiving… 🙂

  16. Gina posted November 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    the stuffing looks incredible! thank you so much for posting the recipe!
    have a wonderful time in tennessee!

  17. priscilla posted November 24, 2008 at 1:50 am

    hope you have a great vacation, i’m sure it was fun!

  18. Annie posted November 24, 2008 at 2:51 am

    OOh pasta in stuffing? Looks delicious! I love stuffing, it’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner!
    Have a great trip and Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. Theresa posted November 25, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Aggie, I never seen stuffing like this before. We used to have pasta before the turkey too. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  20. Kirsten posted November 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    My husband’s family is Italian and they make a VERY similar stuffing every year. I had never had it before I met him, and now I love it. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

  21. Jenny posted November 26, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Beautiful Stuffing Aggie! Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!

  22. Clumbsy Cookie posted November 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Stuffing with pasta?! Hpw cool is that?! Hope you have a safe trip!

  23. ttfn300 posted December 2, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    hmm, this is an interesting take on stuffing… i’m not a fan, but this might intrigue me enough to give it atry 🙂

  24. Niki posted November 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I have never seen stuffing with pasta…SO Italian, i LOVE it, can’t believe i have never thought about this.

  25. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted November 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    omg – I need to make this for my husband!!! He will love this (and will love feeling closer to his Italian family.)

  26. FRN TERRA posted November 19, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    LOOKS SIMILAR TO OUR CHOPPED PORK AND RICE ITALIAN TURKEY STUFFING. ANYONE OUT THERE HAVE THAT RECIPE?

  27. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch posted November 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    I love this, Aggie! It looks delicious!
    It is so interesting how we all have our different traditions for Thanksgiving – even down to the dressing or stuffing we serve – according to where we grew up. I loved reading the history of this for your family.
    I’d love to try this sometime because it looks amazing!

  28. Heidi posted November 22, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I’m making this tomorrow and can’t wait.  Aggie, I remember the year you made it for our family!! It was so delicious!  Happy Turkey Day Aggie.  

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