Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing …a family tradition
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!
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 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!)
So now you know one of my family’s oldest Thanksgiving recipes, let me know about yours. Leave a comment below!
Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing
Yield: 10-12 servings
- 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
- Cook 1 lb Ditalini pasta as directed. When cooked, drain and set aside to cool.
- While pasta is cooking, crumble and brown Italian pork, chicken or turkey sausage in large saute pan. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
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