Why, I ask you, is stuffing limited only to Thanksgiving? This post is my plea to make Thanksgiving's best side dish extend throughout the winter. It's the ultimate comfort food--and this version redeems itself by containing also veggies and a fruit (and, ahem, sausage and butter). I love these bite sized versions for many reasons:
- It's a universal rule that applies to 99 percent of kids across America: Bake anything in a muffin tin, and they're more likely to try it.
- These can can be made ahead and even stored in the freezer, so you can pop one out anytime—they make a great addition to your child's lunch boxes, or as a size to any meat-based dinner, or as an adorable party appetizer.
- Portion control. If you're the type that will go at the leftover stuffing with a spoon and without a stop button (insert self), these smaller versions can help reign it in.
Mini Sausage and Apple Stuffing Bites
Makes 24 Muffin Size Bites
Ingredients: 1 baguette cut into 1-inch cubes, about 8 cups 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 sausage links, castings removed (or 1 cup ground sausage) 2 apples, chopped 1 small yellow onion, diced, about 1 cup 4 celery stalks, diced, about 3/4 cup 2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme 2 cups organic low sodium chicken stock 3 large eggs, beaten ½ cup dried cranberries, optional
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 muffin tins or line with parchment liners. Set aside Place bread cubes onto cookie sheet, and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes until toasted. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté sausage in butter and oil until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Add apples, onions, celery, and thyme and sauté for 8-10 minutes more, until onion is translucent and celery is soft. Remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sautéed ingredients, bread cubes, chicken stock, eggs, and cranberries and toss to thoroughly combine. Spoon the stuffing mixture into greased muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Pat the mixture down to pack it well. Bake for 25 minutes until bites are golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.