A great Thanksgiving stuffing that uses bread heels (the crusty ends of a loaf of bread), stale bread and other random bits of bread you may have accumulated in your freezer.
Bread scraps. Torn or cubed into bite-size or smaller pieces. The amount is up to you and depends on how carb-y you want to go. But try to target for enough to loosely cover the bottom layer of your baking pan (I use a glass or metal 9 x 13 pan).
Oil and butter. For sautéing the veggies.
Pumpkin puree. One 15 ounce can. Or, honestly, whatever you have. If your pumpkin pie baking left you with a spare half can, use that. Or use one and a half cans.
Celery. About one bunch. Diced. I use the entire package of celery, leaves included. It may look like a lot, but veggies shrink while they cook. I rarely feel I’ve added too many vegetables.
Carrots. One bunch, or so. As with the celery, I just try to use however much I have. In this case, I used a bag of ten carrots. If they have greens attached, set those aside and make a nice carrot top pesto as an appetizer for your guests.
Onions. Two or more medium sized. You could get away with just one but I feel like more onions always makes things better.
Eggs. Aim for at least one egg for every four cups of bread. More if you want something more like a casserole than a stuffing.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
- If the bread is frozen, put it in the baking dish you’ll eventually be using for the stuffing.
- Put the frozen bread in the oven to revive and toast it while the oven is preheating.
- While the bread is toasting, chop the onions, carrots and celery. But keep an eye on the bread while you’re chopping and make sure to take it out once it’s just starting to brown and the bread is thoroughly dried.
- Put some oil and butter in a pan on the stove, turn the heat to medium and add the veggies in the order that you chop them.
- Remove the bread from the oven. One the bread cools, tear or chop the bread scraps into bite size pieces.
- Keep sautéing the onions, carrots and celery for at least 10 minutes; they should be softening. Add more butter and oil if needed.
- Add a teaspoon or more of dried sage, along with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pumpkin puree and the broth and stir.
- Beat eggs in a small bowl and stir them into the mixture.
- Add more broth until the mixture is soupy enough to pour over the bread in the casserole dish.
- Pour it into the casserole dish and stir a bit to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Bake for at least 20 minutes.