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Stuffing balls in a serving dish

Top 10 ways with stuffing


Not only is stuffing one of the best parts of a roast dinner, it can be used in all manner of recipes. We’ve picked ten new ways with stuffing.

From trusty sage and onion to a jewelled log studded with fruit, nuts and a spectrum of herbs, stuffing is a truly marvellous thing. Skip the sausagemeat and make a vegetarian version packed with mushrooms and rice, or treat your pork meat to spices, apricots and citrus. Whatever recipe you choose, we have some great ideas for how to serve it.


Top tips

You can make your stuffing up to three months ahead of serving. Shape your uncooked mix into walnut-sized balls, then open-freeze on a parchment-lined tray. When frozen, transfer to a food bag.

Stuffing can be baked directly from the freezer. Just add ten minutes to the cooking time and ensure your balls are hot throughout. 

If you want to fill a bird with stuffing, we have a video guide to show you how, including tips on how to secure your stuffing in the cavity, and how to enhance the flavour with butter and aromatics

If you’re stuffing a turkey, stuff the neck cavity only, as any stuffing inside the turkey will dramatically increase the cooking time and potentially cause the breast meat to dry out. Butter under the skin should help prevent this too. 

Our cookery team all have their own traditions and favourite recipes when it comes to Christmas stuffing:

Food editor Cassie Best: I make one batch of classic stuffing and another more festive version with added cranberries, nuts and spices to cater for all. I love the crispy edges so I always cook my stuffing in a much shallower tray to maximise crispiness! Any leftover stuffing is great fried up in a hash or in a Boxing Day pie. 

Skills & shows editor Barney Desmazery: I make a bread-based stuffing as well as a meat one. The breadcrumb version is made with leeks and parmesan – perfect for my vegetarian guests. 

Our top 10 ways with stuffing

1. Roll with it

Sausage & Bramley stuffing

Give Yule log a whole new meaning by serving your seasonal sausagemeat stuffing as a pretty cylindrical centrepiece. Wrap in bacon and serve in thick slices.
Sausage & Bramley stuffing

2. That's a wrap

Streaky stuffing parcels

Not content with one dose of pork? Finish off your stuffing with a criss-crossed bacon wrap and secure with cocktail sticks for a side dish that gives pigs-in-blankets a run for its money. 
Streaky stuffing parcels

3. Super-simple traybake

Crispy traybake stuffing

This ingenious stuffing traybake celebrates all the crispiest, tastiest bits of a traditional stuffing recipe. It can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to two days, or frozen for extra convenience.
Crispy traybake stuffing


4. Go vegetarian

Fruity Christmas stuffing

Kick sausagemeat to the kerb and try a veggie stuffing. Breadcrumbs add volume, while almonds and figs provide contrasting flavours and textures. Add some apple, cranberries, spices and herbs to give traditional pork stuffing some serious competition. 
Fruity Christmas stuffing

5. Make a cake

Chestnut and bacon cake

Avoid tedious ball rolling and flatten your stuffing into a cake. This method works with most stuffing recipes, but our version is packed with crunchy chestnuts. Serve as wedges then, if there’s enough left over, top with a poached egg for a Boxing Day snack. 
Chestnut & bacon cake

6. Go with the grain

Polenta and pancetta stuffing in a serving dish

Often-overlooked polenta is an economical ingredient. Its soft texture lends itself well to being cooked with cream. Once topped with bacon, herbs and parmesan cheese, it makes an ideal alternative stuffing choice. 
Polenta & pancetta stuffing

7. Exotic flavours

Braised shoulder of lamb with jewelled stuffing

There’s something about traditional stuffing that feels fundamentally British, but there are versions of stuffing for many cuisines. This lamb shoulder with stuffing is Middle Eastern in feel thanks to the cinnamon, date and parsley flavours. 
Braised shoulder of lamb with jewelled stuffing

8. Summery stuffing

Roast chicken with couscous and pine nut stuffing

Stuffing isn’t just for the festive season. This sunshine version uses couscous instead of breadcrumbs, and teams it with apricots, pine nuts and mint. Use to stuff rolled chicken breasts and serve cold at a picnic. 
Roast chicken with couscous & pine nut stuffing

9. Bulk it out with bread

Tuscan sausage, kale and ciabatta stuffing

This clever recipe uses chunks of ciabatta to add a delicious crunch to this traybake stuffing. Prepare it up to two days in advance, ready to pop in the oven on the day.
Tuscan sausage, kale and ciabatta stuffing


10. Love your leftovers

Christmas pizza

This might make traditionalists shudder, but a stuffing-topped pizza is certainly original. It also uses up leftover turkey and is topped with cheese – what more could you ask for? 
Christmas pizza

Another of our favourite stuffing leftover recipes is the Christmas burger. Fry slices or a patty of stuffing until piping hot and crisp. Then, put it into a bread roll with sliced turkey, cranberry sauce and salad. A true festive feast.

Now read

Our best chestnut stuffing recipes
Top-rated sausagemeat stuffing ideas
The best Christmas stuffing recipes


What's your favourite stuffing recipe? Leave a comment below...

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