Best Ever Stuffing Balls Recipe with Turkey - Mama Needs Cake® (2024)

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These delightful stuffing balls make for a perfect holiday side dish, giving each guest their own scrumptious serving of flavorful and tender stuffing!

This family recipe is a family favorite during the holiday season and it's an absolute must for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Best Ever Stuffing Balls Recipe with Turkey - Mama Needs Cake® (1)

This recipe pairs great with this Honey Baked Ham Copycat recipe, a delicious and flavorful ham recipe perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner.

Looking for a recipe for Turkey Gravy Without Drippings, this one is easy, flavorful, and homemade.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients
  • How to Make Stuffing Balls
  • Substitutions
  • Variations in Stuffing Balls
  • Equipment Needed to Make Stuffing Balls
  • Storing Stuffing for Thanksgiving
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • RELATED
  • 📖 Recipe

Ingredients

This stuffing ball recipe is made with everyday ingredients so there's no need to go out and buy something special to make these for your holiday meal.

  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs- room temperature and beaten
  • Loaf of sliced bread- toasted and broken into 1-inchpieces
  • Turkey broth- homemade or store-bought- can be substituted for chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • Turkey- chopped, optional
  • Vegetables- onion and celery, chopped
  • Salt & Black Pepper

See the recipe card for the ingredient amounts and full recipe.

Best Ever Stuffing Balls Recipe with Turkey - Mama Needs Cake® (2)

How to Make Stuffing Balls

To create the best-ever stuffing balls, follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat the oven:Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a baking sheet.
  2. Prepare the bread: Use stale white bread if possible and toast the entire loaf of bread slices and allow it to cool and become crisp.
  3. Cut the bread: Cut the bread into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Cook the veggies: In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the chopped celery and onion until tender. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
  5. Combine: Add the bread cubes to a large bowl and the beaten egg to the bread and combine. Add in chopped turkey if using and mix well. Mix the cooked and cooled vegetables along with the salt and black pepper to taste, as well as the turkey broth in the bowl. Mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients.
  6. Form the balls: Using a measuring cup, scoop 1 cup full of stuffing mixture and use your hands to shape. Using your hands, shape the stuffing mixture into balls.
  7. Bake: Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until they become golden brown and crispy on the outside. They should still be soft and tender on the inside.

TIP: Do not overpack the measuring cup as they will come out hard.

Substitutions

There are some substitutions in these stuffing balls that can be made.

  • Broth: Turkey broth is used most commonly in stuffing but chicken broth and vegetable broth can be used as well.
  • Bread: You can use any type of bread for your stuffing balls, I prefer to use white bread. Make sure to allow the bread to become stale as it will absorb flavor better.
  • Meat: Turkey meat is often added to stuffing balls, but you can choose to omit it or use meat such as ground sausage in its place to make sausage stuffing balls.

For a gluten-free version, you can use gluten-free bread, just allow it to dry out before using it as your bread mixture.

Variations in Stuffing Balls

It's easy to create variations for your stuffing balls to fit your flavor preference.

  • Change the protein:In place of turkey, use cooked and crumbled sausage, ground beef, or diced cooked chicken as the meat of choice.
  • Vegetarian:Omit the meat entirely and opt for vegetable broth in place of the turkey broth. For an egg substitute, consider using flax egg.
  • Herbs and spices:Enhance the flavor of your stuffing balls by adding fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or sage or just a poultry seasoning blend. This is a very basic stuffing balls recipe but you can add seasonings to your liking.
  • Bread choices:Switch up the bread types in your recipe to experiment with texture and flavor. Wheat bread is another option for bread as well as gluten free bread.
Best Ever Stuffing Balls Recipe with Turkey - Mama Needs Cake® (3)

Equipment Needed to Make Stuffing Balls

To make stuffing balls, you will need the following equipment:

  • Cutting board: To chop the ingredients
  • Knife: To cut the ingredients into desired sizes.
  • Large mixing bowl: To combine bread crumbs, eggs, and other ingredients.
  • Measuring Cup -A 1-cup measuring cup is needed to scoop the balls to get the same-sized balls for your stuffing.
  • Large skillet: For sautéing onion and celery in butter.
  • Whisk: To beat the egg mixture.
  • Baking sheet: A greased baking sheet is used to bake the stuffing balls on.

Storing Stuffing for Thanksgiving

When storing your stuffing balls for Thanksgiving, it's important to store them properly to prevent them from drying out or going stale.

  • Before Cooking:For ahead-of-time preparation, shape your stuffing balls and place wrap them tightly on the baking sheet with plastic wrap. You can refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before baking them. This will free up your time on your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner day. It will also enhance the flavor of your stuffing balls.
  • Cooked Stuffing Balls:Once you've cooked your stuffing balls, allow them to cool completely before storing to prevent them from becoming soggy. Place them in an airtight container or in a ziplock bag. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing:If you make your stuffing balls well in advance, you can freeze them. Make sure they are cooled and stored in a freezer safe airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. When stored properly, they can be stored for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then follow reheat.

By following these storage guidelines, you can ensure that your Thanksgiving stuffing balls remain fresh, delicious, and ready to serve at your holiday table.

Best Ever Stuffing Balls Recipe with Turkey - Mama Needs Cake® (4)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are stuffing balls typically made with fresh or boxed stuffing?

Stuffing balls can be made with either fresh breadcrumbs or boxed stuffing, depending on family members preference. Many homemade stuffing ball recipes use white bread cubes as the main ingredient while boxed stuffing uses a box mix with seasonings already mixed in which results in higher sodium content.

What kind of protein pairs well with stuffing balls?

Stuffing balls are a delicious side dish that pairs well with a variety of proteins, perfect for your holiday party. Common protein choices include:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Pork Roast
  • Vegetarian or vegetarian options when making vegetarian stuffing balls

How can you keep stuffing balls moist and flavorful?

To keep stuffing balls moist and flavorful, consider the following tips:

  • Saute the vegetables in butter over the stove to bring out the vegetable flavor and give the stuffing a buttery taste.
  • Allow the stuffing balls to sit for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to develop.
  • Avoid overcooking stuffing balls; bake them just long enough for them to reach the desired temperature and consistency to avoid drying them out. When cooked properly, they will crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Can stuffing balls be prepared ahead of time?

Yes, stuffing balls actually tasty best can be prepared ahead of time. You can prepare and shape the stuffing mixture into balls, and then refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before baking. This will develop the flavor better and save time the day of the holiday meal.

What variations exist for traditional stuffing ball recipes?

Here are some examples of variations for traditional stuffing balls:

  • Wheat bread, cornbread, or gluten-free options.
  • Change the meat of choice by using ground sausage, bacon, mushrooms, dried fruit, or nuts.
  • Experiment with different seasonings and herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary, or parsley to fit the desired flavors of your stuffing balls.

Looking for ways to use leftover turkey? Try this Easy Turkey Pot Pie.

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📖 Recipe

Yield: 10 servings

These delightful stuffing balls make for a perfect holiday side dish, giving each guest their own scrumptious serving of flavorful and tender stuffing! This family recipe is a family favorite during the holiday season and it's an absolute must for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time15 minutes

Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
  • 1 bread loaf, stale, toasted, cooled, and cut into cubes
  • 1 ¾ cups turkey broth, warm
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 1 ¼ cup turkey (optional) use for best flavor
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Toast the loaf of bread and allow the toast to cool.
  4. Once cool, break the toast into 1-inch pieces.
  5. Allow the bread to sit for at least 30 minutes before adding other ingredients to it.
  6. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the chopped celery and onion until tender. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
  7. In a large bowl, add the pieces of bread.
  8. Add the beaten room-temperature eggs to the bread and combine well.
  9. Add in chopped turkey if using and mix well.
  10. Mix the cooked and cooled vegetables along with the salt and black pepper to taste, as well as the turkey broth in the bowl.
  11. Mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients.
  12. Using a measuring cup, scoop 1 cup full of the stuffing mixture and use your hands to shape.
  13. Using your hands, shape the stuffing mixture into balls.
  14. Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until they become golden brown and crispy on the outside. They should still be soft and tender on the inside.
  15. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite gravy.

Notes

Do not overpack the measuring cup as they will come out hard.

Adding the turkey meat is optional and can be left out.

Chicken broth can be substituted in place of the turkey broth.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 stuffing ball

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 233Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 579mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 8g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

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Dana

Dana is an experienced recipe creator who crafts easy and delicious recipes for all levels of home cooks.

Her recipes range from classic comfort foods to healthy and nutritious meals, and she is always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to bring flavor and variety to the table.

Best Ever Stuffing Balls Recipe with Turkey - Mama Needs Cake® (2024)

FAQs

Is stuffing better with or without eggs? ›

It's all about personal preference. If you want a sturdier dressing, eggs can help do that. I don't use eggs in this recipe, though, because I like a lighter, more crumbly texture in my dressing.

Why is my turkey stuffing soggy? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture.

What does egg do for stuffing? ›

Eggs: Two lightly beaten eggs help hold the dressing together and add moisture.

Should you stuff a turkey or cook stuffing separately? ›

Here's an important Thanksgiving food safety tip that will surprise many: USDA doesn't recommend stuffing a whole turkey. The practice increases the risk of cross-contamination and takes the turkey longer to cook. Cook stuffing separately instead.

What is the best kind of stuffing? ›

Our Top Store-Bought Stuffing Picks
  • Best Overall: Arnold Herb Seasoned Premium Cubed Stuffing.
  • Best Classic: Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing.
  • Best Instant: Stove Top Turkey Stuffing Mix.
  • Best Gluten-Free: Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Stuffing Mix.
  • Best for Celiac: Trader Joe's Gluten Free Stuffing Mix.
Nov 13, 2023

Is it better to freeze stuffing balls cooked or uncooked? ›

If you want to prepare your stuffing in advance of Thanksgiving, freezing it uncooked will ensure it stays nice and moist. Simply follow the steps of your stuffing recipe, but before baking it, wrap the baking dish in plastic wrap first, then aluminum foil to make it air tight.

What is traditional stuffing made of? ›

Turkey stuffing was popularized in the early days of Thanksgiving, as it is written in many 16th-century Boston area documents. Stuffing most often uses dried bread, herbs, and vegetables that are reconstituted with liquid, stuffed into the turkey cavity, and baked until it is firm and finished cooking.

What is stuffing called when it's not in the turkey? ›

Stuffing and dressing are commonly used as different names for the same thing—a dish consisting of bits of bread (or other starchy things) and various seasonings. The dish can be made by stuffing it (hence the name) inside a turkey or other bird that will be roasted, or by baking or cooking it separately.

Why is it bad to cook stuffing in the turkey? ›

Pathogen Growth. As the stuffing remains under 165°F, the pathogens will continue to multiply and grow. Specifically, they grow best between 40 to 135°F, a temperature range known as the temperature danger zone. Pathogens grow even faster at the higher end of the zone, which is 70 to 135°F, says Baker.

Is it better to make stuffing the day before? ›

The short answer to whether you can making stuffing ahead of time is yes. "Making stuffing ahead saves time, allows stove and oven space for other things, and making it ahead gives time for the flavor to fully develop," Chef David Tiner, Director at Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, tells Southern Living.

What do southerners call stuffing? ›

But for the Thanksgiving side dish in the South, the term dressing was adopted in place of stuffing, which was viewed as a crude term, during the Victorian era. Although dressing and stuffing are interchangeable terms, the signature ingredient of this Thanksgiving side dish in the South is cornbread.

What to stuff a turkey with for flavor? ›

Alliums: Add quartered onions, shallots, leeks, or garlic cloves for a delicious, earthy aroma. Fruits: Insert quarters of apple, lemon, orange, lime, or even grapefruit to add moisture and brightness to the turkey. You can even go with dried fruit, like cranberries, to double down on the autumn vibes.

Do you cook stuffing before putting it in the turkey? ›

Give stuffing a head start by heating it up before placing inside the turkey. Like the turkey, stuffing needs to reach the 165 degree mark. If the bird is done before the stuffing, remove stuffing from the cavities and continue to cook in a baking dish.

What can you use as a binder instead of eggs in stuffing? ›

16 egg substitutes
  1. Mashed banana. Mashed banana can act as a binding agent when baking or making pancake batter. ...
  2. Applesauce. Applesauce can also act as a binding agent. ...
  3. Fruit puree. Fruit puree will help bind a recipe in a similar way to applesauce. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Gelatin. ...
  6. Xanthan gum. ...
  7. Vegetable oil and baking powder. ...
  8. Margarine.
Mar 30, 2021

What can I substitute for eggs in stuffing? ›

Best Egg Substitutes
  • Flaxseed Meal. Flaxseeds have an earthy, nutty flavor and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. ...
  • Chia Seeds. ...
  • Mashed Banana. ...
  • Applesauce. ...
  • Silken Tofu. ...
  • Aquafaba. ...
  • Starches. ...
  • Vinegar + Baking Powder.

How do you keep stuffing moist when cooking? ›

Typically, baking the stuffing inside the bird helps keep the mixture moist. “I prefer stuffing (in the bird) to dressing (outside of the bird) because all those delicious drippings that come off the turkey gets absorbed right into the stuffing,” Bamford says.

Is it better to make stuffing with fresh or dry bread? ›

Any attempts to make stuffing with soft, fresh baked bread will result in a bread soup with a soggy texture. Follow this tip: Stale, dried-out bread makes the best stuffing.

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