SAVORY MUFFINS – nothin says lovin like something from the oven

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“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” Henry Van Dyke

Hi there,

When I was a young mother, Thanksgiving dinner was always prepared by me. The guest list could number anywhere from 12 to 20 people. The Italian American side of the family always wanted a pasta course, but that meant limiting the traditional side dishes that would be served with Turkey.

As my children got older and found their voice at the table, they vehemently expressed their displeasure at being deprived of their favorite side dishes. And the one they missed the most was the traditional turkey “stuffing.”

These days our guest list is a lot smaller, but the demand for the “stuffing” hasn’t changed. As a follow-up to Ronit Penso’s smaller, non-traditional menu for Thanksgiving, I offer up this addition to that menu. The individual servings will give those gathered around the table a small portion of traditional ” stuffing.”


  • 2 bags of Pepperidge Farm’s Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing
  • 1 lb. Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage with sage
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) salted butter
  • 2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 1 crisp apple, diced
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


  • Preheat oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté sausage until browned.
  • Using a large spoon or meat chopper, break up the sausage into crumbles.
  • Remove the sausage and add it to the mixing bowl with the cubes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in the same skillet and sauté the onion, celery, red pepper, apple, and garlic until softened about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with a layer of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Add the softened veggies to the mixing bowl with the cubes and sausage.
  • Pour into the mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with 2 cups of broth. Add the egg and broth mixture to the bowl.
  • Fold in the pecans, dried cranberries, parsley, sage, and thyme. Add another layer of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  • The bread mixture should be moist all the way through but not wringing wet. Add more stock as necessary to reach the right consistency (between 2-3 cups).
  • Working with a heaping handful at a time, pack and shape the stuffing mixture into a firm ball, then press it into a 12-cup non-stick muffin tin that has been liberally sprayed with cooking oil. Make sure the mixture is firmly packed.
  • Continue until you’ve run out of the mixture.
  • Cover loosely with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are crispy and browned.

COOKS NOTE: This recipe will make 24 muffins. If you have a small group, it can easily be halved. Or alternatively, freeze some of the muffins for a future Roast Chicken Sunday Dinner.

34 responses to “SAVORY MUFFINS – nothin says lovin like something from the oven”

  1. V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
    V.M.Sang says:

    Although we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, these muffins sound delicious enough for any time of year.

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    It’s a smart idea to make the stuffings in muffin tins, all the more crispy top for everyone!

  3. Thanksgiving celebration is the tradition here, but these muffins are more than just for the holidays…I think they would make an excellent breakfast or mid-day pick-me-up!

  4. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles.!/supermegawoman!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    A wonderful idea. Especially if you don’t make a whole turkey to stuff.

  5. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats – NY, NY – Private chef, cookbook author, food journalist and translator. I love traveling and love to find out more about food wherever I go.
    Ronit says:

    Love all the ingredients and seasonings you’ve used in these tasty muffins.
    Stuffing is indeed one side dish that is a must!

  6. Jacqui Murray – Laguna Hills, CA. – Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Savage Land.
    Jacqui Murray says:

    The stuffing recipe–with Pepperidge Farm–excellent!

  7. Bern, I love this idea! Such a great way to exercise portion control with hungry teenage boys who will gobble (no pun intended) up all the stuffing if left unsupervised. And it makes it easier to thaw frozen leftovers.
    Sausage stuffing is a tradition in my family as well, although our recipe is not as fancy as this one. Time to up my game!
    As always, Bern, thank you for sharing your family traditions with us.

  8. sammee44 – Victoria, BC – I am a West Coast Reader and Writer who enjoys the big and little things in Life. My philosophy is–if you don't enjoy those precious moments and savour the joy, then how can you appreciate the little things that crosses your daily path?
    sammee44 says:

    An absolutely genius idea, Bernadette! Stuffing was always the favorite at my Mom’s and it still is now! What a great way to enjoy stuffing. . . Thank you 🙂

  9. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    Jenna says:

    I grew up eating Pepperidge Farm stuffing, my mother would always add celery, onions and pecans, and to this day, it is a Thanksgiving must! What a nice idea to turn it into muffins!

  10. Great idea stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner!

  11. Retirement Reflections – Vancouver Island, BC – Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.
    Retirement Reflections says:

    This is such a great idea — I just may try this with our Christmas Dinner. 😀

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