Why are these stuffing balls the best ever? Because they’re crispy, tender, and buttery with flavorful herbs sure to complement any holiday dish you serve.
This post is all about how to make the Best Stuffing Balls Ever!
Instead of making grandma’s old-fashioned stuffing recipe this holiday season, level up your cooking by serving these flavorful and buttery stuffing balls. They’re the perfect side to any holiday meal. They’re moist and tender on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside.
If you’ve never been a fan of plopping a pile of mushy stuffing onto your Thanksgiving plate, then this recipe is also for you. While I’m sure grandma’s mush is very delicious, you won’t want to go back to how you ate stuffing as a kid once you taste these balls.
BTW, this recipe wasn’t meant to throw shade on grandma or Stove Top’s stuffing kit, but times change, and so do traditions. While I don’t know where stuffing balls originated, I know that the cornbread used in this recipe is a southern tradition.
Whether you’ve grown up referring to it as stuffing or dressing, get ready to experience this popular holiday dish in a brand new way. Oh, and did I mention these balls are just as easy to make as buying a Pepperidge Farm or Stove Top box? Because they are, except all of the ingredients are FRESH!
Best Stuffing Balls Ever
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Cornbread (baked) – (Follow a recipe or buy a 10-12 oz. cornbread mix and bake it. Be sure to follow a Southern style cornbread recipe. Those include more cornmeal and are not sweet.
- Sourdough Bread, slices (use 1/2 of a loaf)
- Celery (one stalk, chopped)
- Small yellow onion, chopped.
- Butter (1/2 cup, 1 stick)
- Sage (1.5 teaspoon)
- Thyme (1.5 teaspoon)
- Red Pepper Flakes (1 teaspoon)
- Salt (1 teaspoon)
- Ground Black Pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
- Eggs (2)
- Chicken Broth low sodium (1.5 – 2.5 cups)
Equipment You’ll Need:
- Skillet (medium size)
- Baking dish (balls will be baked in this dish)
- Baking sheet (for toasting the sourdough bread)
- Bowl (for mixing all of the ingredients together)
- Vacuum Sealer (for freezing food, optional)
Many of us have memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas when thinking about making stuffing (or dressing). Traditionally, it’s stuffed inside the bird (a turkey). However, you can enjoy these tender and crispy balls alongside almost any meal well after the holiday season.
Since they don’t have any meat added, you could say they’re vegetarian stuffing balls, but the recipe does call for some chicken broth. Use vegetarian broth as a substitute if you’d like.
Stuffing Ball Holiday Tip: If you’re making these as a side for Thanksgiving, I always double the batch and then freeze the second batch of balls for Christmas. I use a vacuum sealer and this protects the balls from freezer burn. If you don’t own one, place them in an airtight container. Wrap plastic around the container and then foil for extra protection.
How To Make Homemade Stuffing Balls, Step-by Step Directions
Step 1: Bake the cornbread.
Step 2: Take 1/2 of the loaf of sourdough sliced bread and cut off the crusts. Next, lay the slices on a baking sheet and set them on the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake at 225 degrees F until the bread is crispy and dry for about an hour and a half. Check the slices approximately every 30 minutes, turning them over.
Step 3: Crumble the cornbread and dry sourdough bread slices into 1/2 inch cubes.
Step 4: Chop one stalk of celery and one small yellow onion.
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Step 6: Add 1/2 cup of butter (one stick) to a medium skillet and sauté the chopped celery and onions until they are tender, approximately 7 minutes.
Step 7: Add celery and onion mixture to the cornbread and sourdough bread cubes in a bowl, along with seasonings and eggs. Start by adding 1.5 cups of chicken broth to the mixture. If the stuffing is still dry, add another 1/2 to 1 cup of broth until the filling is moist and forms a ball. Mix ingredients well.
Step 8: Form the mixture into balls. Use about 1/2 cup of mixture for each ball. The recipe yields 15-18 stuffing balls. Arrange the balls in a greased baking dish and cover them with foil to keep them moist.
Step 9: Bake them for 30 minutes.
Step 10: Remove the foil cover and bake them 15 minutes longer or until brown.
Stuffing Balls – Facts And Tips
Can I Make Stuffing Balls The Day Before?
Absolutely! You can form the balls and pre-cook them the day before and reheat them the day of your meal. I would suggest baking them for 30 minutes at 325 degrees F the day before and then the day of serving, bake them again for 15 minutes at 325 degrees F or until they’re golden brown.
How Do I Keep My Stuffing Balls From Falling Apart?
First off, DO NOT stuff your turkey with stuffing, and then try to make the stuffing balls. You risk dry stuffing balls, which will fall apart. When you add any liquid to bread, like egg and chicken broth, the bread instantly acts as a sponge, and it becomes effortless to form the dressing balls without them falling apart.
But Why Do They Keep Falling Apart?
Stuffing should stick together regardless if you’re making balls or not. If your stuffing is falling apart, that simply means the liquid to bread ratio is incorrect. First, follow and measure all ingredients exactly as the recipe mentions. If the mixture is still too dry add more broth as advised in the recipe.
Can You Freeze Stuffing Balls?
Yes! If you know you’re not going to be serving these balls within four days of making them, you can freeze them in an airtight container. Wrap the container in plastic wrap and lastly in foil for extra protection against freezer burn.
The best way to protect your food from freezer burn is to use a vacuum sealer. I have used one of these several times over the years for storing food in the freezer and they work great.
Initially, you will want to cook them for 30 minutes at 325 degrees F. Allow them to cool completely before storing them in the freezer. Get them out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving them and put them in the fridge. The next day before serving, bake them at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Stuffing Ball Recipes With Variations
While this stuffing ball recipe is delicious, there’s NO RULE that states you can’t add variety. This recipe is primarily vegetarian, but if you like sausage meat or turkey in your stuffing balls, do it!
Get creative as you’d like here. Some even prefer spinach and cranberries, while others prefer a stuffing ball with gravy.
Stuffing Balls And Nutrition
A nutritional benefit from making these stuffing balls is that you can exercise (no pun intended) portion control. One-half cup of stuffing is generally the amount used to create a ball, compared to plopping a big pile of stuffing onto your plate and not knowing the exact amount.
As far as the actual ingredients go, I cannot say there is a ton of nutrition in the stuffing. It’s mostly bread, seasonings, and a lot of butter, but hey, it’s the holidays, right?
Best Stuffing Balls Ever
- Chopping knife
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Baking dish
- Baking Sheet
Ingredients for the Best Stuffing Balls Ever
- Cornbread (Southern style), baked, 10-12 oz. box.
- Sourdough sliced bread, use 1/2 of the loaf.
- Celery, one stalk, chopped.
- Small yellow onion, chopped.
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 1.5 tsp Sage seasoning
- 1.5 tsp Thyme seasoning
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black pepper
- 2 Eggs
- 1.5-2.5 cups Chicken broth, low sodium
Directions for Best Stuffing Balls Ever
- Bake the cornbread.
- Take 1/2 of the loaf of sourdough sliced bread and cut off the crusts. Next, lay the slices on a baking sheet and set them on the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake at 225 degrees F until the bread is crispy and dry for about an hour and a half. Check the slices approximately every 30 minutes, turning them over.
- Crumble the cornbread and dry sourdough bread slices into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Chop one stalk of celery and one small yellow onion.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter to a medium skillet and sauté the chopped celery and onions until they are tender, approximately 7 minutes.
- Add celery and onion mixture to the cornbread and sourdough bread cubes in a bowl, along with seasonings and eggs. Start by adding 1.5 cups of chicken broth to the mixture. If the stuffing is still dry, add another 1/2 to 1 cup of broth until the filling is moist and forms a ball. Mix ingredients well.
- Form the mixture into balls. Use about 1/2 cup of mixture for each ball. The recipe yields 15-18 stuffing balls. Arrange the balls in a greased baking dish and cover them with foil to keep them moist while they cook.
- Bake them for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil cover and bake them 15 minutes longer or until brown.
- Serve them immediately.
Final Thoughts On The Best Stuffing Balls Ever
I hope this stuffing ball recipe has inspired you to start some new habits in cooking this Thanksgiving and holiday season! While it’s fun and memorable to honor old traditions, it can be just as fun to start new ones.