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Sausage, Cornbread & Quinoa Stuffing

It's here friends--the holiday season! I can't even believe that Thanksgiving is next week. We still have some Halloween decorations around. I better get to work!


Anyway, back to turkey day. Stuffing is really the unifying dish at the Thanksgiving table. Even if you're not a turkey lover or a cranberry sauce fan, you're usually down with stuffing. If  you're looking for a one that combines traditional flavor with health benefits, my Sausage, Cornbread and Quinoa Stuffing hits the jackpot. You can make your own cornbread, but I actually buy a frozen one and make it about three days before Thanksgiving. That way it has time to dry out a bit, which helps it toast up nicely and absorb the chicken stock and white wine. It's also loaded with fall flavor from pecans, dried cherries and sage. When I make it, those childhood aromas of the holiday come flooding back and it smells just like my mom's kitchen. Yumbo! 


You can watch me make this stuffing here. And I also created a vegan version of the stuffing for Today.com. It's meat and dairy-free, but still loaded with flavor. 


From my home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! 


Sausage, Cornbread and Quinoa Stuffing

3 cups of cornbread, cubed

1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

2 links sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage, casing removed and crumbled

1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, torn

1 cup dried cherries, unsweetened

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

¼ cup dry white wine

 

1. Toast cornbread cubes in the oven or toaster oven at 350° for 10 minutes. Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Remove cornbread from oven and set aside; leave oven on.

2. Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes; remove. 

3. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute over medium heat, then add the onion and sage and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the celery and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

4. Transfer the toasted cornbread and quinoa to a large bowl and add the sausage mixture to it. Stir and add the salt, pepper, broth and wine. Transfer to the reserved baking dish and bake at 350° for 50 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve warm.


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