Turkey and stuffing casserole is the perfect way to get the taste of Thanksgiving without slaving away in the kitchen

A recipe inspired by Budget Bytes

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Do you dread Thanksgiving because you’d rather not roast a whole turkey? We hear you! This turkey and stuffing casserole recipe, courtesy of Budget Bytes, ingeniously combines two Thanksgiving favorites in one dish.

Instead of babysitting an enormous turkey in the oven for hours, you get to make a quick stuffing, season some turkey pieces, and bake a casserole — no basting required. If you’re concerned the dish sounds too casual to serve as a holiday meal, we guarantee once your hungry guests dig in, they aren’t going to care you’re not carving a turkey.

ALSO TRY: Fast, easy and tasty leftover turkey enchiladas

It all starts with a scrumptious stuffing. The stuffing for this Thanksgiving casserole is made with tasty bites of French bread studded with sauteed onions, pears, celery, garlic, and fresh herbs. The pear adds a lovely sweetness that complements the savory meatiness of the turkey. Diced apple work well too. Add crispy bacon bits to give the dish even more mouthwatering flavor.


Saute onions, pear, celery, and garlic in butter

The best stuffings start with tasty aromatics. Melt butter in a large skillet and add the diced onions, pear, and celery, along with the minced garlic. Cook, stirring often until the onions and celery are softened.

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Add fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and bacon

To give this stuffing even more flavor, add fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. Give the vegetable mixture a stir, then add cooked bacon bits. Everything’s better with bacon!

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Pour bread cubes into the skillet

Add the bread cubes to the vegetable mixture and give it a stir to combine.

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Make a chicken bouillon and pour it over the stuffing

Intensely-flavored chicken bouillon or chicken base is a sure-fire way to give the stuffing a yummy poultry flavor. In a measuring cup, whisk together 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon or base and 1 cup hot water. When the bouillon or base has completely dissolved, pour it over the stuffing and toss to moisten the bread. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a large casserole dish.

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Prepare the turkey pieces

Rub 6 pounds of skin-on, bone-in turkey pieces with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the turkey pieces directly on top of the stuffing in the casserole dish. No need to cover.

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Bake the casserole

Slide the baking dish in the oven and bake at 350 F for 1-1/2 hours or until the turkey skin is gorgeously browned and crisp and the stuffing is hot and bubbling around the edges.

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Let it rest, then serve

Give the turkey and stuffing casserole 15 minutes to rest, then bring it hot to the table. Use a large spoon to serve a succulent piece of turkey and a generous amount of scrumptious stuffing onto each plate.

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So easy and stress-free!

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Savory stuffing and juicy turkey

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Perfect dinner in no time!

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Dig in!

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Turkey and stuffing casserole

Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium Bosc pears, cored, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced, divided 2 teaspoons and 1 teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for the turkey
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for the turkey
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, dried out
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced, divided 1/2 cup and 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon or base
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 pounds bone-in turkey pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Add butter to skillet over medium heat and melt.  
  3. Add the onion, pears, celery, and garlic to the skillet. Saute the vegetable mixture until the onions and celery are softened.
  4. Add thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Stir the cooked bacon bits into the vegetable mixture.
  6. Add the cubed French bread and 1/2 cup of the minced parsley to the vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.
  7. In a measuring cup, whisk together chicken bouillon or base with the hot water until the bouillon or base is completely dissolved.
  8. Pour the chicken bouillon over the stuffing mixture and stir until everything is coated.
  9. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a 9x11-inch glass casserole dish.
  10. Rub the skin of the turkey pieces with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  11. Arrange the turkey pieces over the stuffing in the casserole dish.
  12. Place the casserole dish in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours or until the turkey skin is browned and crispy and the stuffing is bubbling around the edges.
  13. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle with additional minced parsley and thyme to garnish.
  14. Allow the casserole to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Courses Main dish


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