Leftover Stuffing Muffins

Use up your Thanksgiving leftovers in these customizable savory Leftover Stuffing Muffins. The perfect grab-and-go breakfast!

The post Leftover Stuffing Muffins appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re all about reducing food waste over here at Budget Bytes, so I want to make sure you’ve got plenty of options for enjoying your Thanksgiving leftovers later this week! These Leftover Stuffing Muffins have been a reader favorite since they were posted back in 2014, and since I made them again myself last week I decided to give the photos a little facelift. The recipe is the same as always, simple, delicious, and portable. ;) These tasty little savory muffins make a great grab-n-go breakfast!

Originally posted 11/29/2014, updated 11/23/2021.

close up overhead shot of stuffing muffins on a cooling rack

What is a Stuffing Muffin?

Okay, these are basically like those little egg bites that you can get at Starbucks, but with leftover stuffing added into the mix. In addition to the eggs and stuffing, I also added leftover turkey and spinach. So it’s like little single-serving baked eggs with meat, vegetables, and stuffing. Super tasty, super portable, and the perfect make-ahead breakfast!

Choose Your Ingredients

These great little muffins are a super flexible way to combine your Thanksgiving leftovers into a “new” meal and avoid Thanksgiving burnout. The bulk of this recipe is leftover stuffing (dressing), but you can add a variety of other ingredients into the mix and make them your own. Here are some other ingredients that would taste awesome in these Leftover Stuffing Muffins:

  • Chopped broccoli
  • Chopped ham
  • Roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash
  • Chopped green beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Corn
  • Cheese (cheddar, brie, mozzarella, feta, goat)

Whatever you decide to add, make sure it’s chopped into small pieces!

Bake it as a Casserole

While I haven’t done this yet, you could definitely bake this as a breakfast casserole, just like a strata. This amount of ingredients would probably fit an an 8×8 or 9×9-inch casserole dish. You’ll need to bake it until the center reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF.

How Long Do They Last?

You’ll want to either freeze or eat these leftover stuffing muffins within a few days, assuming you made them the day after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, there’s no exact lifespan of dishes like this because the freshness and safety of leftovers can depend on so many different things, like how long the ingredients stayed at room temperature before they were refrigerated, the conditions within your refrigerator, and how quickly they were able to cool down once inside the refrigerator. When in doubt, play it safe!

close up of a stuffing muffin that has been bitten into
Close up of leftover stuffing muffins on a cooling rack

Leftover Stuffing Muffins

Use up your Thanksgiving leftovers in these customizable savory Leftover Stuffing Muffins. The perfect grab-and-go breakfast!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 143kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp butter (for greasing the muffin tin)
  • 3 cups prepared stuffing or dressing
  • 1 cup chopped turkey or ham
  • 1/4 lb. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with butter, oil, or non-stick spray. Thaw and squeeze the spinach dry.
  • Add the stuffing, turkey, and spinach to a bowl, then stir gently to combine without breaking up the stuffing too much.
  • Divide the stuffing mixture between all 12 wells of the muffin tin. Leave the stuffing loosely packed in the cups so that the egg mixture can fill in around the stuffing.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Divide the egg mixture among the 12 wells, starting with 2 Tbsp per muffin and then adding a little bit more until all of the egg mixture has been used. The egg will not fully cover the stuffing, it will puff up as it bakes.
  • Bake the muffins for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the top. Allow the muffins to cool slightly, then run a knife around the edges to loosen and remove each muffin. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 347mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Leftover Stuffing Muffins – Step by Step Photos

Greased muffin tin

Start by preheating the oven to 375ºF. Grease a muffin tin with butter, oil, or non-stick spray.

Stuffing muffin ingredients in a bowl, not mixed

First, mix together your solid ingredients. This is where you can get creative. I used 3 cups of leftover herb stuffing, 1 cup of chopped Thanksgiving turkey, and 1/4 lb. of frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry). Whatever you use, make sure it’s chopped into small pieces and all vegetables have been cooked down to remove most of their moisture. 

Muffin ingredients stirred together in a bowl

Gently stir the ingredients together until combined. Try not to stir too vigorously because that moist stuffing can kind of turn into a paste if stirred too much, and you want this mixture to remain chunky.

Solid ingredients added to the muffin tin

Divide the stuffing mixture between the 12 wells of a muffin tin. Do not pack the stuffing down into the well, you want there to be some empty space to be filled in with the egg mixture.

milk and eggs in a bowl with a whisk

Whisk together 6 eggs, 2 Tbsp of milk or cream, 1/4 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Whisk until it’s really smooth to make it easier to pour into the muffin tins.

Egg mixture being scooped into the muffin tin

Divide the whisked egg mixture between all 12 wells of the muffin tin. To make sure you don’t run out of egg mixture, start by adding just 2 Tbsp to each well, then go back to add a little bit more to each until you’ve used all of the egg mixture. The egg will not fully cover the solid ingredients. The egg will puff up quite a bit as it bakes.

baked leftover stuffing muffins

Bake the Leftover Stuffing Muffins in the preheated 375ºF oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and crispy on the edges. Let them cool slightly, then run a knife around the edges to help loosen and remove the muffins.

Close up of leftover stuffing muffins on a cooling rack

Allow them to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an air-tight container to store in the refrigerator or freezer. A quick zap in the microwave will make them hot and breakfast ready!

The post Leftover Stuffing Muffins appeared first on Budget Bytes.

How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Make these easy scaled-down recipes for turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and more to make a classic Thanksgiving dinner for two.

The post How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner for Two appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Huge Thanksgiving dinners with tons of family and loved ones are awesome, but not everyone has the option to travel or the family to get together with. If for one reason or another you find yourself alone or celebrating Thanksgiving with just one other person, you can still enjoy a classic Thanksgiving dinner on a smaller scale. I’ve crafted this smaller-sized meal that can be prepared in about two hours, so you can enjoy all those delicious thanksgiving recipes without a huge production. :)

Thanksgiving for two spread as seen from above

What’s Included in This Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

This smaller Thanksgiving dinner menu includes the following scaled-down classic Thanksgiving recipes:

  • Roasted Turkey Breast and Stuffing
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Bean “Casserole” (stove top version)
  • Mushroom Herb Gravy

Each recipe makes about 2-4 servings, so you’ll still have a few leftovers, but not as much as if you had cooked regular-sized Thanksgiving dinner (we’re all about reducing food waste here at Budget Bytes).

Three recipes will be prepared in the oven (at the same time and same temperature) and three will be prepared on the stove top while the other recipes are doing their thing in the oven.

In addition to the recipes listed above, here are a couple optional extras you can add, either homemade or store-bought. You can make homemade cranberry sauce or mini pumpkin pies the day before. You might want to prepare a quick Thanksgiving grazing board to snack on earlier in the day, or maybe some cranberry cream cheese dip with crackers. And don’t forget to make a couple of Apple Cider Mimosas!

How Long Does it Take to Prepare?

I was able to make this meal in about two hours. The turkey and stuffing takes approximately 1.5 hours to roast, and I was able to prepare the rest of the sides while they were in the oven. I’m probably a bit faster than the average home cook and very well accustomed to multi-tasking in the kitchen, but I also paused to take all of my photographs in that time, so I think 2-3 hours is reasonable for most people. Beginners may wan to allow for extra time.

NOTE: The most important part of being able to prepare this meal in a decent amount of time is to read through the plan thoroughly before beginning. You need to understand how to execute each recipe and in which order before you begin so you don’t get lost. Making a Thanksgiving dinner, any Thanksgiving dinner, takes coordination and multi-tasking skills.

What You Need

For this entire meal you’ll need the following equipment:

  • 8×8″ casserole dish
  • Large baking sheet (about 16″x13″)
  • Medium saucepot (2.5 qt.)
  • 3 qt. covered sauté pan or pot
  • 10″ skillet
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Colander
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Parchment paper

In addition to the equipment listed above, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
  • ½ lb. Brussels sprouts
  • ¾ lb. sweet potato
  • 1 lb. russet potato
  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 12 oz. frozen cut green beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 6oz. box stuffing mix
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 ½ Tbsps all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup French fried onions (packaged)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 11 Tbsp butter
  • 1 ¼ tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 ⅛ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Thanksgiving dinner for two on a plate with a fork

How to Make Thanksgiving for Two – Step by Step Instructions

Okay, let’s get into it! I have the process divided into steps below. Each recipe is its own step so you can skip recipes you don’t like or even scale up recipes that you may want more of. You’ll be cooking most of these simultaneously, but they are listed in order of execution. Keep in mind that the cooking times will overlap. Make sure to read through the instructions thoroughly before beginning. Understanding the process for each recipe and the sequence is critical to executing a Thanksgiving dinner!

NOTE: Before beginning, adjust the racks in your oven so the top rack is slightly above the middle position and the lower rack is just below the middle position (not on the lowest position). The bottom rack only needs enough vertical room for a sheet pan, while the top rack needs enough height for the casserole dish and turkey breast.

1. Turkey and Stuffing

Sliced roasted turkey and stuffing on a plate

This turkey turns out so incredibly juicy and so so much easier than roasting a whole bird. The stuffing absorbs the juices and fat from the turkey as it roasts, making it even more flavorful!

The turkey and stuffing take the longest to cook (about 1.5 hours), so you’ll want to begin this first. The rest of the sides can be prepared while the turkey and stuffing are in the oven.

Sliced roasted turkey and stuffing on a plate

Roasted Turkey Breast with Stuffing

Herb roasted turkey breast and stuffing cook together for one easy and flavorful main dish in this Thanksgiving for two.
Total Cost $13.85 recipe / $4.62 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 3 to 4
Calories 552kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 6oz. box stuffing mix $0.89
  • 1.5 cups water $0.00
  • 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.40
  • 1 tsp dried sage $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 2.5 lb. bone-in, skin on turkey breast $12.21

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the box of stuffing mix to a bowl, then pour in 1.5 cups warm water. Stir and let the stuffing sit to absorb the water as you prepare the turkey.
  • Combine the room temperature butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Pat the turkey breast dry, then spread the herb butter mixture all over the surface.
  • Transfer the stuffing to the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish and place the turkey breast on top. The turkey should cover nearly all of the stuffing. If there is a lot of stuffing exposed, use foil to cover the stuffing mix to prevent it from browning too much during the hour and a half in the oven.
  • Transfer the turkey and stuffing to the oven (upper rack) and roast for about 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches 165ºF.
  • After roasting, let the turkey and stuffing rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. The stuffing under the turkey will have absorbed quite a bit of moisture from the turkey, while the stuffing on the edges will be quite crunchy. Simply stir the stuffing together and let it sit for about five minutes to rehydrate the drier pieces before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 1722mg | Fiber: 1g

Turkey and Stuffing Step by Step Photos

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the contents of one 6oz. box of stuffing mix in a bowl and add 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to combine, then set it aside to soak as you prepare the turkey.
  2. Combine 4 Tbsp room temperature butter with 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1 tsp dried thyme, and ¾ tsp salt. Pat a 2.5 lb. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast dry, then smear the herb butter over the surface (if the turkey breast is wet, the butter won’t stick, so dry it well).
  3. Place the hydrated stuffing mix in the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish and place the turkey breast on top. The turkey should cover most of the stuffing. If there are any large portions of stuffing exposed, you may want to cover the exposed portions with foil to prevent them from browning too much as the dish is in the oven. Do not cover the turkey with foil.
  4. Roast the turkey and stuffing in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165ºF. Let the turkey rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  5. The stuffing under the turkey will have absorbed a lot of moisture from the turkey as it roasts while the stuffing on the outer edges will be quite crunchy. Simply stir the stuffing together and let it sit for about five minutes for the moisture levels to equalize.

Once the turkey and stuffing are in the oven, move on to recipe #2, Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

2. Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts on a plate

While the turkey and stuffing are roasting, begin the candied sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. These will cook together on one sheet pan in the oven at the same time as the turkey and stuffing. The sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts take about 40 minutes to cook, so you can prepare them on the sheet pan and then wait to put them into the oven until the turkey has about 40 minutes to go.

These candied sweet potatoes were so delicious it was all I could do to keep from eating them ALL myself. :o

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts on a plate

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Candied sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts cook together on one sheet pan for a 2-in-1 easy Thanksgiving side dish.
Total Cost $3.19 recipe / $1.60 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 356kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • 3/4 lb. sweet potato $0.75
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts $2.00
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper $0.03

Instructions

  • Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch thick rounds. Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl.
  • Melt the butter and then stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Pour the sweet butter over the sliced sweet potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Cut off any dry ends from the Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss to coat.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then lay the butter-coated sweet potatoes out over half of the baking sheet. Try to get as much of the butter mixture out of the bowl onto the sweet potatoes as possible. Spread the Brussels sprouts over the other half of the baking sheet.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven, placing it on the rack below the turkey. Roast the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until browned and tender, flipping once halfway through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 490mg | Fiber: 10g

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Step by Step Photos

  1. Peel and slice one ¾ lb. sweet potato into ½-inch thick rounds. Melt 1.5 Tbsp butter, then stir in 1 Tbsp brown sugar, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp ground cloves, and ⅛ tsp salt. Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes and stir until they’re coated.
  2. Cut off the dry stem end of ½ lb. Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and ⅛ tsp each of salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Place the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined sweet pan. Make sure to get as much of that butter mixture from the bowl onto the sweet potatoes.
  3. The vegetables only take about 40 minutes to roast, so you may want to leave them prepped on the sheet pan until the last 40 minutes or so of the turkey’s baking time so they’re not done too early. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven (lower rack) and roast the vegetables for about 40 minutes, or until browned and tender, flipping them once halfway through.

Once the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are on the sheet pan and prepared to go into the oven, you can move on to preparing the next recipe, mashed potatoes. When the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are in the oven you can prepare the last two recipes, green bean “casserole” and mushroom herb gravy.

3. Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes in a bowl with melted butter on top

You can prepare the mashed potatoes while you’re waiting to put the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven. They’re pretty quick to prepare, then they can sit on the stovetop with a lid on to stay warm while you finish the rest of the side dishes.

This recipe is also pretty flexible, so if there are other ingredients that you like to add to your mashed potatoes, like sour cream, cheese, or herbs, feel free to stir them in at the end!

Small-Batch Mashed Potatoes

This smaller batch of mashed potatoes is perfect for a Thanksgiving for Two or any quick weeknight dinner when you don't want leftovers.
Total Cost $1.25 recipe / $0.42 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 ¾ cup each
Calories 133kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • Medium Saucepot

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. russet potato $0.99
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided $0.02
  • 1/4 cup milk $0.11
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Peel the potato then dice into ½-inch cubes. Rinse the diced potatoes with cool water in a colander to remove excess starch.
  • Place the cubed potatoes in a medium pot and cover with one inch of water. Add ½ tsp salt. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander and then give them another brief rinse.
  • Add the butter, milk, garlic powder, and pepper to the pot used to boil the potatoes. Heat over low until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Return the drained potatoes to the pot and mash. Taste the mashed potatoes and add salt, if needed (I added ¼ tsp).
  • Place a lid on the pot then move it to a back burner (not turned on) to stay warm while you prepare the rest of the sides.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 598mg | Fiber: 2g

Small Batch Mashed Potatoes Step by Step Photos

  1. Peel and dice a one pound russet potato into ½-inch pieces. Rinse the pieces briefly in a colander to remove excess starch. Place the cubed potato in a medium pot and cover with water. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the water. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and give them another brief rinse.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp butter, ¼ cup milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp pepper to the pot used to boil the potatoes. Heat the milk and butter mixture over low until the milk is hot and butter is mostly melted. Add the drained potatoes back to the pot.
  3. Mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Taste and add salt if needed (I added ¼ tsp). Place a lid on the pot and move the pot full of potatoes to an unused burner (heat turned off) to stay warm until the rest of the meal is finished.

4. Green Bean “Casserole”

A bowl of creamy green beans with fried onion topping

Once your potatoes are mashed and are resting on the back of the stove, begin the green bean “casserole”. This is essentially a quick stovetop version of the classic baked casserole. Tender green beans coated in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with French fried onions. You can bake this in the oven after assembly if you prefer, but I was aiming for speed and simplicity with this recipe, so I skipped the baking step.

A bowl of creamy green beans with fried onion topping

Stove Top Green Bean “Casserole”

A quick stove top version of the classic baked green bean casserole. Tender green beans with a creamy mushroom sauce and French fried onions.
Total Cost $2.99 recipe / $1.00 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 ¾ cup each
Calories 242kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • 3 qt. Covered Sauté Pan

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. frozen cut green beans $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 4 oz. mushrooms $0.75
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 cup milk $0.44
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.03
  • 1/2 cup Fried Onions* $0.32

Instructions

  • Add the frozen green beans to a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, then bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until tender, then drain in a colander.
  • While the green beans are boiling, slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic.
  • Add the mushrooms, garlic, and butter to the pot used to boil the green beans. Sauté over medium heat. Once the mushrooms have released all their water and all of it has evaporated off the bottom of the pot, add the flour and continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
  • Whisk in the milk, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper. Make sure to whisk until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the pot. Allow the milk mixture to return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, it will thicken into a sauce.
  • Return the drained green beans to the pot with the sauce and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and allow the green beans to remain heating over low, stirring occasionally, as you make the final recipe (mushroom herb gravy). The sauce will continue to thicken as it heats over low.
  • When you're ready to serve the green beans, transfer them to a bowl and top with the fried onions.

Notes

*This is a store bought product, like French’s Crispy Fried Onions

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 695mg | Fiber: 4g

Stove Top Green Bean Casserole Step by Step Photos

  1. Add 12oz. frozen green beans to a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Boil the green beans until tender (about 5 minutes). Drain the green beans in a colander.
  2. While the beans are boiling, slice 4oz. mushrooms and mince one clove of garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 2 Tbsp butter to the pot that was used to boil the beans (after draining them). Sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all of their water and it has completely evaporated off the bottom of the pot.
  3. Once there is no more water pooling on the bottom of the pot, add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about a minute more.
  4. Whisk in one cup milk, one cup vegetable broth, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Make sure to keep whisking until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the pot.
  5. Allow the liquid to return to a boil, stirring occasionally, at which point it will thicken to a sauce.
  6. Stir the drained green beans back into the sauce. Turn the heat down to low and let the green beans heat over low, stirring occasionally, as you make the final recipe (mushroom herb gravy). When ready to serve, top with ½ cup fried onions.

5. Mushroom Herb Gravy

mushroom herb gravy in a bowl with a spoon

This mushroom herb gravy only takes a few minutes to make, so it’s best to make it last just before you serve your Thanksgiving dinner. Gravies tend to gel up even more as they cool, so if you find your gravy becoming too thick after it begins to cool, simply stir in a tablespoon or two of warm water to loosen it back up.

mushroom herb gravy in a bowl with a spoon

Mushroom Herb Gravy

This small batch of mushroom herb gravy takes minutes to prepare and is full of delicious savory flavor!
Total Cost $1.23 recipe / $0.41 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 ½ cup each
Calories 78kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • 10" skillet

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. mushrooms $0.75
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter $0.15
  • 1.5 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme (or one sprig fresh) $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and butter to a small skillet and sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all of their water and the water has completely evaporated off the bottom of the skillet.
  • When there is no more water pooling on the bottom of the skillet, add the flour and continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
  • Add the vegetable broth and whisk well until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Also add the sage, thyme, and pepper. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, stirring occasionally, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
  • Taste the gravy and add salt if needed. Serve immediately.

Notes

If the gravy becomes too thick as it cools down, simply whisk a tablespoon of water into the gravy until smooth to loosen it up.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 365mg | Fiber: 1g

Mushroom Herb Gravy Step by Step Photos

  1. The gravy starts out the same as the green bean casserole. Slice 4oz. mushrooms and mince one clove of garlic. Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in 1.5 Tbsp butter over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and it has evaporated off the bottom of the skillet. Once no more water is left on the bottom of the skillet, add 1.5 Tbsp flour and continue to stir and cook for about a minute more.
  2. Whisk in 1 cup vegetable broth. Make sure to keep whisking until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Also add ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ⅛ tsp dried thyme, and ⅛ tsp pepper.
  3. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to simmer it will thicken into a gravy. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately.
Thanksgiving dinner for two all the dishes spread out in display

And there you have it! By the time you’re finished making the gravy, the rest of the dishes should be done and waiting to be served. This meal should provide two people with generous helpings, plus a little leftover for the next day. ;) If you make this meal make sure to take a photo and tag us on social media! I want to see your masterpiece!

Thanksgiving for two plated with a fork and bowl of gravy on the side

The post How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner for Two appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

My philosophy on Thanksgiving is to keep it simple. Simple is elegant, simple is cost effective, and simple is easy (because hey, the cook wants to enjoy the day, too). I like to take super simple recipes and add just a little somethin-somethin’ to make them special, without making them overly complicated or expensive. For this […]

The post Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My philosophy on Thanksgiving is to keep it simple. Simple is elegant, simple is cost effective, and simple is easy (because hey, the cook wants to enjoy the day, too). I like to take super simple recipes and add just a little somethin-somethin’ to make them special, without making them overly complicated or expensive. For this Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing, I’ve transformed a simple box of cornbread stuffing mix into a vibrant and flavorful Thanksgiving side dish with just a few fresh and affordable ingredients.

This post is sponsored by ALDI—my “secret weapon” for keeping this year’s Thanksgiving feast easy and super affordable, without sacrificing quality or flavor.

Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

A pot full of Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing with the ingredients scattered all around

Keep Your Costs in Check

While sticking to simple recipes with basic ingredients helps keep my Thanksgiving budget in check, sometimes I still want to include a few special ingredients, like pecans, that could easily spoil my budget. This is where shopping at ALDI really saves the day. In just 4-5 aisles, they have all the basics I needed for my Thanksgiving dinner, plus some fancier fun ingredients at seriously reasonable prices (have you seen their wine and cheese selection??).

I don’t know how ALDI works their magic, but their prices always come in substantially lower than the other national chains, without sacrificing quality or standards (tons of organic options!). Their cornbread stuffing mix alone was 70% less than the generic brand at the national chain grocery store across the street. Savings like that add up fast, especially when you’re cooking an enormous feast. And that is how I can afford to add the little luxury ingredients, like pecans. :)

So if you haven’t yet, click here to find your nearest ALDI store, and do a little cost comparison before you begin planning your Thanksgiving menu. You might be able to add a few more goodies to the lineup this year! And let me know how it turned out! I love hearing and sharing ALDI #wins with fellow ALDI fans. :)

Thanksgiving side dishes on a table from above

It’s Okay to Take Shortcuts

It’s 100% okay to not make everything from scratch on Thanksgiving. It’s practically impossible to do, unless you have six sets of helping hands and multiple ovens, luxuries I do not have. Boxed stuffing mix is a shortcut that I like to use to my full advantage. It’s nothing more than dried bread, seasoning, and bouillon, all of which I would have added to my stuffing anyway, so I’m all about having done and ready to go. But I still want it to be special, so…

How to Fancy Up Your Stuffing Mix

There are a lot of ways that you can make a 69 cent boxed stuffing mix look and taste like a million bucks, but here is what I did today:

  • Use fresh onion and celery. Two super inexpensive ingredients that will add a LOT of flavor to the “broth” in your stuffing, not to mention color and texture throughout.
  • Roasted apples and cranberries. Nothing says fall like apples and cranberries. Roasting them in the oven first softens the cranberries and sweetens up their naturally pucker-inducing tart flavor, with a little help from the sweet apples and brown sugar.
  • Pecans. Pecans are the little bit of luxury that take this Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing over the top.

Can I Make This Cornbread Stuffing Ahead?

Absolutely! Since it’s nearly impossible to cook everything for Thanksgiving dinner on the day of, this Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing can be made entirely or in part the day before. Here are a couple of options:

  • Roast the Apples and Cranberries, and chop the celery and onion the day before. The day of, just sauté the celery and onion, and assemble the rest of the recipe (5-10 minutes).
  • Make the entire recipe the day before, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Reheat in the oven the next day in a covered casserole dish, at 350ºF for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165ºF.

Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing on a Thanksgiving table with other dishes in the background

 

Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

A few fresh ingredients added to a simple box of cornbread stuffing mix makes this vibrant and flavorful Thanksgiving side dish.

  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries ($1.09)
  • 2 apples* ($0.50)
  • 2 Tbsp Baker's Corner Brown Sugar ($0.08)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 4 Tbsp Countryside Creamery Salted Butter ($0.39)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.28)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.37)
  • 3 cups water ($0.00)
  • 2 6 oz. boxes Chef's Cupboard Cornbread Stuffing Mix ($1.38)
  • 1/2 cup Southern Grove Pecan Halves ($1.76**)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Core and dice the apples. Add the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, and salt to a large baking dish. Stir until the apples and cranberries are evenly coated in sugar. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Stir the apples and cranberries, return them to the oven and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and appear wrinkled.

  2. Meanwhile, dice the celery and onion. Add the butter, celery and onion to a large pot. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Chop the pecans.

  3. Add 3 cups water to the pot with the celery and onion, place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once boiling, add the cornbread stuffing mix and stir briefly to combine. Turn off the heat, place the lid on top and let the stuffing rest for 5 minutes to absorb the liquid.

  4. After the stuffing has rested, add the roasted apples and cranberries and chopped pecans. Fold them into the stuffing. Serve immediately, or transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes at 350ºF to make the top crispy.

*Use a sweet-tart variety of apple, like Gala or Honeycrisp.

**Prices may vary by store location.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A full Thanksgiving dinner plate on a table with other Thanksgiving dishes

 

How to Make Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing – Step by Step Photos

Chopped apples, cranberries, and brown sugar in baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Core and dice two apples. Add the apples, 12 oz. cranberries, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt to a large baking dish. Stir until the apples and cranberries are evenly coated in sugar.

Roasted Apples and Cranberries in baking dish

Roast the apples and cranberries in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then stir. Return the apples and cranberries to the oven and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until all of the cranberries have burst and they look shriveled.

Diced onion and celery

Meanwhile, dice three ribs of celery and one yellow onion.

Chopped pecans

Chop 1/2 cup pecans.

Water being poured into a pot with sautéed onion and celery

Add the diced onion and celery to a large pot with 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add 3 cups water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high and bring the water to a boil.

Cornbread stuffing mix being poured into the pot of boiling water

Once boiling, add two 6 oz. boxes of cornbread stuffing mix. Stir briefly to combine, then turn off the heat, place the lid on top and let it rest for about 5 minutes so the bread can absorb the liquid.

Roasted apples and cranberries being folded into the pot of stuffing

Fold the roasted apples and cranberries and chopped pecans into the cornbread stuffing.

Finished Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing in the pot

Either serve the Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing as is, or transfer to a casserole dish and bake for about 15 minutes at 350ºF to make the top crispy!

Side view of the Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing in the pot

That whole pot of fancy Thanksgiving goodness for only $5.86! With ALDI, you can totally SLAY Thanksgiving dinner without killing your budget. :)

The post Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Apple Walnut Stuffing

I’m all about making things from scratch. When it makes sense. If you’re cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner by yourself, I think it makes sense to take a few shortcuts. One shortcut I like is zhuzhing up a boxed stuffing mix with a few fresh ingredients. Because I really don’t have time to cube and […]

The post Apple Walnut Stuffing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about making things from scratch. When it makes sense. If you’re cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner by yourself, I think it makes sense to take a few shortcuts. One shortcut I like is zhuzhing up a boxed stuffing mix with a few fresh ingredients. Because I really don’t have time to cube and dry a whole loaf of bread (AND clean up all those crumbs) if I’m making all the other dishes, too. That’s why this Apple Walnut Stuffing is my go-to Thanksgiving side dish.

I’ll save the from-scratch stuffing for my potluck style Thanksgiving dinners and Friendsgiving dinners, when I’m only responsible for one dish. ?

Originally posted 11-19-09, updated 10-31-19.

Stove Top Apple Walnut Stuffing

A casserole dish full of Apple Walnut Stuffing with a wooden spoon on the side

What Kind of Boxed Stuffing Should I Use?

For this recipe you’ll want to use two standard 6 oz. boxes of stuffing mix (dried bread crumbs + seasoning/bouillon powder). I used chicken flavored stuffing mix, but you can use any flavor you prefer. You can even use a cornbread stuffing mix. If you want to make this stuffing vegetarian, make sure to use a vegetable flavored stuffing mix and double check the ingredients for any meat derived ingredients.

Can I Make This Apple Walnut Stuffing Ahead?

Yes! This Apple Walnut Stuffing is a great candidate for a make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish. I will say that the texture changes just slightly as it refrigerates over night (it’s not quite as “fluffy” the next day), but the flavor is on point.

How to Reheat Apple Walnut Stuffing

If you do make this stuffing the day before Thanksgiving, you can reheat it in the oven, covered with foil, at 350ºF, for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature rises above 140ºF. The total time to reheat will depend on the size, shape, and type of dish you’re using, and how crowded the oven is. I suggest using an instant read thermometer to make sure.

Other Add-Ins

Stuffing is great because there are so many different directions you can take it. If you like meat in your stuffing, you can also brown some sausage or bacon and stir that into the stuffing. I garnished my stuffing with chopped parsley for color, but that is entirely optional and not required to flavor the dish.

Close up side view of Apple Walnut Stuffing in the casserole dish, being scooped out with a wooden spoon.

 

Apple Walnut Stuffing

Take a Thanksgiving dinner short cut by upgrading a boxed stuffing mix with fresh ingredients for more flavor, texture, and visual appeal.

  • 4 Tbsp butter ($0.52)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.37)
  • 2 apples ($0.50)
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage ($0.05)
  • 3 cups water ($0.00)
  • 2 6 oz. boxes stuffing mix ($1.38)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts ($0.60)
  1. Finely dice the onion and celery. Add the butter, onion, and celery to a large pot and sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

  2. While the onion and celery are sautéing, core and finely dice the apples. Add the apples and dried sage to the pot with the onion and celery, and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or just until the apples soften slightly.

  3. Add the water to the pot, place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add both boxes of stuffing mix, stir briefly to combine, turn the heat off, replace the lid, and let the stuffing rest for 5 minutes.

  4. While the stuffing mix is absorbing the hot water, chop the walnuts. After letting the stuffing rest for 5 minutes, remove the lid, add the walnuts, and gently fold them into the stuffing (vigorous stirring will make the stuffing gummy).

  5. Serve immediately, or bake uncovered at 350ºF for about 15 minutes to achieve a crispy top layer.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead shot of Apple Walnut Stuffing in the casserole dish with a wooden spoon in the corner

 

How to Make Apple Walnut Stuffing – Step By Step Photos

Diced onion, celery, and butter in a pot

Finely dice one yellow onion and three ribs of celery. Add the onion and celery to a large pot along with 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add diced apples and sage to pot

While the celery and onion are sautéing, core and finely dice two apples. Add the diced apples and 1/2 tsp dried sage to the pot with the onion and celery. Sauté for one to two minutes more, or just until the apples begin to soften.

Water being poured into the pot.

Pour 3 cups water into the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil.

Stuffing mix being added to boiling water

Once the water is boiling, remove the lid, pour two 6 oz. boxes of stuffing mix into the pot, and give it a brief stir to combine. Turn the heat off, replace the lid, and let the stuffing rest for about 5 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid.

Chopped walnuts on a cutting board

While the stuffing is resting, chop 1/2 cup walnuts.

Chopped walnuts added to the pot with stuffing

After letting the stuffing rest for 5 minutes, add the chopped walnuts and gently fold to combine. Don’t stir too much, as this will make the stuffing gummy. Serve the stuffing immediately, or bake for about 15 minutes at 350ºF to make the top crispy.

A casserole dish full of the finished Apple Walnut Stuffing, garnished with chopped parsley

Or you can cover and refrigerate the stuffing for the next day. To reheat the stuffing, cover the dish with foil and bake at 350ºF for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF (use an instant read thermometer). The total reheating time will vary depending on your baking dish and oven.

Thanksgiving side dishes on a dining table, from above

What are your go-to Thanksgiving side dishes?

The post Apple Walnut Stuffing appeared first on Budget Bytes.