Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Stuffing From Leftover Bread

I decided to make stuffing from my frozen bread supply which I thought would be super frugal and easy.  I had a few bags of bread that were in the freezer from the ends of the loafs of bread that we hadn't eaten.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try to make some yummy stuffing to go with our Thanksgiving dinner.  I had a back up of stove top in the cupboard just in case it didn't turn out well.

I started by cutting up the bread in strips and then cubes.  I put the cubes in a bowl to dry out a litle overnight.  At least I had one step done the night before but it was getting late so I decided to go to bed instead of making the stuffing to refrigerate overnight...plus we always seem to have limited room when the holidays come with a million things shoved in the fridge!  Do you have that problem at your house?


The next morning, I cut up onion and celery.  I tried to make it as small as possible but I am not great and cutting so small so I went back and chopped a little over the stuff that I already cut just in case.

Then, I melted some butter in a pan and added the celery and onions to it.  I added some ground sage and thyme and let it simmer until everything was softened.  Then, I added the cooked sausage that I had in the fridge.  I normally get sausage and cook it and freeze it to use on pizza and in other dishes but I got a great deal on the Jimmy Dean precooked sausage so I used that instead since I had a little left in the fridge.


After the veggies were cooked and sausage was heated, I poured them into the big bowl and stirred.  Most of the recipes called for adding the bread to the mixture but it seemed really difficult to make sure the pan was big enough and I already knew that the bowl was because it was holding all of the bread.


I took the mixture and put it in a 9 x 13 pan.  I covered the big container in the fridge and waited for dinner time to before it was time to put in the oven. 

When it came out, we put it on the table and dug in... I sort of forgot to take the picture since it looked so yummy.  Here is what was left when we were done (or about mid-way through dinner).


This was the best stuffing that I have ever had!!  I know that I might be partial because I made it but I am usually not a stuffing person and would rather have a second helping of mashed potatoes but this year, I took three helpings of stuffing instead of even a second on my mashed potatoes!!  I highly recommend you trying it out at least once and see if you think that it it worth the effort because I thought it was.

It is also the most frugal recipe to feed a whole family.  The only cost is the onion and celery which can be bought in bulk if using for other recipes (and optional sausage).  It cost me less than $2 to make it all with more ingredients leftover to use for other recipes.  This is a super frugal and great idea to keep in mind for any family dinner when you have the leftover bread built up in your freezer as well as for family holidays.

I am going to see if I can make a few pans of this next time and freeze some to have during the month.  I can't wait to have extra bread in the freezer.  Of course, I will be saving all we have for Christmas dinner first and then I hope to get lots of extra to make some after that :)  Check out the recipe below which is a mix of a bunch of different ideas from the internet with made up steps and ingredients of my own :)  I hope that you try this sometime soon and let me know what you think!!

Stuffing from Bread


Ingredients

1 lb. leftover frozen bread, cubed
¾ c butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp thyme
Cooked sausage (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c chicken broth (I used homemade that had garlic and thyme already in it)
Directions
1.  Cut bread into cubes and leave out to dry overnight (or for a few hours).

2.  Dice celery and onion.

3. In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Season with sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add cooked sausage.

4.  Stir veggie mix into bread cubes until evenly coated. Moisten with chicken broth; mix well.

5.  Bake in a 9x13 casserole dish at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. 

Please note: Replace spices with 2 tsp poultry seasoning but I didn't have any so I used what I had on hand.

Can be refrigerated and made ahead of time for a big family dinner.

Can chill and use as a stuffing for turkey instead of cooking outside the bird.

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