second helpings

Thanksgiving weekend is drawing to a close, but the same isn’t true for my Ziplocks full of turkey-day leftovers. Apparently 200 lbs of cornbread stuffing was about 199 lbs too many—I may have miscalculated—but I can’t bear to toss any of the remaining goodness, not yet! It happens to be my favorite part of the meal (well, probably more-so the gravy, I have no shame).

I’ve already indulged in the leftover, dinnervine Thanksgiving Panini and loved every bite, but it’s time to tackle the stuffing surplus head-on. I wanted to use on-hand ingredients, and then an appetizer idea appeared before me . . . balls, there would be crispy, panko-crusted, Cornbread Stuffing Balls, filled with pepper jack cheese & served alongside some gravy for dipping. The stuffing should be excited, and so am I.

5 from 1 reviews
Panko Crusted Stuffing Balls (& pepper jack cheese)
Leftover stuffing is given a makeover as these delicious panko-crusted stuffing balls with cheese and a gravy dip! An easy and fun post Thanksgiving appetizer.
Serves: 4-8 stuffing balls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 2-3 cups leftover cornbread stuffing (or regular stuffing if not)
  • 2+ cups panko bread crumbs
  • several slices of pepper jack cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • paprika
  • dried parsley
  • leftover gravy, heated as dip
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice pepper-jack cheese into ½ inch, little slices
  3. Roll stuffing into ~3 inch balls around several small cheese slices (or a cube of cheese) at the center, completely concealing within the stuffing.
  4. In a shallow dish, combine ~2+ cups panko, salt & pepper to taste, ½ tsp paprika, and a few dashes of dried parsley.
  5. In an adjacent shallow dish, lightly beat egg and combine with ~1/2 cup of milk (add additional egg and milk as necessary for more stuffing balls).
  6. Coat each ball in egg wash mix completely, then immediately dredge in seasoned panko crumb mix, pressing so crumbs stick all around stuffing, liberally.
  7. On a non-stick cookie sheet, or greased regular sheet, arrange stuffing balls evenly spaced and bake ~25-35 minutes, until golden brown and heated throughout.
  8. Let crisped balls cool for a couple of minutes on pan.
  9. Serve stuffing balls with a side of warmed leftover gravy as a dip.
Notes:
This is a very easy way to turn leftover stuffing into a crispy appetizer using ingredients you probably have. Bakes easily in the oven and turns out great! Add more cheese as you prefer. Also, increase egg and crumb mixture with more stuffing balls as desired.
Serving size: as many as you like

If you want the info on making the Southern Cornbread Stuffing, and all of the Turkey Day fixings for a complete holiday coma, see the dinnervine Thanksgiving menu lineup, here.

These little guys are just as simple as making a batch of  stuffing-like ‘meatballs’ around some cheese, lightly coating in crumbs, and baking. These are reminiscent of one of my favorite Southern sides—hush puppies, with the cornmeal and onion.  Our balls pack a lot of savory flavor due to herbs like thyme, parsley,  and sage. We also repurpose the leftover brown gravy from the sacred Thanksgiving turkey drippings as our dip.When in doubt don’t toss the the excess, ball-it, bake-it, and dip-it in gravy!

crusted stuffing balls - 27

May your leftovers be a celebration like your holiday. Cheers to some second helpings.

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Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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