Friday, December 10, 2010

New England Sausage Stuffing with Chestnuts

I didn't make stuffing over Thanksgiving this year, but decided to make it the centerpiece of a winter-flavored meal tonight.  Try this with roasted vegetables to round out the meal, such as carrots, baby potatoes, or Brussels sprouts.

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped bottled chestnuts
  • 16 ounces (1-inch) cubed French bread baguette
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 ounces LightLife breakfast sausage
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 and 1/2 cups vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Arrange the chestnuts and bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly roll pan or baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, until lightly browned; set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the sausages, and cook for 4 minutes, breaking apart with a fork or spoon as they cook.  Add the onion and celery, and saute for 6 minutes.  Pour in the broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits that have accumulated during cooking.

3. Combine the bread cubes, chestnuts, sausage mixture, sage, thyme, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl, tossing to combine.  Spoon into a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes - the top should be golden brown by the end.

Note: although traditionally a side dish, you can easily double portions of this stuffing to make it a veggie main dish.

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (about 2/3 cup), Calories 214

Tasting Notes:
Savory savory savory - which was a good thing!  Everything married really nicely, especially the sausage, celery, chestnuts, and sage.  I might make the bread cubes smaller next time (about 1/2-inch) so that everything is more uniform in size, but other than that, no complaints.  The stuffing pairs great with a zinfandel - the bottle shown at right from Fitzpatrick is certified vegan.


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