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.
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.
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!
Pour bread cubes into the skillet
Add the bread cubes to the vegetable mixture and give it a stir to combine.
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.
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.
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.
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.