If you're anything like me, the holiday season wouldn't be the same without a large helping of stuffing! And these flavorful Stuffing Balls taste like a cozy, festive hug!
Adding these to the table will be a hit, whether it's a Thanksgiving feast or a Christmas gathering! They've got that savory pork flavor, sage's earthy aroma, and onions' comforting sweetness.
They're crispy on the outside and oh-so-tender on the inside, and your house will smell like the holiday season itself while these babies are baking in the oven. So, grab your apron, crank up the holiday tunes, sprinkle some love and laughter into the mix, and let's make some stuffing balls.
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These notes are here to help make this recipe a success; they cover some but not all ingredients. For a complete ingredient list, check out the recipe card below.
Sausage meat: You can usually find cylinders of sausage meat in the fresh meat section near sausage links or ground/minced meat. You can squeeze the meat from some breakfast sausage links if you struggle to find it.
Bread: You need breadcrumbs for this recipe, but they want to be made with slices of fresh bread. This is what gives the stuffing balls their soft, juicy texture. The easiest way to get fresh breadcrumbs is to remove any hard crusts from the bread and then put the slices into a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop the bread by hand.
Onion: I use a regular brown onion, but you can use white, yellow, or red onion.
Chicken broth: Feel free to substitute with vegetable broth or turkey broth.
Dried sage: Dried gives you the flecks of green and the aroma of sage. But if you have fresh leaves, you will need to double the amount of finely chopped fresh sage leaves.
Spices: The stuffing balls have ground nutmeg and ground cardamom in them for a background note. It is just a pinch of each, so if you don't have one or both, don't worry; you can leave them out.
We've tested this recipe at least 3 times to ensure it works well for you. Have a look at our tips for getting the best dish you can!
- When grating the onion, make sure you have a bowl underneath to collect the juice; this liquid is part of the recipe and is needed to soak the bread in. (the key to soft stuffing balls)
- Don't overwork the mixture. Stir gently with your hand or a fork to just combine everything. This helps to stop the fats in the sausage meat from melting and gives you a tastier and more golden stuffing ball.
- When making the balls, use a spoon to scoop the mixture and place it on a board. Repeat for all 20 stuffing balls and then roll them into balls. This method is quicker.
- To roll the balls, add a little oil to your fingers; this stops the mixture from sticking to your fingers.
- Lightly grease the baking tray with oil before you put the balls on it to help stop them from sticking. Then spray them with cooking oil spray before baking.
Making ahead of time
These are best eaten fresh as they can dry out when reheated, but you can make them ahead of time and either refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to cook them.
Roll the stuffing balls out and place them on a tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
To freeze, place the tray in the freezer, and once the balls are solid, transfer them to a freezer-proof container or ziplock bag. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
Note: If you cook these cold, straight from the refrigerator, you will need to add 2-3 minutes to the cook time.
If you have leftover cooked stuffing balls, allow them to cool and then keep them in an airtight container for 3 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer (defrost before reheating). Reheat in the microwave, oven, or air fryer until hot all the way through.
Why You'll Love These Stuffing Balls
These are all just suggestions and things that have worked in our test kitchen, but it is your dinner, so adapt it to suit your family. That is the beauty of cooking; we can all create our own delicious meals.
- Add apple: Add a grated apple to the onion and bread. Or add some chopped dried apple to the mixture.
- Add dried fruit: Add chopped dried cranberries or apricots to the mixture.
- Change the herbs: Instead of sage, use thyme or rosemary.
- Change the sausage: Rather than sausage meat, use the meat from sausages. Ones flavored with fennel, maple, black pepper, or caramelized onion would be great.
- Wrap them in bacon: For a fun twist, use smoky bacon to wrap each ball.
Serving Suggestions For Stuffing Balls
Stuffing deserves a roast! So that could be a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey or a Sunday roast chicken. Here at Sprinkles and Sprouts, I have a few turkey options for you:
If you make these Stuffing Balls, please come back and comment. You can also tag me on social media.
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
Get the Recipe
- 3 slices white bread
- 1 onion (see note 1)
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth (see note 2)
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch ground nutmeg (see note 3)
- pinch ground cardamom (see note 3)
- 1 lb sausage meat (see note 4)
- neutral oil
- oil spray
- Preheat the oven to 430ºF/220ºC.
- Remove the crusts from the bread and then turn the slices into fresh breadcrumbs using a food processor. (see note 5)3 slices white bread
- Peel the onion, then grate it over a large bowl to ensure any juice is collected. Add the fresh breadcrumbs, chicken broth, sage, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom (if using).1 onion2 tablespoons chicken broth2 teaspoons dried sage½ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon black pepperpinch ground nutmegpinch ground cardamom
- Stir together and let it sit for 5 minutes until the bread has absorbed all the liquid.
- Add the sausage meat to the bowl and use your hands or a fork to combine the mixture. Don't overwork the mixture; the less you do to it, the better.1 lb sausage meat
- Oil a baking tray.neutral oil
- Use a 1-tablespoon measure to spoon out equal-sized portions of the meat and place them on a chopping board. Once you have used all the meat mixture, lightly oil your hands and roll the portions into balls, placing them on the prepared tray. You might need to re-oil your hands as you go.
- Spay the tops of the stuffing balls with spray oil and bake for 20 minutes until crispy and golden.oil spray
- I use a regular brown onion, but you can use white, yellow, or red onion.
- Feel free to substitute with vegetable broth or turkey broth.
- You only need a pinch of ground nutmeg and ground cardamom. If you don't have one or both, don't worry; you can leave them out.
- You can usually find cylinders of sausage meat in the fresh meat section near sausage links or ground/minced meat. You can squeeze the meat from some breakfast sausage links if you struggle to find it.
- If you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop the bread by hand.
Nutrition is per serving