Instead of all of the traditional dishes and side dishes for our Christmas buffet I tried quite a few new ones. We celebrated the holiday on Christmas Day instead of Christmas Eve. I had an extra day to prepare foods ahead of time and that was a relief. We had several frozen turkeys in the freezer and I wanted to use one for a cozy casserole-type dish. It would be traditional in an informal way.
It was easy to roast the turkey a week in advance and freeze the meat. I also had a lot of turkey juices that I froze to use to make gravy. I didn’t use cream of chicken soup as the recipe suggested. Much better to use a real gravy! The recipe also called for broccoli and that was a great idea. One of our favorite traditional dishes is the broccoli rice casserole which has always been my blog’s most popular post. For Thanksgiving I made new stuffing recipe that was much like my own go-to recipe. I used that stuffing recipe and the rest was easy.
There was just one more twist, and that was that I served this casserole twice. On Christmas Even my P.S. and I went over to his parents’ house and brought dinner. I brought a pan of the turkey stuffing casserole for our dinner. It was like a chance at a test run, and I did learn one thing: broccoli bakes fast enough. It wouldn’t have had to be pre-roasted then roasted again in the casserole. It got a bit soft and mushy but was still ok.
I started by making a large amount of stuffing, double the recipe I used on Thanksgiving. A single recipe of stuffing was used in the casserole recipe below. You can double it if you want enough to feed about 20. I cubed the bread and spread it in two baking pans.
I tasted the bread cubes until they were browned. You can brown it as long as you like; I like a medium toast to it. I let it cool on the sheet pans then put it into bags. This is great done ahead of time, even weeks in advance. When you’re ready to use your stuffing, place it in a bowl and add seasonings and stir well to coat.
In a large skillet add the butter, celery and onion. I omit the onion because as I’ve mentioned before, some of my family members can’t eat onion. I add a little extra seasoning to make up for it and it’s just fine. I had even chopped my celery ahead of time and froze it. I tell ya, this recipe can be made so easy the last minute with a few things done ahead of time!
Stir the butter and celery mixture together with the turkey or chicken broth and add it to the bowl of bred cubes. Stir well.
At this point you’ll want to taste test for seasoning. Add more sage, salt or pepper as desired.
I sprayed the pan then roasted my broccoli. That wasn’t necessary, we’ll ignore that direction. Spread the broccoli out in the pan then spread the turkey over it.
Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Spread about 2 cups of gravy over the turkey.
I used the pan drippings from roasting the turkey and thickened them with a cornstarch slurry. You could use the canned soups, but the drippings are going to be way more flavorful.
I covered the pan with a thick layer of stuffing and another drizzle of gravy. If your stuffing is nice and moist, I’d omit the last drizzle of gravy. You want the stuffing to brown and crisp up a bit and too much gravy with prevent that.
I baked the casserole for about an hour at 350°F. Mind you, my recipe was doubled so it did take awhile longer to brown and crisp. I also turned the heat down to 200°F for another hour to keep it warm for the buffet.
We loved this combination! It was a cozy, comfort food dish that satisfied on all levels. A little veg, some meat, some bread, what’s not to like about a dish like this? And honestly, we did have leftovers since there was a LOT of food on my buffet. But we microwaved it for a couple of days and it was equally delicious.
Unfortunately we were so busy after Christmas I lost track of the casserole and I ended up having to throw away quite a bit of it. I should have been smart and froze individual portions right away. So that’s my tip: eat or freeze. You won’t regret it!
Turkey Stuffing and Broccoli Hotdish
A fresh, light, Italian-inspired pasta recipe perfect for a late summer dinner.
- 12 oz bag frozen broccoli florets (or more as desired)
- 4 cups roasted turkey; diced in 1″ pieces
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2-3 cups turkey gravy
- one recipe stuffing (minus the sausage)
Prepare stuffing according to directions, minus the sausage. Prepare bread cubes ahead of time and assemble stuffing when ready to make casserole.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or grease a 9×13-in pan.
Layer frozen broccoli in the pan. Layer turkey over the broccoli. Salt and pepper turkey.
Spread gravy over the turkey and top with stuffing. Drizzle with more gravy if stuffing is a bit dry.
Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes or until stuffing is browned and crispy around the edges.
Freezes and reheats well.
Adapted from Nums The Word