These juicy stuffing balls are the perfect side. They’re loaded with dried cranberries and pecans for a fun, festive twist, super easy to prep ahead of time (up to 3 days!) then just throw them in the oven when you’re ready to serve.
I love serving stuffing as little meatballs on the side of a spread. It means they’re already portioned out, and never run the risk of drying out after being in the oven for a long time inside a roasted chicken or turkey.
They couldn’t be easier – just mix your favourite sausage meat with festive cranberries and pecans, fresh breadcrumbs, herbs and an egg to bind everything together. They’re juicy, super addictive and a wonderful side to enjoy over the holiday season.
I also love making these as little party snacks – load them all up on a big serving plate and serve them with cranberry sauce for a fun festive bite.
There are just a handful of ingredients that go into these balls – and you can make them your own based on what you like best.
- Sausages. Use your favourite sausages here – ideally a good quality, free-range pork sausage.
- Dried cranberries. These little pops of sweetness are delicious and festive, but you could swap them for another dried fruit. I also like using apricots.
- Pecans. Similarly, the pecans work well with the cranberries but you could swap them for another nut – pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews would work too.
- Bread. We’re using fresh bread here – you can either chop the slices up really finely or pop them into a food processor to blitz. Don’t worry if there are some chunkier pieces. I like using sourdough, but any soft bread will do.
- Za’atar. I love this mix of sumac, dried oregano, sesame seeds and salt, but you could swap this out for just dried thyme or oregano if you like.
- Egg. This is key for binding the stuffing balls together, without it, they’ll be dry and fall apart.
How to make them
Slice down your sausages and squeeze the meat out of the skins into a large mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients, then mix it well. It’s easiest to do this with your hands, so you can pop on some gloves and get your hands in there.
Heat your oven to 180C/350F fan and line a couple of oven trays with baking paper. Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of the stuffing mix and roll it into a ball in your hands. Place on the tray and repeat with the rest of the mixture. Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes, until they’re looking golden and lovely.
PREP AHEAD: You can form the stuffing balls 3 days in advance, then just bake them when you’re ready.
Got a question?
Yes! That’s what’s great about these. You can make them up to 3 days ahead of time, then just cook them when you’re ready.
You can use any other nut you like – hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios are great too.
I love using chopped dried apricots in these balls in place of cranberries – you could really use any dried fruit you like.
Once cooked, they’ll keep for at least 3 days stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
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If you make these stuffing balls, I’d love to hear how you get on! You can leave me a comment below.Print