When loaded up with savory breakfast goodies—eggs, sausage, crisp bacon, cheese, and other tasty morsels—and baked off in a skillet to puffy, golden perfection, deep dish breakfast stuffing is the new breakfast for champions.
Much More Than Just a Thanksgiving Side Dish
Rich, savory stuffing is one of those staples that make the turkey day table as awesome as it is. For many of us, it’s one of the best parts of the meal when made just right—with its slightly chewy texture, its golden edges, its herbaceous-ness, its savory-ness, and all of those little surprise morsels found in each and every bite…
Well, you get the picture.
And all of those reasons why we love stuffing so much are the very reasons that it can be turned into a meal anytime, no holiday required.
Now serving breakfast all day
Stuffing is an ideal contender for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner, because it can be filled to the brim with a all kinds of favorite ingredients.
We stuffed ours with sausage, a touch of smoky bacon, cheese, caramelized peppers and onions, a sprinkle of sun-dried tomatoes and even baby spinach.
Baked to pillowy perfection in the same skillet all those veggies were sauteed in, it became a savory masterpiece and beckoned hungry souls with its divine aroma.
Delicious Rustic Simplicity
Believe it or not, it’s one of those recipes that are surprisingly very easy to throw together, even on the day that you plan on serving it.
All you have to do is simply add your cubed bread to a large bowl, toss in your other ingredients, and mix everything together with the best kitchen utensil you have: your hands.
Then, just pour everything into the cast-iron skillet (or other heavy-bottom, oven-safe pan) you used to brown your sausage, bacon and veggies, and bake away!
You’ll for sure get a rise and shine for a puffy wedge of this savory deep dish breakfast stuffing.
Deep Dish Breakfast Stuffing: Tips & Tidbits
• Day old “French” is best: French bread is best for this recipe. The chewy and light texture makes for a perfect puff; and use a loaf that is a day old for best results. You can use fresh, but the day old will have just enough “stale” to it to easily soak up the filling.
• Prep ahead of time: This recipe can be prepared ahead of time one of two ways:
- By preparing all of the components (browning sausage and bacon, and sauteeing veggies, portioning out cheese, etc.), you can have them ready to mix together with the few remaining ingredients on the morning of. Then, all you have to do is bake it off.
- Or, you can completely prepare the stuffing, spoon it into your prepared skillet, cover with plastic or foil, and place in your fridge. When ready to prepare, remove from fridge about an hour or two before baking to bring to room temp.
• This is a job for your cast-iron skillet: The best type of pan for this is a large cast-iron skillet; it browns your sausage and veggies well, and will make for more even baking of the stuffing, giving the bottom a nice, caramelized crust.
That being said, you can also use a baking tin or other oven-safe heavy bottom pan, and the stuffing will turn out scrumptious nonetheless.
Regardless, mist your skillet or pan with a bit of cooking spray before adding in the stuffing, to prevent sticking.
• Under cover: Bake covered with foil for the first 20 minutes to keep the stuffing nice and moist; then, remove the foil to allow the stuffing to get that golden-brown top and crispy edges.
• To go the vegetarian route: Feel free to leave out the sausage for a vegetarian option. You can also replace the meat with meatless veggie “crumble”, or vegetarian chorizo, which are both great substitutes.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Deep Dish Breakfast Stuffing
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 6
• Avocado oil (or olive)
• 2 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
• 2 strips bacon, chopped
• 1 onion, diced small
• 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and diced small
• 2 cloves garlic
• Black pepper
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon Italian season
• 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cubed small
• 1/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomato (preferably not packed in oil, or if so, patted dry)
• 1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 6 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 1 1/2 cups warm chicken stock
• 1 1/2 cups grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
-Preheat your oven to 375° (if not baking the day of your prep, skip this til you’re ready to bake and serve).
-Place a large cast-iron skillet over high or medium-high heat, and allow to get hot; drizzle in a little oil, about 1-2 tablespoons, and crumble in your sausage and your chopped bacon, and brown those until golden and cooked through; use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and place onto a paper towel-lined plate or bowl.
-Drizzle in a bit more oil if needed, and into the skillet add in your diced onion and pepper, plus a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, and saute those for a few minutes until they become golden; then, add in the garlic, the pinch of cayenne and the Italian seasoning, and stir just until aromatic; remove from skillet with slotted spoon and set aside for a moment.
-Carefully wipe out the skillet and set it aside to cool down for a little bit.
-Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the cubed bread, the sausage/bacon combo, and the veggies; add in the julienned sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and chopped parsley, and mix to combine.
-Drizzle in the melted butter, the whisked eggs and the chicken stock, plus 1 cup of the grated cheese, and using your hands, toss together gently until all ingredient are well combined.
-Lightly mist your (now warm) cast-iron skillet with coking spray, and turn the stuffing mixture out into it, pressing very lightly to even the top; sprinkle over the remaining ½ cup cheese, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes; then, uncover, and bake 25 minutes more, until golden-brown and puffy.
-Serve while hot.
From The Heart: “The Climb out of the Valley to Get to the Great View”
(“From the Heart” is a little accompaniment to the recipes I bring you, a more intimate space for me to share some of my more personal thoughts on life. Here you’ll find my reflections on my own inner/spiritual journey, on being a wife and a mother, on being a creative, and general observations—pretty much whatever is on my mind.
I whole-heartedly believe that sharing “from the heart” with one another is what connects us, heals us, and inspires us! Glad you’re here…)
To find myself sitting on the floor of the valley—that low point between two great mountains—is to find myself sitting among the rocks and the shadows, breathing in the cold, dank air.
It is to find myself sitting in a slight feeling of discouragement and isolation, or perhaps an overwhelm and an uncertainty.
It is a place that seems low and base, a place where if I allow my gaze to slowly move upward and onward, following the side of the great mountain that is there just ahead, that I will feel not only intimidation but frankly despair at the required journey that lies ahead.
Sometimes this life is just that tough.
Sometimes this life seems to swallow me whole, seems to hit me in every tender area, seems to leave me confused because I feel incapable of the greatness that my heart says that I am capable of.
But that still, small, barely audible voice from within whispers to me, “All will be well…”
It can leave me feeling depleted, and unsure of what the next move is.
And it is something I am somewhat familiar with, as I occasionally take that walk down one mountain and into the valley below to sit and spend time there, not because it is what I want, but because it is what my soul needs before I climb up the side of the other mountain to behold the great view from the top.
I often find myself visiting the valley when I am between two places, two “worlds”, no longer a woman that fits my previous mold (I’ve outgrown it), nor the one that is the next-size-up (slightly too big yet).
And there in the valley is where I become aware of my state of in-betweenness; it is there that I taste uncertainty, and I am shaken.
But that still, small, barely audible voice from within whispers to me, “All will be well. Allow yourself to feel all that you feel, and give words to it, name it, admit to it, and then set it free…”
And so I do.
And when I do, it often comes in the form of a howl, a cry; it often comes with a fist being shaken at my Creator, a momentary self-loathing, and the question “why?” being asked.
There is peace.
The journey upward provides the space for contemplation and introspection, and for revelation.
See, honesty and truth dwell in the valley, in the deepest, most guttural parts of the soul.
And once honesty and truth are touched upon, and I stand there bare and void of any pretense, any mask, then that is when the sliver of light makes it way down to the valley floor and cascades up the sides of that mountain revealing those places where I can safely place my feet for my long climb upward.
And though that climb upward requires much effort, God supplies the fresh air and the sunlight upon my face; He reassures me that I am His and have been gloriously made for a purpose.
That climb out of the valley and up the side of that great mountain gives me the time and space to remember who I am, and why I am.
The journey upward provides the space for contemplation and introspection, and for revelation.
And then as I begin to come nearer the top of the mountain, the grass becomes greener and the wildflowers become more abundant and brilliant; and I know that I am not far from the highest point where I can behold my long and difficult journey, and sigh, and be glad in all of it.
There, at the top of the great mountain, is the view to end all views; it is an open, amazing, and vast panorama.
It contains the opportunity for renewal, the opportunity to be refreshed.
There is also the view of another valley below…
But that valley will be experienced another day, another time.
When I find myself at the top of the mountain, the only requirement is to experience and inhale the view from the top, and to stay a while.
I will know when I need to begin my trek back down again, and then, once again, I will descend.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.