Save Space on Your Thanksgiving Table With a 2-for-1 Side Dish

This mashed potato and stuffing mash-up is a must-have side this year.

I’ve always been a big believer that the real star of Thanksgiving day is the side dishes. Nothing against roast turkey, but I would much rather load up my plate with luscious mounds of mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac and cheese, green beans — you name it, it's on there! While we always have a few sides options at my family’s own Thanksgiving celebration, there have been times when we’ve had to cut certain dishes from the menu entirely because we just didn’t have enough room on the table. Heartbreaking, I know.

This Mashed Potato–Sausage Stuffing from Food Network Magazine’s latest issue (pictured above) seems to have fixed that problem. Not only does it combine mashed potatoes and sausage-based stuffing into one epic hybrid side, but this delicious innovation will also help you save some of that valuable real estate on your turkey day table.

“Once I discovered it was double carbs — bread and potatoes — I was hooked,” says Amy Stevenson, the recipe developer behind the comforting dish. Inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch-recipes she ate while she was growing up, it was the concept of Pennsylvania Dutch Mashed Potato Filling that led Amy to put together this one-of-a-kind creation. Mashed potatoes are great on their own, but throw crusty white bread into the mix, and you’ve got a total winner! The recipe also utilizes day-old bread, so it also gives you the perfect excuse to repurpose that stale loaf sitting on your kitchen counter.

This dish also features a lot of the ingredients and flavors that are often associated with Thanksgiving like sage, thyme, onion and celery in a brand new way. “We all loved this in my house — it was very hearty and flavorful and I felt like if you added a few other veggies, like sauteed mushrooms or spinach, this could almost stand on its own as a one-dish meal too,” Amy adds about its versatility. A huge chunk of stuffing for dinner? Sign me up!

When it comes to putting this dish together, Amy has a few suggestions. Unlike other stuffing recipes, which often use Italian sausage, Amy says breakfast sausage is the way to go: “I went back and forth about what type of sausage to use here. Even though this isn't breakfast, I like the mildness of breakfast sausage. You could use another pork sausage with thyme/sage as well, but I think Italian sausage would contrast the other flavors too much."

Choosing the right bread for this stuffing is also key! “The most important thing to get right — and what sets this dish apart — is the bread,” Amy shares. This means you should pay extra attention to the overall texture of the bread you choose, since not all types of bread will work well for this recipe. “Choose a hearty white country loaf — you don't want a light, airy loaf here. I also like the texture I got from the toasted torn bread pieces, rather than cubes; it added a nice cragginess to the top, but combined nicely with the potatoes for a creamy interior,” Amy adds.

I don’t know about you, but this magical Mashed Potato-Sausage Stuffing will definitely be on my table this Thanksgiving. Now, if only I could convince my family to skip the turkey and do a “Sidesgiving” instead…

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