Pizza Stuffing, for Post-Thanksgiving Feast

Dear fellow Pizza Freaks,

We are thrilled to announce: WE’RE BACK. And hungrier than ever! From the bottom of our cheesy hearts, we are so terribly sorry for our extended absence.

Don’t worry—we’ve still been loving, praising, and eating the pizza all the while. But, thanks to YOUR incredible love and support, we’re getting our priorities in order and bringing pizza back to the people!

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and our gratitude for this pizza-munity, we’ve crafted a holiday-inspired treat: pizza STUFFING. No, not a pizza-flavored stuffing, but a saucy, meaty, cheesy stuffing made with actual pizza. It tastes like a REAL stuffing, with comforting savory flavors and soft-yet-crispy bread pieces…except instead of boring bread those pieces are cut-up cubes of PIZZA! 

Check out our return to the kitchen in our newest episode, and you’ll DEFINITELY want to try this pizza stuffing for yourself—so we’ve got the recipe for you below. 

If you’re hungry for holiday pizza goodies, check out our Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza from last year!

Pizza Stuffing

The Art of Stuffing

Ah, stuffing—the beloved holiday classic in countries all across the globe! Some know stuffing as a casserole of bread cubes, veggies, herbs and spices, and maybe even some sausage. Yet, in many areas of the southern U.S., stuffing is NOT called stuffing—it’s known as ‘dressing,’ and it’s made with cornbread! The Pennsylvania Dutch also serve up a stuffing-like casserole of mashed potatoes, bread, and butter, but also call it by a different name: ‘filling.’

Stuffing, dressing, filling—whatever you want to call it—there are seriously endless possible variations all over the world, and just within the United States. There’s oyster stuffing in areas of the northeast, wild rice stuffing in the Great Lakes region, tamale stuffing in parts of the southwest. Because there’s no ‘one’ way to do stuffing! (Just like there’s no one way to do pizza, am I right?)

 Naturally, we took that freedom and ran with it. Bread cubes, cornbread, wild rice—sure, they all sound like the building blocks of a decent stuffing. (Don’t even get us started on boxed stuffing mix…) But where’s the excitement? The pizzaz? The PIZZA? Why stuff your face with just bread when you can have bread, sauce, and cheese all it one?! Take a detour from that same-old same-old stuffing and give pizza a chance.

Pizza Stuffing

What is Stuffing & How’s it Made?

But what IS stuffing really? Surprisingly, there’s a lot of debate about this! Culinarily speaking, stuffing is any edible mixture—usually featuring a starch, like bread—that’s used to fill a cavity in some kind of food (usually meat) while it’s cooking. And yes, the concept of stuffing stale bread into an animal carcass does seem fairly strange… BUT, there’s a rationale to the madness: stuffing is supposed to keep the meat moist and add to the mix of flavors in a dish.

So, the name ‘stuffing’ isn’t referring to what we do to our faces on Thanksgiving, but rather how the dish is supposed to be cooked—which would be stuffed inside of your turkey. And some stuffing purists will claim that it’s only TRUE stuffing if it’s cooked in the bird, NOT in a separate dish! Yet, loads of people (ourselves included) don’t cook their stuffing in the bird anymore. Are we doing it all wrong? 

Well, some professional chefs and even the USDA actually advise against cooking your stuffing whilst turkey-stuffed. That’s because, for food safety reasons, you need to cook a stuffed turkey until EVERYTHING (bird meat and stuffing) reach at least 165°F. But, that usually results in a totally overcooked and dry turkey breast, or a wet and soggy mush that’s called 'stuffing.' Sounds appealing, eh?

The simple fix: just cook the stuffing in a separate dish. It’s okay, you can still call it ‘stuffing,’ or whatever you want. Luckily, this pizza stuffing involves no turkeys nor stuffing into cavities of any kind! Except for your mouth, once it’s cooked.

Now It’s Time to Stuff the Face with Pizza Stuffing

Don't get us wrong—we’re all about the classic bread-cube stuffing. So eat up all of that classic stuffing on Thanksgiving!

Then, over the weekend when everyone wants pizza, order an extra pie and whip up some o’ this pizza stuffing. Or after Christmas dinner. Or in the summer. Or whenever the heck your belly desires.

Trust us, you’ll be glad you did! (And your family and friends will be even more thankful for you.)

Pizza Stuffing Ingredients:

  • 1 delivery cheese pizza, 14-16” (I ordered mine with onion, mushrooms, and sausage!)
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • ½ lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ⅓ cup tomato sauce
  • 1½ cups turkey broth
  • 2 eggs
  • optional: ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

                                  Procedure:

                                  1. Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C).
                                  2. Cut pizza into ½-inch to ¾-inch cubes. Add to a baking sheet (or two) lined with parchment or foil.
                                  3. Bake 30-45 minutes, until dried out and toasted. Toss 1-2 times during baking.
                                  4. Allow pizza cubes to cool. Raise oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
                                  5. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt stick of butter. Add red onion and sauté 1-2 minutes.
                                  6. Add sausage and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes, until cooked through. 
                                  7. Add bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, and oregano. Stir and cook about 10 minutes, until softened. Stir in tomato sauce.
                                  8. Remove pan from heat and add just ½ cup of turkey broth.
                                  9. In a measuring cup or a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs with remaining 1 cup of turkey broth. (So the eggs don’t scramble going straight into a warm pan!) 
                                  10. Pour remaining broth and egg mixture into pan with sausage. If desired, fold in chopped basil.
                                  11. Add toasted pizza cubes to sausage mixture and fold until well-coated. (For easier/less-messy mixing, you may want to transfer sausage mixture into a larger bowl and THEN fold in toasted pizza cubes.)
                                  12. Transfer pizza stuffing to a glass or ceramic baking dish (9x13-inch) and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
                                  13. Remove foil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese has melted and browned.
                                  14. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

                                  Yields 1 pizza-tastic stuffing casserole, cut into however many pieces you want or are willing to share.

                                  Pizza Stuffing

                                  Pizza Stuffing

                                  Like the Eat The Pizza swag from this episode? Get it here!