The classic Thanksgiving dish, stuffing, gets a healthy and delicious makeover. These stuffing pasta nests are easy to prepare and make for a great way to enjoy leftovers.
Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the #PastaFits campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time. Thanks for supporting MJ and Hungryman.
I can’t believe it’s that time of the season when everyone’s life revolves around planning for the holidays. I normally exhaust myself so much gearing up for Thanksgiving that I don’t even get our Christmas tree up until the week before Christmas. This year, I’m going to strive for balance and be intentional about enjoying this special time of the year. As the person who’s normally in charge of getting the food on the table, I often find myself worrying about and spending more time with food than loved ones. Well, not this year (as I stomp my foot on the ground and shake my fist ferociously but oh-so-not-intimidatingly)! I toss the baton over to you, the Hungryman ;). Actually, let’s scratch that. You can stick to your turkey, hunnie.
In any case, if you’re like me, you may be tempted to take on the world and wow your guests with endless spread of extravagant dishes. But what I’ve learned over the years is that less is more and simplicity can certainly provide the “wow” factor. As I write, I’m recalling that time when I set out to make 8+ “fancy” dishes on my own – a complete disaster, and the house (myself included) looked like it was bombed by the time guests arrived. I think 5 is a good number for me ;).
If I want to add to that number, I’m going to utilize all the ingredients I already have on hand to create something a bit unique. That’s where this Thanksgiving Stuffing Pasta Nests come in. The flavors may be familiar and preparation time minimal, but the presentation lures attention. And eating stuffing (or anything for that matter) with your fingers always makes for a great time.
This recipe is very versatile in that you can add add whatever fruits or vegetables you’d like, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, pear, apples, etc. I say pack’em in! If you so desire to take it up another notch, it tastes amazing with cranberry sauce. Just saying’ ;).
These pasta nests are also a great way to enjoy leftovers. And of course, the addition of whole wheat pasta, as I had mentioned before, along with vegetables and turkey will keep you fuller and more satisfied throughout the day.
- 8 oz. thin spaghetti or angle hair, cooking according to package directions
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 lb. ground turkey or sausage
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 egg beaten
- Shredded cheddar optional
- Leftover cranberry sauce optional
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 6-cup (or 12-cup) muffin tin. * See note
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring, until fragrant and softened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the turkey and stir until cooked through. Stir in poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken stock and scrape any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled mixture with the noodles and beaten egg. Toss until thoroughly incorporated. Using tongs, portion pasta mixture into prepared muffin cups, twisting pasta to form even nests. Fill each cup about 2/3 way full. Sprinkle with cheddar, if desired. Bake until centers are set and tops are golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating tin halfway through baking. Let nests cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Run small knife around edges, unmold, and serve. Serve as is or top with cranberry sauce.