Fennel & Leek Stuffing Muffins

Thanksgiving stuffing is a classic holiday dish with countless variations. Here, traditional flavors get a twist in presentation: personally sized stuffing muffins. Serve as a side for your sit down Thanksgiving meal, or as an appetizer for your next holiday cocktail party.

Cooked fennel adds just enough crunch to complement the tender stuffing. Seasoned with tarragon, thyme and savory leeks, these easy stuffing muffins are sure to be a crowd favorite.

Use any artisan loaf bread you have on hand or try it with cornbread. If the bread is fresh, cut and toast before combining (see instructions). Or use several days old bread and skip the toasting step. This recipe calls for a hard cheese like Parmesan but these stuffing muffins are adaptable. Use Romano or another hard cheese of your choosing. Any low sodium broth can be used to wet the mixture but vegetable or chicken broth is recommended.

Pairing suggestion: BailaÍn Cellars 2016 Chardonnay or.Skinner Vineyards 2012 White Cuvee 

Wine4Food suggests: Mira Chardonnay or Les Vignerons de Mancey Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Fennel & Leek Stuffing Muffins

Makes: about 24 muffins, 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf artisan bread such as sourdough or multigrain (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bulb fennel, ends trimmed and finely diced
  • 2 leek, greens trimmed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium broth
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F.

Arrange bread cubes evenly on two large baking sheets. Bake about 15 minutes, until toasted. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. This step can be completed ahead of time, or omitted if using stale bread.

Increase oven temperature to 375°F.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper to taste, and saute about 10 minutes until onions are soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic, diced fennel, and diced leek to the skillet and saute another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add to toasted bread cubes. Mix together with fresh tarragon, thyme, and grated parmesan cheese.

Whisk together eggs and vegetable broth in a medium bowl. Pour over bread cubes and mix well.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Spoon wet stuffing mixture into prepared muffin tin, pressing stuffing down to fill the well. Bake in the oven 30 to 35 minutes, until golden, crisp, and internal temperature is at least 165°F. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and remove from tin. Serve immediately.

 

Elaine Lander is a food and agriculture writer based in Sacramento, CA.  When not eating her way through farmers markets or creating recipes at seasonedvegetable.com, she can be found rock climbing and hiking with her dog, Nutmeg.