Thanksgiving Recipes - Seafood Stuffing
by Jessie S.
When you hear the word “Thanksgiving,” your mind probably goes straight to a picture of slow-roasted turkey, classic mashed potatoes with gravy and various mouthwatering side items. While it’s true that the traditional Thanksgiving meal does not usually feature seafood, Thanksgiving is actually a great time to incorporate fresh seafood dishes right into your meal. If you just can’t fathom the idea of giving up turkey for shellfish, don’t fret! We have just the right side item for you that is the perfect balance of traditional Thanksgiving meets coastal lifestyle: seafood stuffing!
Thanksgiving stuffing (or “dressing”) is a classic side item that is hearty, starchy and the perfect vessel for smothering in delicious turkey gravy. The name “stuffing” comes from the tradition of actually packing the mixture into your turkey as it cooks. However, over the years, stuffing became a full dish by itself typically paired with other meat dishes. This separation was fueled largely by the introduction of Stove Top brand stuffing in the 70’s. Today, many people choose to stuff their turkey with veggies, spices and herbs and prefer their stuffing as a side, usually baked in a casserole dish so the edges of the bread can get a bit crispy.
Stuffing is essentially made up of 4 key components: vegetables, herbs/seasoning, bread and liquid. The standard vegetables are onion and celery but can include carrots, peppers, mushrooms, and squash varieties. For seasoning, herbs like rosemary, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and sage are commonly used but hot spices can also be mixed in. Lastly, breadcrumbs or croutons are the main element of the dish but when it comes to selecting your bread, it all comes down to personal preference—some chefs prefer cornbread, some love a hearty artisan loaf, and some like to cube up plain white bread. The mixture is then combined with a meat stock or cream-based soup and some cooks like to add egg as a binding agent. In many cases, meat is added as the fifth component through chopped turkey, chicken, sausage or in the case of these recipes, seafood. Here are a few simple recipe options we found to satisfy your seafood craving this year.
Savannah Seafood Stuffing (With Shrimp & Crab)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 pound fresh shrimp cut into bite-sized pieces if larger, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 (14-ounce) a bag herb seasoned stuffing mix
- 1/2 (14-ounce) a bag cornbread stuffing mix
- 1 (10,75-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth
- 3 (5-ounce) cans crab meat drained
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter cut into slivers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X13-inch casserole dish.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add onion, celery, and red pepper and cook until soft.
- Add shrimp and cook just until no longer pink. Remove from heat. Stir in Cajun seasoning and thyme and transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT butter, to bowl. Stir to mix well.
- Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Scatter butter pieces over top, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Recipe, directions and photo by Christin Mahrlig at Spicy Southern Kitchen.
Seafood Stuffing (With Shrimp, Crab, & Smoked Oysters)
- 6 cups chopped cornbread (almost 2 Jiffy boxes cooked)
- 1 cup rice, cooked
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 cups chopped peppers (almost 2 medium peppers)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ½ tsp chopped thyme
- 2 tsp chopped sage
- 1 tsp salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- cup mayo
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp old bay seasoning
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ½ pound shrimp, chopped
- 8 oz tub crab meat
- 2 cans of smoked oysters, drained
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Combine the cornbread cubes and cooked rice in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions, celery, garlic, thyme, sage and salt. Saute vegetables and herbs for 7-9 minutes or until translucent. Allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mayo, parsley, black pepper, poultry seasoning, old bay and Cajun seasoning. Add this mixture to the bowl with the cornbread and rice. Then add the beaten eggs, chicken broth and vegetables. Stir well to combine.
- Gently stir in the chopped shrimp and crab meat. Once that is combined, add the oysters and very gently stir just until the oysters are combined. Adding the seafood at the end keeps it from being broken up too much.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown with slightly crisp edges.
*Recipe, directions and photo by Dominique Cook at Cooks And Kid.
Traditional Oyster Stuffing (With Oysters)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 4 T. butter
- 1 onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 4 cups stale bread diced
- 1 cup oysters chopped, liquor reserved
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
- 2 T. fresh parsley minced
- 1 t. basil
- 1/2 t. paprika
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 cup chicken or garlic broth
- 3 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Melt butter oven medium heat. Saute onion and celery until onion is translucent.
- Combine onion, celery, bread, oysters, pine nuts, parsley, and spices in a large bowl.
- Fold in oyster liquor, broth, and eggs just until moistened.
- Transfer to a greased 8x8 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
*Recipe, directions and photo by Kate at Mountain Cravings.
Jessie has been coming to the Outer Banks since she was just 5 years old. She loved it here so much that she finally relocated in 2018. Now her mission is to show the world that the Outer Banks is an incredible place that everyone should experience. When she isn't working, you can find Jessie hanging out with her friends, chilling at home with her awesome cat, Yoji, or discovering a new Outer Banks adventure.