Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

By: Eleni Saltas

My mom’s stuffing is a Thanksgiving tradition I cherish—the simplicity of her recipe perfectly balances the hearty flavors of ground beef, pork, chestnuts, and aromatic herbs. I love it because, unlike some overly mushy stuffing’s, her straightforward approach ensures a satisfying texture that highlights the essence of a comforting Thanksgiving meal.

Prep Time:


Total Time:

40 min



Good For:

Side Dish/Thanksgiving


  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic (1 tablespoon), minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground sage, or more to taste
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger, or more to taste
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (or more as needed)
  • 8 ounces chestnuts, shelled and sliced*
  • 6 stalks of celery, diced
  • ½ cup pine nuts

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef and ground pork and break into crumbles. Cook until the meat is browned.
Add the diced onions and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Season generously with salt, pepper, ground sage and ginger.

Step 2

Pour in the vegetable broth, add the fresh sage leaves and cover the skillet with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning or add more broth to maintain moisture.

Step 3

Add the sliced chestnuts and diced celery to the mixture, and cook until the celery is just slightly tender, ensuring the celery retains a good bite for texture.
Mix in the pine nuts and add more broth if necessary. Allow the mixture to simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Add more seasoning if necessary to your taste.

Step 4

Transfer the stuffing to a serving dish and garnish with fresh sage leaves if desired.

Recipe Notes

 *Note on the chestnuts: if fresh chestnuts are not available, water chestnuts can be used for convenience. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

**Some delicious optional add ins: pomegranate seeds, cubed day-old bread, diced granny smith apples, or currants for added texture and flavor.