Thanksgiving stuffing in your waffle iron? You bet!

  • You can top your stuffing waffle with leftover turkey and gravy the day after Thanksgiving.

    You can top your stuffing waffle with leftover turkey and gravy the day after Thanksgiving. Courtesy of Penny Kazmier

Updated 11/17/2022 1:24 PM

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you're anything like me, you have already been looking through recipes and creating grocery lists. I used to try a few new recipes every year. But I have been asked by my family to just make the food they look forward to since we typically only eat stuffing on Thanksgiving. They do want me to make lots of it so they can take home leftovers. So that's my plan.

I like leftovers, too, but I will admit to growing tired of them after the second or third meal. So I have come up with creative ways to transform them.

A stuffing waffle comes out crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.
A stuffing waffle comes out crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. - Courtesy of Penny Kazmier

One year, after watching an episode of the Food Network's "Iron Chef" where the mystery ingredients were Thanksgiving leftovers, I made a soup using leftover gravy as a base and stuffing as a thickener. After adding leftover roasted vegetables, turkey and some homemade noodles, we sat down to piping hot bowls of soup that no one could believe was made from dinner leftovers from the night before. It was so good I wrote about it back in 2013:

Before I go on, I need to clarify I use the words stuffing and dressing interchangeably. Stuffing is dressing cooked inside the turkey, and dressing is cooked outside, but in our house, the ingredients are the same. I no longer stuff my turkey, but I still call it stuffing, so please forgive me if I confuse anyone by referring to both versions as "stuffing."

Over the last few years, I have seen recipes using a waffle iron in nontraditional ways. I wondered what it might do to leftover stuffing. So, I heated my waffle maker, added a layer of leftover stuffing, and waited.

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After a few minutes, I opened the waffle maker to reveal my piping hot, crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, stuffing waffle. It was perfect. I will admit to eating the first one in my fingers while using the remaining stuffing to make more.

Instead of topping these waffles with syrup, I added warm slices of turkey and then some warm leftover gravy. Reminiscent of a "hot turkey sandwich," but even better.

It is important to note that my waffle maker makes waffles about 1-inch thick, not the giant 2-inch thick kind. If you don't have a waffle iron, try forming stuffing into patties and cook them as you would a pancake, making sure to allow them to become a little crunchy, almost like a potato pancake.

I included one of my favorite stuffing recipes. It's basic, so feel free to add chopped apples, dried cranberries or sausage. Just be sure that if you use sausage that it's well-drained or your waffle maker will be a greasy mess.


Whatever type of stuffing you use, ensure it has enough moisture to hold together when placed in the waffle maker. I can't wait to try this with cornbread stuffing, too.

Honestly, waiting for the waffle to cook is the hardest part of making this tasty twist on Thanksgiving leftovers. You may want to make stuffing on a random day in March to have these again. In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

• Penny Kazmier, a wife and mother of four from South Barrington, won the 2011 Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge. Contact Penny at

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