I’ve finally figured out the secret to making a delicious Homemade Paxo Stuffing and I’m ready to share it. This classic British sage and onion flavoured roast dinner essential is buttery and full of flavour. Fresh ingredients mean it isn’t a direct copycat but even lifelong packet stuffing lovers like me will be converted – it really is better!
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I honestly never thought I’d stray from my love of Paxo packet stuffing mixes. Despite being a competent cook that mostly cooks from scratch, I’ve just always loved the flavour and texture.
My Sage & Onion Sausagemeat Stuffing is ever popular, especially at Christmas. I’ll be making it with my own homemade stuffing instead of Paxo from now on. It freezes great so is ideal for getting ahead too.
What Is the Secret to Homemade Paxo Stuffing?
If you look at the ingredients of Paxo, you’ll see that bread or breadcrumbs aren’t listed as an ingredient like you might imagine. Nor is yeast. So there is no traditional bread in Paxo. There is however flour and raising agent. Which makes me think that it is made with a cracker rather than bread.
To replicate this I have used panko breadcrumbs. They are light and crispy which does make the finished stuffing less dense and heavy. They also retain some of their structure rather than turning to mush.
So there you have it – the secret to making homemade paxo stuffing is panko breadcrumbs!
How to Serve Homemade Sage & Onion Stuffing
I am really not a fan of actually stuffing birds with stuffing. Silly as that sounds. But it hinders the proper cooking of the bird. And the flavour can permeate the meat.
Which is great if you are going to be using the whole bird for meals with the same herby flavour profile. But not so good if say you want to use leftover chicken to make something like Chicken, Peanut & Lentil Soup. Sage is just going to mess with the flavour profile.
So what I’m saying in a very longwinded way, is that I like to cook the stuffing separately and serve it as a side. This is also more inclusive for anyone eating the meal that might not be so keen on stuffing (shock horror but they do exist!)
I was always prefer stuffing to be served hot. Even when I make sandwiches from leftovers. Warm is fine, especially if juggling a few last minute things in the oven. But I don’t think cold is very nice with a main meal. If you like it cold in a sandwich, go for it!
Make Homemade Packet Stuffing into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
The most traditional way to serve stuffing is alongside roasted chicken or roasted turkey. I also serve it alongside roast pork and occasionally roast lamb. I’ll admit that roast beef doesn’t usually get a stuffing side but I could easily be persuaded.
Roast dinners can have as few or many elements as you like depending on the day and occasion. These are some of my most common sides and sauces – mix and match away!
- Pigs in Blankets (Bacon Wrapped Sausages)
- The Best Roast Parsnips
- Roast Potatoes
- Homemade Bread Sauce
- Roast Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Rosemary Potato Cubes
- Vichy Carrots with Thyme
- Lemon & Garlic Green Beans
- Proper Yorkshire Puddings
- Get Ahead Gravy From Scratch
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Homemade Sage & Onion Stuffing
I just use regular brown onions in the stuffing. Red onions will work but they will give the finished stuffing an odd colour.
Cutting the onions as finely as you can is key. If you can’t be bothered to chop with a knife, try a food processor. You can use frozen chopped onions but you will need to defrost them and chop them smaller
There is a fair amount of butter in this recipe. I use salted butter in all my cooking and baking. If you only have unsalted, you should add in some extra salt to the recipe or else it will be bland.
Please also don’t be tempted to reduce the amount of butter. It is essential for keeping some structure in the stuffing. And the flavour is obviously incredible.
There is no egg in bought stuffing but without it, the stuffing just doesn’t come together vey well. I used a large UK egg but I wouldn’t be too stressed about using a medium or xl.
Actual paxo is vegan. But I have always made up my stuffing using some of the roasting meat juices. And as I’ve already added an egg, I make this version using chicken stock. The rich flavour is really welcome.
I don’t mind how you make your stock. Use a stock cube, use a stock pot or use fresh stock – homemade or bought. Stock comes in cartons in the US like longlife milk and I’ve recently seen it being sold in cans (like beer cans) in the UK.
I tried this recipe using fresh sage. I grow it in the garden and it is there to use all winter. But it just didn’t taste right. So dried sage it is.
I also tried using just sage but it looks a little bland. Going back to the actual ingredients of Paxo again, I saw that it also contains parsley. With dried parsley the colour and taste were both perfect.
Please don’t be tempted to be overly heavy handed with the herbs. Too much sage and the flavour can become overwhelming very quickly.
Panko are a type of light breadcrumb from Japan. They are easy to buy in all supermarkets. There are very few occasions that I use regular breadcrumbs as panko is so superior.
Please try to get hold of some rather than trying to find a substitute.
In theory you can use this recipe as a base for a variety of flavours. You could make a version of the Garlic and Thyme Paxo stuffing by adding in some fresh garlic with the herbs and switching the dried sage for dried thyme. Keep the onions and keep the parsley.
For a version that would be delicious with lamb, I would again add the garlic but switch the dried sage for dried or fresh rosemary. Just make sure it is a finely chopped.
There are lots of ways of experimenting with different flavours. Cranberry and chestnut is a classic combo around Christmas. My Christmas Sausage Rolls with Cranberry & Chestnut are a good example of this.
Just be careful to keep the onions, keep the fat and use panko breadcrumbs. And be cautious if you introduce anything like fresh fruits. You need to keep in mind that they will add extra moisture. So reduce the stock accordingly.
How to Make Homemade Paxo Style Stuffing Balls
I’ve written this recipe to be a little more moist and to be cooked in a dish rather than to be rolled into balls. I find balls of stuffing can be dry and it isn’t my preference.
But if it is your preference, start with half the amount of stock. Then keep adding more until all the breadcrumbs are coated but the mix can be picked up and rolled.
Use a lined baking tray and bake for around 20-30 minutes at the same heat as the recipe. How long will depend on how crispy you want them.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
As I’ve mentioned the packet Paxo is vegan. My version as written is neither vegan or vegetarian.
However it is easy to make a vegetarian homemade stuffing. All you need to do is switch the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
Making a vegan homemade stuffing with this recipe requires some further swaps. Start with the butter. I would recommend switching this for a buttery style dairy free margarine. It doesn’t matter if it is a soft type because it will be melted but try to retain the butter flavour.
Next is the chicken stock which again can be replaced with a vegan suitable vegetable stock. And then there is the egg which is the trickiest part. There are various egg substitutes available and I would suggest that using a liquid egg replacer would be the easiest route.
You could try just leaving the egg out but I fear it would be very crumbly.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free: Gluten free panko is difficult to come by. There are various varieties of gluten free breadcrumbs available – many of which appear to be the lighter and bigger pieces like panko. These would be fine to use but the fine ones won’t.
If you can find some gluten-free crackers like matzos, they would be good to bash with a rolling pin until they’re in small pieces. Otherwise coarsely blitzing some gluten free bread would be the best bet. Make sure it is dry – a spell in a low oven should do the trick.
Dairy Free: Replace the butter with a dairy free alternative.
Egg Free: As discussed above, replacing the egg with a vegan liquid egg replacer would be the best bet.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Homemade Paxo Stuffing
Chopping the onions finely is key to this recipe. I use a sharp knife and a chopping board. But if you are upping the quantity or can’t be bothered to chop by hand, you can use an electric mini chopper or food processor.
I used a really large frying pan to cook the onions but you can use any frying pan or saucepan.
You can cook the stuffing in any ovenproof dish. I tend to either use my glass pyrex dishes, my retro pyrex casserole dishes or a ceramic casserole dish. The size isn’t terribly important. If you like lots of crispy top, use a bigger but shallower dish. For more gooey, use a smaller but deeper dish.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
This stuffing is ideal to make ahead of time. It freezes really well too. I would recommend freezing before baking it. You can freeze in a bag or something smaller than the baking dish then add to a casserole dish and bake once its defrosted. If it is looking a little on the dry side, add a little extra water.
I wouldn’t bake from frozen as the top is likely to dry out before the middle is baked.
You can also freeze once baked then reheat in the microwave or oven. But again this has potential for drying out the stuffing so if you could freeze then bake, that would be better.
Leftover Sage and Onion Stuffing
I have some cracking ways of using leftover stuffing. And most of the recipes are not written up – sorry! The most obvious is in a sandwich with leftover roast meat. At Christmas I make a “Christmas Baguette” with roast turkey, pigs in blankets (or separate sausage and bacon), stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
The best recipe I’ve ever come up with to use up leftover anything is my Leftover Roast Dinner Pizza. It’s got meat, pigs in blankets, a sauce of cauliflower cheese and of course the stuffing. You have to try it, it is absolutely gorgeous!
I also often make a soup with leftovers too. To make it truly winter meal worthy, I mix leftover stuffing into suet dumpling mix and add dumplings to the soup. It is a little different but feels hugely traditional and comforting too.
Homemade Sage & Onion Paxo Stuffing Tips
Don’t be tempted to cook the onions too quickly. They want to soften in the water and then the butter and a low heat and gentle simmer is the best way to do this. Frying the onions and getting a char on them or really caramelising them will change the flavour of the finished stuffing.
Please don’t be tempted to tip the egg and stock mixture into the frying pan. If any of my recipes ask you to use extra bowls, I promise you there is a reason – I don’t want the egg and stock to get any hotter at this point.
Equally please don’t add the panko to the stock rather than giving it a swirl in the buttery pan. The panko soaks up the butter and this helps the panko retain its texture. And this is a great way to make sure all the buttery goodness doesn’t get left in the pan.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Homemade Paxo Stuffing (Sage & Onion)
- 150 g Onions
- 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 240 ml Water
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 6 tbsp Salted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 240 ml Chicken Stock
- 2 tbsp Dried Sage
- 1 tbsp Dried Parsley
- 150 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 200c fan | 220c | 430f
- Top, tail, peel, halve and chop 150g Onion into fine dice.
- Add to a large frying pan with 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes and 240 ml Water.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Allow the water to boil off – this should take around 5 minutes. Give everything a stir every now and again to make sure nothing is sticking.
- Add 2 tbsp Olive Oil to the onions along with 4 tbsp Salted Butter. Allow the butter to melt then start to froth/bubble. Turn the heat down so it is just frothing.
- Allow to cook for around 10 minutes. Stir it every now and again. You don’t want to colour the onions so if they look like they’re starting to colour, turn the heat down a little more.
- White the onions are cooking, crack 1 Egg into a large mixing bowl then mix with 240ml Chicken Stock. Set aside for the moment.
- Once the onions are lovely and translucent, add a further 2 tbsp Salted Butter along with 2 tbsp Dried Sage and 1 tbsp Dried Parsley. Allow to cook for a further minute stirring well.
- Turn the heat of the pan and stir in 150g Panko Breadcrumbs. The panko won’t become completely coated in the butter but just stir until everything is absorbed.
- Tip the contents of the pan into the egg/stock mix. Stir well until everything is fully combined.
- Pour the stuffing into an oven proof dish around pack down a little.
- Use a fork to rough up the top a little for maximum crispy bits.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Serve hot.