This Christmas, we panicked and bought a turkey that came with a layer of readymade stuffing smeared on top under a lattice of bacon. I regret this purchase after spotting what looked like a perfectly good unadorned turkey for two in the Co-op this morning but never mind – this year’s Christmas dinner is all about the side dishes.

As I am convinced the readymade stuffing will be awful, I have made extra stuffing to serve as a side dish.

I had a packet of 12 chipolatas for pigs-in-blankets but, as there’s only two of us for Christmas dinner, I decided to make six piggies and use the other six mini-bangers as the basis for a stuffing. Any breadcrumbs should be fine in this recipe but I like the texture panko breadcrumbs offer – plus I had plenty left over from my Christmas pudding recipe.

The diced pepper adds a touch of colour – it’s a nice change from the usual sage and onion stuffing and, as a bonus, this recipe does not involve traipsing around the shops during a supply chain crisis trying to find chestnuts.

Colourful pepper stuffing


6 chipolata sausages

150g diced bacon (Asda does this really well at a great price)

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 small red, green, yellow or orange pepper, finely diced

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Slice each chipolata and remove the sausage meat from inside. Discard the skins.
  3. In a bowl, mix the chipolata meat, diced bacon, breadcrumbs and diced pepper with a fork, squishing the ingredients together.
  4. Add the olive oil and beaten egg. Mix well with a fork.
  5. Add the basil, salt and pepper and mix well again. It should be a wet, squishy blend.
  6. Roll into balls – I like golf ball-sized balls but you can be more delicate. Alternatively, this can be stuffed inside the turkey or cooked in a tray so you can cut it away in slices.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes – keep a close eye on it as it can get very dark very quickly, especially if you have an oven like mine that runs too hot.

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