Stuffpuppies. Stuffpuppies! STUFFPUPPIES!
November 22nd, 2011
09:03 AM ET
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There's a Chekhovian theatrical trope that asserts that if a gun is introduced in the first act, it's got to go off by the third. The culinary corollary: if you're employing hot, bubbling oil to cook your Thanksgiving turkey and there are any other technically edible substances around, you've gotta end up deep frying most of them. Just embrace your destiny.

Behold the Stuffpuppy - an orb of textural pleasures progressing inward from crunch to sponge to pillow. It's the turducken of the sides world: a cloud-soft core of buttery mashed potatoes, swaddled in savory stuffing (or dressing - your call), crusted in crushed potato chips and fried to sublimity. To bite into one is to gaze upon the naked face of Thanksgiving and tremble in ecstasy.

Plus it's really, really, REALLY fun to throw random stuff in the fryer.

These came about when Sarah and I were at the end of a long shoot for our Thanksgiving for 8 for $70 meal, the oil from a deep-fried turkey was still merrily a-bubble, and we had enough leftovers to feed a quarter of the Duggar family. There may have been a hard-earned shot of fine American corn whiskey involved, but that's not especially relevant.

After working through a few rigorous trial rounds, we finally nailed a formula to maintain consistent textural integrity and ensure maximum deliciousness. We did this for science. Science and the betterment of mankind. And also corn whiskey.

(Note – we happened to have a deep fryer going, but sure, you could give an oven or a pan a shot)

Leftover mashed potatoes
Leftover stuffing or dressing, slightly moist
1 egg
Plain potato chips, crushed (left over from topping a casserole, because at least one of your Thanksgiving casseroles should have a crunchy topping - and yes, Ritz-style crackers are an acceptable substitute)
Cranberry sauce for dipping

Heat oil to 325°, maintaining the rigorous standards of safety that you have been employing all along with your turkey frying.

Roll room-temperature balls of mashed potatoes to roughly 1" in diameter. Lightly beat an egg and stir into stuffing to act as a binder. Form a layer of stuffing around the mashed potatoes, roll the ball in crushed potato chips and place in the fryer basket, making sure the edges of individual balls do not touch.

Carefully lower the basket into oil and cook for 3 minutes. Slowly remove from oil, drain, serve with a side of cranberry sauce and ascend to Thanksgiving immortality.

*Note – a commenter asked why the insides look pink. It's because my mashed potatoes were made from Blue Peruvian and Yukon Gold taters.

Previously - Four Loko holiday balls – you are too good a person to make these

More about frying:
Master the stuffpuppy
8 hot pieces of advice for frying at home
Overcome your fear of frying
Deep-fried indoor turkey – for science

Need more Thanksgiving tips? We've got you covered: Thanksgiving is coming; refrain from freaking out

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Julian

    Tried these this year with turkey and mashed potatoes in the middle, and Ritz crackers on the outside. I was really surprised at how well they turned out. They were delicious! Instant classic!

    November 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  2. JOel

    Now, this will be my kind of Thanksgiving for this year.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  3. JOel

    Now, this is my kind of Thanksgiving for this year.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  4. JOel

    Now, this is my kind of Thanksgiving!

    November 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  5. Lace up and run before and even more after!

    I'm soooo going to try these! Thanks for the repost!

    November 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  6. momspecial

    My mom always used up leftover mashed potato by rolling in a ball with a small cube of cheese in the center. Roll this in buttered, crushed corn flakes & bake....yummy & a little better than frying.

    November 15, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  7. mre2

    Rather than a mashed potato core, or turkey as some have suggested, I think I might try leftover turkey gravy. Chill it to congeal, stick it in the freezer for a short while to firm it up if necessary, but not ice hard, scoop out little balls, and have at it. I like the idea of a warm, runny center.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  8. kerin

    The theatrical saying was from Ibsen, not Checkov, i believe.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      It's not. There's even a literary device called "Chekhov's Gun."

      November 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  9. Jamie P

    Under CNN's health tab they have an article about how diabetes is such an epidemic in this country and here they're posting ways to deep fry mashed potatoes, stuffing and potatoes together. A bit contradictory.

    November 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • VladT

      Not really, its different "departments" ( so to speak ), and indulging on Thanksgiving is not unheard of, even for us skinnier, non-diabetic people.

      I mean, most hospital cafeterias sell soda, right?

      November 15, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • hawkechik

      This is for Thanksgiving, one meal a year (even if you did it for every feast holiday, probably no more than 3 or 4 times a year.) Not something you're going to eat every day.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  10. Jamie P

    Under CNN's health section they have an article about diabetes being an epidemic and here they're posting ways to deep fry mashed potatoes, potato chips and stuffing all together. A bit contradictory.

    November 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  11. Kara

    I like the idea of putting turkey in the middle. I have never tried to roll mashed potato's into a ball, but seems like that might be kind of difficult.

    November 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Pawluh Deeeen

      Butter up your hands first, yawl.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • hawkechik

      It would depend on the consistency of the potatoes, but chilling would help I'd think.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  12. Lisa

    wow! now i know what to do with my leftovers! sounds AMAZING!!!!!

    November 24, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  13. Mary in TN

    Sounds incredible! I too thought of starting with a cube of turkey and building around it. I want some right now, but I'll wait a couple of days...if I can stand it.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  14. Jasanna

    These sound quite delicious! New Thanksgiving tradition, here I come!

    November 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  15. Greenpa

    I love it! :-) I suspect there are quite a few folks, though, who would read the article and think "wow, these guys are just having WAY too much fun!"

    Which, actually, is kinda the entire point of holidays. So – I love it!

    November 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  16. Jason

    This article made me laugh, made me cry, made me get a serious hankering for corn whiskey (which may or may not be legally manufactured. This was well-written, hilarious, and informative (I found out that, for some reason, Twitter's become unblocked on my work computer!! THANK YOU!!)!

    I will definitely be trying this recipe of happiness and Lipitor's job security!

    November 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  17. purryfurry's momma

    I love you, I love you, I love you for this recipe. Leftovers will be golden now.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Jason

      Fried golden!!!

      November 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  18. WasabiPotPie

    I am still trying to perfect a recipe for deep fried coleslaw nuggets. I'll get it right one day and then sell it at the State Fair.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • mre2

      Shouldn't be hard - if ice cream can be deep fried, so can coleslaw.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  19. oubie

    There are several posters who are misinformed as to the health issues with correct deep frying.

    First, it is true that deep frying is never healthier than other forms of cooking, but the bad effects can be mitigated by proper frying techniques. First, fry in Omega-3 rich Canola oil, not vegetable oil. It has a higher smoke point as well, which is important because you really want to fry potatoes at 360 degrees to 380 degrees, not 325. Use a thermometer in the pan to make sure you adjust the heat to keep the oil at the right temperature. Do not overcrowd the oan and try to have the foods you fry at room temperature when you put them in the oil. That will also keep the temperature from dropping too low.

    When cooked properly, deep fried foods will absorb no more oil than shallow-frying food.

    November 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      I don't know you, but today, I am happy you exist!

      November 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • T3chsupport

      See, you got all facty with it.
      I would have just said 'Thanksgiving!'. Who cares about their fried foods phobias on the one day that you are planning on stuffing yourself until you possibly bust a gut anyway?

      November 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  20. hecep

    I stopped reading this article when "turducken" popped up.

    November 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Finicky Frank

      I am not eating anything spelled with "turd"...

      November 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • Mary Lou Newman

        Thanks Frank for making me laugh out loud.

        November 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  21. Pass the Peas Please

    Am I the only one who felt a little queasy thinking about this? I'd like to be alive to see next Thanksgiving.

    November 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Fat Tony

      Yes, you are.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  22. Darlene

    Now this is my kind of Thanksgiving leftovers!

    November 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Hawk in Texas

      I like to put diced onions in mine. or finely chopped shallots with green tops.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  23. Leaf on the Wind

    This almost made want to go out and buy a deep fryer. Almost. If it weren't for the fact that I could hear my arteries hardening . . . sure looks yummy, though, and who cares about healthy eating over the holidays, right?

    November 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  24. Lipo

    Oh boy, I always wanted a third azz cheek!

    November 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  25. booktopiareviews

    yum. that's just awesome. Thanks for the explanation about the pink taters though...I was a little worried. :-)

    November 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  26. KC


    November 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  27. dgirl

    I can't cook at all, but I'd sure learn how to take a shot at these babies! Yuuuuum!!

    November 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  28. Mark L

    This is the greatest Thanksgiving food idea ever!!!!!!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  29. Multi-Tasking @ Work

    that looks good...I agree, add a chunk of Turkey or even Ham. pour over some leftover gravy and you have hormonous bliss.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  30. ™©JbJiNg!eŚ®™

    Looks like a great way to repurpose the leftovers!!

    November 22, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  31. Peanut M&M

    I want. Now.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  32. Josh

    Why's the inside look pink???

    November 22, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Kat Kinsman

      My mashed potatoes were a mix of Blue Peruvian and Yukon Gold.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:33 am |
      • Josh

        Ah. I was thinking maybe you had mixed some cranberries in there or something.

        November 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  33. Jenea

    Throw a morsel of turkey in the middle of the potatoes and you have all the yummy-ness of Thanksgiving in a bite!

    November 22, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Fat Tony

      Amen, sister!

      November 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • jrzydvl

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....TURKEY !!!

      November 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  34. alr

    We've done something a little like that. Instead of frying though, we just take the stuffing and, using an ice cream scoop, put it into muffin cups and bake it. We call it 'stuffing muffins.'

    November 22, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • greenbird321

      awesome idea, thanks! :)

      November 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  35. Jerv

    Man I could hammer the heck out of these. I'd go with crushed Doritos or Cheeze Its instead of plain chips.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  36. RichardHead

    Brilliant Kat..These will be the "New" fried food at State Fairs Nationwide.

    November 22, 2011 at 9:51 am |
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