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Chestnut, sage, apricot & quatre épices stuffing balls

Ed Smith

Stuffing balls to accompany your Christmas turkey, fragrant with sage and quatre épices

Recipe Meta


10 mins


45-60 mins






  • 200g cooked chestnuts
  • 500g Cumberland sausage meat
  • 1 shallot, very finely diced
  • 200g apricots, diced
  • 12 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50g soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp quatre épices


Crumble the chestnuts into a mixing bowl, then use a fork to mash them further. A little rubble is fine, it doesn’t need to be a puree. Combine with the remaining ingredients (except for the egg if you’re preparing this in advance – I leave an unbroken egg on top of the otherwise mixed ingredients before covering and refrigerating, so it’s not forgotten). Mix thoroughly until you’ve a fairly uniform paste – turning and squeezing with your hands is the best way.

Take a spoonful and squash it into a patty, fry in a hot pan for 1-2 mins on both sides. Then taste – season with salt and pepper as you think appropriate, or add more herbs, spices or apricots if you think they’re needed.

Wet your hands and roll the stuffing mix into 45g balls – something between a golf and snooker ball size. Line a small baking tray with parchment. Set the balls on this and refrigerate until required.

When the turkey is resting and there’s more space in the oven, blast at 200-220C for 15-20 mins, turning once after 12 mins to ensure fairly even colouring.

Image: Kim Lightbody

Where to buy these ingredients

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