Authentic Spanish-Style Stuffing Recipe from Spain – aka Migas
Having lived in Spain for over nine years, I’ve used my Spanish-style stuffing recipe every Thanksgiving. Because yes – we are those Americans who still celebrate Thanksgiving when living abroad. Also known as migas in Spanish, my Spanish-style stuffing recipe has also been taste tested by local Spaniards themselves. And they approve!
¡Dios mío! ¡Estas son las mejores migas que he comido nunca! (My god! These are the best migas I’ve ever eaten.) That was the response from a Spanish chef who sampled my migas recipe at a parrillada a few years ago.
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Spanish-Style Stuffing from Spain
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Meet the Family of Spanish-Style Stuffing
Spanish Migas and Thanksgiving turkey stuffing are culinary cousins, both turning leftover bread into a tasty masterpiece. Don’t throw away your old bread – freeze it for Turkey Day! Migas brings a spicy Spanish twist with chorizo and garlic, while stuffing goes for savory vibes with herbs and spices. They both share a history of simple cooking creativity, making magic with old bread.
Whether you’re enjoying migas’ flavorful fiesta, or savoring a comforting helping of Thanksgiving stuffing, these dishes prove that simple breadcrumbs can steal the show when paired with the right flavors. So why not combine the two? Recipe to follow!
The Story Behind Spanish-Style Stuffing
Alright, my fellow food enthusiasts, we sail on a savory journey into Spain’s culinary history. This is the tale of migas, a dish that turns humble breadcrumbs into a culinary treat. Grab your tenedor (fork) and let’s dig into the delicious history and evolution of this crunchy comfort food.
Back in the rustic Spanish countryside, someone looked at stale bread and said, “This is too good to waste”. That and they didn’t have much to eat as it was so they had to get creative. And thus, migas was born. A dish that transforms “I was going to throw this away” into a culinary masterpiece, because why waste when you can feast?
The roots of migas goes deep into Spain’s history, tracing back to the Middle Ages when the Moors introduced their breadcrumb creation. As Spain went through different historical periods, so did migas. It’s the evolution of dishes. Sometimes a savior during scarcity, other times the life of the party with chorizo, garlic, and veggies.
What part of Spain are migas from?
Above Image – The beautiful family-owned olive grove in Extremadura where we first made migas on an open fire.
There are regional variations and arguments about who created migas first. Spain is a migas smorgasbord with each region flaunting its own. Down south, migas get a sweet twist with the addition of grapes or melon, while in Catalonia, Migas a la Catalana is peppered with chorizo and local wild mushrooms.
My first encounter with migas occurred during a family barbecue in an olive grove in Extremadura – an unforgettable experience! This experience taught me that making migas (Spanish-style stuffing) is also delicious when done on an open fire and in a cast iron pan. What added a spicy kick to the conversation was the age-old debate on whether to include anise liquor in the mix. It’s like migas is from all over Spain, collecting flavors along the way.
Downloadable Recipe for Spanish-Style Stuffing, aka Migas
So without further adieu, here is my take on traditional Spanish-style stuffing, also known as migas.
Spanish-Style Stuffing Recipe aka Migas
- 4 cups stale bread, crumbled The older, the better, like fine Spanish red wine.
- 1/4 cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced Mossies & vampires, beware.
- 1 medium sweet onion (or 4 shallots) Diced
- 1 handful local mushrooms Shredded
- 1 tsp smoked sweet Spanish paprika The spice of Spain.
- 1/2 cup local chorizo, diced Cue the flavor party.
- 1/2 cup pancetta or bacon Diced
- 3 stalks celery Chopped
- 1 handful pumpkin seeds For that extra crunch.
- 1 handful pecans or walnuts
- 1 handful raisins or dried apricots
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: grapes or melon for serving
- Optional: a splash of Anís Tenis liquor Or just sips shots with your friends.
- Heat olive oil in a pan, and let the onion and garlic party begin – golden brown style.
- Throw in the chorizo and pancetta, let them sizzle a bit. Omit this step if you are an herbivore.
- Now, introduce the crumbled stale bread to the pan. Let the mingling of flavors begin – breadcrumbs getting cozy with oil, chorizo and bacon.
- Sprinkle paprika over, add salt and pepper to taste – keep stirring.
- Here's where the twist begins. Toss in a handful of seeds and dried fruit for an extra dimension of crunch and sweetness.
- Let it cook until the breadcrumbs are crispy, golden, and have a slight crunch.
- Now, the optional adventure – Anise liquor. Some swear by it; some raise an eyebrow. If you're feeling bold, add a splash to the mix and let the flavors meld.
- Let it crisp a bit more then serve it up warm. If you're gonna reheat it I suggest putting it in a casserole dish and baking it on med-high for 20 minutes.
Written by Eric J. Trujillo
Art Director & Film Producer
As a visual communicator and artist, I love bringing stories to life, traveling the world, and cooking. Visit StudioTrujillo.com to see what else I'm up to.