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Savory Sausage Stuffing adds some understated meatiness to the usual Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. It starts with crusty sourdough bread and stuffing staples like onion and celery, but crumbled sausage makes it a side dish standout!

recipe for thanksgiving side, sausage stuffing

Why You’ll Love This Easy Sausage Stuffing Recipe

  • A More Substantive Stuffing. Some stuffing recipes are no more than bread and some diced onion and celery, and I say what’s the point? I’d rather eat Homemade Dinner Rolls. I like stuffing with STUFF—like this Chestnut Stuffing—and sausage stuffing delivers!
  • Beautiful, Crusty Sourdough. Not everyone is a fan of Southern Cornbread Stuffing. If you prefer more traditional stuffing, you’re going to love the cubes of sourdough in this sausage stuffing.
  • Easy to Make Ahead. When you’re preparing Thanksgiving for a crowd, you need all the time you can get to focus on your Thanksgiving Turkey, which means adding lots of make-ahead recipes to your menu. This sage and sausage stuffing—or my Crockpot Wild Rice Stuffing—is perfect!
  • A Simple List of Ingredients. What I love about this sausage stuffing is that so many of the ingredients here are also ingredients in other Thanksgiving dishes. You might use thyme or rosemary in the Turkey Gravy or Mushroom Gravy, add onions to the cavity of the turkey, and use garlic and butter in, well, everything. When the same ingredients can be used in multiple dishes, it streamlines your shopping.
a baking dish of sausage and herb stuffing

How to Make Sausage Stuffing

The Ingredients

  • Sourdough. Crusty sourdough bread is fantastic in this old-fashioned sausage stuffing. Another rustic, artisan bread will work too; you want something with a mild flavor that won’t compete with the sausage. (So no pumpernickel here!) 
  • Unsalted Butter. Using unsalted butter gives you more control over the flavor of the finished dish.
  • Yellow Onion and Celery. These two veggies form the base of flavor in so many recipes, including Stuffing Muffins
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper. I recommend freshly cracked black pepper for the best flavor.
  • Turkey Sausage. Any variety you like will work in this recipe.

Substitution Tip

You can swap in pork or chicken sausage if you’d like, or even a vegetarian sausage to make this recipe meatless.

  • Garlic, Dry Rubbed Sage, and Dried Thyme or Rosemary. For seasoning the stuffing. If you prefer, you can use fresh herbs, like in my Crock Pot Stuffing.
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth. Vegetable broth works too.

The Directions

  1. Toast the Bread. Dry bread better absorbs stuffing liquid.
  2. Prepare. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and coat a large baking dish with nonstick spray.
making sausage stuffing recipe for the the holiday dinner
  1. Sweat the Onion and Celery. Do this in a Dutch oven or similar large pot.
  2. Cook the Sausage. Break it up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the Garlic and Herbs. Continue cooking until the sausage is browned.
sausage stuffing with sausage, celery, and herbs
  1. Add the Broth. Bring it to a simmer.
sausage and herb stuffing with sourdough bread
  1. Add the Bread. Stir it right into the same pot to keep this recipe easy.
sausage stuffing in baking sheet ready for the oven this thanksgiving with turkey
  1. Bake. Bake the sausage stuffing covered for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more, until the top is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, then serve.

Recipe Variations

  • Switch Up the Onion. There’s a whole family of alliums to choose from! Leeks will give your stuffing a milder flavor, or try shallots. Caramelized onions add a little bit of sweetness to the mix.
  • Make It Cheesy. Stuffing isn’t a casserole—you don’t want it oozing with melted cheese. But a little bit of cheddar or Parmesan sprinkled on top or folded into the stuffing can be delightful.
  • Add Some Mushrooms. Throw some sliced mushrooms in with the onions and celery to bulk up this sausage stuffing even more.
  • Try Sausage Apple Stuffing. Cubes or slices of a sweet-tart, firm apple like Braeburn, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady, would add a sweet contrast to the savory flavors in this sausage stuffing recipe. Dried cranberries are also a great addition for sausage cranberry stuffing.
easy sausage stuffing recipe baked

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover sausage stuffing in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Cover the stuffing with foil and warm it in a 350 degrees F oven until heated through. To reheat smaller portions, use the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Transfer your sausage stuffing to an airtight storage container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.

For Make-Ahead Sausage Stuffing

Here are my fail-proof tips for making stuffing ahead of time. First, to simply get a head start:

  • Toast the Bread First. You can toast the bread up to 1 day in advance. Store the cubes in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Cook the Sausage and Vegetables Ahead. Cook all the “stuff” that goes in the stuffing and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Finish Up. On Thanksgiving Day, start by warming the chicken stock on the stovetop with the veggies and sausage and then continue with the rest of the recipe.

To make the entire recipe in advance:

  • Assemble. Make the entire recipe up to the point of baking. Cover the casserole dish with a piece of aluminum foil coated with nonstick spray.
  • Rehydrate. If the stuffing seems dry, add stock before reheating. Don’t overdo it—just enough to moisten things up and keep the sausage stuffing from drying out.
  • Reheat. Let the stuffing come to room temperature. Keep the foil on top and place the baking dish in a 350 degrees F oven. Reheat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Crisp It. Uncover the stuffing for the last 10-15 minutes of reheating to crisp the top. You can also use the broiler, but keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn!
a classic recipe for sausage stuffing for the holidays

What to Serve with Sausage Stuffing

  • Baking Sheet. You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet to keep the bread cubes from sliding off.
  • Baking Dish. This is my favorite baking dish for special occasions!
  • Serrated Knife. The best option for cutting crusty bread.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t Skip Toasting the Bread. A lot of liquid gets added to stuffing, and using untoasted bread will make it soggy and weird. We don’t want weird on Thanksgiving! Toasting the bread gives it the capacity to absorb that liquid without falling apart.
  • Press the Stuffing Down in the Dish a Little. Just a little! You don’t need to use a lot of pressure, but press it enough that most of the bread is submerged. Parts that aren’t fully submerged will get crispy in the oven, which is delicious, but you still want them to soak up some of the liquid so they don’t turn rock hard.
  • Don’t Drain the Sausage. Those drippings will make your sausage stuffing extra tasty!
the BEST sausage stuffing recipe

Sausage Stuffing

5 from 5 votes
With meaty sausage, herbs, and crusty bread, this is the best sausage stuffing for turkey, ham, or any holiday main! Easy to make ahead!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 loaf sourdough or similar artisan bread cut into 1-inch cubes, about 16 ounces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked turkey sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread the bread cubes in an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until the cubes are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring twice during the baking to ensure they toast evenly. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven’s temperature to 375°F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch dish with baking spray and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or similar large, deep pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Let cook 4 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the sausage (if it’s in casings, squeeze it out). Break the sausage into crumbles, browning the meat as you go.
  • Once the sausage is broken up, add the garlic, sage, and thyme. Let cook until the sausage is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Leave any juices that collect in the pot; they will make your stuffing delicious.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Once the stock is hot, turn off the heat, then add the bread cubes. Stir gently to combine. The mixture should be very wet; add the additional 1/2 cup chicken broth as needed.
  • Transfer the stuffing to a prepared baking dish. Coat a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray, then use it to cover the stuffing, spray side down (at this point, you can refrigerate the stuffing for up to one day; let come to room temperature prior to baking).
  • Bake the stuffing for 20 minutes, remove the foil, then bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and fairly dry. Let cool for 10 minutes, then enjoy.

Video

Notes

  • For Make-Ahead Sausage Stuffing
    • Toast the Bread First. You can toast the bread up to 1 day in advance. Store the cubes in an airtight container at room temperature.
    • Cook the Sausage and Vegetables Ahead. Cook all the “stuff” that goes in the stuffing and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
    • Finish Up. On Thanksgiving Day, start by warming the chicken stock on the stovetop with the veggies and sausage and then continue with the rest of the recipe.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover sausage stuffing in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Cover the stuffing with foil and warm it in a 350 degrees F oven until heated through. To reheat smaller portions, use the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Transfer your sausage stuffing to an airtight storage container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 19gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 58mgPotassium: 344mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 289IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Made ahead the day before Thanksgiving. Prepared everything up to baking step. Covered with foil and refrigerated overnight, as suggested. So delicious!! Rave reviews from all my guests!!5 stars