Homemade Sausage Stuffing

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Sausage stuffing is a holiday classic! This homemade sausage stuffing is a heirloom family recipe that has been passed down from generations. You will never go back to a box dressing again. 

classic sausage stuffing

If I had to pick one Thanksgiving side dish to eat, it would have to be this homemade sausage stuffing! It is my great grandfather’s recipe and is amazing. 

Crispy pieces of Italian sausage, rustic bread, vegetables and seasonings makes for the best stuffing recipe you will find on the internet. 

Originally this sausage stuffing recipe had chestnuts, but I like to use dried cranberries or even dried apricots for a fun twist. Cranberries and apricots are totally optional. They do add a little sweetness to round out all of the salty, savory flavors of the stuffing. 

If you are looking for some more delicious Thanksgiving sides try out my Famous Pretzel Dinner Roll Recipe and if you are in need of a gluten free stuffing recipe try out this delicious Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage Stuffing

Let’s dive into answering some common questions and how to make this delicious recipe. 

What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?

Stuffing is a mixture of bread and vegetables and is stuffed in another food like poultry or meat. Dressing is cooked in a baking dish and served separately. They have similar, if not the same ingredients. 

We call this recipe stuffing, but if fact it is a form of a dressing since we do not cook the mixture inside the turkey. 

Just a note you really should not be cooking your stuffing inside your turkey carcass. Always cook raw poultry to 165 F. This goes with anything that the raw turkey comes in contact with including your stuffing if you are stuffing your bird. 

In my opinion stuffing tastes better if it is cooked in a baking dish. It is also safer!

sausage stuffing in a pan

Can I make stuffing ahead of time?

The best thing about this recipe is you can make this ahead of time. You can even make it months ahead of your Thanksgiving feast, freeze it and then bake it up on Thanksgiving night. 

You can also make it a day ahead and store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake. 

How to make the perfect stuffing:

Stuffing is made with day old bread cubes, onion, celery, sausage, chicken stock and seasonings. 

The trick to making the perfect stuffing is getting the right consistency. If you add too much chicken stock the stuffing will become soggy. Add the stock slowly until the bread is moistened. 

If the bread becomes too moist you can place the stuffing under the broiler to crisp up the top. This will help with the texture. 

Stuffing Muffins:

Another fun way to serve stuffing is in muffin form. I love doing this for the kids. They each can get their own individual serving and it’s a fun way to serve up stuffing. 

Just place the stuffing in cupcake tins and bake for 15 minutes at 350. 

stuffing muffins in muffin tin

How to make sausage stuffing:

1
With a serrated knife cut a loaf of crusty bread into slices.
2
Then cut in 1 inch cubes.
3
Season the bread with poultry seasoning and let sit out overnight if possible to dry out.
4
Dice a yellow onion.
5
Dice a head of celery.
6
Melt one stick of butter in a large pan over medium high heat.
7
Cook the Italian sausage in the pan until browned, breaking it into small pieces while it cooks.
8
Add the celery and onion mixture.
9
Stir to combine and cook until sausage is cooked through about 5 minutes.
10
Add optional dried cranberries.
11
Add the bread cubes and stir to combine.
12
Add the chicken stock to moisten the bread.
13
Season with salt to taste.
14
Stir to combine.
15
Add the stuffing to your baking dish. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
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sausage stuffing in a pan

Sausage Stuffing

Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

This family heirloom recipe has been passed down from generations. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of day old crusty ciabatta bread, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 pounds Italian sausage, removed from casing (sweet or hot)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 head celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock (you may need more depending on how dry your bread is)

Instructions

  1. Season the bread with poultry seasoning. (If you have time let it sit out overnight to dry out).
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add the sausage and saute until sausage is browned, breaking it up into small pieces while cooking.
  4. Add the celery and onion mixture.
  5. Stir to combine and cook until sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the cranberries.
  7. Add the bread cubes and stir to combine.
  8. Add enough chicken stock just to moisten the bread.
  9. Season with salt to taste. Stir to combine.
  10. Add the stuffing to your baking dish and bake at 400 F for 10 minutes.

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