Classic Herb and Sausage Stuffing
This Herb and Sausage Stuffing is a beloved classic side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas! Made with soft bread, tender vegetables and crumbled sausage, this moist and ultra flavorful stuffing is exactly what your holiday feast needs!
Perfect for any holiday dinner, and so easy to make! This stuffing is a classic for a reason, it’s delicious. We love holiday sides like my Baked Mac and Cheese and Classic Green Bean Casserole and this is one of my Thanksgiving recipes you’ll definitely want in your recipe box!
SAUSAGE STUFFING RECIPE
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, can you believe that?! In a year that has seemed to go by as slowly as possible, somehow this last month blew by. Time to start planning those holiday menus!
For us, the side dishes are every bit as important as the main dish, sometimes even more so. I can make a meal out of things like green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole or candied yams, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, and of course, stuffing!
If you’ve never tried adding sausage to your stuffing, before, you simply have to try it. It adds a whole new level of savoriness.
Now technically, this recipe should be called a dressing. Stuffing is a dressing that you stuff into a turkey. However, in my family, we always called it stuffing, so that’s what I’m sharing it as today 🙂
With several make-ahead options, and a long list of variations and add-ins, you’re sure to find a method and flavor combo that works for you and your family!
HOW TO MAKE SAUSAGE STUFFING
- Brown sausage. Cook sausage in a large skillet, crumbling it as it cooks, until no longer pink.
- Add vegetables and herbs. Add onion, celery and herbs and cook until soft.
- Add chicken broth. Pour in chicken broth, plus salt and pepper and bring to a low boil. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk eggs and combine stuffing. Whisk the eggs and parsley in a big mixing bowl, then add bread cubes and cooked sausage mixture and stir.
- Bake. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish, dot with butter, and bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes.
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
- TYPES OF BREAD – for the best stuffing, you’ll want to use a bakery-style bread, with a crusty exterior. A crusty French bread or sourdough is my preferred type, but you can use any kind of bread you like. In a pinch, sandwich bread can work, but it won’t have quite the same texture.
- FRESH VS DRIED HERBS – I know fresh herbs aren’t something that everyone keeps on hand, so in a pinch, you can use dried herbs. If at all possible though, I recommend picking up some fresh herbs for this recipe. They really make this dish shine!
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- NON-STALE BREAD – when making stuffing, you want to use stale or day old bread, so it will absorb more of the broth and flavors. If your bread is fresh, you can still make this recipe though! Just bake the cubed bread at 300°F for about 20 minutes, until dry and lightly golden.
- SWEETNESS – this is a savory stuffing, but if you want little bursts of sweetness, try adding a cup of dried cranberries/cherries, or a cup of diced apples.
- NUTS – adding about 2/3 cup of toasted chopped pecans to the mix adds a nice crunch.
- TYPES OF SAUSAGE – for this recipe I usually use sage sausage or country mild, but any ground sausage will work. If all you can find is large links, just remove the casing before cooking.
- STUFFED IN A TURKEY – technically, this is a dressing, since it’s served on the side, and not stuffed in a bird… but we always call it stuffing nonetheless. I don’t recommend actually stuffing a turkey with this stuffing or any other. It generally leads to overcooked turkey breasts, since the stuffing has to come to 165°F internal temperature before it’s safe to be consumed.
- DRIED HERBS – you can use dried herbs if you can’t find fresh, just make sure to use about 1/3 of the amount, since dried herbs are more potent than fresh.
- STUFFING BREAD CUBES – around the holidays, unseasoned bread cubes can be purchased at most grocery stores for stuffing, and can be used in this recipe.
MAKING STUFFING AHEAD OF TIME
We all know the holidays are incredibly hectic, and your time is at a premium. Thankfully, this stuffing recipe can easily be made or prepared ahead of time! There are 3 main ways.
- Made ahead – completely assemble this stuffing recipe, but don’t bake. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Bake as directed.
- Prepped ahead – cook and crumble sausage, and cook vegetables. Let cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cube bread and keep at room temperature in a bag for 1-2 days. When ready to make stuffing, assemble everything and bake as directed.
- Cooked and Frozen – bake stuffing as directed, then let cool completely. Transfer to freezer-safe container, cover or seal, and freeze for up to 1-2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer to baking dish and bake as directed.
When reheating stuffing, you might want to stir in a splash of extra chicken broth to get back the same moistness.
Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 3 days.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
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- Mixing Bowls – I love these stainless bowls with the non-slip bottoms and handles!
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Classic Sausage Stuffing
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter - divided
- 1 lb. ground sausage - (mild, country, sage, etc)
- 2 small yellow onions - chopped
- 3-4 stalks celery - chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
- 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 16 oz stale bread - cut into 1/2 - 1" cubes
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Butter or grease a 3 quart baking dish (I use a 9x13” dish) and set aside.
- Add oil and 5 Tbsp of the butter to a large pan and heat over MED HIGH heat. Add sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks, until no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes.
ADD VEGETABLES AND CHICKEN BROTH
- Add onions, celery, thyem, sage and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until onions and celery have softened.
- Pour in chicken broth, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Slice remaining 3 Tbsp of butter into small cubes and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and parsley. Add bread cubes and sausage mixture and stir until combined well.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish and dot with small cubes of butter. Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.