This classic Sausage Stuffing features staled Italian bread, flavorful mild Italian sausage, and fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and parsley. This is a great holiday side dish that the whole family will love!
As much as I like to switch things up every holiday season, there are some recipes that are always present. This sausage stuffing is one of those dishes! It’s one of the family favorite side dishes that holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without!
The medley of flavors in this stuffing is pretty unbeatable. Ingredients like fresh herbs like sage and thyme, plus butter and garlic, compliment the flavors of the bold Italian sausage without competing with it. Maybe because this stuffing is such a tradition in my home, or maybe it’s the blend of comforting ingredients, but something about this it just tastes so cozy.
Another very comforting element of this stuffing is the thick, hearty, and soft consistency! Although the bread is staled, it bakes to a soft, tender perfection when mixed up with all of the other ingredients. This stuffing is hearty and filling from both the sausage and the bread. So make sure you don’t fill up on it instead of your entrée!
Ingredients you Need:
- Italian Loaf – Pick one up from the deli, and make sure to stale it before using.
- Butter – Unsalted is best to control the sodium in the dish.
- Vegetables – onion, celery, fresh garlic.
- Italian Sausage – I like to use mild Italian sausage, however, if you’d like a spicier kick, use hot Italian sausage. On the other hand, you could also use sweet Italian sausage for some subtle sweetness.
- Chicken Stock – For the absolute best flavor, use Homemade Chicken Stock.
- Eggs – large eggs work just fine.
- Fresh Herbs – A medley of fresh sage leaves, thyme, and parsley creates the complimentary aroma and flavors. Keep in mind that herbs are most aromatic when fresh, and if fresh is not available, you can use dried. Just be sure to half the amount!
- Black Pepper
Start off by staling the bread.
There are two ways to stale your bread.
To do it fast: pop the cubed bread into the oven at 200°F for about 1-2 hours.
The easier way: to stale the bread is to simply cube it, spread it in a large baking sheet, and let the bread harden for 24 hours.
Next, prepare the sausage.
Preheat a pan over medium heat and melt half the butter. Then, cook the onions and celery until they’re softened before adding garlic.
Add the sausage to the pan, breaking it into clumps as it cooks. Add the remaining butter, continuing to break up any large clumps or sausage.
Now let’s make some stuffing!
Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a casserole dish.
Combine the stale bread cubes, cooked sausage and veggies, herbs, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and broth. Then pour that liquid mixture and quickly mix everything together.
Transfer everything to the prepared casserole dish and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes.
Tips for the Best Sausage Stuffing:
- Don’t use salted butter! Most people forget just how salty salted butter can be and that there is salt in sausage, so the dish can quickly become overly salty.
- If you’re feeding a bigger crowd, you can easily double this recipe if needed. You just may want to invest in a second casserole dish if that’s what you’ll be serving your stuffing in.
- It’s very important that the bread is staled, so do NOT skip this step! Staling the bread helps to ensure that it actually holds its shape while mixed with the broth, then baked. Fresh, soft bread will turn to mush in this process.
Other Flavors To Add:
If you’d like to add more unique flavors to the stuffing, add ingredients like:
- 1 lb deli Italian loaf
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3-4 full celery ribs diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage
- 3 cup chicken stock
- 3 eggs
- 4-5 fresh sage leaves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
- 2 tsp fresh minced thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- coarse salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- Fast Way:Preheat oven to 200°. Cut bread slices into small cubes that are about 1/2-inch in size. Use serrated bread knife to cut easier. Spread bread in two large, rimmed baking sheets in one even layer and place them in the oven. Let them bake and harden for about 1-2 hours. Take them out and you can prepare the stuffing right away.
- Easier Way:Cut bread slices into small cubes that are about 1/2-inch in size. Spread bread in two large, rimmed baking sheets in one even layer and set them aside on the counter to harden over 24 hours.
- Preheat a medium cooking pan over medium heat and add half the butter.
- Add diced onion and celery and cook until completely softened and add garlic. Sauté until garlic is fragrant.
- (Take sausage out of the casing if needed and break it apart.) Add broken up Italian sausage to the pan and use a spatula to break up the clumps even more.
- Add remaining butter and cook, stirring often and breaking up the sausage clumps, until it's completely cooked. Take off heat.
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. (You can also use a deep 9×9 baking dish).
- In a large mixing bowl (large enough to fit everything), combine stale bread cubes, cooked sausage and veggies, herbs, salt, and pepper. Gently mix everything until evenly incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and broth together and season with a little salt if needed.
- Pour the liquid into the bowl with bread mixture and quickly mix everything together as evenly as possible.
- Transfer into prepared baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes.