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Sausage and Herb Stuffing

Here is an incredibly delicious Sausage and Herb Stuffing recipe with pockets of soft and crispy bread cubes, moist Italian sausage, a medley of fresh herbs and sweet cranberries. Make this one a part of your holiday dinner spread for Thanksgiving and Christmas with plenty of company nearby.

sausage and herb stuffing in white casserole dish

Why you’ll love this easy sausage stuffing

Dresses up the holiday table – literally! Some call it stuffing, whereas others call it dressing. Whichever term you prefer, I know this one is going to be a hit come the holidays. Not only is it bursting with all those savory herbs and spicy sausage, but it’s a casserole dish to admire, with pops of red, green and crispy, crunchy bread.

Easy to make ahead! This is one of those get-ahead-of-the-game holiday recipes that can be prepped and assembled the day before, then baked the day you are going to serve. It also freezes beautifully once baked. Make it on a lazy Sunday afternoon and enjoy the ease of prepping ahead.

Easily customizable! I cannot tell you how many times I have had family and friends request a specific type of stuffing. There’s sage and apple stuffing, sausage fennel, with dried fruit, without dried fruit, fresh bread or stuffing cubes – the options are endless. We go over some tried and true variations below so you can truly make it your own!

sausage stuffing in white casserole dish

Ingredients for homemade sausage stuffing

The ingredient list for this one requires not much more than some fresh bread, vegetables and herbs. Here’s what we need:

  • French bread or Italian bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Herb medley – my favorites are rosemary, thyme and sage!
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Spicy Italian sausage (see notes below)
  • Chicken stock
  • Dried cranberries

ground sausage, salt, celery, onion, herb bundle, cranberries, butter, pepper mill, parsley, bread

Best sausage for stuffing

I was lucky enough to find bulk Italian sausage at the grocery store, which is basically sausage with the casings removed. If all you can find is regular sausage, just remove the casings when you get home. The best way to remove casings is to slice through each sausage link with a sharp knife or kitchen shears, then peel the casing away with your hands.

step by step grid how to make sausage and herb stuffing

How to make stuffing with sausage

  1. Dry out bread cubes: Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place bread cubes on a large sheet pan and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the bread has dried out and is slightly crunchy. Remove from the sheet pan and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Increase oven temperature to 350 F. 
  2. Saute aromatics: Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, parsley, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion and celery has softened. Transfer mixture to the bread cubes.
  3. Cook sausage: In the same empty saute pan, add spicy Italian sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Mix in stock and cranberries: Add 1 cup chicken stock and dried cranberries (if using) to the bowl with bread, vegetables and sausage and mix well. If the mixture looks dry, add up to another cup of stock.
  5. Bake: Pour into a greased 9×13-inch casserole or baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

homemade sausage stuffing in white casserole dish with serving spoon

Serving suggestions

I love to serve this baked sausage stuffing during Thanksgiving and Christmas, with all the usual sides to pass around – mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, cornbread casserole and pecan pie – you can never forget about pie. It’s also a great potluck dish for all those Friendsgivings and holiday parties throughout the season.

Have plenty of leftovers? Who can resist a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich!

hand scooping out sausage herb stuffing from white baking dish

Recipe variations

Here are some of my favorite swaps and shortcuts to make this dressing with sausage one to remember:

  • Stuffing Cubes: Save yourself the step of drying out the bread and use stuffing cubes from the supermarket, such as Arnold or Pepperidge Farm. I have also seen bags of dried stuffing cubes at Whole Foods. Both work well.
  • Sausage: Go for sweet Italian sausage, if that is more your style. You can really taste the fennel seeds in this one!
  • Fruit: Swap out the dried cranberries for dried cherries. Or, follow in Ina Garten’s footsteps and add 2 Granny Smith apples that have been cored and diced to saute along with the onions and celery.

easy sausage stuffing in white baking dish with serving spoon

How to make ahead, store and freeze

The stuffing can be assembled the day before, wrapped tightly in plastic and stored in the fridge until ready to bake. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. If you are baking the stuffing straight from the fridge, it may need an additional 10-15 minutes in the oven to warm through.

To freeze after baking, cool completely, then tightly wrap in a double-layer of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake in a 325 F oven until the center is warmed through.

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sausage and herb stuffing in white casserole dish

Sausage and Herb Stuffing

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here is an incredibly delicious Sausage and Herb Stuffing recipe with pockets of soft and crispy bread cubes, moist Italian sausage, a medley of fresh herbs and sweet cranberries. Make this one a part of your holiday dinner spread for Thanksgiving and Christmas with plenty of company nearby.


Ingredients

Scale

1 lb French bread or Italian bread, cubed (about 8 cups)

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, diced

5 celery stalks, diced

5 garlic cloves, diced

¼ cup chopped parsley

3 tbsp finely chopped herbs (I used rosemary, thyme and sage)

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed if needed, see notes

12 cups chicken stock

1 cup dried cranberries, optional


Instructions

  1. Dry out bread cubes: Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place bread cubes on a large sheet pan and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the bread has dried out and is slightly crunchy. Remove from the sheet pan and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Increase oven temperature to 350 F. 
  2. Saute aromatics: Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, parsley, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion and celery has softened. Transfer mixture to the bread cubes.
  3. Cook sausage: In the same empty saute pan, add spicy Italian sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Mix in stock and cranberries: Add 1 cup chicken stock and dried cranberries (if using) to the bowl with bread, vegetables and sausage and mix well. If the mixture looks dry, add up to another cup of stock.
  5. Bake: Pour into a greased 9×13-inch casserole or baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Notes

Sausage: I used bulk Italian sausage. If all you can find is regular sausage, just remove the casings when you get home – slice through each sausage link with a sharp knife or kitchen shears, then peel the casing away with your hands.

Make Ahead: Stuffing can be assembled one day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store in the fridge until ready to bake. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. If you are baking the stuffing straight from the fridge, it may need an additional 10-15 minutes in the oven to warm through.

Freeze after baking: Cool completely, then tightly wrap in a double-layer of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Remove the plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake in a 325 F oven until the center is warmed through.

Keywords: Thanksgiving, dressing, bread cubes

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