Italian Sausage Stuffing

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Add Italian sausage stuffing to your Thanksgiving menu. This make-ahead recipe features crisp sausage, tender veggies, fresh herbs, and a rustic baguette. We let the stuffing soak in a white-wine custard before baking. We garnish it with melted butter, parsley and flaky salt.

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Italian sausage stuffing on a holiday serving table.

🧑🏼‍🍳 Why This Recipe’s a Keeper

  • It’s a classic Thanksgiving side our grandmothers made. The savory taste and aroma evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia. It’s the perfect dish for your holiday table.
  • Like this apple sausage stuffing, it’s easy to make with simple ingredients. To make the mirepoix even faster, look for a mixture of pre-diced carrots, celery and onion in the produce section. It’s often packaged in clear, square, plastic containers with snap-on lids.
  • This Italian sausage stuffing comes together quickly. Assemble this dish in 15 minutes, then bake. A simple, no-fuss recipe.
  • It’s a convenient make-ahead side. You can prepare it up to 2 days in advance.
Italian sausage stuffing on a Thanksgiving table.
A serving of Italian sausage stuffing.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Mild Bulk Italian Sausage: This star ingredient adds a rich meaty flavor to the stuffing. I use mild Italian sausage, but this recipe is also delicious with breakfast pork sausage like Jimmy Dean (regular, sage, etc.), spicy Italian sausage, or chicken sausage. Just make sure to remove and discard the casings before cooking.
  • Butter: Adds moisture and richness to the recipe. We use it to sauté the veggies, to grease the baking dish, and for drizzling over the baked stuffing (optional) before serving.
  • Onion: A traditional ingredient for Italian sausage stuffing. Sweet, savory and pungent, it adds depth of flavor to this Thanksgiving side.
  • Celery: Part of a classic mirepoix, it’s part of any good stuffing recipe.
  • Carrots: Contribute color, crunch and freshness.
  • Garlic Cloves: Add an earthy, rustic flavor and aroma.
  • Fresh Sage: I love fresh herbs, so we’re using lots of them in this stuffing. Make sure to use fresh herbs – dried herbs will not taste the same in this recipe.
  • Fresh Rosemary: Slightly minty, peppery and sage-like, it adds flavor and fragrance to holiday dishes. It’s perfect for this Italian sausage stuffing.
  • Fresh Thyme: Pairs well with sage and rosemary.
  • Bread Loaf: This stuffing can be made with pretty much any bread you have on hand. But I prefer either sourdough, brioche, or a rustic French baguette. To eliminate the need to chop up the bread and dry it out, feel free to use store-bought stuffing cubes instead.
  • Chicken Broth: Adds delicious moisture to the custard. Turkey broth or vegetable broth could also used. Or use chicken stock instead.
  • Dry White Wine: Adds a bit of acidity and crispness to the stuffing to help balance out the richness of the sausage.
  • Large Eggs: Add moisture while helping to hold the stuffing together.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Cracked Black Pepper: Contributes a hint of heat, and a rustic taste and aroma.
  • Fresh Parsley: For garnishing. It contributes a pop of green color and freshness.
  • Flaky Sea Salt: A perfect finishing salt for the Italian sausage stuffing. It adds flavor and texture. I prefer Maldon sea salt flakes.
Ingredients for Italian Sausage Stuffing recipe.

📖 Recipe Steps

Recipe Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.

  1. Add the sausage to a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sausage is browned and crisp. Make sure to stir often and continue crumbling the sausage as it cooks so you end up with even, bite-sized pieces. Remove the sausage from the pan and place it in a large bowl.
  2. In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are just barely tender. Stir in the garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, then transfer to the veggies to the bowl with the sausage.
  3. Add the bread cubes to the sausage and veggie mixture. Gently stir to combine everything together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, white wine, eggs, kosher salt and black pepper until well combined.
How to prep the ingredients for Italian sausage stuffing before baking.
  1. Pour the custard mixture over the bread and sausage. Gently press the bread down so that it’s fully covered by the custard. Let the stuffing sit for 10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard.
Italian sausage stuffing in a baking dish ready to go into the oven.
  1. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is no longer wet.
  2. If desired, drizzle the top with melted butter. (It’ll make the stuffing taste richer, and will soften the texture.) Garnish with fresh parsley and a pinch of flaky salt. Serve and enjoy immediately.
Best Italian sausage stuffing.

🧑🏼‍🍳 Make-Ahead Instructions

  • Option #1 – Make ahead and refrigerate. Make the stuffing in advance, and let it cool to room temperature. Tightly cover the baking dish in aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days. On the day of the dinner, remove the dish from the fridge 1 hour before reheating. Bake (covered) in a 350°F oven until warmed through.
  • Option #2 – Make ahead and freeze. Make this recipe in advance using a thick, disposable, aluminum foil baking dish. Let the Italian sausage stuffing cool. Wrap the dish in 2 layers of foil and freeze for up to 3 weeks. When ready to use, thaw it in the fridge for 24 hours. Pull it out of the fridge for 1 hour before reheating. Bake (covered) in a 350°F oven until warm.
  • Option #3 – Meal prep the dish 1 day in advance. Cook the sausage and veggies according to recipe instructions. After cooling, transfer the mixture to a large zip-top freezer bag and refrigerate. Prep the bread cubes and transfer to a separate zip-top bag, pressing out excess air, and store at room temperature. On the day of the dinner, assemble the custard and complete the recipe.
Thanksgiving stuffing in a bowl with fork.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for the BEST Italian sausage stuffing, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

Best types of bread for stuffing?

Although stuffing can be made with almost any type of bread, for the best taste and texture, use sourdough, brioche, or a rustic French baguette. Day-old bread is better for stuffing because it soaks up the custard better. If you don’t have day-old bread on hand, you can toast the bread cubes in the oven for 15 minutes at 400°F.

What is a good white wine for stuffing?

A dry white wine that’s not too sweet, and nothing too oaky or robust (avoid chardonnay or your dish may taste bitter). Good options: Pinot Grigio (a light-bodied white wine), a nice-quality sauvignon blanc, or white burgundy.

What to do with leftover stuffing?

My grandmother would mix leftover stuffing with bits of leftover turkey. She’d warm it on stovetop with a bit of chicken broth – enough for the mixture to be tender and moist. Then she’d fry corn tortillas in hot oil to make homemade taco shells. Grandma would add the stuffing mixture to the taco shells. Her Thanksgiving tacos were so delicious!

A fork in hand, lifting a bite of Italian sausage stuffing from a bowl.

🍽 More Tasty Sides

For the holidays, serve this stuffed turkey breast with gravy or brown sugar glazed ham, and pair it with 3 or more of these delicious Thanksgiving sides.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this the BEST Italian sausage stuffing recipe. They noted the savory flavor of the Italian sausage, the tasty mirepoix made with humble vegetables, and the crisp bread pieces that are tender inside. They loved the quick prep time for this easy make-ahead recipe.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Italian sausage stuffing on a holiday serving table.

Italian Sausage Stuffing


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Description

Italian sausage stuffing is an easy make-ahead recipe. It features crisp sausage, tender veggies, fresh herbs, and a rustic baguette. We let the stuffing soak in a white-wine custard before baking. We garnish it with melted butter (optional), parsley and flaky salt.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound (bulk) mild Italian sausage, or use sausage links with the casings removed
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 loaf (day-old) bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 24 tablespoons melted butter (optional), for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon sea salt flakes)

Instructions

Recipe Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.

  1. Add the sausage to a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sausage is browned and crisp. Make sure to stir often and continue crumbling the sausage as it cooks so you end up with even, bite-sized pieces. Remove the sausage from the pan and place it in a large bowl.
  2. In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are just barely tender. Stir in the garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, then transfer to the veggies to the bowl with the sausage.
  3. Add the bread cubes to the sausage and veggie mixture. Gently stir to combine everything together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, white wine, eggs, kosher salt and black pepper until well combined. Pour the custard mixture over the bread and sausage. Gently press the bread down so that it’s fully covered by the custard. Let the stuffing sit for 10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard.
  5. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is no longer wet.
  6. If desired, drizzle the top with melted butter. (It’ll make the stuffing taste richer, and will soften the texture. But this is completely optional.) Garnish with fresh parsley and a pinch of flaky salt. Serve and enjoy immediately.

Notes

Best types of bread for stuffing: Although stuffing can be made with almost any type of bread, for the best taste and texture, use sourdough, brioche, or a rustic French baguette. Day-old bread is better for stuffing because it soaks up the custard better. If you don’t have day-old bread on hand, you can toast the bread cubes in the oven for 15 minutes at 400°F.

What type of white wine for stuffing? A dry white wine that’s not too sweet, and nothing too oaky or robust (avoid chardonnay or your dish may taste bitter). Good options: Pinot Grigio (a light-bodied white wine), a nice-quality sauvignon blanc, or white burgundy.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Italian Sausage Stuffing, Sausage Stuffing, Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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