Sausage Stuffing

5 from 1 vote

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This easy sausage stuffing recipe is made with crisp, buttery bread and lots of savory herbs. With minimal prep time, it’s the best comfort food side dish for holiday dinners and weeknight meals! 

Why you’ll love this stuffing recipe:

If you’re already a fan of savory stuffing, this sausage stuffing recipe with sweet Italian sausage is going to knock your socks off! You may never make any other stuffing recipe again!

  • Quick Prep Time – With a prep time of just 15 minutes, all you have to do is cook the sausage and veggies. Then, the oven does all the heavy lifting so you can prepare the rest of your meal!  
  • Flavorful – This Italian sausage stuffing has layers of flavor from the sweet sausage, fresh herbs, and aromatics. Plus, it has incredible contrasting textures with the crispy top and moist center.
  • Versatile –  You can easily mix and match different ingredients to make this stuffing with sausage your own. Add in extra veggies, more herbs, chopped nuts, or dried fruit to create a new taste and texture. 
A baking dish full of sausage stuffing with a portion missing and a serving spoon sticking out.

Key Ingredient Notes:

  • French bread – I like to use French bread because I prefer the soft center and crisp crust in this recipe. However, if you have other bread on hand, you can definitely use it instead. Just be sure to tear it into similar-sized pieces so that it cooks evenly.
  • Sweet Italian sausage – I love the flavor that sweet sausage gives the stuffing! Be sure to remove the casing before cooking. 
  • Unsalted butter – Butter gives the stuffing its rich flavor and is perfect for cooking the sausage and veggies. You can substitute olive oil if preferred, but the flavor won’t be quite as rich. 
  • Large onion – When you’re dicing the onion, try to make sure that the pieces are similar in size so that they cook evenly when you sauté them.
  • Celery stalks – The easiest way to dice celery stalks is to first slice them in half lengthwise. Then, place them top-side down, and dice both halves at the same time.
  • Garlic cloves – When it comes to garlic, fresh is always better! This recipe calls for four cloves, but you can always add more if you like. 
  • Flat-leaf parsley – Chop up the parsley so that it’s fine, and be sure to have plenty left over to garnish the stuffing! 
  • Fresh sage and thyme – Slice these into very small pieces so they incorporate evenly throughout the dish. 
  • Chicken broth – I love the rich flavor that chicken broth gives this stuffing. However, you can absolutely swap it out for vegetable broth if needed. 
  • Heavy cream – Full-fat cream gives the stuffing a rich texture. It also prevents the bread from drying out during cooking, keeping the center moist. 
  • Large eggs – These help enhance the richness of the stuffing and act as a binder, providing structure and holding the ingredients together. 
Ingredients to make Italian sausage stuffing.

How to make this recipe:

Before you begin, place a rack in the center position of your oven, and allow the oven to preheat to  325°F. You’ll also want to grease a baking sheet with butter. 

1.Toast the bread

  • Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces, and arrange it in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Bake until the bread pieces are dried out, stirring halfway through. Then, transfer the dried bread to the prepared baking sheet, and set it aside. 
Bread cubes in a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Dry the bread

Tearing up the bread the day before and storing it in a sealable bag or airtight container at room temperature will help it dry out a bit before toasting. As a result, it will be able to absorb more of the wet ingredients and will save you time when you’re prepping the stuffing before baking! 

2. Cook the sausage & Veggies

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the sausages, breaking them up into smaller chunks with a spoon, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the cooked sausage to a bowl. 
  • Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the same pan, and add the onions and celery.
  • Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Then, add the garlic, salt, and herbs, and cook for an additional minute. Shut off the heat, and add the sausage back to the pan, tossing to combine. 
Browned sausage in a pot on the left and sautéed onions and celery in a pot on the right.

3. Assemble and bake the stuffing

  • Add the onion and sausage mixture to the baking sheet along with the toasted bread, and toss again to combine. 
  • Whisk the eggs and heavy cream together in a medium bowl. Add in the chicken broth, and whisk until smooth. Add the bread mixture to the bowl, and toss to combine and coat the pieces. 
  • Arrange the bread on the baking sheet, and cover it with foil. Bake for 40 minutes or until the liquid is set. The mixture shouldn’t move when you jiggle the pan! 
  • Discard the foil, and return the uncovered baking sheet to the oven. Bake just until the bread is browned and crispy on top. This should take about 20 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn! 
  • Cool the sausage stuffing for 5 minutes, and garnish with extra chopped parsley before serving. 
Two images showing unbaked and baked sausage stuffing.

Tips for Success:

  • Don’t skip cooling the stuffing! This is crucial for it to set so it doesn’t crumble and fall apart. 
  • Choose high-quality, flavorful sausage. I chose to use sweet Italian sausage, but you can use spicy sausage if that’s what you prefer. Just be sure that whichever you decide to use, you choose a trusted brand for the best flavor. 
  • Use fresh herbs. Whenever possible, use fresh herbs instead of dried varieties. Trust me. You can taste the difference! 
  • Avoid overmixing. Use a gentle hand when you combine the bread with the other ingredients. You want it to be coated completely, but mixing too much or too hard will cause it to become mushy. 
A baking dish full of sausage stuffing topped with fresh herbs.

Make-Ahead Tips:

I love to make this sausage stuffing ahead of time, especially when cooking for the holidays! I recommend making a double batch so you have extra to use for leftover stuffing breakfast casserole the next day, too. 

  • Tear the bread into pieces, and dice the veggies a day in advance. Store the bread in a sealable bag or airtight container at room temperature, and transfer the vegetables to the fridge. 
  • Assemble the stuffing up to 24 hours in advance. Cover it tightly with aluminum, and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.
  • Do not prepare the dish longer than 24 hours in advance, because the egg mixture breaks down bread, which results in a mushy texture! 

Storing Tips:

There are rarely leftovers of this savory stuffing at my house! However, if you do happen to have stuffing left, or if you made extra, it’s simple to store.

  • Let the stuffing cool to room temperature. Then, cover it tightly, or transfer it to an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To reheat, cover the stuffing with aluminum foil, and warm it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350°F. Or, heat individual portions in the microwave. 
  • Freeze cooked or uncooked stuffing for up to 3 months.
A bowl of sausage stuffing with a fork sticking out.

Sausage Stuffing FAQs: 

What is sausage stuffing made of? 

Sausage stuffing is a simple blend of bread, sausage, eggs, butter, cream, and broth along with celery, aromatics, and fresh herbs. 

Why do you put eggs in stuffing?

Eggs are used as a binder, holding all the ingredients together and giving the stuffing structure. They also help keep the center moist! 

Should stuffing be moist or dry? 

You want your stuffing to be slightly crisp on the outside, but the center should be nice and moist. 

A baking dish full of sausage stuffing with a portion missing and a serving spoon sticking out.
5 from 1 vote

Sausage Stuffing

Prepare this easy Italian sausage stuffing recipe with just 15 minutes of prep time for a rich, savory side course or main dish!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread torn into pieces, Note 1
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter plus more for greasing
  • 2 pounds (900 g) sweet Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 cups (480 ml) chicken broth Note 2

Equipment

  • 1 (9×13") Baking Dish
  • 1 Rimmed Baking Sheet

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the center position. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
  • While you cook the sausages and veggies. Add the torn bread to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake, stirring halfway, until dried out for about 25 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and set aside.
    1 loaf French bread
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, then add the sausages, break them up into smaller chunks with a wooden spoon. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl.
    1 stick unsalted butter, 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
  • In the same pan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter along with the onions and celery, and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic, salt, and herbs. Cook for an additional 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add the sausage back in the pan and toss to combine.
    1 large onion, 4 stalks celery, 4 cloves garlic, ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon fresh sage, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • Add the sausage and onion mixture to the baking dish along with the toasted bread. Toss to evenly combine.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream, then add in the chicken broth and whisk until combined. Add to the bread mixture and toss together.
    1 cup heavy cream, 2 large eggs, 2 cups chicken broth
  • Cover with foil, and bake until set, about 40 minutes. The mixture shouldn’t move when you jiggle the pan. Discard the foil. Return to the oven uncovered and bake until browned and crispy on top, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top with some extra chopped parsley and enjoy.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Any other type of bread can be substituted if needed. Thick, crusty varieties work best. 
Note 2: Feel free to substitute vegetable broth, if needed. I recommend using low-sodium varieties so you have more control over the flavor of the stuffing. 
Storing Tips:
– Store leftover stuffing covered tightly or in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
– Freeze baked or unbaked stuffing wrapped for up to 3 months. 
– Reheat thawed stuffing covered with foil for 15-20 minutes in the oven at 350°F. If the top begins to brown, cover it with foil, and continue to bake. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 761kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 60g, Saturated Fat: 28g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 23g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 192mg, Sodium: 1667mg, Potassium: 453mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1060IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 96mg, Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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