This sausage stuffing recipe is loaded with savory sausage, herbs, seasonings, and cubed bread, the perfect stuffing for your turkey or holiday side dish.
We're gearing up for the holidays, my friends. It's time to get thinking about those menus. What are you making this year?
We're going more traditional here in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today with a spin on a classic side dish - Sausage Stuffing. Home cooks everywhere love sausage stuffing (or sausage dressing, depending on where you grew up). It's such a great recipe, isn't it? So crave-worth.
Who wouldn't love a mix of bread moistened and baked with a mixture of eggs and broth, lots of seasonings, and wonderful spicy sausage?
I love this stuff! You can make it all year if you'd like, but here in the U.S., it's really more of a holiday recipe. People love whipping up sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving stuffing, Christmas and Easter, some of the biggest holidays.
It just goes so perfectly with turkey or ham.
I like to make mine a bit different from everyone else's sausage stuffing recipe. I like to spice things up a little, skip a few traditional ingredients, add in a few more.
Don't worry, my recipe won't scorch grandma's taste buds, though she may notice a bit of warmth with it. Though, hey, if you REALLY want to spice it up, I'll show you how to do that, too!
Let's talk about how to make sausage stuffing, shall we?
Sausage Stuffing Ingredients
- Soft White Bread.
- Olive Oil.
- Italian Sausage. I use spicy. Use mild for less spicy.
- Jalapeno Peppers. Use bell pepper for less spicy.
- Cajun Seasonings.
- Salt and Pepper.
- Chicken Broth. Or chicken stock, or vegetable broth or stock.
- Parsley. 1/2 cup or so.
How to Make Sausage Stuffing - the Recipe Method
First, heat your oven to 275 degrees F. (135 C). Add cubed bread to a couple of baking sheets and bake them for 30 minutes, stirring here and there, until they get fairly dry.
No need to toast them here, just dry them out. Drying them out helps the bread absorb more of the moisture. Remove and set aside.
While the bread is baking, heat the oil in a pan and cook the sausage, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. It should cook mostly through.
Add the butter, peppers, onion, and celery. Once you've browned the sausage, stir and melt the butter.
Cook another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften up.
Add the garlic, Cajun seasonings and salt and pepper. Cook another minute. Remove from heat.
Add the bread cubes to a large bowl.
Next, add the sausage-vegetable mixture, along with the chicken broth, beaten eggs and ¼ parsley.
Gently stir until everything is nicely mixed together.
Increase oven to 350 degrees F (175C).
Pour the stuffing into a large lightly oiled baking dish or casserole dish.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- The Bread. Dry bread is ideal for soaking up all of that wonderful flavor we're adding. If you use soft bread, your stuffing will get mushy. Cooks traditionally use stale bread, which has hardened up, but I prefer to dry mine out in the oven on low temp so they don't toast too much. You CAN toast the bread, though, if you prefer.
- The Sausage. I like to use spicy Italian sausage, which you can find in most grocery stores. If you'd prefer less heat, use mild Italian sausage. You can also use ground pork, though you may want to add extra seasonings. Try it with other ground meats as well.
- The Seasonings and Herbs. I'm using a blend of homemade Cajun seasonings for my sausage stuffing, though you are free to use any preferred blend you love, such as Old Bay seasoning or a good Creole seasoning blend. A lot of recipes use poultry seasoning, but I find that rather boring and prefer to use my own blends. Dried or fresh sage is very traditional with sausage stuffing, but I prefer to leave it out in order to focus on the other flavors. Herbs de Provence is another ingredient I like to include.
- Recipe Additions. Try adding nuts or dried fruits to your sausage stuffing. They're a great way to get a bit more substance and variation, especially if you are using the recipe to stuff your turkey.
- Extra Spicy Version. You'll get a good level of spice and flavor with the use of spicy Italian sausage and the Cajun seasonings, but if you're looking for an EXTRA SPICY version, skip the jalapeno peppers and go with some hotter peppers like the spicy serrano, habanero peppers or even ghost peppers. Yes! Just don't hurt grandma at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Making Stuffing in Advance
Can you make stuffing in advance? Yes, once your recipe ingredients are mixed together and added to a lightly oiled baking dish, cover it and keep it in the refrigerator up to 1 day in advance. Then, simply bake it the next day.
Stuffing vs. Dressing
Is there a difference between "stuffing" and "dressing"? If you grew up in the southern U.S., you may be used to calling this a dressing, as opposed to a stuffing recipe. The only real difference between a dressing and a stuffing is where you grew up. In the norther regions, they're more used to calling this recipe a stuffing. However, if you cook the stuffing inside the bird, then it is undoubtedly a stuffing.
Cooking Stuffing Inside the Turkey
Most cooks do not recommend cooking stuffing inside the turkey. Why? The middle of the bird (turkey or chicken) is porous and the juices from the bird as it cooks drip down into your stuffing.
If it is contaminated with salmonella bacteria, that will also soak into your stuffing. In order to cook stuffing inside your turkey safely, you must cook the stuffing long enough to reach a minimum of 165 degrees F.
This can mean overcooking your turkey.
A great alternative to cooking the stuffing inside the turkey is to cook it outside of the turkey, as I have done here, then stuff the sausage stuffing into the cooked turkey cavity during the resting phase.
Your guests will not notice the difference.
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy my sausage stuffing recipe! It's just the way I like it! Bring on the holiday cooking!
Try Some of My Other Great Side Dishes or Holiday Recipes
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Dirty Rice
- Cajun Red Beans and Rice
- Hoppin' John
- Cajun Corn Maque Choux
- Cornbread Dressing
- Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes
- Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Chipotle-Honey Baked Ham
- Stuffed Flank Steak
- Spicy Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Jalapeno
- Baked Turkey Wings Recipe
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Sausage Stuffing Recipe
- 24 ounce loaf of soft white bread cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound spicy Italian Sausage use mild for less spicy
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers chopped (use bell pepper for less spicy)
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped (or more as desired)
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning blend
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 2 eggs beaten
- ¼ cup parsley + more for garnish
- Heat oven to 275 degrees F. (135 C). Add cubed bread to a couple of baking sheets and bake them for 30 minutes, stirring here and there, until they get fairly dry. No need to toast them here, just dry them out. Drying them out helps the bread absorb more of the moisture. Remove and set aside.
- While the bread is baking, heat the oil in a pan and cook the Italian sausage, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. It should cook mostly through.
- Add the butter, onion, peppers and celery. Stir and melt the butter. Cook another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften up.
- Add the garlic, Cajun seasonings and salt and pepper. Cook another minute. Remove from heat.
- Add the bread cubes to a large bowl, then add the sausage-vegetable mixture, along with the chicken broth, beaten eggs and ¼ parsley. Gently stir until everything is nicely mixed together.
- Increase oven heat to 350 degrees F (175C).
- Pour the stuffing into a large lightly oiled baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/8/21 to include new information. It was originally published on 10/28/19.