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28 October 2019

This sausage stuffing recipe is perfect for the holidays, with loads of crumbled sausage, herbs, seasonings, and cubed bread. It’s the side dish everyone craves.

We’re all gearing up for the holidays, my friends. It’s time to get thinking about those menus. What are you making this year? Got any ideas for something new? Or are you looking to make something more traditional?

We’re going more traditional here in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today with a spin on a classic side dish – Sausage Stuffing. Everyone loves 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 crumbly 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, Christmas and Easter, some of the biggest holidays. It just goes so perfectly with turkey or ham.

Sausage Stuffing being served

I like to make mine  bit different from everyone else’s sausage stuffing recipe. Why wouldn’t I? 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 we make my sausage stuffing recipe, shall we?

A big scoop of sausage stuffing

Ingredients Needed to Make Sausage Stuffing

  • 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

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.

Cubed bread on a baking sheet, ready to dry out

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.

Sausage cooked down with peppers and onions for making sausage stuffing

Add the garlic, Cajun seasonings and salt and pepper. Cook another minute. Remove from heat.

Add the bread cubes to a large bowl.

Lightly toasted bread for our sausage stuffing recipe

Next, add the sausage-vegetable mixture, along with the chicken broth, beaten eggs and ¼ parsley. Gently stir until everything is nicely mixed together.

Sausage stuffing mixed up in a bowl, ready for the baking dish

Increase oven heat to 350 degrees F (175C).

Pour the stuffing into a large lightly oiled baking dish or casserole dish.

Sausage Stuffing ready for the oven

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.

Sausage Stuffing fresh out of the oven

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Bread. I’ve found that 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. Give it a try and see which version you like.
  • 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.
  • Other Meats. You can make a good meat stuffing without sausage. Try making it with ground pork, ground turkey, ground chicken or ground pork.
  • 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. Feel free to vary it up. I’ve seen a lot of recipes that use poultry seasoning, but I find that rather boring and prefer to use my own blends. For herbs, fresh or dried sage is very traditional with sausage stuffing, but I prefer to leave it out in order to focus on the other flavors. Feel free to include it. Herbs de Provence is another ingredient I like to include sometimes.
  • Recipe Additions. Want to include more ingredients? 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. Of course if you’d prefer a milder, more traditional version, use only bell peppers and skip the Cajun seasoning blend.

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 probably will not notice the difference.

A missing piece of sausage stuffing so you can see the insides

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

Serving up our Sausage Stuffing

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
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 25 mins
 
This sausage stuffing recipe is perfect for the holidays, with loads of crumbled sausage, herbs, seasonings, and cubed bread. It's the side dish everyone craves.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, dressing, Easter, holiday, recipe, stuffing, Thanksgiving
Servings: 12
Calories: 384 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the butter, onion, peppers and celery. Stir and melt the butter. Cook another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften up.
  4. Add the garlic, Cajun seasonings and salt and pepper. Cook another minute. Remove from heat.
  5. 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.
  6. Increase oven heat to 350 degrees F (175C).
  7. Pour the stuffing into a large lightly oiled baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.
  8. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Sausage Stuffing Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 384 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 648mg27%
Potassium 270mg8%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1008IU20%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 173mg17%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Sausage Stuffing Recipe - This sausage stuffing recipe is perfect for the holidays, with loads of crumbled sausage, herbs, seasonings, and cubed bread. It\'s the side dish everyone craves. #Stuffing #HolidayRecipes #SideDish

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