Sausage stuffing is an incredibly flavorful and hearty Thanksgiving side dish! My family recipe is so simple to make and includes instructions for preparing in advance.
The BEST Sausage Stuffing Recipe
Truth be told, this is sausage stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish (yes, even more than green bean casserole–can you tell I have a hard time choosing though?!). My dad makes this dish every year, and every year I look forward to it!
This stuffing is perfectly flavored and textured. It’s savory, with just enough spice and richness from the sausage, and it’s not at all soggy. Honestly, it’s so incredibly hearty and satisfying that you could pile it on your plate and never even think about touching any turkey!
Why you need to try my recipe:
- Includes instructions for making in advance–this will save you so much time on Thanksgiving day!
- Pick your spice level with either sweet or hot Italian sausage.
- Makes enough to feed a crowd (though you can double it if your crowd is full of stuffing fanatics!)
- Can be made entirely homemade with my homemade bread cubes and poultry seasoning, if you are up for it!
What You Need
Nothing too fancy here, just some classic ingredients you probably already have on hand for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are the most important ones we’ll be using.
- Sausage. I like using sweet Italian sausage, but you could use hot if you like your food a bit spicy! I recommend ground sausage; if you can’t find it, you can buy links and remove the sausage from the casing (or, be like my dad: he cooks the sausage in the casing then dices it for the stuffing, in my opinion that’s more time consuming, but it works!)
- Veggies. I’m sticking with the classics here, aka celery and onions. Make sure to chop them into both into equally small, bite sized pieces. These two ingredients add SO much flavor to this stuffing!
- Poultry seasoning. This is a blend of spices including sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, nutmeg, and pepper. You can use store-bought, or make your own poultry seasoning. Once you add this ingredient, your kitchen will really smell like Thanksgiving! 🧡
- Chicken broth. You could use bone broth for extra protein. Chicken stock or vegetable stock would also work just fine!
- Bread cubes. Stick with unseasoned bread cubes here. If you are in a pinch and can only find the seasoned kind at the store, you can either make your own or use the seasoned kind and skip the poultry seasoning in the recipe.
SAM’S TIP: If you made some turkey stock with your turkey carcass, feel free to use that here instead of the chicken broth.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Sausage Stuffing
- Saute the onions and celery in melted butter until softened, then add the sausage and cook until browned.
- Stir in the seasonings, then slowly drizzle in the chicken broth while stirring.
- Add the bread cubes to a mixing bowl, then add your sausage mixture and gently stir everything together until the bread cubes are moistened.
- Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F (175C), then bake for an additional 5 minutes uncovered.
SAM’S TIP: Some people like to toss a handful of dried cranberries into their sausage stuffing; feel free to! Personally, I like to save my cranberries for white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies or cranberry cake 😉!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Simply prepare the stuffing, but cover and place in the fridge instead of baking. It will keep this way for up to 2 days.
When you are ready to serve, place the dish in the oven and bake as directed. Note that the stuffing may take just a little longer when baking from the fridge.
Yes, you could! I would recommend a Tablespoon each of freshly chopped thyme, and sage, and 2 teaspoons each of chopped marjoram and rosemary. A pinch of ground nutmeg should also be added. Stir these in after the broth is added.
This recipe is meant to be served alongside a turkey, not cooked inside it. Trying to cook it inside the turkey could result in sub-par results, such as a greasy, soggy stuffing. Save yourself the hassle and serve this on the side!
Do you like sausage in your stuffing? I’d love to hear your family’s tradition with this dish!
- 3 Tablespoons (28 g) salted butter
- 1 cup (125 g) small-chopped onion
- 1 cup (110 g) small-chopped celery about 2 ribs
- 1 lb (453 g) sweet Italian sausage
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ¾ cups (414 ml) chicken broth
- 8 cups (320 g) dried bread cubes plain/unseasoned
- 2qt casserole dish
- Medium-sized skillet
- Aluminum foil
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease a casserole dish with butter and set aside.
- Place butter in a medium-sized skillet and melt over medium heat.3 Tablespoons (28 g) salted butter
- Once butter is melted, add onion and celery and cook until softened.1 cup (125 g) small-chopped onion, 1 cup (110 g) small-chopped celery
- Add sausage, cooking and crumbling until browned.1 lb (453 g) sweet Italian sausage
- Add poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, and stir well.2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
- While stirring, drizzle in chicken broth and stir until well incorporated.1 ¾ cups (414 ml) chicken broth
- Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Remove pan from heat and pour contents evenly over bread cubes. Gently stir together until all bread cubes are moistened.8 cups (320 g) dried bread cubes
- Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish. Cover dish with foil and bake in 350F (175C) oven for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm.
SausageMay substitute hot Italian sausage if you like a bit of heat!
Bread cubesThis recipe calls for plain/unseasoned bread cubes. If you can’t find them, you can make your own using my tutorial. Cut bread into ½” pieces and cook in 300F (150C) oven for 10 minutes. Stir, cook another 5 minutes. If bread cubes are not stale/dry, continue to cook in 5 minute intervals until they are. If using seasoned breadcrumbs, just leave out the poultry seasoning.
Making in advancePrepare as instructed, but don’t bake. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to bake (up to 2 days in advance). Cook as indicated, note it may take longer than written to warm through.
StoringStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
FreezingBake recipe as indicated then allow to cool. Wrap tightly and freeze for up to several months. To serve, thaw (covered) overnight in the refrigerator. Cover with foil and reheat in the oven at 325F (160C) until warmed through.
TurkeyI do not recommend cooking this stuffing inside a turkey.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.