Sausage Stuffing Recipe is a favorite family recipe that we look forward to every Thanksgiving! A savory, comforting sausage and apple stuffing that’s sure to compliment your holiday main course. But we think you’re going to find that you love this stuffing so much, you won’t want to wait until Thanksgiving to make it!
The BEST Sausage Stuffing Recipe
I’ve actually run into friends of mine at the grocery store with an oven stuffer chicken in one hand and two loaves of white bread in the other hand. They laugh knowing that I’m going home and hoping the wife will throw together a roast chicken dinner with this Sausage Stuffing Recipe on the side.
But things have changed and I want to learn how to make this recipe myself. And with Thanksgiving around the corner I thought you guys could all use a go-to recipe that comes out perfect every time.
Not only can you make this Thanksgiving side dish ahead of time, but it’s even better the next day!
What Kind Of Sausage Is Best To Use For Stuffing?
In my opinion, you need to go with Italian sausage – mild or spicy. Or you can use a combination of both, but it’s the flavors and spices in Italian Sausage that really work best for this stuffing recipe.
You can also use pork sausage or a breakfast sausage, but I think the flavors and spices in Italian sausage really take this recipe to the highest level of flavor. The notes of fennel, garlic and parsley in Italian sausage seem to go perfectly with this sausage stuffing with apples.
How To Make Sausage Stuffing
Cook the sausage and then drain some of the drippings from the pan. Next, instead of onions and celery, we’re adding onions and diced green apples. The tart green apples are what sets this stuffing recipe apart from the rest!
Again, you can use hot Italian sausage or regular Italian sausage, or a combination of both to make this stuffing. It’s this sausage, vegetable and broth mixture tossed with bread cubes that makes the most amazing stuffing.
While that is simmering start toasting a whole loaf of bread. (Or you can toast the bread ahead of time, too, it doesn’t matter if it’s cold) Use regular white bread for this, not sourdough or whole wheat or ciabatta.
Just white bread please, there is a time and a place for white bread and this is it. I’m not saying that you can’t try different types of bread for stuffing. In fact, there are many AMAZING stuffing recipes that call for different bread…this just isn’t it.
Tear or cut the bread into cubes and add them to the biggest bowl you can find. Next, pour the broth mixture from the skillet into the bowl and gently toss it with the toasted bread cubes.
At this point you should taste a piece of bread to make sure that it’s seasoned properly, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Next pour in the eggs and parsley and gently toss again. You don’t want the bread to turn into mush, some of it will and that’s ok but try to keep some pieces in tact.
Pour the stuffing into a heavily buttered casserole dish, top with more cubes of butter and bake for about 45 minutes. We like to bake this stuffing for 30 minutes covered and then 15-20 minutes uncovered.
Can You Make Stuffing Ahead Of Time?
Definitely! Make this stuffing a day or two ahead of time ahead of time and keep it in your fridge until you’re ready to cook it.
Since we make this recipe all the time, I’ve actually have found that it tastes better if you make it the day before. Let it sit in the fridge until you’re ready to get it in the oven. That white bread will soak up all the flavor from the broth and sausage and it really makes it taste even better.
Can You Freeze Stuffing Before Baking?
Yes!!! This is my favorite make ahead tip, especially if you’re making this recipe for a holiday like Thanksgiving when you have SO much meal prep going on. Make this stuffing whenever you have the chance, then wrap it, freeze it and pull it out when you’re ready to cook! See the recipe card for instructions on cooking time and temperature.
How To Store and Reheat Sausage Stuffing
Let the leftover stuffing cool completely. Wrap the dish with aluminum foil, or transfer leftover stuffing to a covered container. Leftover stuffing will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Reheat the stuffing in the microwave or in the oven. Place in an oven proof dish, covered with foil at 350 degrees. The stuffing is ready when it’s warmed though, the time for reheating will depend on how much stuffing you’re heating up and what type of dish that you’re using.
Tips For Success!
- Make sure to take the time to properly brown the sausage in the beginning. Browning the sausage properly adds tons of flavor to the overall stuffing.
- Use a good quality chicken stock or broth. Many canned or boxed brands are very watery, meaning not a lot of flavor. Find the best quality stock that you can or make your own!
- Taste the stuffing for seasonings before adding the eggs. A cube of bread soaked in the broth will give you an idea of how the end product is going to taste.
- Let the stuffing crisp up on top before taking it out of the oven. This way you’ll have soft bread cubes on the inside and slightly toasted cubes on top!
Looking For More Stuffing Recipes?
- Hot Dog Bun Stuffing
- Pecan, Fig & Pear Vegetarian Stuffing
- Waldorf Chicken Sausage Stuffing
- Upside Down Pineapple Stuffing
- Italian Stuffing Muffins
There are a lot of recipes that claim to be the BEST, but this really is The Best Sausage Stuffing recipe! We make it as a Thanksgiving side dish and also during the regular year – it’s so good we have to get our fix any time we can!
- 1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or spicy, casings removed
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 large green apple, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 16 cups cubed white bread, toasted (*see note)
- Extra butter for buttering the dish and for the top of the stuffing
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter in an extra large skillet (13 to 14 inch deep skillet), then add the sausage, breaking up with a spoon or spatula until browned.
- When the sausage is almost all browned add in the diced apple, onion, poultry seasoning and thyme then cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, salt and pepper and let simmer for 15 minutes. After the sausage and broth mixture have simmered, taste for seasonings and adjust if needed.
- Add the toasted bread cubes to a large bowl. After the chicken broth has cooled slightly, pour it over the bread and toss gently until all the cubes are moistened.
- Beat the eggs together with the parsley and add to the bowl. Toss gently to combine.
- Pour the stuffing into a buttered, 9″ x 13″ baking dish and then top the stuffing with small pieces of butter all around, about 2 tablespoons.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Take the foil off and bake another 20 minutes until the stuffing is crispy on top.
If you prefer to not have a crispy stuffing then leave the foil on for the entire cooking time. You can make this stuffing recipe ahead of time, cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Bring the dish out about 30 minutes before cooking to let it come to room temperature first.
To Make Ahead and Freeze: Make the stuffing, let it cool and then wrap it and freeze it until you’re ready to bake! Put the frozen stuffing, covered with foil, into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes and then uncover for 15. Perfect, make ahead stuffing!
You’ll need to buy 2 regular loaves of white bread (you’ll use about 1 1/2 loaves for 16 cups) or you can buy and extra large 24 ounce loaf. Toast the bread and then cut or tear into cubes.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stove Top / Oven
- Cuisine: American
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