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!
We make this stuffing to go along with a Simple Roast Turkey or a brown sugar Glazed Baked Ham – or both! Just add another side dish or two and you’ll have your Thanksgiving dinner set to go!
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.
And leftover stuffing (if there is any) usually becomes a main meal for me. Pour on a quick brown gravy or some homemade turkey gravy if you have it, or just as is works totally fine.
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
Sausage Stuffing Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
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
Keywords: mantitlement, sausage stuffing, best stuffing recipe, easy stuffing recipe, sausage and apple stuffing, sausage and herb stuffing, thanksgiving side dish, homemade stuffing, thanksgiving stuffing
I see why you want this all year long, absolutely perfect stuffing!
Thanks Matt! Finally got the recipe down – it took a few attempts to make it taste the same as when my wife makes it! Mine with more sausage though of course…
can stuff a turkey with this stuffing?
You certainly can!
Made this today for our Christmas dinner. It was delicious and everyone loved it. It is now my go to sausage stuffing. Thanks for sharing.
It took us a long time to get this one right, so thank you! I’m so glad you liked it!
Can you use turkey Italian sausage?
You sure can!
This sounds REALLY Good! Is there a specific type of apple you use for this?
You’re going to LOVE it! We use a granny smith for it’s tartness typically, but any apple will work! Also stay tuned because this week is STUFFING WEEK! A whole week of stuffing recipes for Thanksgiving – it’s going to be crazy!
Any Way to do this in a slow cooker?
Not that I have instructions for, sorry!
Do you know how many people this recipe feeds?
It will serve about 8, the information is at the top of the recipe card. If you are having a lot of other sides you have you could stretch it to 10.
This Recipe sounds delicious! Does it work well for stuffing a turkey?
Yes it does, I know this because my mother in law does it that way but I haven’t done it myself!
Can you make this 2 days ahead ?
Whoohoo! I FINALLY found a sausage stuffing that Is amazing. I swear I’d eat it out of the garbage it’s that good.!!! My hubby even commented how awesome it was. Thank you a thousand times for posting this. The white bread does make all the difference too. It will now be a staple at my Thanksgiving table. -or anytime, who needs a holiday for this!? I prepared it at 8am and baked it at 4pm. Only 8 hrs of “marinating” but even that short time definately made a difference with taste. We had our Thanksgiving today I’m looking so forward to our leftovers for breakfast! Lol
I have to say, breakfast stuffing is my favorite thing! Especially if you have some leftover gravy laying around! I’m so glad you found our stuffing and like it as much as we do, thanks Debra!
My husband is not a stuffing eater, but he loved this. He has gone back for seconds and thirds. My mother-in-law will be super jealous because he never eats hers. This was truly the best stuffing I have ever eaten. Thank you.
We love it too:) Love the family stories…we have so many like that! Have a great holiday Patti!
I want to make this but I don’t have any white bread on hand I have some really delicious homemade Brad that I think may be a wheat but I’m not sure possibly with oats would that be OK since it’s all I have?
I always say to try and just use what you have, I think your homemade bread will be fine!
I love this recipe! I usually use sage sausage and toss in a cup of dried cranberries plumped in the hot chicken broth. That occasional tart bite is perfectly paired with the apples, bread and sausage!
I agree, the apple in the stuffing is key! Thanks for the comment!
This recipe tastes just like the one my mom used to make. We double the apples too! Thanks for this recipe!
Thanks Peter! We double the apples sometimes, too!
Do you put celery in it?
There’s no celery in this recipe, but you certainly can add it if you want!
This really is the best sausage stuffing, I do love the applesI will be making it for all of our holidays!
Yep it just goes to show you that you should always try new things! Thanks Tricia!
I just had to take a moment to say that I love the voice I hear in the narrator! Such a cute husband! I love the story about the oven stuffer in the bread at the grocery store! So cute! That deserves a snuggle for sure!
I’m telling you, he really is, thank you for noticing that! It’s so funny how a guy that I married 20 years ago that ate about 4 things was all of the sudden the biggest foodie and craving sausage stuffing. It’s one of our most favorite stories! Thank you for your support!
My mom makes this stuffing every year, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it!
Finally made this after bookmarking this page years ago. Hands down the best apple and sausage stuffing! Gonna bake it up tomorrow! Thank you for posting.
Great! Happy Thanksgiving!
I have a funny story to share… I have been married to my husband for 36 years and this recipe (or a version of it) is the recipe that his mother taught me to make when we first married in 1985. Even though his mother’s recipe is the family favorite and was passed down by her own mother, I have been wanting to make changes to her recipe for years. My husband loves his mother’s recipe and is determined to help me every year so that he can make sure it is made right (One year his mother added cranberry and his father had a fit, not kidding. Until she pulled out another dish just the way he liked it). I would love to replace the celery with apples as I think it would be so much better. Except for the fact that my mother-in-law used half a loaf of white and half a loaf of wheat bread (which she dices up and toasts the night before), and celery instead of apples and one other tiny addition, I don’t see much of a difference in the two recipes.
Her Recipe: The night before she starts by simmering the neck and gizzards of the turkey with watered-down chicken stock with added spices. Then in the morning, she starts out by cooking the sausage (breakfast variety, although I have seen her use Italian before) in a separate pan until it is crispy. She removes the sausage from the pan and adds a bit of unsalted butter to the sausage fat and sautees a mirepoix with added bits of meat from the neck, heart, and kidney of the turkey (that is cut up so tiny you never even know they are there). She combines the mirepoix, sausage, liquid from the simmered gizzards & neck (she will taste this beforehand and add more Better-Than-Bouillon if needed and pours it over the toasted bread in a large bowl and mixes it until combined (not too much or it gets mushy). Then part of this goes into a cheesecloth bag to stuff the turkey and the remainder goes into a casserole dish with butter pats on top to cook in the oven during the last 30-minutes of cooking time for the turkey. Her recipe is delicious, but how much better it would be if I could omit the celery and add those granny apples… Yum.!!
I may have to try it this Thanksgiving if I can keep my husband and adult son (our youngest) out of the kitchen…. any suggestions??
Coming back again! Year 4 of making this stuffing for Thanksgiving ITS THE BEST! Its my families favorite and have shared this recipe with friends. Id give it more than 5 stars if possible. 2 tips that take it over the top is 1) let marinate for 24hrs and 2) using fresh spices is a must! Its what takes it from good to holy @*#!
Thanks so much!!! We’re so glad you like the stuffing, it’s a family favorite that we’ve been making for years. And yes, you’re tips are spot on!