Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

This Sausage Stuffing Recipe is a family favorite recipe that we look forward to every Thanksgiving! A savory, comforting sausage and apple stuffing that’s sure to compliment your holiday main course. 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!

sausage stuffing in a white casserole dish from the top

Why You’ll Love This Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Not only are we excited to share our family favorite Sausage Stuffing Recipe with you, we have lots of helpful tips and details to make this recipe look and taste it’s best!

However, if you’re ready to dive right into making this savory stuffing, scroll down to the recipe card or click the “jump to recipe” button above the first photo.

  • Make Ahead Side Dish: You can make this stuffing ahead of time and bake it when you’re ready. Make ahead recipes make holiday planning so much easier.
  • Moist & Flavorful: Toasted bread cubes are tossed in a flavorful chicken broth mixture that’s simmered with fresh herbs, seasonings, onion and sausage.
  • Customizable: Adapt the flavors in this recipe to your liking. Try different herbs or spicy sausage or switch up the bread to sourdough or honey wheat.
  • Secret Ingredient: Our secret ingredient in this stuffing recipe is a diced green apple. Slightly tart but also sweet, it imparts a delicious flavor into this recipe.

What Kind Of Sausage Is Best To Use For Stuffing?

In the many years that we’ve been making this sausage stuffing, our go is Italian sausage – mild or spicy. You can also use a combination of both, but it’s the flavors and spices in Italian Sausage that really work best for this stuffing recipe.

Regular Pork sausage will also work, but the flavors and spices in Italian sausage really take this recipe to the next 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

We’ll go over the basic steps here, but for a complete list of instructions scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

crumbled sausage and diced apples in skillet
  • STEP 1 – Brown and crumble the sausage and drain most, but not all, of the drippings from the pan. Next add diced onions and diced green apples, cook until softened and then pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
toasted bread cubes in large, white bowl
  • STEP 2 – While the sausage and chicken broth is simmering, start toasting a whole loaf of bread. Tear or cut the bread into cubes and add them to a very large bowl. Pour the broth mixture from the skillet into the bowl along with beaten eggs and parsley. Toss gently to combine.
uncooked stuffing in a casserole dish dotted with butter
  • STEP 3 – Pour the stuffing into a heavily buttered casserole dish, top with cubes of butter and bake for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes uncovered to finish the stuffing.
sausage stuffing in a white baking dish with parsley on top

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.

We’ve been making this stuffing for years, and I’ve actually have found that it tastes better if you make it the day before. The flavors will have time to blend together in the refrigerator and the flavor after baking it is unbelievable.

Any leftover stuffing (if there is any) usually becomes a main course for me. Pour on a quick brown gravy or homemade turkey gravy if you have it. Add a slice or two of leftover turkey and you’ve got dinner.

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 tons of meal prep going on. Make this sausage stuffing and let it cool, then wrap it, freeze it and pull it out a day before you need it and let it defrost in the fridge. See the recipe card below for instructions on cooking time and temperature.

spoon in casserole dish with stuffing

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 Making The BEST Sausage Stuffing

  1. Make sure to take the time to properly brown the sausage in the beginning. Browning the sausage adds tons of flavor to the overall stuffing.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

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spoon in casserole dish with stuffing

Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Our favorite Sausage Stuffing Recipe for Thanksgiving and everyday meals! We love this flavorful stuffing recipe so much, we don’t just save it for the holidays. It’s a delicious, make ahead side dish that we crave all year long.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 33 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 20 slices white bread, toasted (*see note)
  • Extra butter for buttering the dish and for the top of the stuffing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet, then add the sausage, breaking up with a spoon or spatula until browned. NOTE: you’ll need at least a 13″ deep skillet to hold the sausage and broth mixture.
  3. When the sausage is almost all browned, add the diced apple, onion, poultry seasoning and thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of chicken broth, salt and pepper and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. 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. If the bread seems on the dry side, you can add the additional 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
  5. Beat the eggs together with the parsley and add to the bowl. Toss gently to combine.
  6. Pour the stuffing into a buttered, 9″ x 13″ baking dish and then top the stuffing with small pieces of butter all around, 2-3 tablespoons.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  8. Take the foil off and bake another 15 minutes until the stuffing is crispy and brown on top.

Recipe Notes

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) 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

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42 Responses
    1. Dan

      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…

  1. Robin

    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.

    1. Dan

      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!

    1. Dan

      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.

  2. Debra

    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

    1. Dan

      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!

  3. Patti

    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.

  4. Krista Jones

    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?

  5. Susan

    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!

  6. Peter

    This recipe tastes just like the one my mom used to make. We double the apples too! Thanks for this recipe!

  7. Tricia

    This really is the best sausage stuffing, I do love the applesI will be making it for all of our holidays!

  8. KaKathleen Ciesla

    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!

    1. Dan

      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!

  9. Sapphire

    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.

  10. Suzy

    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??

  11. Debra

    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 @*#!

    1. Dan

      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!

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