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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Our Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing Recipe is a rich and hearty side brimming with quintessential Thanksgiving flavors.
- Toasted white bread is tossed with savory sausage, earthy sage, and aromatic onion and celery. Mix in eggs and broth to bind the ingredients into a fluffy, moist casserole with tempting craggy browned bits!
- Let’s be honest—stuffing is the undisputed fan-favorite of the holiday table, and this Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing Recipe delivers the heartwarming seasonal taste you crave while elevating the dish far above the ordinary boxed stuffing.
If you’ve never made homemade stuffing, this recipe is for you! It’s simple, and you will be amazed at how it’s worlds better than store-bought. Growing up in Ireland, I wasn’t familiar with traditional American Thanksgiving foods, but now stuffing is one of my favorites! Wherever you live in the world, and whatever time of year it is, Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing is a delicious and versatile crowd-pleaser.
Table of Contents
- What is Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing?
- Tools You Need
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing
- Can I Make Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing in Advance?
- How to Store Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Thanksgiving Recipes
What is Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing?
- Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing is a bread-based casserole. Cubed bread is mixed with sautéed sausage, vegetables, herbs, eggs, and broth and baked in a casserole dish.
- Traditionally, stuffing was cooked inside the turkey while it was roasted. Because it’s difficult to ensure the stuffing reaches the temperature required to kill bacteria, it’s safer to cook stuffing separately. Plus, baking it a casserole dish gives you stuffing that’s soft on the inside and pleasantly crusted on the top.
- While the term “stuffing” was once reserved for a mixture cooked inside the bird and “dressing” for one baked in a casserole dish, the terms stuffing and dressing are now interchangeable. However, people in the southern United States still generally use the word “dressing.”
Tools You Need
- 9×13-inch casserole dish
- Two baking sheets
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Chopping board
- Chopping knife
Key Ingredients and Why
Good-quality white bread
- The taste and texture of your stuffing depend on the bread, so use good-quality, sturdy bread.
- For the most flavorful stuffing, make your own bread. Our 5-Ingredient No-Knead Sandwich Bread is perfect for this recipe.
- Whatever bread you use must be dried in the oven before using, or the stuffing will be mushy. Be sure to follow steps one and two in the recipe to dry the bread thoroughly.
- Butter adds moisture, luxurious mouthfeel, and flavor to the stuffing.
- Learn How to Make Homemade Butter. It’s easy and fun!
- Olive oil moistens the stuffing.
- In addition, olive oil and butter also contribute to the browning and crispiness on the top of the stuffing.
- Pork sausage adds bold flavor and indulgent richness to the stuffing.
- Use loose sausage meat, or if you have whole sausages, remove the meat from the casing and crumble it.
- As you’re sautéing the meat, break it into small pieces so it can be easily distributed throughout the stuffing mixture.
- Shallot’s characteristic flavor, with its hint of sweetness, adds a delicate note to the stuffing.
- Because shallots are milder than onion and won’t overpower the stuffing.
- Celery’s vegetal taste adds a lovely fresh note to the dish.
- Just as importantly, celery also gives the stuffing a pleasant texture. Be sure to finely dice it so it incorporates evenly into the mixture.
- Eggs bind the stuffing together and add moisture and flavor.
- Chicken broth adds moisture to keep the stuffing from being dry. It permeates the bread and helps make the stuffing mixture cohesive.
- The broth imparts a meaty flavor and a delicious saltiness to the stuffing.
- Sage has a warm, earthy flavor that tastes like autumn, making it the ultimate Thanksgiving seasoning.
- For the best flavor, use chopped fresh sage. If you can’t find fresh sage, use one tablespoon of dried sage.
- Parsley gives the stuffing a bright, zippy note that plays well off the stuffing’s rich ingredients.
- I recommend fresh parsley for this recipe. If you prefer to dried parsley, use one tablespoon.
How to Make Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing
- Prepare to make the stuffing. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Butter baking dish. Cut bread into cubes, but on baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, until dry.
- Assemble the stuffing. Turn up the oven to 350°F (180°C). Heat butter and oil in a stockpot. Sauté sausage, and then add shallots and celery. Remove from heat and add bread cubes. Whisk eggs, broth, and salt and pepper. Pour over the bread in the pot, and add fresh herbs. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Bake the stuffing. Put stuffing in the prepared casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Can I Make Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing in Advance?
Yes, you can make Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing in advance. Note that the stuffing may differ from stuffing prepared and cooked on the day of serving.
Partially prep the stuffing.
- Up to two days before, prepare the stuffing through step four, sautéing sausage and vegetables, but DO NOT add the bread.
- Instead, store the bread cubes at room temperature and refrigerate the sausage-vegetable mixture.
- When you’re ready to bake the stuffing, heat the sausage-vegetable mixture in the stockpot and proceed with the recipe starting at step four, adding the bread cubes to the warmed sausage-vegetable mixture.
Fully bake and refrigerate the stuffing.
- Bake the stuffing and let it cool to room temperature.
- Cover it tightly and refrigerate for up to two days. To serve, cover with foil and bake at 325°F (160°C).
Assemble and freeze the stuffing.
- Assemble the stuffing, but do not bake. Cover the unbaked stuffing well to protect it from freezer burn.
- Freeze the stuffing for up to six weeks.
- To serve, let the stuffing defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed in the recipe.
How to Store Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing
Put leftover stuffing in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Can I make this stuffing vegetarian?
Yes, you can make this stuffing vegetarian.
- Swap in vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
- Instead of sausage, use sautéed mushrooms for a natural umami (savory) note.
- I prefer cremini mushrooms for their rich, earthy taste and satisfying meaty bite. Learn the right way to sauté mushrooms here.
Can I make this stuffing gluten-free?
You can make this stuffing gluten-free, but the results will be different from the stuffing made with the type of bread recommended in the recipe.
How do I make sure my stuffing isn’t dry?
- Be sure to note the broth, oil, and butter measurements in the recipe.
- Handle the stuffing gently so it doesn’t become compacted and dense.
- Cover the stuffing with foil while baking. This is key to preventing dry stuffing. Remove the foil for only the last 15 minutes of baking to crisp up the top.
- Mind the cooking time. Overbaking could leave you with dried-out stuffing.
How do I avoid making mushy stuffing?
- Mix the liquid in slowly to make sure the bread absorbs it.
- Be sure the stuffing ingredients are distributed evenly so the texture is consistent throughout.
Can I bake this stuffing in a turkey? How do I do it?
You can bake this stuffing in a turkey, but it’s important to note the following guidelines to ensure that it’s cooked thoroughly.
- Prepare the stuffing through step 5. Allow the stuffing to cool completely.
- Stuff the turkey, but do not pack the stuffing too tightly. The stuffing should not overfill the turkey. The general rule is three-quarters or 1 cup per pound of turkey.
- Cook extra stuffing in a buttered casserole dish as directed in the recipe.
- Truss the turkey (tie the wings and legs) to keep the stuffing in place and help it cook evenly.
- Follow your turkey recipe to cook. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey and the stuffing reach 165°F (74°C).
- Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before removing the stuffing. Serve and eat right away.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- Be sure to use high-quality, substantial bread for this recipe, or the stuffing will lose its structure during baking. I use my 5-Ingredient No-Knead Sandwich Bread. Sourdough or any fermented loaf will give your stuffing a wonderfully complex, tangy, earthy flavor.
- Look in your grocery section for day-old bread. If it’s slightly stale, that’s perfect for stuffing making. Also, it will be cheaper!
- You can toast the bread cubes one week in advance and (as long as there is no more moisture in the bread) keep them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- The amount of salt you will need for this recipe depends on how salty your broth is. Be sure to taste the broth and adjust the salt accordingly.
- You can add 1 cup (5 oz/142 g) of toasted and chopped nuts to this recipe when you add the stock. Hazelnuts are particularly delicious in this stuffing.
- This stuffing recipe gives you enough for a big holiday gathering. However, the recipe can easily be halved to make less. You can also make up the recipe as is, bake half of it straight away, and freeze the rest to serve another time.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
- Sweet Potato & Rosemary Biscuits
- Soft and Fluffy Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- The Perfect Classic Apple Pie Recipe
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Thanksgiving Leftovers Pie
Watch The Recipe Video!
Homemade Sage Sausage Stuffing Recipe (Dressing)
- 2 lbs (about 2 loaves/907 g) good quality white bread
- ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) butter, melted
- ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
- 1½ lbs (24oz/679g) pork sausage meat
- 3 large shallots (about 12 oz/340 g) finely diced
- 6 ribs celery (about 12 oz/340 g), finely diced
- 3 large eggs
- 5 cups (40 fl oz/1200 ml) chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup (⅔ oz/18 g) minced fresh sage leaves
- ¼ cup (⅔ oz/18 g) minced fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C) and butter a 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) casserole dish. Set aside.
- Cut the bread into ¾-inch cubes, arrange on two baking sheets and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the bread is completely dried. Let cool and turn up the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Once the butter is melted, add the sausage and cook, mashing and breaking up the meat into very small pieces, until no pink remains.
- Add in the shallots and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add in the dried bread.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, stock, salt and pepper and add to the pot. Stir in the sage and parsley and allow to sit for 15 minutes for the bread to soak up the stock.
- Transfer the stuffing to the prepared casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking for about another 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
- Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350°F (180°F) oven for about 15 minutes, until heated through.