My friends and family have said to me, time and time again. “You make the best stuffing.” This might be my favorite Holiday Side Dish. I use Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage and rich turkey stock. Plus, my secret ingredient, which is apples. You can make this recipe with pre-packaged bread cubes or with day-old sourdough bread.
Thanksgiving Sausage and Bread Stuffing (or is it dressing?)
I usually think of stuffing as a bread dressing that you bake inside of the turkey.
I do not recommend ever doing this.
You end up with a mushy mess of overcooked veggies and soggy bread. Nobody wants that!
Baking your dressing in a casserole dish and using a rich turkey stock to add flavor to the bread is the way to go! You will end up with flavor and texture that is amazing.
What ingredients to you need to make the best Sausage and Bread Stuffing?
This recipe is very flexible. Like every recipe, using the best ingredients makes the best dish in the end.
- Bread – I like using a rustic sourdough, and I cut or tear the bread apart and the toast in well in the oven. For an easy, time-saving substitution, use your favorite brand of packaged pre-cut bread cubes.
- Sausage — I use Jimmy Dean’s Sage Sausage. However, you can use sweet Italian sausage. Honestly, you can use your favorite sausage brand.
- Turkey Stock (or Chicken Stock) — I always make my own using the giblets, neck, and the backbone of my turkey. Since I always spatchcock my turkey, I have the backbone available for stock. If you don’t want to make turkey stock and can’t find it in your local grocery store, chicken stock can be used in its place.
The Short Story — Making sausage stuffing is easier than it sounds.
- You’ll need toasted bread – Toast if yourself or buy the packaged kind.
- You’ll need broth – Again, make your own or use a prepared low sodium chicken stock.
- Brown, the sausage, add to a large bowl.
- Sauté the veggies and apples, add to bowl with the sausage.
- Add the bread to the sausage and veggies.
- Toss well.
- Add the broth.
- Butter a casserole dish and add your stuffing mixture to the dish.
Enjoy all of the oohs and ahhs as you serve the best sausage and apple stuffing ever to hit the Thanksgiving table.
Start this sage sausage stuffing recipe by browning up the sausage.
In a large heavy-bottomed pan, add the sausage and brown it well. Make sure to break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula while you are browning it.
When it is well browned and thoroughly cooked, remove the sausage and add it to a large bowl.
Remove the majority of the excess oil from the pan. Reserve a tablespoon or so and use it to sauté the veggies.
The next step to making a perfect apple sausage stuffing is to sauté the veggies and the apples.
Diced veggies are the foundation of every good savory recipe. This recipe uses a classic mirepoix.
Mirepoix is a mixture of diced celery, onions, and carrots. I usually use half of one small onion, two medium carrots, and three stalks of celery.
After I brown the sausage, I usually remove the excess oil from the pan. You will want to leave a few tablespoons behind and all of those tasty brown bits.
When you add the diced veggies, as they begin to cook, they will release water and soften all of the crunchy brown pieces that were left behind by the stop of browning the meat. This step produces a fantastic layer of flavor.
Let the veggies cook for about three to five minutes and then add the diced apples. Sauté for another three to five minutes. Then add them to the bowl with the browned sausage.
Add the toasted bread and the broth
Toasted bread is the key to making the fantastic stuffing. I like to dice or tear up a large loaf of seeded sourdough bread.
You can use any bread you like that had a firm texture. Think rustic loaf of bread. No Wonder bread here, please!
Buying pre-dried bread cubes is totally okay too. You can find these at your local grocery store during the holidays.
Add the bread and the broth to the sausage and veggie mixture. Then toss together. I usually use my hands for this step.
The final secret to making the best sausage stuffing
Butter a casserole dish and then add the sausage and bread stuffing mixture to the casserole.
Bake the stuffing at 350 degrees until the entire thing is warm all the way through and the top is nice and golden brown.
I refer to my homemade stuffing recipe with sausage as my Jimmy Dean sausage stuffing.
I grew up on Jimmy Dean’s sausage. My mom always liked the spicy one. I love the spicy sausage, too, but for this recipe, I love the flavor of the sage. Then I add extra fresh sage at the end.
Other Thanksgiving Recipes that you Might Like
- Spatchcock Turkey
- How To Make Stock
- Cranberry Sauce
- Green Bean Casserole
- Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans
- The Best Dinner Rolls
- Pecan Pie
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Sauce
- What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers
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Sage Sausage and Bread Stuffing with Apples
- 1 lb sage seasoned sausage
- 3 stalks celery finely diced
- 2 carrots peeled and finely diced
- ½ onion finely diced
- 2 apples diced
- 1 loaf sourdough bread cubed, I like the seeded variety
- 1 tbsp fresh sage
- 4 cups turkey broth substitute veggie or chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350℉
- Spread diced bread on a large sheet pan and bake until dried out. Timing will depend on how old your bread is. When crunchy, remove from oven and set aside.
- While bread is drying out in the oven, brown the sausage in a large heavy-bottomed pan.
- When browned, remove sausage from pan and add to a large bowl.
- Drain off most of the oil in the pan. Leave a small amount of oil and all of the brown bits for sautéing the mirepoix.
- Add the mirepoix (diced celery, onions, and carrots), sauté until tender and fragrant.
- Add the diced apples to the mirepoix and saute for a few more minutes.
- Add the sage to the pan with the mirepoix.
- Add the mirepoix mixture, and diced apples the sausage.
- Add the bread to the sausage and apple mixture and toss well.
- Add the broth. Add enough broth to ensure that mixture is moist. You may not need to use the entire 4 cups of broth. Moisture can be adjusted to preference.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the top is nice and golden brown.
- Let rest 15 minutes before serving.