Flavorful Herb Sausage Stuffing recipe is savory and delicious, with just a few ingredients. This side dish is a family favorite sausage dressing recipe for the Holidays or any time you want a savory side dish. Make this easy herb and sausage stuffing with store bought stuffing cubes, or from day-old bread.
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Best Herb Sausage Stuffing
If you are cooking for your Thanksgiving Day celebration, you will most likely be making stuffing (or dressing), that delicious savory bread pudding that has a crispy top and a moist inside.
There are many variations of stuffing, and some contain meat, like this savory Sausage Dressing recipe.
Herb Sausage Stuffing is flavored with onion, garlic, butter, and both fresh and dried herbs, this is my personal favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner.
We love this rich sausage and herb Thanksgiving stuffing served alongside gravy and turkey.
Your Holiday dinner may look different than ours, so this is a great recipe to make a really good sausage dressing or stuffing that you can serve as written, or personalize with your own variations.
What You'll Need to Make the Best Sausage Stuffing
Simple Ingredients to Make This Stuffing Recipe
For exact measurements, please see the recipe card below.
• Bread – Store-Bought Unseasoned Stuffing Cubes, Loaf of Bread, or other (see below).
• Unsalted Butter – If using salted butter, reduce salt in recipe.
• Yellow Onion – Find 2 large onions
• Diced Celery – About 3 ribs
• Garlic Cloves
• Bulk Sweet Italian Sausage – See tips about the sausage below.
• Low Sodium Turkey Broth – Or Chicken broth.
• Fresh Thyme Leaves
• Fresh Rosemary
• Dried Rubbed Sage
• Fresh Parsley
• Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
What Kind of Bread for Sausage Dressing?
- The type of bread you use to make your sausage stuffing with depends on how much work you want to do, and also affects the quality of the finished recipe.
- I’ve made this recipe using store-bought stuffing cubes and also fresh dried stuffing cubes from the store bakery — both work very well.
- My favorite is the bread that I cut up and let sit out a couple days. But use what works for your situation.
- Best Bread: You will want to use dry bread as it is ideal for soaking up the seasoned broth. If you use soft bread, your stuffing will be mushy. Traditionally, stale bread is used, which has dried out, but not completely. This is what I prefer to use.
- Stuffing Mix: The easiest option. These store-bought dried bread cubes come seasoned and unseasoned. They are very dry, and the bags have a lot of crumbs (not necessarily a bad thing). You will need about 1 and a half of the boxed varieties for this recipe as written. One box contains about 9 ounces of bread cubes and we need 16 ounces. If you increase the other ingredients you can use 2 full boxes. For the seasoned variety, just cut back on the sage by a little.
- Toasting Fresh Bread: If you have fresh bread (Italian Bread, French Bread, Loaf of white sandwich bread, etc.) that you want to use, simply cut it into cubes and spread the cubed bread out on a large baking sheet in a single layer to dry overnight. Or toast them in a 325°F oven for a few minutes cooking time to dry them out.
- What about Sourdough Bread? Personally, I don't like it for this recipe because it is sour (obviously), and that flavor overpowers the sausage and everything else. Maybe if you are using a spicier sausage and/or seasonings, but you might want to do a test run before making it for a special occasion.
Here are some ideas:
What Kind of Sausage for Stuffing?
- I like to use Sweet Italian Sausage (mild Italian sausage) for its nice, mild, but delicious flavor. But there are other varieties that might work for your tastes. You can use almost any ground meat.
- Try spicy Italian sausage (AKA Hot Italian Sausage), which has a spicy, but not too hot flavor, which you can usually find in the grocery store.
- Sage sausage (or breakfast sausage) is also a tasty option.
- A basic ground pork (Add extra spices to this as it is unseasoned, it is not the same as a pork sausage).
- You can also use sausage links with the casings removed.
- Or try Turkey sausage, chicken sausage, etc.
Can Stuffing Be Made Ahead of Time?
- Yes, it can be made a day in advance if refrigerated before baking, or frozen after baking. This is a time saver on the big day.
- Make the stuffing and assemble it in the baking dish up to a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it. Follow the directions for baking in the recipe card.
- To Freeze: After baking, let stuffing cool completely. Then transfer to a freezer-safe baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then an outer layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Let the frozen stuffing thaw in the fridge for a day, then remove the plastic wrap and recover with foil. Reheat in a 325°F oven until heated through.
How to Make Homemade Sausage Stuffing
• Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use butter or cooking spray to grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
• If using fresh bread, cut into cubes. Place the stuffing cubes in a very large mixing bowl.
• In a large saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, using the wooden spoon to break up the sausage as it cooks so you don't have large clumps. Once browned and cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate, keeping the fat in the pan and set aside to cool a little.
• In the same pan that the cooked sausage was in, with the fat from the sausage, add the butter.
• Then add the onion and celery to the melted butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and the onion is translucent.
• Add the garlic.
• To the onion-garlic mixture, add any dried herbs you are using, and cook 2 more minutes.
• Add the browned sausage to the bread cubes.
• Next, add the fresh herbs to the bread cubes.
• Sprinkle in the salt and pepper to the stuffing cubes.
• Crack the egg into the broth.
• Whisk the egg and the broth well and set aside.
• Then add the vegetable mixture to the stuffing cubes.
• Mix together well.
• Then pour the broth-egg mixture over the bread cube mixture and mix until the bread is soft and moistened.
• If needed, add a small amount of broth. I find 2 3/4 cups is good, but you may need a little more for very dry bread cubes.
• Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish and bake uncovered for 60-70 minutes, until golden brown and the top of the stuffing is crisp (internal temperature at least 165°F).
• Serve immediately or transfer to a slow cooker on the WARM setting (not LOW).
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Liquid: Turkey broth is what I normally use if I am going to make a roast turkey. However, you can also use chicken stock or broth. Canned, carton, or bouillon mixed with water, or fresh. All will work.
- Seasonings and Herbs: I use a combination of fresh herbs and dried herbs for my sausage stuffing recipe. I prefer dried rubbed sage, dried or fresh thyme leaves (not ground), or I use poultry seasoning. And I use fresh parsley and fresh rosemary (not dried). You might try Herbs de Provence for a different aromatic flavor. I also use fresh garlic, and simple kosher salt and black pepper. Feel free to experiment.
- Recipe Additions: Try adding nuts or dried fruits such as dried cranberries or raisins, if you want a sweet addition to your sausage stuffing. They're a great way to get a bit more texture and flavor. Some people make their stuffing with oysters! That is a separate recipe and I really want to try it!
How to Store Leftover Stuffing
I think stuffing is even better the next day!
• Let it cool to room temperature, then place it in an airtight container and keep in the fridge up to 4 days.
• Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees F until heated through, or in an air fryer or microwave.
Some Tasty Thanksgiving Recipes
Buttery Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
Best Fresh Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie Recipe
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Best Homemade Dinner Rolls
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes
Herb Sausage Stuffing
- 9"x13" baking dish
- Extra Large Mixing Bowl
- Frying Pan
- Slotted Spoon
- Wooden Spoon
- 1 lb French Bread* (day old), or store-bought cubes
- ¾ cups Unsalted Butter 1 ½ sticks
- 1 large Yellow Onion diced
- 3 ribs Celery diced
- 3 cloves Garlic finely minced
- 1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¾ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Rubbed Sage
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves (or ½ tsp dried)
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- ⅓ cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
- 1 large Egg
- 2 ¾ cups Low Sodium Turkey Broth (or chicken)
Prep the Bread Cubes
- If using fresh bread, set it out the day before you make this so it can dry out. Or cube it and lightly toast it on a baking sheet in a 325°F oven.
- Cut the bread into cubes and place them in an extra large mixing bowl (or add store-bought stuffing cubes to the bowl, if using).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use butter or cooking spray to grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Cook the Sausage & Veggies
- In a large frying pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a plate to cool a bit, leaving the fat in the pan.
- In the same pan, add the butter, onions and celery. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and any dried herbs you are using, and cook 2 more minutes.
Assemble the Stuffing
- To the bread cubes, add the cooked sausage, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and the cooked vegetable mixture. Mix well.
- Whisk the egg into the chicken broth and add to the bread cube mixture and mix until the bread is soft and moistened. Use a little more broth or some water if you think it isn't moist enough (it will depend on how dry the bread is).
- Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish.
Bake the Stuffing
- Bake uncovered for 60-70 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on top. Internal temperature should be at least 165°F.
- Serve immediately or transfer to a slow cooker on the WARM setting (not Low or High).