Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage

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Full flavored, moist (but not soggy!) a turkey sausage bread stuffing recipe...,as seen on The Today Show!

Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com

I came up with this sausage stuffing recipe for an appearance on the “Today Show” for a pre-Thanksgiving segment that was all about ways to put bread to use for the holidays. Yes, Savannah Guthrie is as nice as you would hope! If you are a fan of sausage in your stuffing, then you are going to love this stuffing (or dressing if you hail from the South). It’s so simple — just some sautéing, mixing, and baking. And, it can be made ahead of time and baked or reheated just before serving.

Do also check out the Parmesan Croutons and How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs, also featured in the Today Show segment. And if you’re looking for a more traditional take, look for my Classic Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe. Or cornbread lovers will want to check out this Cornbread Stuffing.

I love baking my stuffing in a pan so that the top gets crispy and browned, and there are no safety concerns. But I drizzle some of the turkey cooking juices over the stuffing to make sure that it gets all of that deep flavor from the bird and extra moistness. See below for tips on how to bake the stuffing inside the turkey.

Sausage Stuffing in a baking dish and on a plate.

Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage: The addition of turkey sausage makes this bread stuffing seriously flavorful. As seen on The Today Show.

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Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage Ingredients

Bread, veggies, mushrooms, turkey sausage, and other stuffing ingredients.

A very classic assortment of ingredients for a classic turkey sausage stuffing!

  • Unsalted butter – The vegetables get sautéed in butter to make a rich, flavorful base for this stuffing.
  • Onions – Add sweetness.
  • Celery – Provides a bit of texture.
  • Carrots – Adds sweetness and color.
  • Button mushrooms – Any mushroom will work here. Buttons or creminis are affordable and ubiquitous, but you can get as exotic as you like.
  • Minced garlic – Mince the garlic finely so it can disappear into the stuffing.
  • Sage – Adds that special fragrant Thanksgiving flavor. Fresh or dried is fine, but if using dried, use half of the amount.
  • Rosemary – If using fresh rosemary, go for 2 teaspoons. If you choose to use dried sage, go for 1 teaspoon instead.
  • Dry white wine – The wine is used to deglaze the pan where the vegetables are sautéed and helps amplify all of the flavors of the stuffing.
  • Turkey sausage – Make sure to remove the sausage filling from its casing before using. Do this by cutting a slit in the casing and squeezing out the meat inside. or buy bulk or loose sausage. You can use pork instead, but I like turkey for this stuffing.
  • Bread – Use dry bread or cube fresh bread and leave it out overnight to dry out. The slightly stale bread will absorb the liquid and flavor much better.
  • Flat-leaf parsleyAdding fresh parsley gives the stuffing great pops of green color.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth – This would be a great place to use homemade turkey stock, though you might not have made it yet! If using purchased turkey or chicken stock, choose less-sodium so you can decide how much salt you want to add to the recipe.
Thanksgiving Plate with Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage.

What Type of Mushroom to Use in Stuffing

The types of mushrooms you can use in this recipe are fairly limitless. Use the ones that appeal to you…the ones that are on sale or those that fit into your budget. You can absolutely use all inexpensive button mushrooms, but it is really great to mix in some of the fabulously delicious and chewy (but pricier) shiitakes or other wild mushrooms. If you’re splurging (or if you have a friend in the mushroom or foraging world!), definitely go for all wild mushrooms.

Vegetarian Bread Stuffing Variation

The addition of turkey sausage to the stuffing makes it seriously flavorful. But if you are looking to make this a vegetarian stuffing, leave it out, bump up the mushrooms to 1 ½ pounds, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken. And hey, if you have homemade vegetable stock, go for it!

You can also use vegan crumbled soy sausage in place of the turkey sausage.

Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage.

Turkey Sausage Stuffing Safety Tips

Some people like to cook their stuffing in the turkey, but the FDA has firm guidelines about how to do that safely. I like to bake mine, and that’s the safest route to go, but if you really want to stuff the bird, follow these tips:

  • The bird must be stuffed right before going into the oven.
  • You should not pack in the stuffing — plan for about ¾ cup of stuffing for each pound of turkey.
  • The stuffing should register 165 degrees F at the deepest part of the cavity before you remove the bird from the oven.

How to Make Turkey Sausage Stuffing

  1. Sauté the vegetables: Cook the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, sage, and rosemary in some melted butter until the vegetables have started to brown. Deglaze the pan with wine, cook until evaporated, and then set the vegetables aside.
  2. Cook the sausage: Go ahead and use the same skillet to brown the turkey sausage.
  3. Combine: Mix together the seasoned vegetables, the cooked sausage, and the stale bread cubes.
  4. Add broth: Start by pouring 1 ½ cups of the broth and the parsley into the mixture and stirring it together. If it still seems a little dry, add the rest of the broth.
  5. Bake: Pour the stuffing into a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake another 25 minutes until crispy, then serve!
Woman adding Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage to a plate with casserole of stuffing nearby.

FAQs

Can I use turkey drippings in my stuffing?

Yes, you can! Stuffing is a great place to use all those delicious pan juices, which are so flavorful you definitely don’t want to throw them away. Just add them into your stuffing with the broth to help moisten and flavor the bread. If the stuffing is already banking when the turkey finishes, just drizzle over some of the juices while the stuffing is baking, about ½ cup.

How do I get the sausage out of its casing?

I like to run a sharp knife down the length of the sausage, cutting through the surface to split the casing. Once the casing is split open, squeeze out the ground sausage meat from inside. Make sure to avoid cooked or smoked sausage — you want loose, raw sausage. If the meat inside is cooked, you won’t be able to take it out of the casing. You can also buy loose sausage meat at some grocery stores and butchers.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Stuffing

This is a truly make-ahead and portable dish. If you want to volunteer to bring something to a potluck on Thanksgiving, claim stuffing as your dish. Bake it just before serving (this also means letting the host know you need some oven space. I’m a bit of a nag on this topic — have you ever had someone show up at your house with a dish that needed stovetop or oven time, and it wasn’t part of your grand master plan? “Ugh,” is the nicest thing I have to say about that).

The stuffing can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before baking, or plan to add 15 minutes to the first part of the baking time with the casserole covered.

Leftovers will last for up to 4 days in the fridge. They can be reheated in the microwave, though the top won’t be as crispy. You can also reheat leftovers in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes, uncovered.

What to Serve With Turkey Sausage Stuffing

Thanksgiving plate with sausage, turkey, stuffing, and roasted vegetables.

More Thanksgiving Stuffing and Dressing Recipes

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5 from 1 vote

Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage

Full flavored, moist (but not soggy!) a turkey sausage bread stuffing recipe…,as seen on The Today Show!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 10 People
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Ingredients 

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ pound button mushrooms (trimmed and chopped; see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary_
  • Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound loose mild or spicy turkey sausage
  • 10 cups cubed good quality white bread (left to sit on a baking sheet for one day)
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter a shallow 4-quart baking pan.
  • In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, sage and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and sauté everything until all of the liquid is evaporated (the mushrooms will release liquid as they start to cook) and the vegetables are all tender and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and sauté for another couple of minutes until it is almost evaporated. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. 
  • In the same skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until browned and crumbly, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage to the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the bread cubes and toss again.
  • Drizzle over 1 ½ cups of the broth (feel free to also drizzle over up to ½ cup of turkey drippings if desired). Add the parsley and toss well so that the bread is evenly moistened. Add in the remaining ½ cup to 1 cup of the broth, depending on how much liquid the bread is absorbing, to the stuffing and toss again.
  • Turn the mixture into the prepared baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes or so until the stuffing is cooked through and the top is browned and crispy.

Notes

  • The types of mushrooms you can use in this recipe are fairly limitless.  Use the ones that appeal, the ones that are on sale and the ones that fit into your budget. You can absolutely use all inexpensive button mushrooms, but it is really great to mix in some of the fabulously delicious and chewy (but pricier) shiitakes or other wild mushrooms. If you’re splurging (or if you have a friend in the mushroom or foraging world!), definitely go for all wild mushrooms.
  • The stuffing can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before baking, or plan to add 15 minutes to the first part of the baking time with the casserole covered.
  • Leftovers will last for up to 4 days in the fridge. They can be reheated in the microwave, though the top won’t be as crispy. You can also reheat leftovers in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes, uncovered.

Nutrition

Calories: 266kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 518mg, Potassium: 380mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1541IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 148mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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4 Comments

  1. Michele Lenahan says:

    can you use Italian sausage in this recipe and can you use prepared bread cubes like Pepperidge Farms? How many cups would that be?

    1. Katie Workman says:

      You can definitely used Italian sausage if you prefer. And I would use probably about 8 cups of the dried bread crumbs, and maybe add a bit more liquid since they will absorb more than the fresh dried cubes bread. You can play around with the proportions without worrying – it’s not an exact science! And if it seems to be drying out when you bake it, add a bit more broth!

  2. Sally says:

    Just you you make this on The Today Show. I always thought it was stuffing if it went into the bird and dressing if it was baked on the side.

    I always toast the bread cubes. It isn’t a matter of time management, but the toasted cubes, not unlike the purchased kind, last indefinitely. I also use them to make croutons and crumbs. I also prefer toasted over stale for things like panzanella.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      I think you are probably technically correct, but I think over time the word stuffing had taken on a more general meaning! Good point though. And interesting that you always toast the cubes….