The stuffing recipe that converted me into a stuffing lover! Full of sausage, fresh herbs and dried cranberries…this stuffing is scrumptious!
Ok, I’m not even going to lie, I’ve never loved stuffing. Last Thanksgiving we put a poll on Facebook asking your favorite Thanksgiving side, and the top vote getter was stuffing…by far. WHAT?! Really?! Over mashed potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes?? I couldn’t even believe it.
Then I thought, maybe I’ve just never had stuffing done the right way, so I set off to find a stuffing recipe I could stand behind.
This Cranberry Herb Sausage Stuffing has made a stuffing lover out of yours truly! It’s true. It happened, and you have to try it for yourself!
How to Make Sausage Stuffing?
Have you ever made stuffing completely from scratch? It’s not as complicated as you might think. I will walk you through each step.
The first step is to toast the bread. We recommend using one load of country bread (ends up being about 12 cups). Slice the bread pieces about 1 inch wide. Place the bread in a single layer on a sheet pan and place it in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 5 minutes or until it is dried and golden toasty. Move it to a large bowl and reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
The next step is to cook the sausage. We like the sage flavor, but you could grab whatever kind you like best. In a large saute pan, cook the sausage for about 10 minutes breaking it up into small pieces as you cook it. Move the sausage into the same bowl as the bread.
Vegetables and Herbs
Without draining the grease from the sausage, melt the butter in the saute pan and then add the vegetables (onions and celery), garlic, fresh herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme), salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
Add the cooking wine (or broth) and let it simmer for about 4 minutes until it reduces in half. Then add the chicken stock and cranberries and stir everything together until well combined. Add the mixture to the bread and sausage and stir everything together with a wooden spoon until the liquid is all absorbed.
Pour everything into a 9×12 pan for a half hour at 350 degrees until the top is browned and the middle is warm. Serve it warm.
Let’s answer a few common questions about stuffing and some of the ingredients in this stuffing recipe.
What Is The Difference Between Stuffing And Dressing?
There are arguments that go both ways, but the common consensus is that stuffing is the bread mixture that is cooked inside the turkey or chicken and dressing is the same mixture cooked in a pan. So I guess this recipe should be called sausage dressing, but it seems like most people call it all stuffing so I’m going with stuffing.
Can I Make Stuffing The Day Before?
If stuffing is made outside of the bird, then it can definitely be made the day before. Mix everything together and put it in the baking dish. Store it in the refrigerator tightly covered so it is airtight. Then bake as directed before serving. It make take a few extra minutes to warm through since it has been refrigerated.
Is It Safe To Stuff A Turkey?
It is safe but in the words of Alton Brown, “just don’t do it!” If everything is cooked to temperature, it is safe to stuff a bird and then eat it, but why? One of the things that I’ve never loved about stuffing is that it is often soggy. I want my stuffing crunchy with some texture!
What Kind Of Bread Is Best For Stuffing?
Stuffing can be made with just about any kind of bread you like. We have found that country bread, a good quality sandwich bread, or French bread hold up the best. Though we have another stuffing recipe where we use cinnamon bread. It just depends on what kind of flavor and texture you are going for!
What Is The Difference Between Breakfast Sausage and Regular Sausage?
Breakfast sausage is ground and usually mixed with several seasonings. Regular sausage is ground a little smoother and has less seasonings in it.
What Can You Substitute For White Cooking Wine?
The white cooking wine in this recipe can be substituted with extra chicken stock, same measurement.
This stuffing recipe is savory with a hint of sweetness from the dried cranberries, and it’s everything a stuffing should be! I dare you to swap your usual stuffing recipe for this one! Add it to your Thanksgiving plans this year and stuffing will continue to your favorite side of Thanksgiving!
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes You’ll Love:
- Best Mashed Potatoes
- Potato Rolls
- Sweet Potato Souffle with Brown Sugar Topping
- Steakhouse Smashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Green Beans and Potatoes
- Real Green Bean Casserole
- Cheesy Gruyere Sweet Potato Stacks
- Lemon Mandarin Orange Jello Salad
- Winter Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad
- 12 Cups Country Bread, 1 loaf
- 1 Pound Pork Sausage, Sage
- 1/3 Cup Butter
- 1 1/2 Cups Red Onion, Finely Chopped
- 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
- 5 Cloves Garlic, Large, minced
- 1/2 Cup Flat leafed parsley, Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage, Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
- 2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme, Stripped from the stems
- 3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
- 1/4 Cup White Cooking Wine, (by the vinegar)
- 2 1/4 Cups Chicken Stock, low sodium
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries, (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°
- Slice the bread into pieces about 1 inch wide. Place the bread pieces in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes, or until dried and toasted. Transfer to a very large bowl.Reduce the oven to 350.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, Cook the sausages over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a fork while cooking. Add to the bread.
- In the same pan, without draining any grease out, melt the butter and add the onions, celery, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add the cooking wine (if using, or sub broth) and allow the to reduce down to half (about 4 minutes).
- Add the stock and cranberries, stirring well, and pour into the bread. Mix really well with a wooden spoon until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Pour the bread stuffing into a 9×12-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm.
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