This stuffing recipe has all of the best flavors of a holiday spread in one dish—it's savory with a hint of sweetness and utterly delicious!
A Stuffing Recipe Worth Savoring
If I were to ask you what your favorite turkey day side dish is, what would you say?
For me, I would have to say that it's the stuffing (or “dressing” as it's sometimes called when it's outside of the bird), because nothing quite beats it with all those savory flavors of Thanksgiving!
My homemade stuffing is the side dish I'm always asked to prepare and bring with me when my husband and I go visit with family for the holiday, without fail—folks really enjoy it, and I really love preparing it!
This particular stuffing recipe is filled with pieces of rustic, torn bread, both fresh and dried herbs, bits of spicy sausage, savory cheeses, and even a sprinkle of chopped dried apples for a slight sweet note. It's loaded with wonderful earthy flavors, and has those scrumptious golden, crispy edges perfect for pouring gravy over.
How to Make Homemade Stuffing
Anytime I can simply chop, dice, or tear up my ingredients, toss them into a large bowl to combine, and then turn them out into a casserole dish, I'm a happy girl.
And that's why I'm so keen on making this stuffing recipe easy!
Sure, there's a little bit of cooking... the onion and celery get sautéed, the spicy Italian sausage gets browned for extra flavor...
But other than that, it's about mixing all the savory ingredients together, spooning them into a large baking dish, and then baking until golden and puffy!
Here's a quick overview of how I prepare my stuffing recipe:
- I brown the sausage in the pan, then add in the veggies and sauté everything together until slightly golden and browned; then, I allow them to cool, just slightly.
- While the meat and veggies cool, I tear up a loaf of crusty French bread, and toss it into a large bowl.
- Next, I add in my cooked sausage and veggies, plus the rest of my ingredients and some of my cheese, and mix well to combine.
- I pour the homemade stuffing mixture into a prepared casserole (or baking dish), top with the rest of the cheese, cover gently with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes; then, I remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more until golden and puffed.
(You'll find the full recipe below.)
This homemade stuffing has “rustic comfort food” written all over it, and it tastes absolutely divine!
Tips & Tidbits for My Stuffing Recipe:
- Crusty French Bread: A one pound loaf of soft, crusty French bread is the best kind of bread to use for this stuffing recipe. It's tender yet absorbs all of those flavorful ingredients!
- Savory sausage: I opt for spicy Italian sausage in this recipe, as it adds a touch of heat (very mild, mind you); but you can substitute sweet Italian sausage, or even smoked, or leave it out altogether if you prefer.
- Dried apples for a sweet touch: I simply chop up dried apple rings for this recipe, but another nice sweet touch would be dried cranberries or cherries, or even dried apricots.
- Say cheese: I use a four-cheese blend (Trader Joe's “Quatro Formaggio” is great) and a sprinkle of parmesan; however, gruyere, Swiss, white cheddar or even mozzarella would be delicious options as well!
- Prepare ahead: You can prep and then spoon the stuffing mixture into your prepared baking dish and keep covered in the fridge a day (or even two) before you plan on serving it, and then bake it the day of—saves time!
- Reheating leftovers: Any leftovers of this homemade stuffing can easily be reheated by placing it into a 350° toasted oven for about 15-20 minutes, covering with foil, and baking.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serve 10
Nutrition Info: 353 calories
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 spicy Italian sausage links, casing removed
• 4 ribs celery, finely diced
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 2 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
• 1 (1 pound) loaf chewy French bread
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
• 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided use
• 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch, divided use
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus a pinch, divided use
• 1/2 cup chopped, dried apples
• 2 cups warm chicken broth
• 6 tablespoon melted butter
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 1/2 cup shredded, Italian Four-Cheese blend
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-Preheat the oven to 375°, and lightly butter a medium-sized casserole dish.
-In a large, non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add in the spicy Italian sausage, crumbling it into the pan and using a spoon/spatula to break it up.
-Allow the sausage to cook for a couple of minutes, and then add in the celery, onion, and garlic, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir the mixture together allowing it to cook until the veggies and sausage are a light golden-brown; once golden, remove from the pan and set aside for a moment.
-Into a large bowl, begin tearing bite-size pieces of the French bread.
-Add to the torn bread the sauteed veggies and spicy sausage mixture, along with the parsley, sage, fresh thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, dry thyme, the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, and the chopped dried apples, and toss the mixture together.
-Next, add in the warm chicken stock, the melted butter, the beaten eggs, 1 cup of the shredded Italian four-cheese blend, and the parmesan, and combine very thoroughly.
-Once well mixed, turn the homemade stuffing mixture into the buttered casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Italian four-cheese blend and 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning; cover the casserole dish with foil, and place the dish into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
-After 30 minutes, remove the foil from the casserole dish, place casserole back into the oven, and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top, and puffy.
Looking for the gravy? Check out my homemade gravy recipe...
Interested in other delicious stuffing recipes? Check out this classic Herb Stuffing, this gluten-free Quinoa and Wild Rice Dressing, this Breakfast Casserole, or these Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms!
Cook’s Note: This post was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!