Stuffing or Dressing? Whatever you grew up calling it, everyone has a favorite recipe. This is mine. Thanksgiving for me is typically the only time of year that I make this amazing Sausage Stuffing recipe. This recipe was handed down to me from my Mother who still has the handwritten recipe from my Grandfather. Even though I never had the chance to physically meet him, when I make this, it makes me feel nostalgic and close to him. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It is definitely an old school preparation and takes time, but it is so worth it in the end.
Of course, I made a short TikTok video creating this fabulous Thanksgiving side dish. Be sure to check it out in the recipe below. Also, if you have not yet signed up for this social media platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to create an account.
STUFFING VS DRESSING
Growing up, my Mom always stuffed our Thanksgiving turkey. In addition, she would make cute stuffing balls out of what was left over after stuffing the turkey, and bake them to a golden brown.
It was not until I moved south about ten years ago did I realize that some people actually refer to stuffing as dressing. Dressing is always served on the side and not stuffed into the bird. Regardless of what you call this fabulous bread mixture, it is AMAZING and truly a Thanksgiving staple.
BREAD FOR STUFFING
My Sausage Stuffing recipe calls for traditional white bread. However, it’s what you do with the bread that is most important. The bread for stuffing needs to be toasted. Toasting the bread will allow it to better absorb all of the goodness.
As an alternative to white bread, cornbread is a great substitute. Very southern, I might add. Bagged croutons for stuffing will also work. However, I cannot guarantee this Sausage Stuffing recipe will be as good using bagged croutons.
Toast the bread using a toaster, toaster oven, or oven. Once toasted, break apart into pieces.
WHAT TYPE OF SAUSAGE TO USE FOR STUFFING
In sticking with my Grandfather’s original Sausage Stuffing recipe, we always use sage sausage. Country sausage would be a great alternative combined with ground sage.
Grinding the sausage once it is browned, is a MUST! Just a few pulses will create a consistent sausage mixture.
IS IT SAFE TO STUFF A TURKEY?
Most professional chefs would say that cooking the stuffing inside the turkey is not very safe. However, you will still find a vast amount of homecooks continue to carry on the tradition of stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey.
The dangers of stuffing a turkey come from the turkey juices that are absorbed into the stuffing. So, when checking the internal temperature of the turkey for doneness, some neglect to check the temperature of the stuffing. Keep in mind, you are looking for your bird AND stuffing to read between 160° to 165°. The stuffing must be at the same temperature as the poultry to ensure that any bacteria are killed during the cooking process.
HOW TO SAFELY STUFF AND COOK A TURKEY
If your Thanksgiving feast includes a stuffed turkey, the following tips should be followed to do this in a safe manner:
- all ingredients in the stuffing should be cooked prior to stuffing
- separate the stuffing to fill the turkey in a separate bowl to avoid cross contamination
- stuff the turkey with the stuffing just prior to roasting the turkey (do NOT stuff the night before)
- a good rule of thumb is 3/4 cup of stuffing for every pound of turkey
- do not pack too tightly
- check both the temperature of the turkey and the stuffing
- a stuffed turkey will generally need to cook an hour or so longer than an unstuffed turkey
- prior to storing leftovers, separate the turkey meat from the stuffing and store in individual sealed containers
WAYS TO SERVE SAUSAGE STUFFING
This amazing Thanksgiving side dish recipe will make a lot. If you plan on stuffing the turkey, you may want to double the recipe and use in a variety of ways.
What I love most about this Sausage Stuffing recipe is that it has multiple uses. As mentioned above, stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey is a game changer, as long as you do so in a food safe manner.
Additionally, this favored Thanksgiving dinner side dish can be made into stuffing balls with crispy edges, or served as a casserole.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER STUFFING OR DRESSING
Leftover stuffing or dressing will keep well in the fridge for at least three to four days. So, use this incredible Sausage Stuffing to make a turkey sandwich, as part of a turkey TV dinner, or enjoy alone right out of the fridge.
Additionally, this Sausage Stuffing recipe freezes very well. So, be sure to make extra, freeze and enjoy during your Christmas feast. Sausage Stuffing or Sausage Dressing will last about three months in the freezer.
THANKSGIVING DINNER IDEAS
For everything you need for your Thanksgiving feast, and more amazing turkey day recipe ideas, be sure to check out my Thanksgiving Dinner blog! Oh, and if you love Oyster Dressing, my recipe is a MUST TRY!Print
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8 to 10 cups 1x
Stuffing or Dressing? Whatever you grew up calling it, everyone has a favorite recipe. This Sausage Stuffing is mine. Well…it’s actually a recipe handed down from my Grandfather. It’s super easy to prepare and will give you all the feels of a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. This recipe is so versatile and can be enjoyed in so many ways!
- 2 loaves white sandwich bread
- 1 package Jimmy Dean sage sausage
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 box chicken or turkey stock
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Start by browning the sausage in a pan.
- Toast the bread and break apart into a large bowl.
- Once the sausage has browned, remove from pan and drain any excess fat.
- Place in a food processor and pulse a few times. May have to do this in batches. Reserve.
- In the same pan you cooked the sausage, melt the butter.
- Add the onions and celery. Cook to soften a few minutes. Do NOT brown.
- Add 2/3 of the boxed stock to the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add the ground sausage to the pan. Cook for a few more minutes.
- Sprinkle the fresh parsley over the pulled apart toast.
- Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Pour the stock mixture over the toasted bread.
- Incorporate the sausage mixture with your hands into the toast.
- The mixture should not be too wet, or too dry at this point. Add more stock directly to the bowl, if needed.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding in the beaten egg.
- Taste for salt.
- Use the stuffing to stuff the turkey (see notes in post), form into sausage balls or place in a casserole dish and bake at 375° for about 15 minutes.
SEE POST FOR NOTES!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Serving Size: 8 to 10 cups
Keywords: how to make sausage stuffing, how to stuff a turkey, how to safely stuff a turkey, is it safe to stuff a turkey, Thanksgiving side dish ideas, Thanksgiving dressing recipes, Thanksgiving stuffing recipes, sausage stuffing recipes, can you freeze leftover stuffing or dressing on Thanksgiving,
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