Our family favorite for Thanksgiving, this sausage stuffing is easy to prepare and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Big pieces of sausage nestled with toasted bread cubes, zingy broccoli rabe, garlic and parmesan cheese - all packed into one casserole dish, for an incredible Italian sausage stuffing!
How To Make the Best Sausage Stuffing
Stuffing is one of the most eagerly anticipated Thanksgiving dishes so why not exceed expectations?
Truth be told, when I set out to develop this recipe, I ignored all presumptions about what is ordinarily in sausage stuffing. I already had an idea in my mind that I was pretty sure would work out well - to pull all my favorite Italian ingredients from this outstanding Italian pasta recipe and repurpose them to make a fantastic Italian sausage stuffing.
- Country bread or Italian bread
- Sweet Italian sausages (or use a mix of hot and sweet)
- Olive oil
- Broccoli rabe
- Red onions
- Chicken broth
- Balsamic vinegar
- Parmesan cheese
- Hungarian hot paprika
- Salt & pepper
- Cut the bread into cubes and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes, until dry
- Blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain and cut into bite-sized pieces
- Remove sausages from their casings and brown the meat with the garlic and hot paprika, then add the broccoli rabe, cook for a minute longer and transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl
- Sauté the onions and celery in butter until tender and starting to brown. Add a splash of vinegar and cook some more, scraping up all the browned bits from the pan. Then transfer the mixture to the bowl with the sausage meat.
- Add bread cubes, eggs, broth and parmesan to the bowl, mix well, transfer to a casserole pan and bake until hot and golden brown.
You will end up with a rich, savory, spicy, garlicky, moist, crispy edged, highly-addictive Italian sausage stuffing that will make you question why you don't make stuffing all year long.
This sausage stuffing became an instant family favorite and a set-in-stone addition to our Thanksgiving menu - it's the absolute best!
Here are the answers to questions you might have about this recipe.
Most stuffings, including this one, can be assembled in the baking dish up to a day ahead of time and can go directly from the fridge to the oven.
Or you can prepare the bread, broccoli rabe, sausages and aromatics, and refrigerate the mixture for up to 2 days in advance, stored in a plastic container or zip-lock baggie. Mix with eggs, broth and cheese before baking.
Not really, at least not with respect to ingredients. The term "stuffing" refers to a mixture of ingredients cooked inside the turkey (or other food) while "dressing" is cooked in a baking dish. But the two terms have become interchangeable and many people, myself included, call this savory bread and sausage mixture that we serve at Thanksgiving "stuffing" - whether it's cooked inside the bird or out.
I have a strong preference for baking this sausage stuffing in a pan (dressing) rather than in the turkey. While stuffing cooked inside a turkey soaks up all the delicious juices of the bird, it doesn't get crisp. Stuffing develops more flavor when baked in a pan where the top can get crusty and brown. If you like turkey juices, you can always drizzle some over the finished stuffing or, once it's on your plate, top it with gravy.
Other Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
- Olive Oil and Rroasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (dairy-free)
- Chili roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Maple Citrus Glaze
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- My Favorite Holiday Salad
- Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries Apricots and Pecans
While we're talking about Thanksgiving, I want all of you who visit Panning The Globe to know how thankful I am for your engagement on this site. I love what I do here on the blog but it would mean nothing without an appreciative audience of cooks and food enthusiasts to connect with. Thank you!
Here's the Italian Sausage Stuffing recipe. If you make this, please come back and leave a star rating and a comment to let me know how it turned out. Happy Thanksgiving!Print
This post originally appeared on Panning The Globe on November 19, 2016. It has been refreshed and republished on November 14, 2022 with a few new photos, added nutritional information, added FAQ, clearer instructions in the recipe, added make-ahead instructions, and a new shortened recipe title (the old title was "Italian Sausage Stuffing with Broccoli Rabe and Parmesan."