If you’re anything like us, then you know that when it comes to holiday dinners, it’s all about the sides. Dishes like this sausage stuffing recipe are only made a couple of times a year and are one of our favorite things to load up on at the dinner table.
While stuffing recipes may have all been made inside a turkey once upon a time, a sausage stuffing recipe like the one we’re sharing here is actually made in a separate baking dish. No actual stuffing needs to take place for this recipe, although you are free to use some of the stuffing for your bird if you want to.
Moreover, this sausage stuffing isn’t soggy the way many stuffing recipes end up becoming. The trick to avoiding stuffing that’s been overly soaked in broth is to use oven-dried bread. As a result, the crunchy, crouton-like bread pieces absorb the stuffing liquid beautifully, maintaining texture and definition throughout the baking process.
For this particular sausage stuffing, we use sage sausage. This flavor sausage can be found by virtually every sausage brand at most markets. We also use fresh sage leaves in the stuffing to enhance the fresh herb flavor of the dish.
While this easy sausage stuffing isn’t a quick recipe, it’s not difficult to make. It’s also one that’s worth the wait, especially because it’s typically only enjoyed once or twice a year for the holidays.
Preheat the oven to 275°F, adjusting the oven racks so that one sits on the lower third position of the oven and the second one sits on the upper third position of the oven.
Spread the bread cubes out onto two baking sheets and toast in the oven for about 50 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and moving the bread around throughout its time in the oven. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool.
Raise the oven temperature to 350°F. To a large dutch oven, add the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the sausage into very small pieces.
Once the sausage has browned, add in the onion, celery, garlic, and fresh sage. Stir everything together and cook until the veggies have softened.
Take the dutch oven off the heat and stir in half of the chicken stock. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining chicken stock, eggs, and 3 tablespoons of the fresh parsley until well-blended. As you stir the contents of the dutch oven, stream in the egg mixture. Add the bread cubes and gently stir in until it's all mixed together.
Distribute the stuffing into a large baking dish, such as a 10" by 14" oval dish or a couple of smaller baking dishes. Cover the dishes with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 150°F when inserted in the center of the stuffing.
Remove the foil from the baking dish and continue to bake the stuffing for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crisp.