The Best Italian Sausage Stuffing Recipe

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This Italian Sausage Stuffing recipe is a flavorful combination of seasoned breadcrumbs, savory sausage, tender vegetables, and TONS of flavor! We even threw in a little bacon to make it truly THE BEST sausage stuffing! This beloved classic side dish is perfect for the holiday table, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, or simply when you want to enjoy a comforting side dish.

Italian Sausage Stuffing in a white casserole dish with a spoon.

Italian sausage stuffing is a true culinary masterpiece. This popular side dish elevates any holiday menu. But the best part is that you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to enjoy this new stuffing recipe!

It’s so good that it deserves a place on your plate whenever you crave a hearty side dish. And with a simple ingredient list and minimal prep work, you can sit down to this in no time!

Serve it with a crockpot bean and ham soup for a hearty, home-cooked meal. Or pair it with your roast turkey to match the holiday vibes. Either way, it will become a family favorite in your home!

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • EASY SIDE DISH – This will become your favorite holiday side dish because of how easily it comes together. There are no obscure ingredients, making it a great recipe for a special occasion or when you want to enjoy a side of comfort food.
  • BURSTING WITH FLAVOR – The combination of sweet Italian sausage, sauteed veggies, crunchy bacon, and tender breadcrumbs smothered in a rich chicken broth mixture adds layers of deliciousness, making every bite a delight.
  • VERSATILE– You can easily customize this stuffing recipe to suit your taste buds.  Add tasty add-ins like apples, cranberries, or fresh herbs to enhance flavors and textures. Or make this your new favorite stuffing recipe as written! Either way, it will be a hit on your dinner table this holiday season and beyond!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Italian Sausage Stuffing:

Ingredients needed to. make the best Italian Sausage Stuffing.

INGREDIENT NOTES

Italian Sausage: Use sweet Italian sausage with the casings removed for the best flavor. This will add rich, savory flavor to the stuffing.

Vegetables: A classic vegetable mixture of onion, carrots, and celery adds flavor, texture, and moisture.

Bacon bits: Adds a bit of smoky flavor and crispy texture. The rendered fat from the bacon will also add richness and help prevent the stuffing from drying out. Fresh, crumbled bacon is great, but store-bought bacon bits also work. Look for the words “fresh” or “real” on the package.

Stove Top Stuffing: Use a “Savory Herb” blend or plain stuffing mix for the best flavor. You can typically find Stove Top stuffing in the baking or dry goods aisle of grocery stores.

HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFING: STEP BY STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

Step 1: Cook onion, carrots, celery, and bacon bits. Then, crumble the sausage into small pieces and add to the veggies. Cook sausage for 2-3 minutes or until it is browned and cooked through. Break up the sausage further with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Italian Sausage cooking with veggies in a large skillet.

Step 2: While the sausage is cooking, prepare the bouillon. In a large mixing bowl, add hot water or chicken broth and a bouillon cube and stir until completely dissolved.

Pour the water/bouillon mixture into the stuffing mix in a large bowl and stir well until the dry stuffing mix is completely coated with the liquid.

Step 3: Next, stir in the veggie and sausage mixture to the breadcrumb mixture. Finally, add eggs to the rest of the ingredients and stir well until everything is well-incorporated.

Sausage being tossed with bread crumbs in a glass bowl.
Eggs added to the sausage stuffing in a glass bowl.

Step 4: Transfer the stuffing mixture into a prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325˚F for 25 minutes.

Italian Sausage Stuffing in a casserole dish ready to go into the oven.

Step 5: Uncover the stuffing and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown reaches your desired crispness.

You can sprinkle more bacon bits on top during the last 20 minutes of baking.

Italian Sausage Stuffing after being baked.

RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS

  • Toast the breadcrumbs. If you prefer a slightly crispy and golden topping on your stuffing, consider toasting the breadcrumbs or stuffing mix until slightly charred before adding the bouillon liquid over them. This also creates another depth of flavor.

  • Adjust moisture. How much chicken bouillon and water (or chicken broth) you add to the stuffing mixture will affect its texture. If you prefer moist stuffing, increase the amount of liquid. If you prefer drier stuffing, reduce the liquid slightly.

  • One-pan stuffing. Consider making this in a cast iron skillet or another deep cookware that can go from stovetop to oven. This will save you time by not transferring the stuffing mixture to a buttered baking dish, which means fewer dishes to wash.

Confidence Tip

This Italian sausage stuffing recipe is a great one to make ahead! Prepare the sausage stuffing a day in advance and refrigerate it unbaked. Pop it in the oven just before serving for a hassle-free dinner or side dish.

STORAGE & REHEATING

  • Storage: Leftover stuffing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating: To reheat this flavorful stuffing, use the microwave and warm it up in 30-second intervals until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat larger quantities in a preheated 325°F oven for 10-15 minutes. If reheating it in the oven, cover the stuffing with foil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Freezing: Let the stuffing completely cool. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat per the instructions above.

Additions & Substitutions

ADDITIONS:

  • Herbs: Experiment with your favorite fresh herbs like sage, thyme, or rosemary. Chop them finely and add to the sausage mixture.
  • Fruits: This is a savory stuffing, but you can add a burst of sweetness by adding a few dried cranberries or diced apples and pears.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Use bread: Instead of Stove Top stuffing mix, use stale bread. Just cut it into bread cubes, lightly season it with your favorite savory seasonings, and let it sit overnight to dry.
  • Type of Sausage: I like using sweet or regular Italian sausage for the stuffing, but you can use any kind of sausage. Try hot Italian sausage or even turkey sausage for some variety. Any type will work if you can crumble sausage into small pieces.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I prepare the stuffing ahead of time?

Yes! You can prepare the stuffing ahead of time and refrigerate it, unbaked for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, simply remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Then, bake per recipe instructions.

How can I double this recipe?

This is a perfect stuffing recipe that you can scale up or down as needed. To halve this recipe, just cut all the ingredients in half. Similarly, double all the ingredients if you need to double the recipe. Just make sure you have a large enough baking dish or consider baking it in two pans and taking one to a friend!

Can I stuff turkey or chicken with this stuffing?

I do not recommend stuffing a meat bird with this stuffing because the cooking time will differ. Chicken and turkey will need more baking time than the stuffing, leading to food safety concerns if combined in the same baking pan. Therefore, cooking the stuffing separately in a casserole dish is safer.

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I hope you love this Italian Sausage Stuffing! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

The Best Italian Sausage Stuffing

Casey Rooney
This Italian Sausage Stuffing recipe is a flavorful combination of seasoned breadcrumbs, savory sausage, tender vegetables, and TONS of flavor! We even threw in a little bacon to make it truly THE BEST sausage stuffing! This beloved classic side dish is perfect for the holiday table, whether it's Christmas, Thanksgiving, or simply when you want to enjoy a comforting side dish.
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 289 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed about 5 links
  • 1 tbsp butter can also use olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits See Note 1
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 6 oz. boxes Stove Top Stuffing I use "savory herb" but any blend is fine. Can also substitute plain stuffing mix.
  • 1 cube chicken boullion
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions
 

  • Prep: Remove casings from sausage. Crumble into small pieces and set aside.
  • Cook Veggies: In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter or oil. When oil is hot, add onion, carrots, celery, and bacon bits. Season with onion powder and salt and cook 4-5 minutes until veggies are soft.
  • Add Sausage: Add the crumbled sausage to the veggies and cook 2-3 minutes until sausage is browned and cooked through. Break up the sausage further with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • Prepare Bouillon: In a large mixing bowl, add hot water and bouillon cube. Stir until bouillon cube is completely dissolved.
  • Prepare Stuffing: Add the stuffing mix to the water/bouillon mixture. Mix well until the dry stuffing mix is completely coated with liquid.
  • Add: To the stuffing mixture, add eggs and stir well. Then, add the sausage/veggie mixture. Mix well until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
  • Bake: Spread mixture evenly into a 9×13 pan. Cover pan with foil and bake at 325°F for 25 minutes. Uncover, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until you reach your desired crispness (sprinkle on more bacon bits during the last 20 minutes of cooking, if you like!)

Notes

Note 1: Fresh, crumbled bacon is great but store bought bacon bits work great, too. Just be sure to look for the words “fresh” or “real” on the bacon bits package. They typically come in a bag vs. the hard, crunchy ones for salad that come in a plastic container. I get these from Costco and they are fantastic!
 
Nutrition is only an estimate based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 20.6gProtein: 15.5gFat: 15.8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 1094mgPotassium: 208mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 2.5gVitamin D: 4µgCalcium: 24mgIron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe for Italian Sausage Stuffing! The combination of flavorful Italian sausage, aromatic herbs, and savory bread cubes made this dish a true delight. The sausage added a rich and hearty element, while the herbs provided a lovely balance of flavors. The texture was spot on, with just the right amount of moisture and a perfect amount of crispiness. It was a hit at our family gathering, and I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    My kids love sausages in any form and so I had to make this for dinner. I have to say my kids were so happy and after a long time ate their dinner without fuss. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.