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 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!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Italian Sausage Stuffing:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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
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.
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!
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.
TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
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The Best Italian Sausage Stuffing
- 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
- 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!)