The Best Turkey Stuffing

Need the perfect turkey stuffing recipe for your grand Thanksgiving dinner?  Look no further!  This stuffing recipe is a family favorite, and it hardly ever changes year after year.  It’s the perfect balance of savory and sweet and is always a big hit with everyone at the table.  If you have never had sausage stuffing, then you are missing out.  The sausage makes this stuffing meaty, flavorful, smoky, and just delicious. 

Try my recipe out this holiday season and see for yourself!  I allow myself to cheat in this recipe and use store-bought sourdough stuffing from boudin!  I love the classic herb!  It is my favorite to use since the bread is the right size and dry and crunchy.  Using this stuffing mix makes the cooking process so much easier, and it will also absorb the broth beautifully without getting mushy!  Of course, if you want to go all out, you can also make your own bread. 

Why Should You Make Stuffing on the Side? 

Stuffing is undoubtedly the underrated star of the Thanksgiving meal, but while the stuffing was traditionally made to stuff the turkey, it is no longer recommended.  It is best to make the stuffing on the side because it can sometimes be hard to fully cook the stuffing when it is inside the turkey.  

Tips for Making the Best Turkey Stuffing 

Adding Sausage 

  • Add the sausage vegetable mixture first to the bread.  Let the juices and herbs allow the flavors to absorb first into the bread! 
  • If you are using sausage, use your favorite flavor.  However, I don’t recommend using smoked or hot, as it will change the taste of the stuffing.  Removing the casing is highly recommended, as it integrates more smoothly with the rest of the stuffing.  The easiest way is to cut the tip of the sausage on both sides, then make a slight cut through using a paper towel, hold the end of the casing, and pull away to the other side! 

Adding Broth 

  • When adding the broth, add one to two cups at a time using a large spoon mix and wait for a few seconds to allow the bread to absorb the broth, and repeat until the bread is wet and soft but not mushy or drenched. 
  • You want the broth to be completely absorbed and not see any leftover liquid.

Adding Chestnuts

  • I am a big fan of chestnut.  This is one of the few dishes where I can use steamed chestnuts.  The steamed chestnut adds a nutty texture and a bit of sweetness to the stuffing!  

How to Make Your Own Bread for Stuffing?

Having the perfect bread is key to creating the best stuffing.  The bread should be stale, dried bread that is ready to absorb all the delicious flavors of stuffing.  You can make your own bread by allowing it to dry for at least two days before making your recipe.  This allows the bread to dry completely.  You can use cubes of French bread, Italian bread, brioche, sourdough, or even brioche. 

Turkey Stuffing Variations 

You can dress up your stuffing by adding whatever ingredients you like!  I like to add fruits to add a touch of sweetness.  My favorites include apples and dried cranberries, as they are the perfect combination of tartness and sweetness.  You can also add toasted nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans. 

Make the Turkey Stuffing Ahead of Time 

Thanksgiving dinner is a giant meal that can take many hours to prepare.  The best way to make the day easier is to prepare some of the food ahead of time.  Plus, by making the stuffing ahead of time, there is one less dish that needs to be baked in the oven.  You can make mix the stuffing ingredients together up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. 

How to Freeze the Turkey Stuffing? 

Stuffing also holds up well when it is frozen.  You can freeze stuffing for up to 3 months.  Place the stuffing into an airtight container or sealable zipper bag and make sure all the air is out.  Then label the stuffing with the date and keep the sealed container in the refrigerator. 

Reheat Instructions 

It is super simple to reheat this stuffing!  You can either reheat it in the oven or microwave, and it will taste almost just as good as when it was made fresh.  If you are reheating the stuffing in the oven, you should preheat the oven to 325 degrees and then bake the stuffing for about 50 minutes.  You can add some additional broth to bring the stuffing back to life.  You can also put an individual portion in the microwave for about 4 minutes and then add a minute at a time until the stuffing becomes hot. 

Other Delicious Thanksgiving Sides 

Stuffing tastes best when paired with other traditional and iconic Thanksgiving foods such as turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes.  Make sure to make many different sides and courses so you and your family can enjoy an unforgettable meal.  Everyone will leave… stuffed!

Reviews

Ingredients:

Adjust Servings
1 ¼ lb. sourdough bread cubes (about 14 cups)
1 lb. Italian sausage with no casing
1 cup chopped leek (½ leek)
1 cup celery (chopped 3 celery sticks)
1 small fennel (chopped)
1 ½ cups steamed chestnut (chopped)
½ cup Italian parsley (chopped)
5 cups turkey or chicken broth (warm)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon each fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage (chopped)

Directions

1.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Over medium-high heat, in a large skillet, add the sausage and break it with a wooden spoon and cook for about 3 minutes. Add three tablespoons of butter, followed by the leeks, celery, and chopped fennel: sauté for 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and caraway seeds, followed by the fresh herbed rosemary, thyme, and sage mix, and cook until the vegetable is tender!
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2.
Using the same pan, you will bake in or in a big bowl and mix the dry bread cubes with the cooked sausage vegetable mixture until incorporated. Add the chopped chestnut and half a cup of the chopped Italian parsley and mix well!
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3.
Start pouring the broth into two cups until the bread absorbs the broth but is not soggy or drenching swimming in broth. The measurement for this recipe I used was 5 ½ cups of broth! Please read my note about how much broth to use!
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4.
Scatter the rest of the butter on top of the stuffing and sprinkle more chopped Italian parsley. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, and let it set in the hot oven for another 5 minutes. Use the boiler if you like a crusty brown top! Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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Notes
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