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Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms is abundant with incredible flavors and textures! Full of Italian sausage, sautéed mushrooms, mixed savory herbs and more, this recipe calls for a combination of challah bread and baguette, creating a perfect foundation. It’s designed to pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey dinners, including the main bird, turkey gravy and all the other delicious sides, too!
Stuffing in any form is, without doubt, my favorite part of the holiday meal.
Quite honestly, I would be happy with just a plate of stuffing and turkey gravy for Thanksgiving dinner.
This Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms is the best way to prepare it, in my humble opinion. Sausage and mushrooms are a marriage made in heaven, if you ask me, and this recipe is a great example of that. Plus, pork makes almost anything better, and the sausage drippings do just that by imparting a delicious richness to the rest of the ingredients.
Inside or Outside of the Turkey?
I am most definitely an outside-the-turkey stuffing girl. Sooooo…..it’s not really a “stuffing” at all, but rather a “dressing” or, in my case since I always use eggs, more like a ‘super-hearty savory bread pudding’ or ‘strata’ of sorts.
How could there ever be enough stuffing, anyway, if you only filled the cavity of the bird? My stuffing dishes are generally overflowing lasagna pans with enough to feed three families or more.
Maybe it’s my Italian-American, carb-loving self, but stuffing to me is the ultimate in post-Thanksgiving food that you want left over. (I learned at a very young age that I love cold stuffing as much as hot stuffing, I am embarrassed to admit.)
In any case, it should be outside the turkey and it should be plentiful.
To make Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms, we will be using the following ingredients:
- Bread: The bread selection is important. Although this recipe will work beautifully with almost any day-old bread, I really love the special combination of challah and baguette as it creates a beautiful texture. Day-old bread is best. I suggest cubing it while fresh and then letting it sit overnight.
- Italian Sausage: If possible, buy the sausage in bulk without the casing so that you can skip a step. Either hot or sweet Italian sausage can be used, based on your personal preference. And, other sausages work well in this dish, such as breakfast sausage, sage sausage, and even chorizo!
- Mushrooms: Along with the sausage, the mushrooms are the defining flavor of this dish. I used white mushrooms in this recipe, but a combination of mushrooms can be used, if desired.
- Pecorino Cheese: Adds lots of savory and sharp flavor to the finished dish.
- Eggs: Acts as a binder to hold the stuffing mixture together, and also adds much needed moisture.
- Broth: Either vegetable or chicken broth can be used. The broth adds the much needed moisture to the stuffing. The actual amount needed will depend on the dryness of the bread, so I suggest starting with half the indicated amount and then increasing from there. Also, use the lowest sodium broth that you can find, as it is always better to control the amount of salt yourself.
The Aromatics . . .
- Onions, Celery and Garlic: These are all important flavor builders that contribute to the savoriness in the recipe.
- Herbs: I used five different herbs in this dish, that all scream autumn to me–sage, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Use any combination of these, as desired. Just be sure to leave out any tough stems!
- Butter: Adds richness and flavor and is used to sauté the onions, celery and garlic. You might be tempted to use olive oil in this dish. But, trust me, use butter!
- Salt and Black Pepper: Always to your taste and freshly ground black pepper is always preferred, if possible!
A complete and detailed list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is included in the recipe below.
Step-By-Step, Pro-Tips included!
Here are the main steps for how to make Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms:
- Prep and measure all ingredients.
- PRO-TIP: Use day-old bread–it is drier and will result in a stuffing with a great texture. I suggest cubing the bread when it is fresh, then leaving it out overnight.
- Brown the following, separately, in butter in a hot skillet: Italian sausage; onions, celery and garlic; and mushrooms.
- PRO-TIP: Use a large pan. It makes the task much easier! Also, since the same skillet is used successively for all of the different vegetables, I suggest either a non-stick pan or an enamel-coated Dutch oven as it will make clean-up in between vegetables very easy or unnecessary.
- PRO-TIP: Work in batches, if necessary, so as to not overcrowd the pan. When cooking the mushrooms, cook until all liquid has evaporated.
- Combine the cubed bread with all the cooked vegetables, cheese and herbs in a very large bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Then, add the broth.
- PRO-TIP: Do this step gently and do not overmix as the stuffing will become an unpalatable, mushy mess without proper texture.
- PRO-TIP: The exact amount of broth needed will depend on the texture and dryness of the bread. I suggest adding about half the amount indicated, and then increasing from there.
- Place the mixture in a buttered baking dish, top with some butter, cover with foil and roast until the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
- PRO-TIP: Remove the aluminum foil about halfway through the cooking process so that the stuffing can form a beautiful brown crust.
- PRO-TIP: This recipe can be made in advance, up to 3 days, and reheated just before dinner. Alternatively, prepare the entire recipe without roasting up to 2 days in advance and hold in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator. Then, place in baking dish and roast just before dinner.
Recipe Variations for Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms
A few ideas for twists on Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms:
- Use a Different Sausage: Other sausages work really well in this dish, such as breakfast sausage, sage sausage, and even chorizo! In addition, you can make this dish pork-free by substituting a chicken or turkey sausage.
- Add Greens: Adding some nutritious greens to this stuffing is a great idea. I suggest a neutral green, such as baby spinach. If you try this, just fold in the raw spinach to the bread mixture, but then cut back on the broth a bit to accommodate the liquid that will release as the spinach cooks.
- Make it Dairy-Free: You can very successfully make this recipe dairy-free by substituting olive oil for the butter and eliminating the pecorino cheese.
Accompaniments for Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms
Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms matches perfectly with your Whole Thanksgiving Turkey, Baked Ham and other holiday entrees. Serve it at your next holiday dinner and consider these complimentary dishes as well:
- Turkey Gravy
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Creamed Spinach with Croutons
- Cranberry Sauce with Orange
- Raw Cranberry Pomegranate Relish
- Lemon-Herb Roast Chicken
Kitchen Tools & Cookware for Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms
To make this Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms recipe, you will need the following:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Multiple bowls to hold prep
- Cutting board with non-slip mat underneath (I use shelf liner)
- Sharp chef’s knife
- Serrated knife
- Wooden or Silicon Spoon
- Dutch oven
- Baking dish
- Nonstick 13 ½” x 9 ½” baking pan
- Stem thermometer
- Oven mitts
- Large spoon or turner
- Serving utensils
More Holiday Favorites
If you’ve tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, please let me know how it went in the comments below — I love hearing from you!
Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed, in small chunks⠀
- 1 stick unsalted butter, divided (1/2 cup)
- 2 cups small-diced onions
- 1 cup small-diced celery
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 1½ pounds white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 challah loaf, day old, cut into large cubes⠀
- 1/2 large baguette day old, cut into large cubes⠀
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 1 bunch sage, stemmed, rough chopped⠀
- 1/2 bunch marjoram, stemmed, rough chopped⠀
- 1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 Tbsp chopped thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
- To taste salt and black pepper
- About 24 ounces low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth⠀
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown thoroughly. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, melt about 2 Tbsp butter, then add the onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft (about 8 to 10 minutes). Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, melt an additional 2 Tbsp butter, then add the mushrooms and increase the heat to high. Cook the mushrooms until soft and all liquid has been evaporated, stirring occasionally. Do this in batches if necessary. Remove and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- In a very large bowl, combine the cubed bread with the cooked sausage and vegetables, eggs, all herbs and pecorino cheese. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined. Add most of the broth and mix again. Let the mixture sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow for the bread to absorb the liquid. Then, add additional broth if necessary. The finished mixture should be very moist, but without excess liquid.
- Using some of the remaining butter, butter the bottom and sides of a 10” x 8” x 2½” (or similar) baking dish.
- Carefully transfer the stuffing mixture to the baking dish and spread it out evenly. Dab the top with the remaining butter, then cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil.
- Roast in the 350˚F oven until the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F, about 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours. Remove the aluminum foil about halfway through the cooking process so that the stuffing can form a crust. Buon Appetito!
- The cubed bread will fill about 16 cups, roughly.
- The exact amount of broth needed will depend on the texture and dryness of the bread. I suggest adding about half the amount indicated, and then increasing from there.
- This recipe can definitely be made in advance, up to 3 days, and reheated just before dinner. Cover and reheat at 350˚F until it reaches a 165˚F internal temperature.
- Alternatively, prepare the entire recipe without roasting up to 2 days in advance and hold in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator. Then, place in baking dish and roast just before dinner.