Easy Sausage Stuffing

Prep 10 mins
Cook 55 mins
Total 1 hr 5 mins
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This Easy Sausage Stuffing recipe is full of the delicious flavor of herbs, cranberries, and Italian sausage. It starts with a bag of stuffing, but ends up better than homemade! 

The Easiest, Most Flavorful Thanksgiving Stuffing Ever!

Stovetop stuffing mix is the shortcut to making this super-simple dish, but don’t be fooled – thanks to a few tasty extras, this dish boasts a big flavor. For your family members who love stuffing, this will be a huge hit. It tastes like it was made from scratch, but takes a fraction of the time and prep.

So if you want to streamline things this holiday season, this is one corner you won’t mind cutting. Each bite of stuffing is studded with mild Italian sausage, dried cranberries, and fresh, fragrant herbs. It’s perfect with turkey and gravy, and all of your other Thanksgiving favorites as well.

If you are looking for a traditional stuffing (without sausage), make sure to check out my recipe for the best Homemade Stuffing!

A dinner plate served with thanksgiving food.

Why Is It Called Stuffing?

Stuffing got its name because originally, it was “stuffed” into the cavity of the turkey (or chicken, or goose) being roasted. The idea was that the fragrance of the stuffing would enhance the turkey, while the turkey’s juices would enhance the stuffing. 

These days, it’s becoming less common for cooks to stuff the actual turkey, and stuffing is often made in a separate baking dish. This is often preferable for food safety reasons – you can make sure both dishes are done all the way through, without overcooking or overcooking either one.

From top: Chicken stock, dried cranberries, diced onion, bulk Italian sausage, diced celery, fresh minced herbs, dry stuffing mix.

What Is Sausage Stuffing Made Of?

The ingredients you will need here are minimal, but it really does make a difference to use fresh herbs, so I recommend doing so if at all possible. Good-quality stock is also helpful; homemade broth or stock would be fantastic.

  • Sausage: Mild Italian sausage adds savory protein and a touch of sweetness.
  • Yellow Onion: Peeled and diced. You could also use white onion or sweet onion.
  • Celery: Dice up a few stalks of celery.
  • Fresh Herbs: Minced fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme.
  • Cranberries: Dried cranberries add a pop of color and tangy flavor. 
  • Chicken Stock: Or chicken broth, vegetable broth, bone broth, etc.
  • Stuffing Mix: One 12-ounce bag of dry herbed stuffing mix. My favorite is the Pepperidge Farm Stuffing!
Close-up shot of homemade dressing with sausage, cranberries, and more.

How to Make This Easy Sausage Stuffing Recipe

To make this scrumptious side, all you need is a skillet and your baking dish, plus your oven, of course. Here’s how to make it, step by step:

  • Prep the Oven, Baking Dish, and Sausage. To start, preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×9 baking dish (or 9×13 – see the Tips section below) with non-stick spray. Finally, cook the Italian sausage in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. You want to cook it for about 5 minutes to help release some of the fat from the sausage. 
  • Add the Veggies and Herbs. Stir the diced onion, celery, rosemary, sage, and thyme into the cooking sausage, and keep cooking until the sausage is no longer pink and the veggies are soft. This should take about 10 minutes. 
  • Add the Cranberries, Stock, and Stuffing Mix. Add the dried cranberries and the chicken stock to the skillet, and cook the mixture over medium heat until the stock is heated through. Then turn off the heat, and pour in the dried stuffing mix. Stir well, and then scoop it into your greased baking dish. 
  • Bake! Cover the pan with foil or an ovenproof lid, if it has one, and bake it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover and bake for 10 minutes more. 
  • Enjoy! Serve warm with your favorite dishes.

Tips for Perfect Stuffing

As simple as this recipe is, I do have a few helpful pointers to share. For the best, easiest stuffing ever, these are my top tips:

  • Sausage Substitutes: If you can’t find mild Italian sausage, you could also use spicy Italian or sweet Italian sausage. 
  • Stuffing Mix: I used a 12-ounce bag of Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned classic stuffing. You can swap another brand if you prefer.
  • Herbal Notes: If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you can substitute by using a teaspoon of dried poultry seasoning. 
  • Baking Dish: You can bake this in a 9×9 pan or a 9×13. If you like a more moist stuffing, use a 9×9, so the stuffing will be thicker and more moist. If you like a drier dish use the 9×13, so it will be thinner and more dry.
A pan of homemade stuffing.

Serving Suggestions

While this savory sausage stuffing goes especially well with turkey, it is a versatile recipe that also works with other main courses, too. Here are a few recipes to try:

  • Ham: This Air Fryer Ham recipe is easy and tasty, made with a boneless ham, pineapple, brown sugar, and your trusty air fryer.
  • Turkey: Want to roast a turkey, but not sure where to start? This tutorial on How to Cook the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey will take you through the process, from start to finish, with ease.
  • Roast Chicken: If you don’t want to cook a whole turkey, you can always cook just the Turkey Breast, or substitute a roast chicken instead. Crockpot Whole Chicken is a classic, with a juicy, rotisserie-style flavor.
A dinner plate with Thanksgiving turkey and sides.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover stuffing should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days. To reheat your leftovers, you can microwave them, heat over low heat in a covered skillet, or bake at 350°F until heated through.

Can I Freeze This Sausage Stuffing?

Sure! Just let the stuffing cool, and then portion it into freezer bags or airtight containers. Mark with the date, and store in your freezer for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Yield: 8 Servings

Easy Sausage Stuffing

A pan of sausage stuffing.

This Easy Sausage Stuffing recipe is full of the delicious flavor of herbs, cranberries, and Italian sausage. It starts with a bag of stuffing, but ends up better than homemade!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag herbed stuffing mix

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x9 or 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large high sided skillet add Italian sausage. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to help release some of the fat from the sausage. 
  3. Add the diced onion, celery, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Stir to combine. 
  4. Continue cooking until the sausage is no longer pink and the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Add the dried cranberries and the chicken stock. Continue cooking over medium heat until the stock is warmed through. 
  6. Turn off the heat and pour in the dried stuffing mix. Stir to combine and add to prepared pan. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes covered and then 10 minutes uncovered.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • If you can’t find mild Italian sausage you can also use spicy Italian or sweet Italian sausage. 
  • I used a 12-ounce bag of Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned classic stuffing.
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand you can substitute by using a teaspoon of dried poultry seasoning. 
  • You can bake this in a 9x9 pan or a 9x13. If you like a more moist stuffing use a 9x9 and if you like a drier stuffing use the 9x13.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 537mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 12g

Categories

More Holiday Sides

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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