Sourdough Sausage Stuffing Recipe

The Thanksgiving table isn't complete without a good stuffing, and one way to really impress your guests would be to make this homemade sourdough sausage stuffing with crispy, browned sage butter. Stuffing is traditionally –– you guessed it –– stuffed inside the turkey, but many cooks have opted for casserole-style alternatives to avoid the potential undercooked turkey drippings. Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn shares her favorite recipe for sausage stuffing, using fresh (or stale) sourdough bread, and plenty of autumnal herbs. This recipe also gets a rich and delicious wine-and-butter treatment, as any good Thanksgiving dish should.

While this recipe is easy to tweak for vegetarians, sausage stuffing is a delicious, meaty alternative to serve alongside vegetarian dishes. Using either mild or hot Italian sausage, this stuffing is perfect for the guest who doesn't like turkey, or for those in your household seeking hearty portions of protein. There are no rules saying you can only enjoy this once a year — sausage stuffing is delicious year-round, when served with pork tenderloin, seared steaks, or even brothy soups. 

Check out our recipe for this perfect sourdough sausage stuffing below. 

Gather your sourdough sausage stuffing ingredients

While it saves a few minutes to use pre-packaged stuffing cubes, using fresh or stale bread instead is extra delicious, and worth the effort. All you need is, of course, sourdough bread, ground Italian sausage, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, unsalted butter, dry white wine, chicken broth, fresh or dried thyme, 1 egg, fresh sage leaves, and salt and pepper. 

To make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the sausage, and swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth. If you don't have white wine on hand, replace it with extra broth.

Toast the sourdough, and chop the ingredients

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

Cut the bread into ½-inch to 1-inch cubes, and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. No oil is needed for this step, since you just want to dry the bread cubes out. Bake until crispy and slightly golden brown, around 10 minutes. Keep the oven on to use later.

Meanwhile, dice the carrots, onions, and celery. Mince the garlic, and roughly chop the thyme and sage leaves. 

Brown the sausage, and cook the veggies

Crumble the sausage in a skillet over medium heat, browning until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. It'll cook a bit more in the oven, so don't worry about it getting a deep-brown color. If your sausage is sticking to the skillet, add a splash of oil to prevent it from burning.

Once the sausage is mostly cooked, remove it from the pan, and add 4 tablespoons of butter in addition to the celery, onion, and carrot. Cook until the onion is translucent, and the veggies are colorful and soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour the white wine into the skillet, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half for about 5 minutes. 

Mix it all together

Mix the toasted bread cubes, cooked sausage, cooked vegetable mixture, 1 tablespoon of sage, thyme, chicken broth, slightly beaten egg, salt, and pepper in a large bowl with a spatula, until the bread is moistened. 

Transfer the mixture into an 8x13, 9x11, or even a square 10x10-inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Make the sage butter

When the stuffing is almost done, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet until browned. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sage to the browned butter, cook for about 1 minute, and then take the skillet off the heat. Pour the sage butter over the finished stuffing, and let cool it slightly.

While this can be enjoyed year-round, stuffing is a classic dish at any Thanksgiving table, and pairs perfectly with roasted turkey, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. Refrigerate leftovers directly in the casserole dish, and gently reheat, covered with aluminum foil, in the oven to keep the bread perfectly crispy.

Sourdough Sausage Stuffing Recipe
5 from 63 ratings
Bread stuffing doesn't have to be an afterthought on the Thanksgiving table with this sourdough sausage stuffing recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
spoon scooping stuffing
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • 8 cups sourdough bread, cut into ½ -inch cubes
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, roughly chopped, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried or fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the sourdough cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat, crumbling as it cooks. Cook until it's no longer pink, then remove from skillet, and reserve.
  4. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Pour the white wine into the skillet, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, and reduce by about half, about 5 minutes.
  6. Place the toasted sourdough cubes, cooked sausage, and cooked vegetable mixture, 1 tablespoon of chopped sage, thyme, egg, chicken broth, salt, and pepper into a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
  7. Transfer the bread mixture to a baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, or until top is crispy and golden brown.
  8. While the stuffing is baking, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook until butter begins to brown. As butter browns, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped sage, and cook until crispy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  9. Once stuffing is cooked, remove from the oven, pour the browned sage butter on top, and serve.
Calories per Serving 587
Total Fat 38.6 g
Saturated Fat 16.9 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 117.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 35.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
Total Sugars 5.4 g
Sodium 983.6 mg
Protein 20.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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