As with all classics, there’s a reason sausage stuffing is a perennial favorite—and it’s the sausage! Italian sausage not only brings meaty depth to the Thanksgiving crowd-pleaser; it adds a licoricey fennel flavor. In this version, we’ve amped up the fennel with fennel seeds and fresh fennel bulb. If you’re comfortable juggling multiple steps, you can speed the prep time by chopping vegetables while the bread toasts and sausage cooks. And if you want to get a jump on cooking, feel free to toast the bread cubes, saute the vegetables, and brown the meat several days ahead (store the bread at room temperature and refrigerate the meat and vegetables). But for the best texture, wait until the day of serving to add the egg mixture and bake the stuffing.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy-to-make recipe for Favorite Sausage and Herb Stuffing.
1. Info for Favorite Sausage and Herb Stuffing
- Cook Time: 1 hr 50 min
- Total Time: 1 hr 50 min
- Servings: 12
- Calories: 151.88 kcal
2. Ingredients for Favorite Sausage and Herb Stuffing
- Nonstick cooking spray (or olive oil)
- 2 baguettes (1 lb. total, 5 cups per baguette)
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (bulk)
- 2 carrots (medium)
- 3 onions (medium, 1 onion is about 1 cup chopped)
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 fennel bulb (large, trimmed)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds (lightly crushed)
- 1/2 tsp. salt (for vegetables)
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper (for vegetables)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 tsp. salt (for bread cube mixture)
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper (for bread cube mixture)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Coat a shallow 3-qt. baking dish or 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.
Cut the baguettes into 1/2 inch cubes. Transfer bread cubes to a baking sheet.
Bake on middle rack of oven until bread cubes are lightly toasted, about 12 minutes. When bread cubes are toasted, remove from oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Heat a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes. Peel and chop the carrots. Cut the onions, celery, and fennel into 1/2-inch dice. Mince the garlic. Transfer the browned sausage to the bowl of bread cubes.
Heat the oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, fennel bulb, garlic, thyme, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of bread cubes and sausage.
Whisk together the eggs, broth, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture over bread cube mixture and toss well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.
Bake the stuffing on middle rack of oven for 30 minutes.
Carefully remove the foil. Continue baking until top of stuffing is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center reaches 165°F, about 20 minutes.
Check to see that stuffing is done. Remove from oven or add time as needed.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired. Scatter a few fresh thyme sprigs on top.