Make-Ahead Sausage Stuffing
Are you looking for a delicious stuffing recipe that can be prepared in advance? Look no further! In this article, we’re going to show you how to make a mouthwatering make-ahead sausage stuffing that will be the star of your Thanksgiving table. Not only is this recipe incredibly flavorful, but it also allows you to save time on the big day. Let’s get started!
The Perfect Blend of Flavors
When it comes to stuffing, the key is to create a perfect blend of flavors. The addition of sausage adds a savory richness that complements the other ingredients. Imagine biting into a forkful of crispy bread, tender vegetables, and flavorful sausage – it’s a taste sensation that will leave your guests begging for more!
Preparing the Ingredients
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s talk about the ingredients you’ll need. You’ll want to gather some bread, sausage, onions, celery, garlic, chicken broth, eggs, and a variety of herbs and spices. These simple ingredients come together to create a stuffing that is bursting with flavor and texture.
When it comes to the bread, you have options. You can use a store-bought baguette or French bread, or you can make your own using a recipe of your choice. The key is to use a bread that is slightly stale, as it will hold up better during the cooking process. Whatever bread you choose, make sure to cut it into small cubes to ensure even cooking.
For the sausage, you can use any variety you prefer. Whether you opt for spicy Italian sausage or a milder breakfast sausage, the choice is yours. Just make sure to remove the casings before cooking, as crumbled sausage is what we’re after.
Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s move on to the cooking instructions. Start by browning the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the sausage is cooked through and no longer pink, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
In the same skillet, add the onions, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and fragrant. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked sausage, sautéed vegetables, bread cubes, herbs, and spices. Give everything a good toss to ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and eggs. Pour this mixture over the bread and sausage mixture, stirring gently to combine.
Once everything is well mixed, transfer the stuffing to a greased baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. This step allows the flavors to meld together and makes the stuffing even more delicious.
A Time-Saving Solution
One of the greatest advantages of this make-ahead sausage stuffing is that it saves you time on the day of your big gathering. While your turkey is roasting in the oven, you can simply pop the stuffing into the oven alongside it. This way, you can focus on other tasks and enjoy the company of your loved ones.
When you’re ready to bake the stuffing, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the foil from the baking dish and bake the stuffing for 30-35 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy on top. The aroma that fills your kitchen will be absolutely irresistible!
Once the stuffing is baked to perfection, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs for an extra touch of elegance. Your guests will be amazed at the flavors you’ve managed to pack into such a simple dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I freeze the make-ahead sausage stuffing?
A: Absolutely! Once the stuffing has cooled completely, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 3 months. Just make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Q: Can I use different types of bread for the stuffing?
A: Of course! Feel free to experiment with different types of bread to suit your taste. Whether it’s sourdough, cornbread, or even whole wheat, the choice is yours.
Q: Can I add other ingredients to the stuffing?
A: Absolutely! This recipe serves as a base, but you can customize it to your liking. Add dried fruits, nuts, or even mushrooms to elevate the flavors even further.
Q: Can I make this stuffing vegetarian?
A: Yes, you can! Simply omit the sausage and increase the amount of vegetables. You can also add some vegetable broth for extra flavor.
Q: How long does the stuffing need to bake?
A: The stuffing should be baked for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy on top.
Q: Can I make this stuffing without eggs?
A: Yes, you can! Simply omit the eggs from the recipe. The stuffing will still be delicious and flavorful.
Q: Can I make this stuffing gluten-free?
A: Absolutely! Just make sure to use gluten-free bread and double-check that all of your other ingredients are gluten-free as well.
Q: Can I reheat the leftover stuffing?
A: Yes, you can! The leftover stuffing can be reheated in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
There you have it – a delicious make-ahead sausage stuffing recipe that will wow your guests and save you time on Thanksgiving Day. The blend of flavors, the crispy bread, and the savory sausage will have everyone coming back for seconds. So go ahead, give this recipe a try, and enjoy a stress-free holiday feast!
Make-Ahead Sausage Stuffing
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage , with the casings removed
- 1 medium onion , diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 celery stalks , diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One stale 1 1/2-pound loaf of bread , sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (approximately 12 cups)
- 2 cups homemade turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausage to the skillet, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces. Cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 5 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a large bowl.
- In the same skillet, melt 5 tablespoons of the remaining butter.
- Add the onions, celery, sage, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and celery are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the onion-celery mixture to the bowl with the cooked sausage.
- Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss everything together to coat.
- Allow the bread-sausage mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the mixture to a resealable plastic bag, label and date it, and freeze for up to 2 weeks.
- To serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the stock and 4 tablespoons of the remaining butter until the butter melts.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and parsley.
- Break the frozen stuffing into smaller chunks with your hands and add them to the bowl. Toss