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wooden spoon serving a spoonful of sausage herb apple Thanksgiving stuffing.

Sausage & Herb Stuffing

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 12 reviews
  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Some call it stuffing, some call it dressing, but all who have tried it agree that this sausage & herb stuffing is an essential part of a Thanksgiving meal. You’ll love the comforting medley of herbs, sausage, mushrooms, apples, and bread. It tastes best if it’s partially prepared ahead of time, so save yourself time on the big day.


  • 10 cups (400g) cubed bread (any bread works; I usually use whole wheat)
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced (about 150g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (about 100g) roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or leaves from about 3 stalks fresh thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage (or about 2 Tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or about 23 Tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 1 pound (454g) sweet or spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 cups (240g) diced apples (about 2 medium apples)
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (540ml) low-sodium chicken broth
  • optional: 2/3 cup (80g) dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Spread bread cubes out on two large baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Place butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add mushrooms, thyme, sage, and parsley. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings into the skillet. Break up with spoon, then add the apples. Cook for about 4 minutes, until sausage meat is just about cooked through. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir the sausage/apple mixture in with the toasted bread. Pour the broth on top, then the cranberries, if using. Stir to combine everything.
  4. If using to stuff a turkey, allow to cool completely before stuffing. If baking the stuffing separately like I did in these photos, heat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×13-inch or any 3- to 4-quart baking dish (pictured). Spoon stuffing into the dish, then bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp on top.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving, if desired. Serve warm.
  6. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: If you make this stuffing ahead of time, be prepared for maximum flavor! The stuffing is actually BEST made ahead and here’s how to do it. The bread loses a lot of texture if you make the stuffing completely ahead of time. Instead, prepare the recipe through step 2. Store the cooked veggies/apples/sausage in the refrigerator overnight and store the crisp bread cubes lightly covered at room temperature. Continue with step 3 the next morning. For long storage, freeze the baked stuffing up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature, then reheat it in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 20–25 minutes, or until warmed through, before serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Baking Sheets | Glass Mixing Bowl9×13-inch Baking Pan or any 3- to 4-quart Baking Dish (pictured)
  3. Can I Make This Vegetarian? Yes, absolutely. You can turn this into a vegetarian stuffing recipe by replacing the sausage with more mushrooms, or some diced butternut squash. The cooking instructions remain the same. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.