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Classic Sausage Stuffing

Just a classic sausage stuffing recipe—day-old French bread is scented with sage and tossed with sausage and baked to perfection! Hearty, herby and ready for your Thanksgiving table.


    classic sausage stuffing in a baking dish with a serving spoon

    Classic Sausage Stuffing: The Thanksgiving Side Dish To End All Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Or, Everyone’s Favorite Gravy Soaker-Upper.

    Of all the Thanksgiving side dishes, stuffing (AKA dressing) is arguably the most classic, the most beloved. Therefore, it’s OK to phone it in and just make something out of a box. Wait, let’s try that again. Stuffing is iconic. It’s quite possibly the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish. That classic, sage-scented, sausage-bespeckled pan of herbaceous carbs ready to be drenched in gravy? Yeah, it’s got to be really great. Everyone at that Thanksgiving table waits all year for this meal, and the stuffing is one of the things on that table that you (and your guests) really only eat once or twice a year. So you want to nail it. To serve the best sausage stuffing in the history of Thanksgiving. And to do that you need the kind of sausage and sage stuffing recipe people beg for—something easy, but unmistakably homemade. That ideal recipe, the one you’ll pass down, the one that’s the first thing you crave when you remember that Thanksgiving is around the corner—that is THIS Thanksgiving stuffing recipe! You can even make this stuffing a day ahead of time! So fire up that printer, or Pin button, or however you manage your favorite recipes, because the search for the best stuffing recipe ever stops here.

    ingredients laid out for classic sausage stuffing, bread, chicken stock, celery, parsley, onion, butter, eggs

    Our Classic Stuffing Recipes Calls for (Gasp) Classic Stuffing Ingredients

    And we don’t mean a box of stuffing mix. Although if that’s your beloved tradition, we are sooo not here to knock it. Thanksgiving is all about tradition—jiggly jello salads studded with pineapple and Cool Whip, or cranberry sauce straight out of the can, we’ve all got those nostalgic dishes that we just have to have on turkey day. For us, we just have to have a really, really good pan of homemade sausage stuffing. We want pure, classic, bready, herby goodness. And that’s exactly what this recipe yields. Oh, and it’s easy, too! Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

    • Ground Italian sausage
    • Butter
    • French bread
    • Yellow onions
    • Celery
    • Fresh sage, rosemary, parsley and thyme
    • Nutmeg
    • Chicken broth
    • Eggs
    French bread cut into pieces baked on a baking sheet
    classic sausage stuffing in a bowl

    What Is the Difference Between Dressing and Stuffing?

    If we’re really being sticklers about it, the difference between stuffing and dressing is that stuffing is literally “stuffed” inside the turkey to be cooked, and dressing is when you cook it outside of the bird in a baking pan. So yes, that means that this recipe actually, technically, should be called sausage dressing because it is not cooked inside the turkey. However, stuffing has become most people’s go-to word for the bready stuff that has sausage and herbs in it and so we’re calling it that. It’s also what we grew up eating, and we grew up calling that delicious baked-in-a-pan side dish “stuffing” so we’re calling this stuffing, too. You can call it whatever you want!

    What Is the Best Bread for Stuffing?

    And the best bread for stuffing is... old, dry bread! Why? Because you need the bread to be nice and dry and ready to soak up all of the liquid you’re going to pour into it to make a sausage stuffing that’s moist and almost custard-y inside. Not only do we want you to use day-old bread, but you’ll also toast it in the oven a bit just to be sure that it’s really dried out. All of this should be really good news. We like to make stuffing with old-fashioned French bread—and no, we don’t mean a long, thin baguette. We mean soft-on-the-inside, decidedly un-fancy, oval-shaped loaves from the grocery store—the kind you might use to make garlic bread. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no better bread for making stuffing!

    classic sausage stuffing in a baking dish
    classic sausage stuffing baked in a baking dish

    How Do You Make Sausage Stuffing From Scratch?

    Making sausage stuffing from scratch is pretty darn easy, and since you can make it a day ahead of time, it’s really a breeze! Even on Thanksgiving! We’ll walk you through it—you’ve got this.

    1. Rip up the day old loaf of French bread into a bunch of pieces. This is a good time to tag in some little helpers, if you’ve got ‘em!
    2. Dry out the bread by baking it at 300° for about 45 minutes.
    3. Brown the sausage. When it’s starting to brown, add butter, onion and celery and sauté.
    4. Toss the sausage and bread with parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with broth and mix again.
    5. Whisk more broth into the eggs, and toss that with the rest of the stuffing mixture.
    6. Pour the stuffing mixture into a baking pan, cover and bake for 30 minutes!
    7. If you’re making this stuffing recipe a day ahead, STOP HERE! Let the stuffing cool a bit and then put it in the fridge, covered, overnight.
    8. The next day (or right away, if you’re not making it ahead) take the foil off and give the stuffing another 45 minutes in the oven until the top is lovely and golden.
    Thanksgiving stuffing in a baking dish

    Tools You’ll Need

    More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love

    classic bread stuffing in a baking dish with sage
    classic sausage stuffing in a baking dish with a serving spoon

    It’s Never Too Early To Start Thanksgiving Menu Planning!

    October 1st? Yeah, we’ve been known to start sketching out our menu, and our cooking and prep plan as early as that. Whenever you start plotting for the best meal of the year, we hope that this stuffing recipe is exactly what you’re looking for! It’s sure to be a hit. If you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

    Classic Sausage Stuffing

    • Serves: 10
    • Prep Time:  45 min
    • Cook Time:  1 hr 15 min
    • Calories: 460


    • 16 oz ground italian sausage, mild
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter plus more for baking dish
    • 12 cups french bread, (roughly 2 lbs, day-old, crust cut off, torn or cut into 1-inch pieces)
    • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
    • 2 cups celery ¼-inch dice
    • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 1 tbsp fresh sage, minced
    • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
    • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
    • ¼ tsp nutmeg
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
    • 2 ½ cups chicken broth, divided
    • 2 eggs


    1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Scatter bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until dried out, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a very large bowl.
    2. Turn the oven to 350°. Butter a 9x13 baking dish, set aside.
    3. Brown the sausage in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When the sausage is half way browned and crumbled, add the stick of butter onion and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes longer until the sausage is completely browned.
    4. Add the onion mixture to the bowl with the bread; add in parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Toss to evenly disperse the herbs and vegetables with the bread.
    5. Drizzle 1 ½ cups broth over the bread mixture and gently toss to combine.
    6. Whisk remaining 1 cup broth and eggs in a bowl. Add to the bread mixture; fold gently until thoroughly combined.
    7. Transfer to a buttered 9x13 baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. NOTE: If you are making this recipe a day ahead of time, stop here! Let the stuffing cool, and place it in the fridge overnight. The next day, bring it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you're ready to finish baking it.
    8. Remove foil, bake until set (no longer jiggly) and top is browned and crispy on top, 45 minutes longer.

    Nutrition Info

    • Per Serving
    • Amount
    • Calories460
    • Protein19 g
    • Carbohydrates53 g
    • Total Fat21 g
    • Dietary Fiber3 g
    • Cholesterol84 mg
    • sodium692 mg
    • Total Sugars5 g

    Classic Sausage Stuffing

    Questions & Reviews

    Join the discussion below.

    • Gillian Ruan

      How can I modify this to make it w/out eggs? And how will it change the texture - less bread-puddingy?

      We have not tested this recipe without eggs.

    • Tammy

      Can this be made a day in advance and baked the next day

      Great question! Yes it can. We have instructions for doing that in the blog post, but we've also added them to the recipe itself!

    • Pam wheeler

      Can this be cooked in a crockpot/slow cooker?

      Not sure. I have never made stuffing in a crockpot or slow cooker.

    • Natalie

      This is a delicious, classic stuffing, just as the name says. I follow the recipe exactly and it turns out amazing. I did use dried rubbed sage last year as I couldn’t find fresh. But either works. Try this!

      great! SO glad you love it!

    • Cassy W

      This came out so tasty! I toasted the bread then just poured the meat/onions/celery on top, then topped the entire mixture with the chicken broth/eggs/spices, just pouring it evenly over the pan.
      The stuffing came out great and it helped to eliminate extra steps/dishes.