One Pot Chicken Stuffing Casserole

Story by Holly
one pot chicken and stuffing casserole in a large braising pan with a wooden spoon
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Savory, crispy bites of Italian sausage punctuate this classic stuffing recipe. Nestle some chicken thighs into the stuffing as it bakes, and voila—a one-pot chicken stuffing casserole that everyone will love. 

Stuffing? Dressing? It’s All Gravy to Us. 

This one-pot chicken and sausage stuffing casserole is really two recipes tucked into one pan for convenience's sake. And yes, we know that technically this is a dressing recipe because the herbed bread isn’t actually stuffed inside of a bird. However, since it is cooked alongside of bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh pieces—which release their flavorful shmaltz into the casserole as they cook—the dish feels like a happy medium between stuffing and dressing. 

Once the chicken thighs are nestled into the bread, their rich juices melt into the stuffing, releasing tons of moisture and a wonderful depth of flavor. The result is a savory and comforting one-pot meal that’s quick to whip up and will soon be at the top of everyone’s favorite meals list.

How to Make Stuffing

If you’re anything like us, you crave stuffing as soon as there’s a chill in the air. And thankfully, there’s no rule that says you can only make stuffing at Thanksgiving. Dressing recipes are not inherently difficult—in fact, they’re really quite easy. Here’s how to make the sausage stuffing piece of this chicken and stuffing casserole recipe. 

  1. Cut or tear a loaf of day-old bread into a bunch of one-inch pieces. 
  2. Toast those pieces! Slowly dry the bread pieces out in a 350° oven for about an hour. 
  3. While the bread is in the oven, brown some ground Italian sausage until it’s cooked-through and a little crispy. Once done, brown the chicken thighs (who doesn't love some crispy skins?) Remove all the meat from the pan and leave in those nice chicken and sausage fats flavor. 
  4. Stir in some onions and celery, and let them cook a little to soften. 
  5. By now, your bread should be done. Add the toasted bread and a bunch of fresh herbs to the sausage, celery and onion mixture. 
  6. If you were just going to make plain sausage stuffing as a side dish, this is where you’d stop. You’d douse the whole lovely mess of sausage dressing with a healthy glug of chicken broth, and bake until it’s golden and steamy-tender. But, if you’re making this one-pot chicken dressing casserole, this is where you nestle your crispy-skinned chicken thighs into the prepared stuffing and then bake it all together into a delicious, rib-sticking one-dish meal. 
close up of chicken, sausage and stuffing casserole topped with fresh herbs

3 Reasons to Love Chicken Stuffing Casserole, or, How To Eat Stuffing for Dinner Anytime You Want.

So, we kind of gave away our number one reason for loving this recipe in the headline, but it’s a really good reason so we’re going to repeat it anyway: 

  1. Our chicken and stuffing casserole recipe is pretty much just a thinly-veiled way to serve our family a big pan of stuffing and call it dinner. 
  2. Easy clean-up, because to only uses one pot! Truly! You all of the things in just one pot and then you bake it all in that very same pot. 

It walks that perfect line between pure comfort food and food that’s actually nutritious. Stuffing always feels a little special—it is a Thanksgiving food, after all—but there’s really nothing particularly indulgent about it. Bread, sausage, some veggies, herbs and stock? That’s downright healthy! And then chicken thighs—as we’ve mentioned before—really aren’t much higher in calories than their chicken breast counterparts, and they’re a fantastic source of both protein and iron.

large white skillet of chicken and stuffing casserole with sausage and fresh herbs

Tools You’ll Need: 

One & Done. 

Five more one-pot chicken dinner recipes to make life a little easier.

one pot chicken and stuffing casserole with sausage and fresh herbs

Herby Sausage Stuffing. For Dinner! You’re Welcome. 

Delicious family meals, like this fragrant, hearty, herb-flecked one-pot chicken stuffing casserole recipe, shouldn’t be reserved just for holidays. So, get cooking and share with us what you’ve made! Snap a photo of your finished chicken casserole, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can share in your success. Happy eating!

One Pot Chicken Stuffing Casserole

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 loaf day-old italian bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, 1/4-inch slices
2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for topping
3 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken stock

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake bread pieces on a baking sheet, stirring occasionally (every 15 minutes), until dried out, about 1 hour. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the sausage over medium-high heat in an oven-proof braiser or Dutch oven, once browned remove sausage from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Season the chicken thighs with 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook without moving until the chicken skin is brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set them aside.
  4. Keep the heat at medium-high, and add the chopped onions and celery to your Dutch oven. Sauté them in the residual chicken and sausage fat until just beginning to brown, while gently scraping the brown bits from the pan, about 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. Remove the braiser from the heat and add the bread pieces, along with the fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper and sausage. Drizzle the chicken stock evenly over the bread and toss gently to combine.
  7. Nestle the chicken thighs into the stuffing mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chicken thigh registers 170°.
  8. Transfer the cooked chicken thighs onto a plate and stir the stuffing with any excess liquid in the bottom of the pan. Serve with extra parsley for garnish.

* For the fresh herbs in this recipe, you can purchase a "poultry blend" at your local grocery store similar to this This is the best way to keep the cost of the dish low.