Italian sausage stuffing with parmesan is a favorite holiday side dish full of wonderful flavor from sage, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and of course the sweet Italian sausage. Day-old country white bread adds incredible texture to lay the foundation for this dish. Perfect with turkey, gravy, and all your favorite Fall sides!
For some people, it's not Thanksgiving unless there is cranberry sauce, canned or otherwise.
For me, it's not Thanksgiving unless there is STUFFING.
And this Italian sausage stuffing with parmesan cheese is one of my absolute favorite ways to make it.
While day-old country white bread is a star of the dish, nothing shines more than the sausage, in my opinion.
The flavor the Italian sausage imparts on the rest of the ingredients is nothing short of magical, plus if given the opportunity, I will always try and add a bit of Italian flavor to any meal, Italian or not.
Growing up in an Italian-American home, I learned two things when it came to Thanksgiving: Lasagna is a must-have first course/appetizer if you will, and sausage stuffing should always make an appearance alongside the turkey.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Begin by cubing a whole 24-ounce loaf of country white bread and placing the cubes on 2 baking sheets. Toast the bread cubes in the oven at 250f for 30-45 minutes or until fairly dry. Flip the bread cubes at the halfway point to further aid in the drying out process. Note: If using stale 1-2 day old bread you can skip this step or toast the cubes for a lesser amount of time. No matter what, you want to start with dry cubes.
- Preheat the oven to 375f and set the rack to the middle level. Dice 1 cup of celery and 1 cup of onion. Mince a ¼ cup of fresh parsley and 3 tablespoons of fresh sage.
- In a very large nonstick pan, saute the bulk sausage over medium heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. After the sausage is cooked through (about 10 minutes) remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and sautee the celery and onions in 4 tablespoons of butter until soft (about 7-10 minutes).
- Next, mix the eggs with the low sodium chicken stock, sage, parsley, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat off and add in the bread cubes and pour the egg mixture all over. Gently fold the sausage stuffing together, making sure to coat most of the bread cubes with the stock and egg mixture.
- Lightly oil or spread butter on the full interior of a large baking dish. Sprinkle the cup of grated parmesan all over the stuffing and gently fold once more. Add all the sausage stuffing to the baking dish.
- Tightly cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil after 20 minutes and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until browned on top. For extra color, broil for the last 60-90 seconds but watch carefully!
- Use dry bread. If possible, buy your bread in advance and let it sit out overnight so it can dry out. This will help reduce your toasting time. Using dry bread is important as it allows the stuffing to maintain structure.
- Use a non-stick pan. Using a very large non-stick pan in steps 3-5 will make your life easier by preventing sticking and also by allowing enough size to combine all the ingredients.
- Be gentle. Avoid overmixing as you're incorporating the bread with the other ingredients. If you mix too aggressively it can lead to a mushier texture. If you like mushy stuffing, then go for it, but I prefer my stuffing to have a variety of textures, and keeping the bread intact is an important part of maintaining that texture.
What type of Italian sausage is best for stuffing?
For my Italian sausage stuffing, I used sweet Italian pork sausage without fennel.
You can definitely use fennel sausage if you prefer but it will likely change the flavor of the dish a bit.
I would not recommend using hot Italian sausage for stuffing. The flavor of the hot sausage doesn't pair well with the sage flavor in this dish.
Save the hot Italian sausage for recipes like sausage and peppers and spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup.
If you can find sausage that is out of the casing, this will be your best bet from an efficiency standpoint.
If not, you can simply remove the sausage from the casing on your own.
More Thanksgiving favorites
If you're looking for sausage stuffing, you're probably prepping for Thanksgiving. Here are a few of our favorite recipes, from our home to yours!
- Dry brined turkey breast - Easier than a whole turkey, and super moist!
- Sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash - Works well as both the main course or as a side dish if split in half.
- Garlic mashed potatoes - This method uses a ricer to achieve the fluffiest mashed potatoes ever!
- Honey balsamic Brussels sprouts - Our favorite way to get our greens on Thanksgiving!
- Maple roasted carrots - Sweet and simple side dish perfect for making ahead.
If you’ve enjoyed this Italian sausage stuffing with parmesan cheese recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.
We would love to hear how you did and it’s nice to show others as well. Thanks!
Follow us on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
- 1 24 ounce country white bread see notes below
- 1 ½ pound bulk Italian sausage or remove casing from links
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- 3 tablespoon sage minced
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
- If using stale 1-2 day old bread, skip toasting. Otherwise, cube bread and toast in the oven on a baking sheet (flip the cubes at halfway point) at 250f for 30-45 minutes or until dry. Remove bread from the oven and turn heat to 375f.
- In a very large nonstick pan saute the sausage in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until cooked through (about 10 minutes). Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Using the same pan, turn the heat to medium-low and add in the butter, onions, and celery. Cook until soft (about 7-10 minutes).
- Beat the eggs and combine with the chicken stock, salt, pepper, parsley, and sage.
- Once celery and onions are soft, add the cubed dry bread and sausage and gently mix to coat. Add in the grated parmesan cheese and the egg/chicken stock mixture, then gently mix once more.
- Lightly oil or rub butter on the complete interior of a 10 by 15" baking dish. Fill the baking dish with all the stuffing.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until the top of the stuffing becomes slightly brown and crispy. Enjoy!
- If bread is very dry from being left out, skip the toasting process. But, dry bread is important so that the stuffing maintains some texture.
- Gently folding the bread cubes into the sausage and stock is also important to maintain texture. Avoid overmixing or doing so too aggressively.
- All of the bread crumbs need to be coated with the chicken stock mixture. If needed, use a bit more chicken stock.
- If the stuffing isn't brown enough after 35 minutes of cooking time, feel free to broil for 60-90 seconds, but watch carefully!
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave.
Very delicious. I used to make a similar stuffing to fill the center of a crown roast of pork. I’ve added cranberries for the color.
Hi Janet. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Jim, Well what do you do when your up at 3:30 in the morning and don't know what to do? You go to sipandfeast to see what your missing in life. Ran across your
Sausage Stuffing and everything I read seemed well done. Like the way you do these recipes and always check your site first for Good Stuff. Thank You for the work you do. I will be using this for our family Thanksgiving. One question, there's 22 of us, is there anything I need to do different if I double the recipe? God Bless
Hi Ron, thank you for the comment! Nothing to do differently if you're doubling the recipe but it will be hard to fit in one pan so I'd suggest using two. I hope you enjoy it!
My mom made a very similar recipe. Her secret ingredient was about a cup of OJ. I am excited to make your recipe.. PS I made the lentil soup recipe and it was awesome...all three ways noted to serve it. Thank you !
Hi Mary, thanks for the comment and the cup of OJ sounds interesting! I'm so happy you enjoyed the lentil soup and hope you like this one as well!
I am loving your recipe. I want to order 5lbs of Italian pork sausage ( loose no casing no fennel) from my butcher and plan on making 2 dishes of your stuffing. One for the freezer for Christmas the other fresh for Thau
Do I double the recipe ?
Hi Elaine, the recipe is written for 1 1/2 pounds of sausage, so for 5 pounds you can probably triple the recipe. Or if you just plan to double it you'd only need 3lbs. So happy you're enjoying the recipes!
I made your eggplant Parmesan, following your recipe while watching your U Tube video. I had to snap a pic of it and show my Facebook friends. My sons wife made eggplant parm the next day, my son saw my picture. Lol. Fine Italian food, without the fancy restaurant prices.
Hi Carol, thanks for the comment and so happy you're enjoying the recipes!
I made this a lot over the holidays. Shaved parmesan works well with this. I have two altered versions: One with diced granny smith apples added to the sausage stuffing mix. The other is caramelized fennel. Both are hits with our extended families.
Can I make this the day before cooking or will that alter the texture?
Hi Lonna, you can make this and bake it the day before, then reheat it. Hope you enjoy!
Enjoy your recipes, remind me of my mom’s recipes!! We as well always had a lasagna or manicotti before the turkey, yum!
Regarding the stuffing, made it last year & we loved it. This year I am making the turkey & want to know if it can be used to stuff the turkey?
Hi Julie, so happy you're enjoying the recipes! Yes, you can use it to stuff the turkey. Hope you enjoy!
I am elated with ALL YOUR easy to prepare recipes. I have tried many to date and each one was a success. You make each step by step very easy to follow and understand. I am SO anxious for when you and your wife complete the cookbook you are in the.peocess of working on! I hope to be.one of the 1st to purchase and.receive it. Wishing YOU and Yours
a Happy Thanksgiving.
Hi Richard, really appreciate the comment and so happy you're enjoying the recipes! I'll continue to share more on the website, email, YouTube, etc. as we get closer with the cookbook!
Hi Jim, can I prepare your stuffing recipe the night before Thanksgiving,store in the fridge without baking, then just bake it on Thanksgiving day?
Hi Gran, If you want to prepare it the night before, I do recommend cooking it and then reheating it the next day. If it sits there uncooked the bread may become too mushy.
Add some dried cranberries and pecans!
We always double the recipe for my husband! Some years we use Italian sausage sometimes sausage like Jimmy Dean’s etc. I never added egg, just broth but the bread tends to lose its shape. Problem solved, will try the egg this year. Thanks for sharing another great Italian-American tradition!
This is my “go to recipe”. Sure you didn’t grow up in our home?
To get an apple flavor, sometimes I add applesauce.
Hi Geri, the applesauce is a great addition! Thanks so much for the comment and happy Thanksgiving to you!
Can you use store bought stuffing such as pepperidge farm? If so, how many ounces would I use?
Hi Diane, you can although I haven't tested it with this recipe.
Last time I had sausage stuffing was in New Orleans! So glad to find this recipe! It was outstanding!
Hi Gail, thanks so much for the comment and so happy you enjoyed the recipe!
I’m giving you 5 ⭐️ I know it’s going to be good. I will be making this tonight along with the baked artichoke recipe. Thanks for all you do!
Hi Ivonne, thank you for the comment and hope you enjoy the stuffing and the baked artichokes!
If I use the large muffin cups how much time do you think I should cook the stuffing? Could not find the whole Cento artichoke hearts in suburban Dallas. Perhaps you might put it on your market site to encourage distribution.
Hi Saundra, I'm assuming you've already made this since it was for Thanksgiving, but you can probably do the same time, although I haven't tested the recipe in a muffin tin.
Your dressing/stuffing recipe was a hit. Wish I was your next door neighbor so I could be your third taste tester. We have made a lot of your recipes and everyone of them has been great. Keep up the good work.
Hi Mike, so happy the stuffing was a hit, and that you've enjoyed other recipes as well. Thanks so much for the comment!
This is very similar to my stuffing. We're low-to-no gluten now so I made this using a savory cornbread I make with spelt and gluten-free breadcrumbs (4 C brand). My two favorite "day after" breakfasts are cold pizza and leftover stuffing - YUM!
Hi Nancy, so happy you enjoyed this one and that you were able to substitute to suit your needs. I really appreciate the comment, thanks!