- I use Italian sausage, 1lb of sweet (or mild) and 1lb of hot (spicy). It gives the filling an intense sausage flavor with a bit of a kick.
- My Mother-in-Law told me to use Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Bread Cubes (red package), and I would never even dream of using anything else. Her original recipe was made when the bread cubes came in 14oz bags, but now the bags are 12oz. I have found that using 1 1/2 bags works great for the amount of other items in the stuffing. So buy two, and save the leftover half of a bag for a small recipe later. Or feed it to the squirrels. Your choice.
- Add your broth slowly. I usually add one cup at a time then stir and assess the texture. One of my favorite characteristics of this sausage filling is that it is a bit on the dryer side. I usually end up using a little less than 3 cups of broth when making mine. But again, mix in a bit of broth at a time, and mix to your desired consistency.
- I have the walnuts listed as optional in the directions. The original recipe calls for them and I adore the walnuts. They add a softly nutty crunch to the stuffing that is just incredible. However, due to C’s nut allergy I tend to leave them out because she loves the stuff. If I am feeling ambitious, I make two batches – one with nuts and one without. If nut allergies aren’t a concern for you, by all means, put in the walnuts!! You won’t be sorry.
Sausage Filling Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 1 1/2 - 12 oz bags of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Bread Cubes
- 1 lb of ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1 lb of ground hot Italian sausage
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of butter, divided
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Up to 3 cups of chicken/turkey stock (depending on your desired consistency)
Preheat oven to 375°
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Brown the sausage until it’s cooked through, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces. Drain any extra fat and transfer cooked sausage to a large bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of butter and olive oil together. Add celery, onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Transfer to bowl with sausage and set aside.
In a small skillet, melt the remaining Tablespoon of butter over low heat and sauté walnuts until fragrant, being careful not to burn them. Transfer to bowl with sausage along with bread cubes.
Using a large spoon, mix well to incorporate all ingredients, and season with salt and pepper. Adding one cup at a time, slowing pour in chicken/turkey stock. Mix well after each cup to test consistency. If you prefer a drying stuffing (which I do) add less stock, if you prefer a more moist stuffing, add a bit more stock. I usually end up using a little less than 3 cups of stock.
Transfer mixture into a 3 quart casserole dish. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
This post was originally published on November 12, 2012.
I love the idea of making the filling in the crockpot – great idea!
This is almost the exact recipe my grandmother and mother always made. I make it too, and it’s like they’re watching me from Heaven. Only difference is, I use Bob Evans sausage. I also use an entire stick of butter and omit the olive oil. No walnuts due to allergies.
I love how family recipes bring back such great memories – especially at the holidays! Thanks for stopping by, Karen!