An Italian Spin On Thanksgiving Stuffing

Mom's Italian Sausage Thanksgiving Stuffing - My Style Vita

Fun fact, this was the FIRST time I ever made stuffing. I thought this Italian sausage Thanksgiving stuffing was going to be so hard, complicated, not delicious. I was totally wrong. Stuffing is hands down my favorite part of Thanksgiving next to pumpkin pie. I never touch the turkey and I could care less about a green bean casserole. But put stuffing in front of me and I am HERE FOR IT.

Stuffing is also one of those things that people really get heated about. For one, do you call it stuffing or dressing? We call it stuffing. And dressing, that’s for a salad, guys. And would you ever eat someone else’s stuffing? I feel like it’s one of those things that your own Mom just makes best and that’s how it goes. It’s rare that I enjoy, let alone try someone else’s stuffing. But, I’m hoping to change your mind today because this is definitely one to try for the upcoming holiday.

My mom never really strayed from her classic recipe. Whenever she added something new we all would get mad. Just give us the classics! So technically, this recipe has been tweaked. But just a bit. You see, we never do add Italian sausage to it. And usually, when Mom would add it, we’d all be up in arms over it. I don’t know why, because it’s delicious. But we just liked the classics how they were. Untouched. However, this really is such a great recipe and adds a bit of spice to your traditional stuffing that’s a Thanksgiving must.

Also, let’s chat putting stuffing IN the bird, or out of the bird. Personally, I like it when stuffing is put in the bird. For a few reasons. First, it ends up having so much more flavor. But you know, food poisoning. It’s a thing. I wish we’d figure out a way to make it work, but these days it seems the stuffing is now always cooked outside of the bird. The other reason though why I love it IN the bird is eating the last little bits out of the bird while it’s getting carved. In our house, my grandfather carves the turkey and we all take turns taking pieces from it. But the best part is taking a fork to the leftover stuffing inside. it’s the juiciest and most flavorful. Plus, how can one go any longer without eating all the things!?

PS you can check out the full Thanksgiving spread and my 5 tips to an effortless Thanksgiving Day buffet right here.

thanksgiving stuffing recipe italian sausage - My Style Vita

Mom’s Italian Sausage Thanksgiving Stuffing

This recipe is super easy and the only thing you have to be mindful of is how long you soak the unslated saltines. Literally, 30 seconds max. You can also tweak this recipe with any sort of Thanksgiving flavors you like. Add some of your favorite herbs like sage or rosemary . You can even swap out the sausage for apples and fig to make it vegetarian. A fun crunch to add in for texture too, pine nuts. There’s really no rules when it comes to stuffing so have at it! But this is a great Italian spin on a classic American side dish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 sleeves of UNSALTED saltines
  • 1/2 lb spicy Italian pork sausage (you can also use sweet Italian sausage but I love the spicy ones instead)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken stock (optional if it gets dry. It’s always nice to have this on hand on Thanksgiving to help add some moisture to stuffing or adding to gravy if it gets too thick).

METHOD

This dish can be made up to two days in advance. Just get up to Step Four and then put it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it the day of. Make sure to bring it to room temperature, let it sit out for 1-2 hours, and then put it in the oven.

Step One

In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown Italian sausage. Remove from pan and set aside and drain on paper towels. Once drained you can add to a large mixing bowl.

Step Two

Saute in a little bit of olive oil the onion, carrots, garlic, celery, and mushroom and cook until translucent and tender. Stirring occasionally, you don’t want this to get browned, just translucent. Remove from pan. Add to your large mixing bowl and let cool.

Step Three

Break up saltines into a large bowl. Add warm water and let them soak for 30 seconds MAX. They should soak up the water and get soft then quickly squeeze out any excess water. Add to your large mixing bowl.

Step Four

Combine your sauteed veggies, saltines and the sausage with one egg, beaten. Add to a buttered baking dish.

Step Five

Pop your stuffing into a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

A Few Tips

If you don’t have saltines or don’t like to use them, you can also always use bread cubes. Whether you buy the pre-cut ones, or use day old french bread and cut it up, it doesn’t really matter. That’s also the beauty of the chicken stock staying warm all day on Thanksgiving. If you use bread, you may need some more moisture to this since the Saltines are pretty moist and hold a lot of liquid to keep it moist.

Adding pine nuts? Toast them gently for about 10 to 15 minutes over low to medium heat and then let them cool. Mix them into your mixture before baking. If you’re adding them on top, just add them on the last 10 minutes when baking as to not burn them.

5 from 1 vote
thanksgiving stuffing recipe italian sausage - My Style Vita
Italian Sausage Thanksgiving Stuffing
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 sleeves of UNSALTED saltines
  • 1/2 lb spicy Italian pork sausage
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup of button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Brown Italian sausage on medium heat in a large pan. Remove from pan and set aside and drain on paper towel
  2. Saute the onion, carrots, garlic, celery, and mushroom until translucent and tender. Remove from pan. Add to sausage and let cool.
  3. Break up saltines into a large bowl. Add warm water and let them soak for 30 seconds MAX. They should soak up the water and get soft then quickly squeeze out any excess.
  4. Combine everything into the bowl with the sausage, vegetables with one egg, beaten. Add to a buttered baking dish.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Photos by Hannah Michelle

Jessica is an Atlanta life and style blogger. Aiming to bring practical tips to your every day life. Tips that you can easily tackle and make your life feel just a tad more 'put-together'.

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6 Comments

  1. 11.14.18
    Laura Leigh said:

    I am with you – stuffing is my jam! Stuffing, mash potatoes, and a couple rolls and I am good to go. Also, with you on the classic stuffing from mom. Don’t really like anything other than hers. She does cook hers on the inside of the turkey and praise we have never had any issues. This year we’re with the in-laws for Thanksgiving so I may have to try my hand at your stuffing and bring it along!

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

    • 11.14.18
      Jessica said:

      I just love it in the bird too! You just have to check the temperature and it’s good. but my favorite part was grabbing a fork and getting in there with it after mom would take it all out.

  2. 11.20.18
    Amanda Burrows said:

    As an Italian, I appreciate this type of post! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂
    XO Amanda || Affordable by Amanda

  3. 11.20.18

    As an Italian, I appreciate this type of post!! I think I’ll cook this up on Thursday to impress the fam 🙂
    XO Amanda || Affordable by Amanda

  4. 11.20.18
    Tamara said:

    Yep, so I just clicked “print” and will be giving this a go! Thanks!