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This loaded Italian Sausage Thanksgiving dressing (or stuffing) is definitely not Stove Top! This will become a Thanksgiving staple for years to come!


1 pound Italian sausage (I recommend mild/sweet and then adding additional heat if desired)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 grated Granny Smith apple (a food processor is handy but not necessary)
1 16-oz. package cubed stuffing or dressing (I like Pepperidge Farms; for this recipe, I try to stay away from Stove Top because the flavor is so overwhelming)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
1/2+ cup dried cranberries (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat a very large skillet or Dutch oven to medium heat and add a light drizzle of olive oil. If necessary, remove sausage casings and crumble the sausage in the pan. As it starts to brown, stir in onions, celery, and garlic. As the sausage cooks, break up larger pieces.
As the onions begin to turn translucent, stir in mushrooms and apple and cook until the mushrooms are tender.
Sprinkle dressing mix over the sausage mix and then add chicken broth. Continue stirring as the dressing mix absorbs the liquid. Add in pecans and cranberries (if desired). When the liquid has been incorporated and the mixture is fully mixed, taste and add hot sauce (like Tabasco) to taste.
Transfer to a 9×13 dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. 


make ahead instructions

If you’d like to make this 1-2 days ahead of time, cover it after you place it in the 9×13 pan, and then bake it straight from the fridge.