An oval white bowl with stuffing.
Holiday favorites, Sides

Best ever Thanksgiving stuffing

18 comments

Stuffing is everyone’s favorite at Thanksgiving! The addition of mild Italian sausage, pear and Craisins adds richness, subtle sweetness and color to this dish. It’s not as hard as you may think to make fresh stuffing from scratch. Give up the box!

An oval white bowl with stuffing.
Best ever thanksgiving stuffing

Make this best ever Thanksgiving stuffing and you’ll be the star of the show (well, next to the turkey that is).  Whenever I make this stuffing, friends who swear by the “box stuffing” always comment on how delicious it is. They are pleasantly surprised.

Thanksgiving stuffing served in a white oval serving bowl.
Italian sausage, pear and Craisins add flavor and dimension in this stuffing

How do you like to make stuffing? Do you bake it separately in a casserole dish or stuff it in the turkey? With this stuffing recipe you can do either. I started making stuffing in a casserole dish several years ago and have never looked back. This recipe will fill an 18-20 lb turkey or a 13 x 9 x 2 inch Pyrex casserole dish. When you make this best ever Thanksgiving stuffing, your whole kitchen will smell amazing.

Ingredients for best ever Thanksgiving stuffing

For this stuffing you’ll need the following ingredients. You can buy unseasoned bread cubes or I show you how to make your own below. Mild Italian sausage adds a rich savory flavor to the stuffing. Pears are delicious this time of year. It adds a subtle sweetness. I usually choose an Anjou pear, however, you can choose another type you prefer. Craisins are dried cranberries. They add color, texture and a slight tartness to the stuffing.

½ lb (5 oz box) golden oak shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 celery stalks, diced
1 medium sized sweet onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
¼ cup Italian parsley, diced
½ tsp poultry seasoning
Pinch of salt and pepper
½ lb mild Italian sausage (about 4 links Isernio’s sausage, meat removed from casings)
1 large Anjou pear, diced (skin on)
1 cup Craisins
1 bag bread cubes (about 6 cups, see notes below for making your own)
2 ½ – 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

Ingredients for best ever Thanksgiving stuffing.
Ingredients you’ll need for best ever Thanksgiving stuffing

How to make Thanksgiving stuffing

In a deep frying pan on medium-high heat, melt the butter and fry mushrooms until they begin to turn golden brown. Set aside in a small bowl. Add olive oil to the pan and sauté celery, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes. Mix in parsley, poultry seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Push the veggies to the side of the pan and add the sausage.  Break up the sausage into smaller pieces as it is cooking. When the meat is almost cooked, add the mushrooms, pear and Craisins. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Mixing the stuffing up in a large round Dutch oven.
Mmmmn, can you smell it?

In a large pot, add the bread cubes and the cooked stuffing mixture. Slowly stir in half of the chicken broth.  Mix and add more to moisten as needed. It should not be too wet.

It is ready to stuff in the turkey or transfer into a casserole dish greased with Pam cooking spray. If using a casserole dish, the stuffing can be a little moister. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for one hour in a pre-heated oven at 350 F. After the first 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake uncovered so it becomes golden brown.

Best ever Thanksgiving stuffing fresh out of the oven in a casserole dish.
Golden brown and cooked in a casserole dish

How to make stuffing bread cubes

Making your own bread cubes for stuffing begins with selecting the right loaf of bread. Buy a Parisian or Italian peasant loaf bread like this one.
Cut the bread into about 1 inch cubes and lay them out on a baking sheet.

Bread cubes on a baking tray ready to make croutons for stuffing.
Parisian peasant loaf bread makes great bread cubes for stuffing

Toast the cubes in a preheated oven to 300 F for about 15 – 25 minutes. Turn the cubes part way through the toasting process. Keep an eye on them as you want them to be lightly toasted and golden, not burnt. That’s it! No seasonings are necessary as you’ll be adding those into the stuffing mixture.

More great Thanksgiving side dishes

For many people the joy of the Thanksgiving feast comes from all the amazing side dishes that accompany the turkey. Give these ideas a try!

I hope you enjoy this recipe for best ever Thanksgiving stuffing. It’s one of our family’s favorite dishes at Thanksgiving. Leave me a comment below about your thoughts and experiences with this recipe. I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Happy cooking!
Michelle

Are you on Instagram? Please give me a follow at @northwestspoonblog I’d love to hear from you. If you make any of my recipes, share your photo with #northwestspoon and tag me.

A bowl of Thanksgiving stuffing with a Pilgram in the background (decoration.)

Best ever Thanksgiving stuffing

The addition of mild Italian sausage, pear and Craisins adds richness, subtle sweetness and color to this delicious Thanksgiving stuffing.

  • 1/2 lb golden oak shiitake mushrooms (sliced, (one 5 oz box))
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 celery stalks (diced)
  • 1 medium sized sweet onion (diced)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves (crushed and minced)
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb mild Italian sausage ((about 4 links Isernio’s sausage, meat removed from casings))
  • 1 large Anjou pear (diced, (skin on))
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1 bag bread cubes ((about 6 cups))
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  1. In a deep frying pan on medium-high heat, melt the butter and fry mushrooms until they begin to turn golden brown. Set aside in a small bowl.
  2. Add olive oil to the pan and sauté celery, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes. Mix in parsley, poultry seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Push the veggies to the side of the pan and add the sausage. Break up the sausage into smaller pieces as it is cooking. When the meat is almost cooked, add the mushrooms, pear and Craisins. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. In a large pot, add the bread cubes and the cooked stuffing mixture. Slowly stir in half of the chicken broth. Mix and add more to moisten as needed. It should not be too wet.
  5. It is ready to stuff in the turkey or transfer into a casserole dish greased with Pam cooking spray. If using a casserole dish, the stuffing can be a little moister. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for one hour in a pre-heated oven at 350 F. After the first 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake uncovered so it becomes golden brown.

Did you make this best ever Thanksgiving stuffing? Tell me about your experience at https://www.northwestspoon.com/best-ever-thanksgiving-stuffing

 

18 Comments

  1. Hi Michelle:
    I was just looking for a new stuffing mix, so I am going to give this a try, I will let you know how it is received!
    Thanks, Sharon

     
    • Michelle Barsness

      Hi Sharon, I’d love to hear how it’s received. I served it last year and everyone loved it. Happy Thanksgiving!

       
  2. Lesli Schwartz

    Love the combo of sweet and salty in this awesome turkey stuffing! Such a creative twist on the classic!

     
  3. I can’t wait to make this stuffing for Thanksgiving! The pear and cranberries add such a nice fall twist on your typical recipe. Thanks for sharing!

     
  4. That stuffing looks so good! I’ve never seen a recipe quite like this one. I love all the chunky, fruity goodness.

     
  5. I bet this tastes amazing! I love the mushrooms in it. I bet it gives this so much flavor. The stuffing is always my FAV at Thanksgiving.

     
  6. This stuffing is a mixture of amazing ingredients. Looks moist, juicy and best comforting meal too. On my list of superb recipes.

     
  7. Jacque Hastert

    I love the crunch that comes with this stuffing. I am always looking for a new stuffing recipe and this one will be for this year. I can’t wait!

     
  8. In my opinion, Thanksgiving stuffing steals the show on the Thanksgiving table – and especially with this recipe! We all love this stuffing so much that we make it every year. Can’t wait to make it again this year… and maybe even again not on Thanksgiving!

     
  9. Last year my stuffing was missing a certain something – I think it’s the craisins! We have friendsgiving tomorrow, and I will be making this – thanks so much for sharing!

     
  10. I’m always on a lookout for new stuffing recipes and yours look ideal! With the holiday season just around the corner, this couldn’t have come in a better time!

     
  11. This is on my Thanksgiving Menu this year for sure!! This stuffing sounds amazing, flavor combination are very unique. The addition of a pear along with the Italian sausage gives a very different twist a holiday classic.

     
  12. Wow, that looks so good. This is so festive. Thank you for the recipe. The flavors are amazing.

     
  13. Stuffing is always my favorite thanksgiving side! mainly cuz its something I wouldn’t normally allow myself to have – but once a year – heck yeah! I LOVE adding sausage to my stuffing and apples usually, so I can see this tasting amazing with the pear!

     
  14. I love the sweet addition of cranberry and pear! Yum! Absolutely trying this!

     
  15. Another fabulous stuffing recipe to make. Easy steps, and I can imagine an incredibly deliciuos side. I must keep it handy for the next year.

     
  16. We loved the big chunk of apple in this stuffing! Yummy!

     

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Don’t miss a recipe! Subscribe to our newsletter.