The holiday season is a time for coming together with loved ones and sharing scrumptious meals. And what better way to celebrate the festive spirit than with a mouthwatering and comforting Sausage and Sweet Potato Stuffing?
This delectable dish combines the richness of Italian sausage, the sweetness of sweet potatoes and apples, and the warmth of aromatic herbs to create a stuffing that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Today, I’m delighted to share with you a delightful recipe for Sausage Sweet Potato Stuffing that will elevate your holiday gatherings to a whole new level of taste and warmth.
Get ready for the ultimate Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, a true showstopper that will have everyone begging for seconds!
The Best Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Stuffing with Sausage
As you take the first bite of this Classic Sweet Potato Stuffing with Sausage, you’ll experience a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that will make your taste buds dance with joy.
The sweetness from the sweet potatoes and apples beautifully complements the savory Italian sausage and aromatic herbs.
The pecans and cranberries add a delightful crunch and tanginess, making each mouthful a delightful surprise.
This stuffing is not only a perfect accompaniment to your holiday turkey or roast but can also stand on its own as a vegetarian main course (see vegetarian variation bellow).
It’s a dish that brings the comfort of home-cooked meals and the warmth of togetherness to your holiday table.
So, this holiday season, surprise your guests with a Classic Sweet Potato Stuffing that will make them feel cherished and content, embracing the true essence of this joyous time of year.
Happy cooking and happy holidays!
Sausage and Sweet Potato Stuffing Ingredients
Before we delve into the easy-to-follow recipe, let’s take a quick look at the delightful ingredients that make this stuffing so special:
(See the recipe card below for full ingredient list with quantities & instructions)
- Italian sausage: The savory flavor of the sausage complements the sweet notes of the other ingredients perfectly.
- Olive oil: This adds a hint of richness to the stuffing and helps in sautéing the vegetables.
- Sweet potatoes: The star of the show! Sweet potatoes bring natural sweetness and a beautiful orange hue to the dish.
- Leeks: Leeks provide a mild onion-like flavor that enhances the overall taste.
- Stalks celery: Celery brings a refreshing crunch and subtle earthiness to the stuffing.
- Apple: The addition of apples contributes a delightful fruity sweetness that complements the sweet potatoes.
- Garlic: Garlic adds depth and complexity to the stuffing, enhancing the savory elements.
- Stale crusty bread: The base of any stuffing, bread provides a satisfying texture and soaks up all the wonderful flavors.
- Pecans: Pecans introduce a delightful nutty flavor and a pleasant crunch.
- Dried cranberries: These little bursts of tartness add a lovely contrast to the overall sweetness.
- Fresh herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme): A fragrant mix of herbs takes the stuffing to the next level, infusing it with warmth and aroma.
- Chicken stock: The stock keeps the stuffing moist and infuses it with savory goodness.
- Eggs: The eggs bind everything together, creating a harmonious mixture.
How to Make Sausage and Sweet Potato Stuffing
With this step-by-step guide, you’re all set to create a sensational Sausage Sweet Potato Stuffing that will impress your guests and leave them craving more.
This delightful dish will undoubtedly become a cherished addition to your holiday celebrations and special gatherings.
- Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) to ensure it’s ready when the stuffing is prepared.
- Brown the Italian sausage: In a large skillet over medium heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil and brown the ground Italian sausage. Break up the sausage into small crumbles using a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink and is nicely browned. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Once done, remove the sausage from the skillet and set it aside.
- Sauté the vegetables: In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the diced sweet potatoes, leeks, celery, and apple to the skillet. Sauté the vegetables until they become tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Add garlic and bread: Once the vegetables are tender, add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for an additional minute. Then, add the roughly-diced stale crusty bread to the skillet, mixing it with the sautéed vegetables. Allow the bread to absorb the flavors of the vegetables and sausage.
- Incorporate nuts and cranberries: Sprinkle the chopped pecans and dried cranberries over the mixture in the skillet. These ingredients add a delightful crunch and sweetness to the stuffing.
- Add fresh herbs: Toss in the chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. The combination of these herbs will infuse the stuffing with a wonderful aroma and depth of flavor.
- Combine stock and eggs: In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken or vegetable stock with the beaten eggs. Pour this mixture over the stuffing in the skillet. The stock will provide moisture and ensure the stuffing holds together during baking.
- Mix everything together: Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently mix all the ingredients in the skillet until well combined. Make sure the stock is evenly distributed throughout the stuffing.
- Transfer to a baking dish: Grease a large baking dish and transfer the stuffing mixture into it, spreading it out evenly. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to lock in the moisture.
- Bake the stuffing: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. The stuffing should be golden-brown on top and thoroughly cooked.
- Serve and enjoy: Once the stuffing is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Serve it warm as a delightful side dish at your holiday feast or any special occasion.
Thanksgiving Stuffing Variations
One of the joys of cooking is the opportunity to experiment and create variations on classic recipes.
The Sausage Sweet Potato Stuffing is no exception.
Here are some exciting variations you can try to customize this delicious dish to your taste:
- Vegetarian Version: To make this stuffing vegetarian-friendly, simply omit the Italian sausage and use plant-based sausage crumbles or extra vegetables like mushrooms or roasted butternut squash for a hearty and flavorful alternative.
- Gluten-Free Option: If you’re following a gluten-free diet, substitute the crusty bread with gluten-free bread or use cooked quinoa or rice as a gluten-free base. Make sure the rest of the ingredients, including the sausage, are also gluten-free.
- Nutty Alternatives: Feel free to swap the pecans for other nuts like walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts. Toast the nuts before adding them to the stuffing to enhance their flavors.
- Fruity Twists: Experiment with different types of dried fruits to add a unique twist to the stuffing. Dried apricots, cherries, or figs can all bring delightful sweetness to the dish.
- Vegan Adaptation: To make this stuffing completely vegan, replace the eggs with a flaxseed or chia seed egg substitute. Use vegetable stock and plant-based sausage, and ensure all other ingredients are vegan-friendly.
Feel free to get creative and have fun exploring various combinations of ingredients and flavors.
Your own unique variation of Sausage Sweet Potato Stuffing may become a new holiday tradition in your home!
Make-Ahead Sausage and Sweet Potato Stuffing
Sausage Sweet Potato Stuffing can be prepared ahead of time to save you some stress on the day of your gathering.
Making it ahead allows you to focus on other dishes and spend more time with your loved ones. Streamline your holiday meal preparation.
Here are some tips for making this stuffing ahead of time:
- 1. Prepare the Ingredients in Advance: You can chop the sweet potatoes, leeks, celery, and apple a day before and store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. This way, you’ll have all the vegetables ready to go when it’s time to cook the stuffing.
- 2. Cook the Sausage and Vegetables in Advance: You can cook the sausage and sauté the vegetables a day ahead of time. Let them cool completely, and then store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
- 3. Assemble the Stuffing: Combine the cooked sausage, sautéed vegetables, bread, nuts, cranberries, and herbs together in a large mixing bowl. You can do this step the day before you plan to serve the stuffing.
- 4. Store the Stuffing: After assembling the stuffing, transfer it to a greased baking dish and cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate the stuffing until you’re ready to bake it.
- 5. Baking the Stuffing: On the day you want to serve the stuffing, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the stuffing as per the original recipe instructions, adding a few extra minutes if needed to ensure it’s heated through.
- 6. Check for Moisture: If the stuffing seems a bit dry after being refrigerated, you can drizzle a little extra chicken or vegetable stock over the top before baking to ensure it stays moist during cooking.
- 7. Adjust Baking Time: Since the stuffing has been refrigerated, it might take a few extra minutes to bake fully. Keep an eye on it to ensure it reaches a golden-brown color and is heated thoroughly.
- 8. Reheat Leftovers: If you have any leftover stuffing, you can reheat it in the oven or microwave. Cover it with foil to prevent drying out, and heat it until it’s warmed through.
By following these make-ahead tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious Sausage Sweet Potato Stuffing without feeling overwhelmed on the day of your holiday meal.
Meal planning ahead allows you to focus on other aspects of your celebration and ensures you have a stress-free and enjoyable time with your loved ones.
Other Holiday Recipes to Try!
- Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts
- Easy Thanksgiving Salad Recipes
- Best Thanksgiving Appetizers
- Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Holiday Cocktail Recipes
- Best Holiday Pies to Try Now
This Sausage and Sweet Potato Stuffing recipe is a favorite of the family! A balance of savory and sweet flavors, hearty and delicious option.
A great make-ahead recipe with Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free variations to enjoy your holiday favorite!
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 medium leeks, halved and thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups roughly-diced stale crusty bread
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (a combination of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme)
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 eggs
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a baking dish.
- In a large skillet, cook the ground Italian sausage over medium heat until it's browned and fully cooked. Remove the cooked sausage from the skillet and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced sweet potatoes and sauté until they start to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sweet potatoes from the skillet and set them aside.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, leeks, and celery. Sauté until they become tender and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the diced apple and minced garlic, and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked sausage, sautéed sweet potatoes, sautéed vegetables, diced stale bread, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and fresh herbs. Toss everything together until evenly distributed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken stock and eggs until well combined. Pour this mixture over the bread and vegetable mixture, ensuring everything is thoroughly coated.
- Transfer the stuffing mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the top turns golden and slightly crispy.
- Once done, take the stuffing out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Amount Per Serving Calories 357Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 79mgSodium 481mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 3gSugar 9gProtein 18g