This Wild Mushroom Sourdough Sausage Stuffing, made with ground pork, Swiss chard, and sage is a unique and flavorful take on the classic Thanksgiving side dish.
If you’re looking to mix up the Thanksgiving spread this year, I recommend giving this sage sausage stuffing recipe a try. To bring some wholesomeness to this side dish I opted to use a combination of sourdough and multigrain bread, although you can use whatever bread you prefer.
Instead of pork sausage I use ground pork which is significantly leaner, but also less flavorful. To achieve those quintessential sausage flavors without all the extra fat, I turned to a few pantry staples; fennel seeds (essential), red pepper flakes, and grated fresh nutmeg.
Fennel seeds add that unique sausage flavor and pair well with the wild mushrooms, Swiss chard, sage, and lemon. A brief grind in a mortar and pestle, or chop (although they tend to fly all over the place), is all they require.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRESSING AND STUFFING?
The difference is minimal, really. It all comes down to how the bread mixture is cooked. When referred to correctly (which many of us do not do) stuffing is, well, stuffing when it’s cooked inside the bird. It’s “stuffing” the bird.
This dish is "dressing" when the bread mixture is cooked separately from the turkey, in its own dish.
The reason I refer to dressing as stuffing here is because it’s a more recognizable and widely used term. However, this is in fact a dressing recipe.
What you'll need for this sourdough stuffing:
- Cubed and staled bread
- Fresh herbs
- Optional add-ins: such as dried or fresh fruit, toasted and chopped nuts, sausage or turkey giblets
How to make sourdough stuffing:
- Cook vegetables and meat (if using) in butter.
- Combine cooked vegetables, meat, bread, spices, herbs and any add-ins with broth and eggs.
- Transfer mixture to a baking dish and bake until cooked through and golden brown.
Let’s talk spices.
We know they’re essential to all kinds of dishes, but stuffing? Well, stuffing is a different beast altogether.
Because it’s made mostly of bread, stuffing can take a lot of spice without the dish getting overpowered. Moreover, since the classic components of stuffing (bread, eggs, celery) aren’t very flavor-forward, we must turn to ingredients that are sure to make a statement.
Herbs, nuts and dried fruit are all wonderful additions, but for the biggest and boldest flavors—and to create a stuffing that people can’t pass up—you’ve got to add some spices.
For this sausage stuffing recipe, I’ve turned to fennel seeds, which adds that classic sausage flavor (without all the extra grease), red pepper flakes and grated fresh nutmeg for a touch of mellow warmth.
OTHER SPICES THAT WOULD BE A WELCOME ADDITION INCLUDE:
- Ground cloves
- White pepper
- Celery seed
- Ground ginger
- Dried mustard
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T COOK YOUR STUFFING INSIDE YOUR TURKEY.
The biggest reason you shouldn’t cook stuffing inside a turkey is because it’s incredibly difficult to cook the stuffing to a safe internal temperature without overcooking the turkey itself. Which somewhat defeats the purpose, at least in my mind. You may achieve a flavorful stuffing, but you won’t make a flavorful, juicy turkey.
CAN STUFFING BE MADE AHEAD?
There are two ways you can prepare stuffing in advance.
TO PREPARE STUFFING 8 HOURS OR LESS IN ADVANCE:
Prepare stuffing mixture, transfer to baking dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
When ready to bake, transfer chilled stuffing to preheated oven and bake as directed, adding 5–10 minutes more as needed.
TO PREPARE STUFFING UP TO ONE DAY IN ADVANCE:
Prepare stuffing recipe through baking. Let cooked stuffing cool, then cover and refrigerate.
Thirty minutes prior to serving, transfer chilled stuffing to a 350° oven and bake for 5–10 minutes until heated through. Broil stuffing for a few minutes to re-crisp the top if needed. Finish stuffing with fresh parsley as directed in recipe.
Variations on this sourdough stuffing recipe:
- Add dried or fresh fruit such as dried cranberries or diced apples.
- Add toasted and chopped nuts such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts.
- Swap the pork "sausage" for turkey giblets.
- Make it vegetarian and skip the pork "sausage."
Serve this Sourdough Stuffing with...
- Herb-Roasted Cornish Hens
- Orange Glazed Roast Turkey Breast
- Rosemary & Orange Glazed Roast Turkey
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin
You might also like...
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple Browned Butter Sauce
- Roasted Beets & Carrots with Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette
- Wild Rice Stuffing
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
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This Wild Mushroom Stuffing, made with ground pork, Swiss chard, sage, and a mixture of sourdough and multigrain bread is a unique and flavorful take on a classic Thanksgiving side dish.
- ½ pound lean ground pork
- 2 teaspoons Simply Organic fennel seeds, crushed
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and sliced (such as shiitakes, porcini, chanterelle, and/or cremini)
- 1 cup sliced shallots (2–3 shallots)
- 3 celery ribs, minced
- 2 cups chopped Swiss chard or kale
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh Sage
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ pound cubed sourdough bread, staled (4 cups)
- ½ pound cubed hearty multigrain bread, staled (4 cups)
- ½ cup chopped parsley + more for garnish
- 1¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
Arrange oven rack to middle position and heat to 350°. Coat a 3-quart or 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or butter.
Cook pork in a sauté pan over medium heat until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in fennel seeds, pepper flakes, and nutmeg, cook 1 minute; season with salt and black pepper and transfer to a large bowl.
Heat butter and oil in now empty sauté pan over medium-high heat, add mushrooms and shallots and cook until liquid is released and evaporated and mushrooms are browned 10–12 minutes.
Stir in celery and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chard, sage, and garlic and cook 30 seconds. Deglaze pan with 2 tablespoons lemon juice then transfer to bowl with pork; season with salt and pepper.
Add bread, parsley, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest to bowl with mushrooms and pork and toss to combine.
Whisk together broth and eggs then pour over bread mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Transfer dressing to prepared baking dish and cover tightly with a piece of foil lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake dressing, covered, 20 minutes. Remove foil from dish and continue baking dressing for 30–40 more minutes until top is golden brown and edges are crisp.
Let dressing cool 5 minutes, sprinkle with additional chopped parsley and serve.
TO PREPARE STUFFING 8 HOURS OR LESS IN ADVANCE: Prepare stuffing mixture, transfer to baking dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. When ready to bake, transfer chilled stuffing to preheated oven and bake as directed, adding 5–10 minutes more as needed.
TO PREPARE STUFFING UP TO ONE DAY IN ADVANCE: Prepare stuffing recipe through baking. Let cooked stuffing cool, then cover and refrigerate. Thirty minutes prior to serving, transfer chilled stuffing to a 350° oven and bake for 5–10 minutes until heated through. Broil stuffing for a few minutes to re-crisp the top if needed. Finish stuffing with fresh parsley as directed in recipe.
- Serving Size: ⅛ of the recipe
- Calories: 305
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 396mg
- Fat: 10.5g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 35g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 17g
- Cholesterol: 62mg
Keywords: sausage stuffing, sausage stuffing recipe, sage sausage stuffing, sourdough stuffing