My Make-Ahead Stuffing

My Make-Ahead Stuffing

My Make-Ahead Stuffing
My Make-Ahead Stuffing

Are you like me? Do you like to be overly prepared when hosting a holiday meal? Do you like prepping everything possible ahead of time so you have less to do — and not to mention less to clean — the day of? If your answers are “yes,” then you agree: Thanksgiving is way more enjoyable when you’re not running around the kitchen like a turkey with its head cut off.

My Make-Ahead Stuffing

I have the best make-ahead stuffing (or dressing) recipe for you. It’s classic, flavorful, and just needs to be thrown in the oven the day of Thanksgiving. No fuss and no mess. I use sourdough bread, but a basic white country loaf works well, too. Maple or brown sugar breakfast sausage adds a hint of sweetness and excellent flavor, while sautéed rosemary, sage, and parsley, instantly make your kitchen smell like the holidays.

This recipe calls for a lot of butter, but believe me when I say that it’s worth it. Now is not the time to start counting calories! The top is crispy and the inside is juicy and soft — it’s basically the best bread pudding you’ve ever have. And because it’s made a day ahead of time, the flavors have a chance to develop and meld together. I have always done it this way, and once you try it, you will, too.

My Make-Ahead Stuffing
My Make-Ahead Stuffing

My Make-Ahead Stuffing

This make ahead stuffing is perfect for busy holidays! Made with sourdough and breakfast sausage it's warming and flavorful!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread, make-ahead
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 10 side servings

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread , cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz breakfast or maple sausage , casings removed
  • 2 large carrots or 5 small colorful carrots , peeled and cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 6 stalks celery , cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 small yellow onion , chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sage
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper or fresh black pepper if you don't have any on hand
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter , divided (11 tbsp & 5 tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups turkey or chicken stock

Instructions

  • Place the cubes of bread on a baking sheet and allow to dry out overnight. Alternatively, you can place them in a pre-heated 200˚F oven for about 30 to 35 minutes until they’re dry. Transfer them to a large bowl.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. 
  • Add the breakfast sausage into the pan and press it down to form a large patty. 
  • Cook for 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest. 
  • Add the carrots, celery and onion into the skillet and sauté for 8 minutes, moving them around the pan to pick up any brown bits from the sausage.
  • Add the parsley, sage, rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the aromatics to the bowl with the dried bread cubes.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and turn it up to medium-high.
  • Immediately deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up anything that has accumulated along the bottom.
  • Reduce the wine by at least half, about 4 minutes.
  • Add in 11 tablespoons butter and allow to melt into the wine.
  • Pour over the bread and vegetables.
  • Chop the sausage into small pieces and add to the bread bowl too. Toss everything to combine.
  • Transfer the bread mixture into a greased/buttered baking dish measuring 9"x11" or 10"x12".
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, stock, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Pour the stock mixture over top and into the baking dish.
  • Place 5 tablespoons of cubed butter around the top. Cover very well with tin foil and leave in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  • Remove from fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 25-35 minutes until the top is nice browned. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

You don’t necessarily have to do this the day before. You can prepare the stuffing and then allow it to sit in the baking dish with the egg/stock mixture for an hour before baking. This will allow that bread to soak up that liquid.