Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (2024)

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For extra-moist and crisp stuffing, break out the slow cooker.

By

J. Kenji López-Alt

Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (1)

J. Kenji López-Alt

Culinary Consultant

Kenji is the former culinary director for Serious Eats and a current culinary consultant for the site. He is also a New York Times food columnist and the author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.

Learn about Serious Eats'Editorial Process

Updated November 08, 2022

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Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (2)

Why It Works

  • Fresh sage and sage sausage add plenty of flavor to the base.
  • Dehydrating bread in the oven makes for a better finished texture than simply using staled bread.

I'm generally not too keen on the slow cooker. I know, I know. It keeps you from having to use the other appliances. It's great when you have a small kitchen. It can have a hot meal waiting for you by the time you get home. It keeps your food hot and ready to eat all night. These are all real solutions that a slow cooker provides. The one issue I have with it?It doesn't make the best food.Pretty much anything you can cook in a slow cooker will come out better when cooked with a Dutch oven in the oven.

But there are, of course, exceptions to every rule, and the slow cooker exception is bread pudding. According toKate Williams, a former Serious Eats contributor and one of the recipe testers behindAmerica's Test Kitchen'sSlow Cooker Revolution, the best recipes in that book are the beans and the bread puddings.

Seeing as myclassic sage and sausage stuffingis pretty much a savory bread pudding, I figured it was a prime candidate for the slow cooker.

I started by making my standardstuffing base, with sage sausage, onions, celery, garlic, butter, plenty of sage, cubed bread, stock, and eggs. Then, instead of piling it into a casserole to bake, like I normally would, I transferred it all to my slow cooker and set it to cook for a few hours on low heat.

If you try this method at home, when you come back to the slow cooker after those hours are up, the smell will be incredible, but the dish might not be so appealing visually. Because a slow cooker heats from the bottom and traps condensation on the top, the top of your stuffing (or that of any food cooked in a slow cooker, for that matter) will never get brown or crisp. Instead, it'll look like moist, steamed bread.

Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (3)

But appearances can be deceiving, because all around the edges, you'll find some incredible crisp, browned bits, kinda like the crispysocarratof a good paella. When portioning out your stuffing, just make sure to scrape up around the edges for each serving to give everyone a bit of the good stuff.

Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (4)

So what if you want to use your favorite stuffing recipe in the slow cooker? How would you adapt it? Here are some tips for converting any stuffing recipe for the slow cooker:

  • If it does not contain eggs, add one and a half large eggs per loaf of bread used.
  • Cut back on liquid by 25%.
  • Cook on low heat for four to six hours.
  • Make sure to butter the inside of the slow cooker to prevent sticking.

November 2014

Recipe Details

Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Active45 mins

Total6 hrs

Serves10to 14 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds (1.25kg) high-quality sandwich bread or soft Italian or French bread (about 2 loaves), cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 5 quarts)

  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick; 4 ounces; 115g), plus more for buttering slow cooker

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) sage sausage, removed from casing

  • 1 large onion (about 12 ounces; 350g), finely chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 4 large ribs celery (about 12 ounces; 350g), finely chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a Microplane

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh sage leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed (see notes)

  • 24 ounces low-sodium chicken or turkey broth (3 cups; 720ml), preferably homemade

  • 3 whole eggs

  • 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves, divided

Directions

  1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions. Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C). Spread bread evenly over 2 rimmed baking sheets. Stagger trays on oven racks and bake until completely dried, about 50 minutes total, rotating trays and stirring bread cubes several times during baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn off oven.

    Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (5)

  2. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming subsides (do not allow butter to brown), about 2 minutes. Add sausage and mash with a stiff whisk or potato masher to break up into fine pieces (largest pieces should be no bigger than 1/4 inch). Cook, stirring frequently, until only a few bits of pink remain, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic, and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add half of chicken stock.

    Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (6)

  3. Whisk remaining chicken stock, eggs, and 3 tablespoons parsley in a medium bowl until hom*ogeneous. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, slowly pour egg mixture into sausage mixture. Add bread cubes and fold gently until evenly mixed.

    Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (7)

  4. Grease the inside of a slow cooker with butter. Transfer stuffing to slow cooker and set to low heat. Cook for 5 hours. Keep warm or sprinkle with remaining parsley to serve.

    Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (8)

Special Equipment

Rimmed baking sheets, Dutch oven, slow cooker

Notes

If desired, dried or fresh fruits and nuts can be folded into the stuffing along with the bread cubes in Step 3. This makes an excellent bird stuffing, producing enough to stuff several small birds or two to three 18- to 22-pound birds.

If using homemade or low-sodium stock, season to taste with salt and pepper before adding.

  • Sides
  • Thanksgiving Stuffings
  • Slow Cooker
  • Sausages
  • Sage
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
487Calories
18g Fat
76g Carbs
17g Protein

×

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10to 14
Amount per serving
Calories487
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g23%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 772mg34%
Total Carbohydrate 76g28%
Dietary Fiber 22g79%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 20mg98%
Calcium 875mg67%
Iron 17mg97%
Potassium 815mg17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe (2024)

FAQs

Is it better to make stuffing the night before? ›

The short answer to whether you can making stuffing ahead of time is yes. "Making stuffing ahead saves time, allows stove and oven space for other things, and making it ahead gives time for the flavor to fully develop," Chef David Tiner, Director at Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, tells Southern Living.

What does adding egg to stuffing do? ›

Eggs: Two lightly beaten eggs help hold the dressing together and add moisture.

How wet should stuffing be before baking? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture. If the mix is still dry and crumbly, add more liquid and toss gently until it starts to clump together.

How long does uncooked stuffing last? ›

Do not refrigerate uncooked stuffing. If stuffing is prepared ahead of time, it must be either frozen or cooked immediately. To use cooked stuffing later, cool in shallow containers and refrigerate it within 2 hours. Use it within 3 to 4 days.

Is it better to make stuffing with fresh or dry bread? ›

Any attempts to make stuffing with soft, fresh baked bread will result in a bread soup with a soggy texture. Follow this tip: Stale, dried-out bread makes the best stuffing.

What makes stuffing unhealthy? ›

Stuffing is not strictly a healthy food, because it is typically high in calories, fat, sodium, and refined carbohydrates. 1 But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it, All foods can fit into a healthy diet in moderation.

What is traditional stuffing made of? ›

Classic stuffing made with bread cubes, seasonings, and held together with chicken stock and eggs. A holiday staple!

What can you use as a binder instead of eggs in stuffing? ›

16 egg substitutes
  1. Mashed banana. Mashed banana can act as a binding agent when baking or making pancake batter. ...
  2. Applesauce. Applesauce can also act as a binding agent. ...
  3. Fruit puree. Fruit puree will help bind a recipe in a similar way to applesauce. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Gelatin. ...
  6. Xanthan gum. ...
  7. Vegetable oil and baking powder. ...
  8. Margarine.
Mar 30, 2021

Why is my stuffing gummy? ›

If the stuffing came out too wet and soggy (aka bread soup!) try not to over mix it, otherwise it'll turn into mush. Curtis Stone says to pour it on a large sheet tray and spread it out. Bake it on high heat to crisp it up, but make sure it doesn't burn.

Can you eat raw sage and onion stuffing? ›

Oven cook 220°C / Fan 200°C / Gas 6 25-30 mins Unused cooked stuffing should be refrigerated and used within 1 day. Warnings: Do not consume raw.

Why can't you refrigerate uncooked stuffing? ›

Because stuffing is an excellent medium for bacterial growth, it's important to handle it safely and cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer. Here are some common ques- tions consumers ask. Stuffing should not be prepared ahead.

How do I know if my stuffing has enough liquid? ›

We recommend adding stock a little at a time--1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on how much stuffing you're making--and waiting for the bread to absorb the liquid before adding more. Once the bread is moist but not sitting in a pool of stock, it's ready.

How to know if stuffing is done? ›

Also, you'll need a food thermometer for determining when stuffing is safely cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Use this temperature as a guide, whether you serve stuffing separately in a casserole dish or stuffed into poultry or meat.

What do southerners call stuffing? ›

But for the Thanksgiving side dish in the South, the term dressing was adopted in place of stuffing, which was viewed as a crude term, during the Victorian era. Although dressing and stuffing are interchangeable terms, the signature ingredient of this Thanksgiving side dish in the South is cornbread.

Can I refrigerate stuffing overnight before baking? ›

USDA recommends that you never refrigerate uncooked stuffing. Why? Remember, stuffing can harbor bacteria, and though bacteria grow slower in the refrigerator they can cause problems because stuffing is a good medium for bacteria growth, therefore a higher risk food in terms of cooking safely.

Can I cook stuffing day before and reheat? ›

YES! This stuffing is baked to golden perfection the day before the big meal. You store it in the fridge overnight and then simply warm it in the oven before dinner. Baking it twice allows the flavours to meld even more so this side dish is sure to be a star at the table.

Does stuffing keep overnight? ›

Most stuffings can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the fridge overnight. In the US a stuffing that is cooked in a separate dish is known as a "dressing".

Can I stuff my turkey with stuffing the night before? ›

Information. Do not stuff whole poultry and leave in the refrigerator before cooking. If stuffing whole poultry, the ingredients for the stuffing can be prepared ahead of time. Keep wet and dry ingredients separated and chill.

References

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