Italian Sausage Bread Stuffing With Pears, Shown Plated for Christmas Turkey Dinner

Italian Sausage Bread Stuffing With Pears

My guess is that everyone’s Mom makes the best turkey stuffing ever!  My Mother’s was no exception.  God knows I wouldn’t want to take away the pleasure of eating anyone’s Mom’s stuffing but here’s my the I have been making for more than 15  years, which means it is, in our opinion, delicious.  My Mother approved of it when she had it!  I made this a few of years ago when we spent Thanksgiving in Umbria! Click here to see my post about our Canadian Thanksgiving in Italy.  I like to cook my stuffing in the bird, just like my Mom did, but you choose what you feel comfortable with. A bonus…you can make the stuffing the day before, storing in the fridge until an hour before you want to use it.

Makes 12 Servings

2 loaves of sourdough bread cut into ¾” cubes
1 lb. sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
6 Tbsp. butter, 4 Tbsp. for sausage mixture & 2 Tbsp. for dotting on stuffing if baking in a baking dish
2 cups diced celery (or you can substitute some fresh fennel if you like)
1 ¼ lbs. onions, chopped
1 Tbsp.+ fennel seeds
1 ¼ lbs. firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into ½” pieces
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 tsp. dried thyme, or 4 tsp. fresh thyme
2 tsp. dried marjoram
2 tsp. dried rubbed sage, rubbed between your palms until powdery
¾ cup dry white wine
¾ cup (approx.) canned low-salt chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Spread bread cubes onto 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake until just golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a very large bowl.

Cook the sausage in a large pan over medium-high heat until browned, breaking up pieces with the back of a fork, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onions and fennel seeds. Sauté until veggies are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes; reduce heat to medium; add pears, bell peppers and herbs sautéing until pears and peppers are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add wine and boil until most liquid evaporates (there will still be a tablespoon or so of liquid left in the pan), stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature before stuffing turkey.

Note: Toasted bread cubes, sausage and fennel mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately. Store bread cubes at room temperature and place sausage mixture in the fridge.

Add sausage, fennel mixture to bread cubes. Add chicken stock to moisten, adding more as required; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Use stuffing to fill your turkey or place stuffing in a large baking dish, dotting with 2 Tbsp. butter before baking. Bake stuffing at 350 F for approximately 35 – 40 minutes or until hot. If you prefer the stuffing not to have too crusty a top, cover the dish with foil before baking; remove about 8-10 minutes before stuffing is done to crisp up just a bit.



    • Such a delicious stuffing! Hope everyone likes it as much as we do!

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