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Elevate your stuffing from ordinary to outstanding this Thanksgiving with this creative use of good old pantry staples.
With the holidays almost upon us, many of us are planning our menus right now. Is stuffing on your Thanksgiving list? It is on mine–always.
We all like the “basic” stuffing in this household with some additions. In years past, I’d stuff the bird with traditional seasoned bread stuffing, but stuff the neck area with pure bulk sausage. That’s pretty much a British tradition (for Christmas as they don’t have Thanksgiving there) that I kept up from Mom.
But recently I’ve taken to roasting the bird unstuffed and doing the stuffing in a separate casserole. It’s a trade-off because the turkey cooks faster, but sometimes the stuffing gets a bit dry. I wanted to preserve the crunchy and toasty top on the stuffing, but eliminate the dryness below the surface.
My stuffing recipe replaces part of the water/broth with cream of mushroom soup. The addition of the soup gives the stuffing more depth of flavor and does away with the dryness I spoke of earlier in the post. My additions were mild sausage, onions, celery and extra mushrooms–I used the small button variety there, but larger ones can be used as well as long as they are sliced. These are extras that we like, but substitute your own faves if any of these are not to your liking.
Start out by chopping your veggies.
Next comes browning the sausage, onion and mushrooms. You’ll want to drain this as there’s quite a bit of fat that will come out of the sausage.
Then, mix your soup, the broth, the sausage mixture and the celery. I don’t saute the celery with the sausage because I like to preserve the bit of crunch it provides.
Now just add your croutons (they can be seasoned or unseasoned) to the soup mixture and mix well so all the croutons are coated. I recommend using unseasoned croutons so you can control your seasonings.
Place the mixture in a baking dish, and voila, you’re done!
It’s as easy as that! And another benefit here is you can also make this in your slow cooker!
Deluxe Sausage & Mushroom Stuffing--A New Twist on a Holiday Favorite
- 23 oz cream of mushroom soup
- 1 lb mild bulk sausage
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 8 oz fresh button mushrooms sliced in half*
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 12 oz bag seasoned stuffing croutons**
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- *canned may be substituted or an equal amount of larger mushrooms, sliced
- **Unseasoned stuffing croutons may be substituted. Add 2-4 tsp poultry seasoning, if desired, to the soup mixture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Brown sausage, onion and mushrooms in a large skillet; drain and cool slightly.
- Mix the soup, celery, broth and browned sausage mixture in a very large bowl.
- Add the croutons and stir so they are well coated with the soup mixture.
- Turn stuffing into prepared pan and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes covered.
- Remove foil, drizzle with melted butter and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until top is browned.
- SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:
- Follow recipe up until the addition of the croutons to the soup mixture.
- Lightly spray the liner of a 5-6 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.
- Add the stuffing mixture to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low 4-6 hours, high 2-4 hours. Slow cooker times are approximate, always check for doneness at minimum time.
- Switch to warm setting until ready to serve.