Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing

Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-11Dressing aka stuffing, usually plays the role of the supportive cast at Thanksgiving dinners and is never given the chance to shine like the leading characters. Frankly, I know that many of us secretly crave such things as dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy (that would totally be me) more than the turkey or roast. Yes, many of us would not be able to survive on the Atkins diet, or whichever other diet excludes carbs. Carbs are gloriously delicious and irreplaceable, at least in my humble opinion. This dressing is so tasty that it can flourish all on its own and should be made year round, not just for the holiday dinner.

If you think about it, dressing is such a clever meal. Who would think that something as mundane as bread can be the main ingredient in a flavor ensemble? If you’re anything like me, you usually have a few slices of bread that end up going stale before you’re able to eat the entire loaf. How about stashing those slices in the freezer before they get a chance to get moldy, and when you have enough bread, make dressing for dinner. Not only is this a frugal housekeeping tip, since you are saving your groceries and making a very inexpensive meal, but you can also adjust this recipe in so many different ways to make use of whatever ingredients you have on hand. I used sausage, mushrooms, fennel, onion, celery, garlic and herbs, and this combination is so satisfying. Serve this with a salad or some Braised Carrots and Parsnips and your meal is complete. 

Ingredients:

8 cups cubed sourdough bread

1/2 lb sausage (I like mild Italian sausage)

4 Tablespoons butter, divided

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (cremini, bella, button, etc)

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, sage, etc.) or 1 Tablespoon dry herbs

2 eggs

2 cups chicken broth

Instructions:

Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-20Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until the bread is dry, tossing halfway through.

Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-19Take the bread out and place it into a large mixing bowl.

As I already mentioned earlier, you can start saving slices of bread way in advance and store them in the freezer. You can use a combination of many different kinds of bread, not just sourdough. You can also toast the bread in the oven a few days in advance, to make it easier on yourself for Thanksgiving. 

Increase the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re making this dressing on Thanksgiving day in addition to the turkey, get everything prepped in advance – dry the bread, sauté the sausage, mushrooms and vegetables and store both separately. Right before baking the dressing, mix it all together and add the rest of the ingredients and bake when you take the turkey out of the oven and set it aside to rest. Since it’s crucial to rest the meat before carving it, you will have plenty of time to bake the stuffing, since it only takes 30 minutes in the oven. Perfect timing. 

Brined Turkey-1-3 copyLooking for a turkey recipe? I’ve got you covered.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the sausage until it is no longer pink. Of course, feel free to use whatever kind of sausage that you like. If you are using lean sausage, you may need to add a bit of oil to keep it from sticking to the skillet. Place the sausage into the same bowl with the bread cubes.

Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-18In the same skillet that you used to brown the sausage, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and add the mushrooms, onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-17Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, until everything is tender. Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-16Add it to the dressing. Add the fresh herbs.

If you’re prepping the dressing in advance, store the dry bread cubes separately at room temperature in a sealed bag or bowl, and store the sautéed sausage, mushrooms and vegetables in the refrigerator. Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-15Mix to combine. Beat the eggs slightly and add to the dressing along with the chicken broth.

Add more or less broth depending on how it looks. You don’t want the bread to become soggy, but you do want to have enough moisture so that it doesn’t end up too dry when it bakes. Add some of the turkey drippings to the dressings too. It will give lots of flavor to the dressing.

Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-14Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-13Butter a 12 inch cast iron skillet with another Tablespoon of butter. You can use a deep casserole dish or another baking dish. Place the dressing into the buttered skillet. Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush the top of the dressing with butter. Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-12Bake the dressing in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing-1-11

If you’re making this recipe for a large crowd, double the recipe, since this will only be enough dressing for 4-6 people. Looking for other dressing ideas? Try out this other recipe that I have made in the past – Thanksgiving Challah Herb Dressing.Thanksgiving Challah Herb Dressing-1-4

Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8 cups cubed sourdough bread
  • ½ lb sausage (I like mild Italian sausage)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (cremini, bella, button, etc)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, sage, etc.) or 1 Tablespoon dry herbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the bread into ½ inch cubes. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until the bread is dry, tossing halfway through.
  3. Take the bread out and place it into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Increase the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the sausage until it is no longer pink. Of course, feel free to use whatever kind of sausage that you like. If you are using lean sausage, you may need to add a bit of oil to keep it from sticking to the skillet. Place the sausage into the same bowl with the bread cubes.
  6. In the same skillet that you used to brown the sausage, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and add the mushrooms, onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, until everything is tender.
  7. Add it to the dressing. Add the fresh herbs.
  8. Mix to combine. Beat the eggs slightly and add to the dressing along with the chicken broth.
  9. Add more or less broth depending on how it looks. You don't want the bread to become soggy, but you do want to have enough moisture so that it doesn't end up too dry when it bakes. Add some of the turkey drippings to the dressings too. It will give lots of flavor to the dressing.
  10. Butter a 12 inch cast iron skillet with another Tablespoon of butter. You can use a deep casserole dish or another baking dish. Place the dressing into the buttered skillet. Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush the top of the dressing with butter.
  11. Bake the dressing in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
Notes
You can start saving slices of bread way in advance and store it in the freezer. You can use a combination of many different kinds of bread, not just sourdough. You can also toast the bread in the oven a few days in advance, to make it easier on yourself for Thanksgiving.

If you're making this dressing on Thanksgiving day in addition to the turkey, get everything prepped in advance - dry the bread, sauté the sausage, mushrooms and vegetables and store both separately. Right before baking the dressing, mix it all together, add the rest of the ingredients and bake when you take the turkey out of the oven and set it aside to rest. Since it's crucial to rest the meat before carving it, you will have plenty of time to bake the stuffing, since it only takes 30 minutes in the oven. Perfect timing.

If you're prepping the dressing in advance, store the dry bread cubes separately at room temperature in a sealed bag or bowl, and store the sautéed sausage, mushrooms and vegetables in the refrigerator.

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