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Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Sausage Stuffing with Kale and Fennel

This Thanksgiving stuffing or “dressing” recipe is made with sautéed sausage, fennel, onion, garlic, apples and kale for a twist on the traditional dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword fennel, ground pork, kale, pork, sausage, stuffing, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 558kcal


  • 1 loaf crusty Italian bread, cut into 1” cubes (about 10 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced, save fronds for garnishing
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups chopped curly kale, stems removed
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • cups chicken stock
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed


  • Heat oven to 300ºF (150ºC). Spread out cubes of bread on a baking sheet and bake until the bread is crisp, about 15 minutes.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the shallots and fennel and sauté, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about an additional 30 seconds.
  • Next, add the sausage to the pan and break it up with a wooden spoon so it’s no longer in large pieces. Cook the sausage, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the kale (in batches if needed) and continue to cook until the kale has wilted, about an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Add the apple and lemon zest then toss with your hands to combine. Pour chicken stock over the top, gently mixing once more.
  • Season with salt and pepper then spread out evenly in a 3½ quart or 9” x 11” baking dish.
  • Increase the oven heat to 375ºF (190ºC). Bake until browned on top, about 25 minutes. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.


Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 673mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1613IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg