Crisp and Tender Smoked Sausage Stuffing

Smoked pan stuffing with country pork sausage, root vegetables and aromatic herbs.
crispy pan stuffing

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There is no other side dish that screams holidays like stuffing.

Getting the stuffing right for your Thanksgiving Turkey is almost important as perfecting the bird.

The problem with traditional stuffing

I remember as a child I always stayed clear of the stuffing, it was bland and soggy. I wondered why people bothered with it.

This changed one day when I tasted a friend’s homemade stuffing. I realized there was better out there, now I had to make my own.

pan stuffing ingredients on a table
Prepare ingredients for you pan stuffing

You can see exactly how I make the stuffing in this video.

Smoking the bread

This is a crowd favourite at my place over the holidays, I’m sure it will become one of yours as well.

To get the ball rolling on this recipe, we need to slice up a whole loaf of bread into cubes. Each slice should be cut into sixteen pieces, roughly three-quarters of an inch thick.

sliced bread on a tray
Slice bread into 3/4 inch thick pieces

Now lay the diced up bread on a baking tray and smoke for around an hour until the bread is crispy, just like toast or croutons.

sliced bread loaf on a tray on a smoker
Place sliced bread into a pan and place on a smoker for about 45 minutes

When I cook this the smoker is usually already going, so you can just add the stuffing 45 minutes to an hour before your main meat is done.

If you are just making this smoked stuffing and nothing else, start by lighting up a full chimney starter of lump charcoal. Then place this on top of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the Weber Smokey Mountain.

charcoal chimney and bottom of the Weber Smokey Mountain with lit charcoal
Set up a smoker for high indirect heat to cook the pan stuffing

Assemble the smoker and place an ambient temp probe on the cooking grill to monitor the temp and open all of the vents. I’ll start adjusting the vents when the smoker heats up and is nearing my target temperature of 400°F – 450°F.

The bread will only take roughly 45 minutes to an hour, so keep an eye on it.

Making the stuffing mixture

Start off by frying the country pork sausage in a frypan over medium heat, breaking it all up with a spoon.

When the sausage is nicely brown and a little crispy, set it aside in a bowl. Leave in the fond, or the little crispy bits of sausage, and pour some of the grease back into the pan.

country pork sausage frying in a pan
Fry country pork sausage over medium heat

Add some root vegetables to the pan. For this recipe, I used carrots and leeks. Fry up the vegetables until they soften up.

fried carrots and leeks in a pan
Fry some seasonal root vegetables until they soften up

Next, add some diced garlic, and let that cook for a few minutes before adding some aromatic herbs. You can’t go wrong with traditional roast flavors of rosemary, sage, and thyme but you can change that up if you desire.

fried carrots, leeks and herbs in a pan
Add some diced garlic along with favorite herbs

Give these herbs a few minutes to do their thing and then you can add a splash of white wine into the mix and allow a few minutes for the alcohol to cook off.

pouring white wine into a frying pan with carrots, leeks and herbs
Add a splash of white wine and cook for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol

Now combine the diced smoked bread, sausage and vegetables, and herbs into a large bowl.

For the next step, you’ll need to slowly pour in some stock.

I used turkey stock but you could use chicken or vegetable if you don’t have any.

I used about a quart of stock but the exact amount will vary from each cook. Hence why you should introduce the stock slowly and keep mixing. You don’t want the bread to be too sogy, but it should have plenty of moisture. It’s a fine line.

pan stuffing ingredients in a bowl
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and slowly pour in some stock

Once the consistency is right, have a taste, if it is needed give it a pinch of salt. 

Next, we need to beat two eggs and add them and stir thoroughly, they will help hold the mix together. 

uncooked stuffing in a pan
Add two beaten eggs, transfer stuffing into a greased pan and put on a smoker

Now transfer to a greased up pan and put on the smoker for an hour.

Once cooked, pan stuffing is best served with any poultry and plenty of homemade gravy.

cooked pan stuffing
Pan stuffing is a great addition to a Thanksgiving turkey or any other poultry
pan stuffing

Crisp and Tender Smoked Pan Stuffing

Smoked pan stuffing with country pork sausage, root vegetables and aromatic herbs.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 562kcal
Author: Dean “Schuey” Schumann

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs bread sliced into ¾" and cubed into 16 pieces
  • 1 lb country pork sausage casings removed
  • 1 cup leeks diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic finely diced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sage finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp white wine
  • 1 quart turkey stock
  • 2 eggs
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Lay the diced up bread on a baking tray and smoke for around an hour until the bread is crispy, just like toast or croutons.
  • Fry the country pork sausage in a frypan over medium heat, breaking it all up. When it is all browned and a little crispy, set it aside in a bowl. Leave in the fond, or the little crispy bits of sausage and pour some grease back into the pan.
  • Add some root vegetables into the pan, you can use any that are in season, I use carrots and leeks for this one. Fry up the vegetables until they soften up.
  • Add the garlic, allow that to cook for a minute or two before adding any aromatic herbs you want to put in. I tend to stick to the old faithful's like rosemary, sage and thyme but you can mix that up if you desire.
  • Give these herbs a couple of minutes to work their magic and then you can add a splash of white wine into the mix. Cook off the alcohol for a minute or two.
  • Combine the diced bread, sausage, vegetables and herbs into a large bowl.
  • Slowly pour in some stock. I used turkey stock but you could use chicken or vegetable if you don’t have any. I generally find I’ll use about a quart of stock but it does vary from each cook. Hence why you should introduce the stock slowly and keep mixing. You want all of the bread to have plenty of moisture but to still hold its shape.
  • Once the consistency is right, have a taste, if it is needed give it a pinch of salt.
  • Beat two eggs and add them to the bread mixture and stir thoroughly, they will help hold the mix together.
  • Transfer to a greased pan and put on the smoker for an hour.
  • Leave it rest and cool for five minutes before eating.

To Serve

  • Best served with any poultry and plenty of homemade gravy.

Nutrition

Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1148mg | Potassium: 582mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3016IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 6mg

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