This Sausage and Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and savory ingredients, and always tastes so hearty and delicious. See notes above for gluten-free and/or vegetarian options too.
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage (or your favorite kind of sausage)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 medium leeks, halved and thinly sliced, white and pale green parts only
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups roughly-diced stale crusty bread*
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used a combo of fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 eggs
- Prep oven and baking dish. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Sauté sausage. In a large non-stick sauté pan, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, crumbling it with a spoon or spatula as it cooks. Once the sausage is browned and cooked through, transfer it with a slotted spoon to a separate plate, and set aside.
- Sauté sweet potatoes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same sauté pan (or if there is leftover grease from the sausage, I highly recommend using that instead for extra flavor), and stir in the sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then sauté for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a separate plate, and set aside.
- Sauté other veggies. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the sauté pan, and add the leeks, celery, apple and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until the leeks have softened a bit. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- Combine stuffing ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the chicken stock and eggs until smooth. In a (separate) large mixing bowl, add the sausage, sweet potatoes, leek mixture, bread, pecans, cranberries and herbs. Pour the egg mixture over the stuffing mixture, and toss until all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Spread the stuffing out evenly in the prepared baking dish, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Bake. Bake (covered) for 40 minutes*. Remove the foil and bake (uncovered) for 10-15 more minutes, until the top is lightly toasted and golden. Keep an eye on the stuffing as it bakes so that the top does not burn.
- Serve. Serve warm, garnished with extra fresh herbs and black pepper if desired.
*Bread: If you are using fresh bread, I recommend popping it in the oven for 5-10 minutes until it is dried out a bit (but not too toasted/golden). Otherwise your stuffing may get a little mushy, if your bread is too soft.
*Baking covered vs. uncovered: If you would like a drier stuffing, feel free to bake (covered) for 10-15 minutes longer, before baking uncovered.