Nov 14, 2011

Chicken Sausage and Herb Stuffing



If sausage stuffing is a must on your Thanksgiving table, this recipe will not dissappoint! Lean chicken sausage is combined with celery, onion and fresh herbs to create a great tasting stuffing you won't believe is light.

I used one of my favorite lean sweet Italian chicken sausages from my local butcher, but it's hard to say what the nutritional info is without a label, so I've been using Isernio's as a guesstimate. If you follow Weight Watchers, you are saving 2 points by swapping pork sausage for lean chicken sausage and I bet no one would know the difference. I like using french bread since it's naturally fat-free and makes a great stuffing. A whole wheat loaf would also be great if you can find one.

You can make this the night before, and bake it before you are ready to serve. Leftovers should be good for about 3 days.

I ordered Williams-Sonoma turkey brine to test out on a young fresh turkey this week. Truth is we always go to my Mom's for Thanksgiving and she always makes the turkey, so I don't have too much experience with making a whole turkey. My girlfriend, a culinary school graduate, swears by Williams-Sonoma turkey brine and I've read that a brine bath ensures the most juiciest, succulent turkey, so I will let you know how it goes! I think I will be sick of Thanksgiving before it arrives this year :)



Chicken Sausage and Herb Stuffing
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 3/4 cup • Old Points: 3 pt • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 136.2 • Fat: 6.4 g • Carbs: 31.4 • Fiber: 1.7 • Protein: 3.5 g • Sugar: 20.7
Sodium: 143.1 mg 



Ingredients:

  • 14 oz French bread, crusts removed (weight after crust is removed)
  • 2 tbsp light butter (Land O Lakes)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 3/4 cups (about 4 stalks) diced celery
  • 13.2 oz fresh Italian chicken sausage, casing removed (Isernio's)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 1/4 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray

Directions:

Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and let it dry overnight - OR - place the baking sheet in a 350°F oven and bake about 20 minutes, or until the bread is dried out. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F.


In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

In the same pan over medium heat, cook the sausage, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the bowl with the onion/celery mixture.

Spray an oven proof baking dish with cooking spray (I use my misto)

Add the bread, sage and thyme to the bowl with the sausage/onion mixture and stir to combine. Add the chicken broth and stir to evenly coat the bread. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix well.


Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir. Continue baking until golden, about 35 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Makes about 9 cups.

67 comments :

  1. This looks so good... Thanksgiving is one time of year that its tough to be a vegetarian!

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  2. Oh this looks WONDERFUL! I love stuffing. I make a "leftover" turkey since our family is so big but mine is so good they switch out grandma's (who nukes it ALL morning) for mine. Brining never did anything for mine but you make some herb and shallot butter and rub it under the skin and you never need to baste it once. Put 2 bay leaves under the skin for extra taste and a little wow factor. :)

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  3. This looks delicious! I cannot wait for thanksgiving this year!

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  4. Looks fabulous!!

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  5. Thanks Mrs, nukes a turkey, huh?

    Yea, my mom uses butter but I'm trying to avoid that to see how it comes out!

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  6. This looks great Gina! :)

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  7. william-sonoma has 3-4 different turkey brines...which one are you doing?

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  8. Thanks Shari!

    Rose, I bought two, not sure which I will do yet. One is turkey brine with apple, the other has citrus.

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    1. The apple brine is great!
      I also added 1 cup of cider to my stuffing mix eliminating 1 cup of broth

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  9. This is great. The chicken sausage must add some nice flavor to the stuffing. I would love to hear how the brine works out. I would say that Williams Sonoma would be a pretty reliable place to get brine from.

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  10. Gina - This looks really, really good. The dressing (can't call it stuffing 'cause I don't stuff the bird) I make is very similar -- use turkey Italian sausage instead and add a few dried cranberries and a chopped Granny Smith apple, and no butter. Otherwise, herbs, broth, all the same.

    As far as the turkey goes, PLEASE DO NOT NUKE!! (Sorry Mrs. although it sounds like your family doesn't like it either.) Absolutely can't see how it would be good. Roasting it or cooking it on the rotisserie works so much better. I sometimes spray my bird with olive oil - sometimes no oil or butter - and then baste it with chicken broth. Always good. Also, if roasting it, start the bird upside down and turn it over about half way through cooking time. This quite often takes two (or more) people depending on the size of the bird. (That's why I love my rotisserie.) (Also, the dog and cats think it's TV - very fun to watch them watch it.) Deborah

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  11. that stuffing looks yummy...it's just how I make mine, only I don't use sausage. I might have to try that some time. I have to agree with your friend, I will never make a turkey without a brine ever again!

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  12. I've never heard of sausage stuffing, but I feel like it should be on my table right nowww!

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  13. You got me sold on a sausage taste with the brown rice, chicken sausage celery dressing from a week or so ago. Don't use it in my turkey stuffing but may give it a try..this looks great. So far nothing I have tried from your site has failed me. It helps so much on WW to have this kind of variety. Thanks Gina!!

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  14. I need a few experienced Thanksgiving chefs out there to give me their opinion on freezing a turkey. My friend's father-in-law passed this summer and they inherited the turkey that was in his freezer. We are having an early Thanksgiving party this weekend. I have volunteered to cook the bird. The only problem is that we dont know how old it is! Her guess is that it was bought on sale after Thanksgiving last year......but.....it might be older than that. What do you think? Give it a whirl?

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  15. Yum, this looks great! I love stuffing and I love chicken sausage! I need to make this, this week! So excited for this recipe! He he

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  16. can this be made ahead and reheated??

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  17. That looks absolutely fabulous! I must try this one! You go girl!

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  18. Love, love, love your website! Thanks for all the work you do taking pictures and posting!

    Question... Did you cook this in a 9 x 13 pan or a pan of another size? Thanks so much!

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    1. I was an oval, but 9 x 13 will work.

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  19. Anonymous - regarding the frozen turkey, i would think if it hadn't suffered any accidental thaws in the freezer, it should be okay. i've had forgotten things in the freezer for that long and used them, just changed the cooking method some to accommodate. thaw it and see. you will be able to tell if it had spoiled as it will smell really bad. hope that helps.

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  20. This sounds amazing! Would it work to cook this in a crock-pot? I am trying to find a recipe for an office luncheon and the microwave use is limited in an office with over 50 people!

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  21. I love green beans. I am going to try these.

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  22. Yes! You can make this ahead and reheat!

    This was an oval pan but a 9 x 13 would be fine.

    I haven't tried it in the crock pot, but I think it would work!

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  23. I halved this recipe and made it this week to decided if I will make it for Thanksgiving - it was delicious!! I added a little poultry seasoning, but otherwise stayed true to the recipe! Thanks, Gina!

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  24. The pictures of this stuffing are lick worthy. Thanks for the recipe!

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  25. What about putting it in the slow cooker while the turkey roasts, instead of the oven?

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  26. I have not tried stuffing in the crock pot, but I'm sure it would work.

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  27. Gina, the recipe says to remove the crust, but the picture looks like it has crust, can I leave the crust on and i'm sure it will soften with the chicken broth, and i'm going to buy a good loaf of multi grain Italian bread to use.

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  28. Hi Gina!!!

    I love your recipes-- you are the bomb!
    This stuffing recipe looks DELISH...

    my mom wants me to bring a CORNbread stuffing for thanksgiving; would it be easy to make this recipe but with cornbread rather than french bread? or does that need to be a completely different recipe?

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  29. Sally, I took most of the crust off, but if you left some on I suppose it would be ok as long as it's not too much.

    I think it would taste great with cornbread too.

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  30. Gina I made this today for an early Thanksgiving with my family. I used Hot Italian Turkey sausage instead of chicken sausage and it was AMAZING!!!!

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  31. Would it be ok to cube these a few days before Thanksgiving to dry them out, I would like to cube it, spray with my misto and throw some seasonings on the cubes, what do you think?

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  32. Thanks Laurie!

    Sally yes, go for it!!

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  33. I got designated to make the stuffing and this is what I'm making! Went to one of my favorite new stores that makes their own sausages and got chicken basil sausage! So excited!!

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  34. Hi Gina -
    I plugged your NI info into my WW calculator and got 5 P+ - not 3, so I am really hoping you fat-fingered one of the 4 important NI because I was hoping it was really just 3 P+!

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  35. I made this dish today and it is absolutely delicious! Since joining WW, I have made many of your recipes and have recommended your website to many of my WW friends.

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  36. Gina, if I am making this the night before and bake it the next day do I still put the broth in? Wouldn't that make the dish soggy overnight??? I am making this for tomorrow and don't want to screw it up! Thanks for the great recipes!

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  37. Hi Gina,
    I absolutely love your recepies. I made this tonight for Thanksgiving. I must have done something wrong. It was super, super soggy. The breading went to mush. The top of it got nice and crispy but underneadth was smush. I wish it came out correctly, the top pieces tasted real good. I will definately try it again. FYI...All the recepies I have tried from you website have always been a hit. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  38. OMG! This recipe turned out absolutely delicious! It was my first time making stuffing and I was nervous, however, this turned out so amazing i will be making it over and over again! Thanks Gina for all of your awesome recipes!

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  39. This stuffing recipe was DIVINE!!! I added some mushrooms and dried cranberries to the mix but the chicken sausage was the ticket to this dish!! Thanks for a great recipe!

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  40. I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas.. it's so close to my mom's own recipe!! I tweaked it a bit and made it my own, but Gina, you gave me the springboard, and for that, I am forever grateful. Thanks!!!! :)

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  41. Your stuffing recipe sounds delicious and our kitchen will gladly try this! We hope you won't mind being included in our Pinterest Fan page?
    -Frank Isernio

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  42. I know that 14oz is a weight measurement and not a volume measurement... but about how many cups would you say 14oz of bread is? 3-4? Thanks!!

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    1. I'd like to know too... my mom will not buy a food scale, for some reason the idea of it creeps her out.

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    2. I would really like to know too!

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    3. 8 ounces is one cup, so 14 ounces is a cup and 3/4.

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    4. You really need to weigh it, because bread will vary depending on how it's baked. Often, when you buy bread it tells you how many oz it is, so that should give you an idea.

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  43. Gina, you mentioned you think this would work great with cornbread, but do you think there should be any recipe modification due to the different nature of the two breads? My family is insisting on cornbread-everything this year, but the rest of this recipe sounds incredible!

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  44. Gina, the recipe does not mention stuffing the turkey at all with this recipe. Would you recommend this or not?

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  45. Could we make this recipe in a muffin tin for bite size portions... much easier for a large family doing Thanksgiving buffet style. If so, how will the baking time change? Thanks! Can't wait for the whole family to fall in love with this one :)

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  46. I must admit I made this with cornbread. It was fabulous - the best stuffing I have ever made in 40 some odd years. I made up my cornbread recipe as usual but added the chopped sage and thyme to the batter. When it was cool, I cut the cornbread into croutons and dried them in a slow oven until crispy. I didn't have the chicken sausage, so I used less of pork sausage (8 oz) to keep the points low and it was still plenty. Sooo yummy!

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  47. Oh, dear. I am having trouble getting this to dry enough. I've left the lid off and keep stirring it. I did double the recipe, but I'm using a large dish. Any ideas?

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  48. Regarding my comment above -- I just realized what I did. I doubled the recipe, but forgot to double the bread. Geez! I will try this again. I do love Skinnytaste recipes and always have success.

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  49. I made this last night and have to say, while the flavor was delicious, mine came out super soggy and mushy like the commenter above. Not sure what I did wrong though! I even left out the last 1/4 cup chicken broth. Will have to play around with it a bit before making it for guests again!

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  50. I made this for Thanksgiving, instead of Bread I used my own homemade cornbread. This dish turned out phenomenal. I did have to use more cornbread to accomodate the chicken broth and I used Turkey Andouille Sausage instead of Chicken Sausage but this came out sooo wonderful!!!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

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  51. I have read your post and i enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you for sharing the information.

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  52. Excellent article-thank you

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  53. Hi Gina! This recipe looks great. I see total fat is listed at 6.4g, but what is the amount of saturated fat in grams?

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  54. I'm a huge fan of W-S's turkey brine also!

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  55. saw your post for this on facebook - i am dying to make this ASAP and have basically all the ingredients! will make in muffin tins as you suggested. think they would freeze well?

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  56. Brining is the way to go! I do it every year and it makes the BEST Turkey!! This stuffing looks delish! I usually do pork sausage so it would be great to lighten it up a bit!

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  57. I am SO trying this instead of my usual stuffing with pork sausage!

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  58. This is a silly question, but once you make this stuffing, do stuff it inside the turkey and then put the turkey in the oven??

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