My sweet mom was so incredibly proud of her Pork Sausage Thanksgiving Dressing every year, and it truly was one of the main attractions at every Thanksgiving. Over the years, I became more experienced preparing the dressing, and I could tell she was very proud that I finally did it her way. Rather than trying to reduce calories, get funky with using weird bread, or skipping the giblets, I finally did it her way. You know that song, “I Did it My Way” by Frank Sinatra? Well, take my word for it, turn the station, and do it mom’s way 😊.
My Mom & Dad the Pork Sausage Thanksgiving Dressing Chefs
My Mom passed a little over a year ago (see the Thanksgiving table I created last year in her honor using her scarf), but I know she is keeping an eye on me, and she would most certainly want me to give my dad credit for his help all the years he was the sous chef helping her get that dressing just right. I remember my dad getting me involved as a little girl by having me help him “rip” the bread into 1-2 inch pieces the night before Thanksgiving. It was so exciting to be a part of the grown-up “stuff” that I was afraid to eat. It wasn’t about the dressing yet, it was about the love, and excitement to have the family all happily together the next day ♥️.
Is it Pork Sausage Thanksgiving Dressing or Stuffing?
Before I get to a few tasty tips I know some folks argue about whether or not to call the dressing stuffing or dressing. Isn’t that silly? Well, apparently not that silly, because I looked it up 😆, and it turns out stuffing is just that…stuffing inside the turkey bird. Dressing is created in a baking dish using some of the turkey parts, but is always cooked on the side, and not in the bird.
I actually recall my mom and dad being a little worried about over cooking the turkey (which is a very common issue) to get the dressing (stuffing) cooked thoroughly, so that’s one of the reasons why they opted for dressing. I think it’s a matter of preference, so if you decide on dressing (which is much easier), using some of the turkey parts in the dressing helps bring home the flavor. This dressing recipe includes the precious cooked chopped up giblets, and also includes the giblet water you cooked them in which can be a great inexpensive boost in lieu of stock.
Tips for the Best Thanksgiving Pork Sausage Dressing
- Prepare the dressing the day before and cook the full hour. Let cool for 30 minutes before refrigerating until Thanksgiving. Reheat for 30 minutes on 350 degrees the day you are ready. Leave tinfoil on it after it’s ready and it will stay warm until you have everything on the table.
- Use jumbo eggs, or add and extra if they are small.
- As mentioned above, use the giblet water and make sure it’s very saturated.
- Don’t skip the mild pork sausage…it truly makes it.
- If folks don’t like mushrooms, chop up small 😊.
- Paprika helps crisp up the top.
- Have plenty of giblet gravy to pour over on plates.
- If you are in a hurry and can’t let bread sit out over night, prep bread in oven as suggested in recipe.
- Print Thanksgiving Pork Sausage Dressing Recipe out (I include a button for that 😊).
- Happy Thanksgiving! (see more Thanksgiving side dish recipes below)
- 2 (approximately 20 ounces each) large loaves white bread (soft white sandwich bread is best) ripped in 1 inch chunks and left out on counter with fresh towel on top 24 hours to get stale. If in a hurry, bake chunks on 275 for an hour.
- 1 lb. mild plain pork sausage (Mom use to get from butcher, but I use Jimmy Deans's mild)
- 1 cup cooked/boiled chopped giblets from turkey (this is optional, but adds so much flavor)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 or more cloves fresh chopped garlic
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 5 big diced celery stalks
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried sage (if there is sage in your sausage, skip)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 large/jumbo eggs
- 3-4 cups chicken/turkey stock (or giblet water you cooked them in)
- My Dad always asked me to help him "rip" the bread the night before my mom and him would make the dressing. We would rip it into 1 inch pieces (give or take) and leave in a big pan on the counter over night with a clean kitchen towel over the top. If you're in a rush, bake in oven like I discuss above.
- Prepare giblets by removing them from the defrosted turkey, and simmer on stove with a few cups of water, salt & pepper. You can add water if it evaporates. These giblets are flavor you shouldn't waste.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 13x9 inch glass or metal baking dish.
- Sauté sausage on medium in very large frying pan until fully cooked and pour into a bowl and set aside (no need to drain).
- Take same pan without cleaning, add your olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, and mushroom. Saute on medium until veggies are slightly tender, but not cooked completely.
- Season veggies with salt, pepper.
- Add sausage, and giblets (if using- I do think it's tastier with giblets-no one will know) to veggie mixture in pan.
- Season it all with sage, parsley, and taste to see if you need more salt and pepper. Mix it up well.
- Add bread, stock, eggs and combine well (using gloves for this part is great).
- Add to the 13x9 inch sprayed pan and sprinkle a little paprika on top.
- Cover with tin foil, and bake for 1 hour.
- If you plan to eat right then, take off tin foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes to crisp up the top.
- If you want to refridgerate until ready to eat later, or the next day, just heat up uncovered before serving at 350 degrees until 165 degrees (about 30 minutes).
Amount Per Serving Calories 388Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 225mgSodium 389mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 37g