Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing

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Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing — This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There’s no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!! 

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing in white bowl

The BEST Sausage Stuffing Recipe

My family loves stuffing. It’s definitely their favorite Thanksgiving side dish, hands down. I wanted to try a new stuffing recipe this year and they told me this one is a keeper.

This slow cooker stuffing is buttery soft with a bit of texture from onions and celery. It’s packed with flavor from fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley. Juicy sausage adds wonderful richness. I used hot Italian sausage and it lends great depth of flavor without being spicy, but use mild sausage if you prefer. 

You don’t even need to brown the sausage first, meaning that’s another step avoided and another skillet you won’t dirty. It all counts and it all adds up, especially on holidays.

I love how easy the stuffing is. It’s made in the slow cooker which is awesome for Thanksgiving or other holidays because it’s one less thing that ties up your oven.

Make sure you start with day-old or stale French bread. I bought a one pound loaf from the grocery store bakery, diced it into cubes, placed the cubes into my slow cooker, and let it sit out for about 12 hours (overnight) before beginning the rest of the recipe.

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing Ingredients 

To make this Crock Pot stuffing recipe, you’ll need: 

  • French bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Celery
  • Fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chicken broth
  • Italian sausage 

the best sausage stuffing in a white bowl

How to Make Slow Cooker Stuffing with Sausage

This truly is the BEST stuffing recipe with sausage. It’s super easy to prepare, and since it’s made in a slow cooker the recipe is basically foolproof. 

Here’s an overview of how the Crockpot stuffing with sausage is made: 

  1. Dice the French bread and place it inside the slow cooker insert. Let it sit overnight to dry out.
  2. The next day, add the butter, onion, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, chicken broth and stir to combine. 
  3. Crumble the Italian sausage over the bread mixture (no need to brown it first). 
  4. Cover and cook the slow cooker stuffing on low for roughly 4 to 5 hours, or until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through.
  5. Stir the sausage into the bread mixture, then give the sausage stuffing a taste and add more salt, pepper, or desired herbs as you deem necessary. 
  6. Sprinkle the parsley onto the sausage dressing and stir to combine. Let the slow cooker stuffing cook for another 5 minutes before serving. 

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing - EASY stuffing that's full of flavor from the sausage, onions, and more!! You don't even need to brown the sausage first and everything cooks together! A time and oven-space saver on holidays!!

Can I Prep This Stuffing in Advance? 

I’ve only ever made this sausage stuffing as written, so I can’t say for certain if you can cook it ahead of time and reheat it on Thanksgiving. My gut says that would be fine, but I’ve only made if day-of on past Thanksgivings. 

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing — This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There's no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!! 

Can I Make This with Cornbread? 

I’ve only ever made this recipe with French bread, but cornbread should work.

You may want to toast the cornbread before adding it to the slow cooker or let it dry out for an extra day or two though. Cornbread is more prone to disintegrating, so it needs to be really dry before being made into sausage stuffing. 

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing — This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There's no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!! 

Can I Replace the Bread with Store-Bought Stuffing Cubes? 

Possibly, yes, that could work although I haven’t tried it myself. If the store-bought stuffing or bread cubes are big chunks, go ahead and try them out.

However, if they’re fine like breadcrumbs, that definitely will not work. 

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing — This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There's no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!! 

Tips for Making the Best Stuffing Recipe with Sausage

If you want to add other veggies or a chopped apple to this slow cooker stuffing, be sure to scale back the amount of vegetables that’s called for in the recipe below. Adding additional vegetables to this sausage stuffing may make the mixture too moist and the texture won’t turn out right. 

For that same reason you don’t want to add any eggs to this sausage stuffing recipe. Trust me, your stuffing will turn out perfectly if you follow the recipe exactly as written! 

Finally, note that the sausage and veggies go into the slow cooker raw. There’s no need to sauté them ahead of time — the slow cooker does all the hard work for you.

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing — This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There's no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!! 

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Yield: 10 servings

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing — This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There's no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Bread Drying Time 12 hours
Total Time 17 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • one pound loaf French bread, diced into 1-inch cubes and allowed to dry out for about 12 hours
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 extra-large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, diced small (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup celery, diced small
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary (sticks discarded), finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage (stems discarded), finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (sticks discarded), finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage (I used hot but you can use mild; sausasge should be raw and the not precooked type)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, or to taste

Instructions

    1. Place bread inside a 6-quart slow cooker that’s been lined with a slow cooker liner or sprayed with cooking spray. Allow bread to dry out and become stale for about 12 hours (overnight).
    2. The next day, add the butter, onion, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, chicken broth and stir to combine.
    3. Evenly crumble the raw sausage in small, bite-sized pieces over the bread mixture.
    4. Cover and cook on low for about 4 to 5 hours, or until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked through. All slow cookers vary in their intensity so cook until done.
    5. Stir the sausage into the bread mixture, taste, and check for seasoning balance. Add more salt, pepper, or additional herbs if desired, to taste.
    6. Add the parsley and stir to incorporate. Cover and cook for 5 minutes before serving (Adding the parsley at the end allows it to stay green, vibrant, and lends nice visual appeal).

Notes

Stuffing will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 852mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g

More Easy Thanksgiving Sides: 

You can find all of my Thanksgiving recipes HERE

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Honey Dinner Rolls – My favorite all-around dinner roll recipe (that doesn’t have pumpkin in it)!

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Originally published November 2016 and republished November 2019 with updated text.



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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

    1. I think it will be fine. I’ve never paid specific attention to the fat content for this recipe but more than likely you’ll be fine.

      However, if you’re concerned and you are making this for Thanksgiving, I would make it exactly as written just so you have total piece of mind.

  1. I made this last year and it was perfect, however I have a request to add Chestnuts to it this year. Do you think that would work without adjusting anything else? 

    Rating: 5
    1. I think that would probably be fine, I would just add them and see how it goes. Normally nuts soften quite a bit if they’re cooked provided they are chopped a bit beforehand.

      1. Followed your advice and roughly chopped the roasted chestnuts, did not change anything else and this recipe was even more delicious! It is a fantastic recipe as is but for my family perfected by the addition. A genius way to make this traditional side dish. Thank you!

        Rating: 5
  2. Hi, I know this is a Slow Cooker 
    Stuffing… but as I don’t have one,  I would very much like to try recipe!

     is it possible to use a heavy let’s say 
    Le Creuset  cast iron casserole dish with lid to slow cook in a fan oven.. I live in Europe 
     if you could get back to me I would be great full
    Thanks .

    1. I am sorry I really don’t know since this recipe was written specifically for a slow cooker.

      I have an extremely popular stuffing recipe that I would suggest instead for you then https://www.averiecooks.com/classic-traditional-thanksgiving-stuffing/ It doesn’t use sausage but I am sure you could work some crumbled sausage into the recipe before baking if you are really wanting sausage although it’s classic and great without the sausage.

  3. Best stuffing ever it was easy, simple and very very tasty. This is my second year making it. In addition to making it for a weekday dinner. Family loves it and I love it and even people who don’t like stuffing said it was great.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was the best stuffing ever for you! Even for people who don’t like stuffing!

    1. Possibly yes that could work although I haven’t tried. If they are big chunks, yes probably. If they’re tiny bits that more resemble crumbs, no.

  4. This sounds amazing and I’d love to make it for my work Thanksgiving carry in, however I’m wondering if I can increase it. Wondering if it’s possible to triple it? Or even more? I feel like that might affect the cooking time….anyone tried?

    1. I have never made it other than written so I cannot say.

      But yes, if you 2x, 3x, etc the recipe it will affect cooking time. I don’t know if that means exactly 2x more if you 2x the batch. If you are attempting this, you would need a very large (the biggest) slow cooker you can get your hands on.

      Or maybe if you have someone who has a slow cooker you can borrow, make a 1.5x batch in two slow cookers, and then you end up with 3x the recipe which is a hefty amount.

    1. I remove the casing but if it’s a thin casing and you can crumble it without, I guess you could leave it on.

  5. This recipe is a family favorite, and we make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was recently put on a gluten free diet. Do you think this recipe will work with gluten free bread?

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you love this recipe!

      As for the GF bread, it’s hard to say. It would depend on the texture. Some GF bread can be a bit soft and delicate and that would turn into mush I fear. You may want to make it to experiment before the actual holiday arrives so there are no surprises on the big holidays.

  6. Made this for Christmas dinner yesterday and my husband said it was the best stuffing he has ever had! Everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing.

    Rating: 5
  7. What a great recipe! I frequently use hot turkey sausage as a substitute for ground meat, and that one ingredient gave this dish a definite edge.The night before, I prepped everything except crumbling the sausage, and getting that head start on this large meal prep was just a bonus.

    Rating: 5
  8. I drive day before to relative’s house for Thanksgiving.
    Can I follow recipe exactly as shown but cook ingredients in slow cooker day before Thanksgiving? Refrigerate overnight in slow cooker bowl & Just re-heat on low or high day of Thanksgiving? If yes, for how long? Would this totally change texture & taste? My sister loves that we won’t need oven space for it! THANKS SO MUCH! Mindy

    1. I have only made and prepared the recipe as written so cannot comment on your various questions since I have not done that.

  9. The recipe says line the bottom of CP and lay bread down to dry out over night.. on top of the spray….So then when you are ready do you just dump everything ON TOP of the bread and leave it? you only say to stir it together at the end…

    1. Step 2 says stir to combine. Yes you can put the bread in the CP to dry out, or on a baking sheet on your counter, whatever you like.

  10. Sheila forwarded your recipe for me to try as she said the preparation was easy and the results were delicious. I have to agree that this is the tastiest sausage stuffing recipe I have ever made. Recipe was easy to follow with a couple of substitutions such as hot Italian sausages for garlic sausages and I added in apples as well. I didn’t have fresh thyme, rosemary and sage so I used dried variety. Still turned out great. I think that the juices from the sausages really added the extra flavours to this stuffing. Thanks for sharing your recipe

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! The apples sound like a lovely idea!

  11. I just made this sausage stuffing recipe in my crock pot and it was absolutely delicious and best of all … it was hassle free … no pre-cooking of any ingredients at all …
    This recipe was a definite hit with my family and they went back for seconds …
    I’ll be making this again!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it was hassle-free and EASY! Not having to pre-cook anything is such a timesaver!

  12. Is there any way that I can do this same recipe in a smaller crock pot? I noticed that you used a 6-quart crock pot and I only have a 4-quart crock pot?

    1. It will probably work but you’ll have to cook it longer since it’ll be very full. However, I have only tried the recipe as written so if this is for Thanksgiving, I would give it a trial run first.

    1. I really can’t say because I haven’t tried it that way but that stuffing is pretty much already cooked and I think adding it to a slow cooker would just turn it into mush if you cooked it very long. This recipe is for starting with your own bread and going from there.

    2. The bagged stuffing is not already cooked — i’ve been using it for years. It is actually drier than fresh bread left to dry for a day. I think it would work just fine. I am planning on doing this one this year as we are going to my sis-in-law’s and she only has a single oven. i’m going to use my casserole slow cooker. I also add dried apples to my stuffing and usually use sage breakfast sausage.

      1. I have never used bagged stuffing so I really don’t know if it would work well here or not. I have only made the recipe as written. Hopefully all goes well with your stuffing!

  13. This stuffing recipes sounds amazing. I am not a very “experienced” cook, and I am new to cooking a Thanksgiving dinner. If I double this recipe for a very large family, would I double the cooking time?

    1. Hmmm… hard question. Do you have a huge crockpot? If not, you will need to increase the cooking time since there will be more food in it and it will take longer for all the food to cook through. However, I don’t think you will double the cooking time, just increase it. Hard to say though because all CPs cook differently. Good luck!

  14. I made your stuffing recipe for a trial run last week. It’s awesome and taste a lot like my mother’s french stuffing. I would like to make this for Thanksgiving. I have high school football players so everything this year is crockpots and the turkey will be done in a roaster. What are your thoughts for tripling the recipe?I have a large crock pot that cooks rather high. Do you think I would be safe with the same cooking time?

    1. Oh gosh that’s a great question. I have never tripled this recipe and all Crock Pots can cook so differently. If it cooks rather high, that’s good. If possible, I would maybe put a double batch in that CP and then a single batch in your smaller CP (it sounds like you have 2 CP’s.) If not…well…you can always triple it in the one, and hope for the best. I would give yourself some cushion time because I suspect it will take somewhat longer, not sure though. LMK how this goes!

  15. Averie, I have made the slow cooker dressing three times since Thanksgiving and each time I get great reviews. Thank you for this recipe and many others, from a guy who enjoys cooking.

  16. Made this for Thanksgiving. Everyone loved it! (I don’t like stuffing. Sorry) Thanks for helping us free up the oven!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! (I’m not the biggest stuffing fan either but my family are all fiends! lol)

  17. Made this yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! After it was done cooking in the crockpot, I put it in a baking dish and threw it in the oven for 10-15 minutes to crisp it up since my family always fights over the crispy bits. Next time I will have to make a double batch as it was almost gone before everyone got some! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Great idea for 10-15 mins in oven to crisp up top and that you’ll be making a double batch next time!

  18. Hi there,
    Can’t wait! I am trying it for this Thanksgiving! Quick question- no eggs in this? Or would an egg or two just add moisture? What are your thoughts? Thank you!!

  19. Looks delicious! Thinking about making this for Thanksgiving.  Stuffing is always such a long process. It would be so nice to throw it all in the crockpot.  Couple questions….do you think if I added chopped apples it would work in this?  Also, no need to sauté the onions and celery?

    This is my first time commenting but I love your blog and recipes! :)

    1. I made the recipe exactly as written, no sauteeing first was necessary for me. Everything cooks through perfectly. If you add apples I would perhaps reduce the celery and/or carrots because apples have quite a bit of juice and I worry they could sog down the stuffing possibly.

      If you try this, let me know how it goes!

    2. I made it and it was fantastic!!  I ended up doubling the recipe (big crowd!!) and added one diced apple and a little extra bread, perfecto!  Has become the new favorite, thank you!  

      1. Sounds like a winner and so glad you all loved it – good call on the double batch for a big crowd!

  20. Just made this as a trial run for Thanksgiving (which I should’ve done earlier because it makes a lot) and it’s delicious! Love that it’s a crock-pot recipe, which makes it so much easier for Thanksgiving and traveling to family dinners.

    The only downside is the sausage is pretty hard to “crumble” when it’s not cooked so I had to break it up a lot when it was done and even then it was still not quite broken up enough.

    1. Glad you enjoyed this!

      With regard to crumbling the sausage, there is no way to get around it other than to get in there with your hands (I wear rubber gloves) when it’s raw and really pull it apart in smallish pieces so that when it finishes cooking they’re the size you want it.

  21. Our family stuffing recipe begins with homemade cornbread. We bake it the night before as well. It seems we are always waiting on the dressing to finish cooking-never even thought of using a slow cooker. Can we use the cornbread instead of the bread?

    1. I would let the cornbread get stale for 1-2 days, or toast it after you cube it because cornbread is already more prone to ‘disintegrating’ than a French bread and I worry a bit that you could end up with mush otherwise. LMK if you try it!

  22. Stuffing and macaroni cheese are in a constant battle for the top spot on my favorite Thanksgiving side dish list. Your stuffing looks incredible, Averie. Plus, huge WIN for it being made in a slow cooker!

  23. I just saw you on msn.com’s roundup of the Most Delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  So fun to see your name pop up all over because I feel like I “know” you!  I’ve been stalking for years.  :) Your stuffing looks amazing!

  24. I am all about stuffing at Thanksgiving. Let’s skip the turkey and move on to stuffing and cranberry sauce (hmm, I don’t think I’ve noticed your cran-blueberry sauce before …). I think I’d be tempted to make this recipe as a weeknight supper–don’t judge!

  25. I am so ready for thanksgiving and stuffing is definitely one of my favorite things. In the slow cooker? With sausage? YES PLEASE.

  26. this recipe looks delicious! it’s been really interesting seeing you expand/re-expand your palate over the years of this blog, and I’m just curious, but I’m assuming you’re back to eating meat now?

  27. I think stuffing is the best part of Thanksgiving for a lot of people! This looks like a great recipe with a lot of added flavor from sausage. It’s also a nice surprise to see that it doesn’t have to be browned first..just mix it all up and let the slow cooker do the work. I have to give a shout out to your cranberry blueberry sauce in the related recipes…I love that stuff and have made it several times!

    1. I love that you love the cranberry blueberry sauce. I do too :) It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it! And yay to not have to brown the sausage first!