Thanksgiving came early this year! Tonight after work I surprised my boys with ice cream, then let them watch High School Football on TV while I made Make-Ahead Stuffing with Sausage and Oysters. A Perfect Friday Night!
Make Ahead Stuffing saves time so you can focus on the Bird!
Please don’t freak out over the oysters! Leave them out if you’d like but stick with this stuffing/dressing that is cooked outside the bird, loaded with flavor and full of sage, thyme, and roasted garlic.
Make-Ahead Stuffing or Make-Ahead Dressing?
What is the difference between stuffing and dressing? According to the Joy of Cooking, nothing! It is sort of a regional thing since I’ve noticed more northerners call it stuffing and more southerners call it dressing.
Some people also just call it stuffing if you stuff it inside the bird but that’s something I’ve NEVER done and probably never will. It’s just too messy and potentially germy! Plus, I like to make my stuffing or dressing in advance to cut back on the work and mess on Thanksgiving.
I use stale white bread cubes in my stuffing. Rather than wait around for the bread to get stale you can also dry it in the oven at about 300 degrees for a few minutes per side. You want it nice and dry so it can absorb all the juices.
Make Ahead Bread Stuffing with Sausage and Oysters
- 14 Cups Stale White Bread (Or bake it in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes per side if it's still fresh)
- 6 Cups Chopped Sweet Onions
- 4 Cups Chopped Celery
- 1 Apple, Chopped
- About 3 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 1 Stick Butter or Margarine
- 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons Fresh Sage, chopped finely
- 5 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped finely
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Thyme (Fresh is too much work this thyme of year 🙂
- 8 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- Freshly grated pepper to taste
- 1 Pound Ground Spicy Breakfast Sausage
- 1 8 oz Container Fresh Oysters
- 2 Eggs, beaten.
- Put bread cubes in large bowl.
- Melt butter over medium heat in large Dutch Oven.
- Add onions, celery, parsley, thyme, sage, parsley, apple, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Saute until softened.
- Add to bread cubes.
- In same Dutch Oven, cook sausage for about 5 minutes. Drain off oyster liquor and add, then add chopped oysters.
- Add to bread mixture.
- Pour broth over and toss lightly.
- Add eggs and stir.
- Refrigerate or Freeze until Thanksgiving. (About four days in the fridge, four weeks in the freezer)
- Thaw a few days before Thanksgiving, if frozen.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.