Buttery brioche cubes are baked into heavenly bliss with sausage, pears and cranberries for the absolute BEST stuffing recipe ever. Sausage Cranberry Brioche Stuffing is easy to make and a great make ahead side dish perfect for the holidays.
Just three days until the feast of the year. I don’t know about you guys but I’m super excited to eat all the things on Thursday. For my international friends, you can join us in spirit. My family always has a huge selection of food…way more than we could ever eat. When I was little, we used to go to my aunt’s house with like 70 million of my closest relatives. There were tons of food options to choose from and a huge mountain of sliced turkey but what I piled my plate with….always…were the sides. I don’t even think I ever took any turkey. Well, maybe a big piece of crispy skin and a bit of dark meat but really….Thanksgiving to me is all about the sides. The Green Bean Casserole, the sweet potatoes, the stuffing, the gravy...the stuffing. Oh, the stuffing. It’s seriously my favorite thing ever.
Every year, I stick with the usual…the tried and true…but this year I wanted to branch out a bit and try something with brioche. It’s wonderfully buttery and tender, it’s the perfect decadent treat and fantastic when tossed with things it can soak up the flavor of…like sausage, cream and cranberries.
This Sausage Cranberry Brioche Stuffing is exactly what I imagined it to be. Hidden beneath that crispy crust is a moist, buttery blend of soft brioche, crumbly, savory sausage, sweet pears and tart cranberries. It’s the best addition to Thanksgiving since Cheesy Spinach Gratin.
And this Sausage Cranberry Brioche Stuffing is super easy to make using this simple brioche recipe (or you can totally buy one at the store, I don’t judge.) Toss everything together in a big bowl, transfer to a baking dish and wait until you need to bake it. The best part is you can make it a day in advance and then bake it while the turkey is resting. Now that’s a multi-tasking masterpiece. Don’t you think? So, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving food tradition?
- 1 Brioche Loaf (I try to buy a 1 pound loaf or close to that)
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage
- 2 large vidalia onions, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 cup turkey stock or low sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pear
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a shallow baking dish (2 1/2 to 3 quart).
- Spread the bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake until completely dry, approximately 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool in the pan on a rack.
- While the bread bakes, cook the sausage in a large heavy skillet over med-high heat until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl and set aside.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet and add the onions to the pan. Saute the onions over med-high heat stirring until softened, approximately 10 minutes. Add the celery and continue stirring and scraping up any brown bits, approximately 3 minutes.
- Stir the sausage into the onion mixture.
- Add the bourbon off the heat. Deglaze the pan by simmering over medium heat scraping the bottom of the pan to release the brown bits, 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375.
- Soak the bread cubes in half and half in a large bowl being sure to toss frequently until all the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Stir the bread into the sausage mixture. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the stock and eggs and add to the stuffing mixture. Stir in the cranberries, pears, herbs, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake an additional 20 minutes or until the top is crisp.
Bread can be dried up to 10 days in advance and stored in an airtight container until ready to use. Stuffing can be assembled 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.