Roasted Fennel & Italian Sausage Stuffing


This homemade stuffing recipe is special because it comes complete with a sausage-making lesson from the Sausage King himself, author and famed business owner Bruce Aidells.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
8 cups


  • 6 cups cubed crustless whole-wheat sourdough bread

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and sliced

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper, divided

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 pound pork shoulder butt, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 3 ounces sliced bacon or pancetta, cut into 1-inch squares

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage, divided

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole fennel seeds

  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel seed

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • ½ cup chopped celery

  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. Spread bread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until dry but not hard, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Toss fennel in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread on the baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let cool for 5 minutes. Coarsely chop and add to the bowl.

  4. Meanwhile, pulse pork and bacon (or pancetta) in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 1 teaspoon each sage and thyme, garlic, fennel seed, ground fennel, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Knead and squeeze the meat until well blended.

  5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery and the remaining 1 teaspoon each sage and thyme. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the bread. Add broth to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits, then add to the sausage mixture. Stir in parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil.

  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until slightly crisp on top, 15 to 20 minutes more.


To make ahead: Refrigerate sausage (Step 4) for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

174 Calories
7g Fat
16g Carbs
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 174
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 10g 20%
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Vitamin A 617IU 12%
Vitamin C 10mg 11%
Folate 19mcg 5%
Sodium 273mg 12%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 18mg 4%
Potassium 325mg 7%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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