The only stuffing you'll need at your Thanksgiving table!
This Sausage, Butternut Squash, Kale & Leek Stuffing is the most glorious, and quite possibly the only, stuffing you will need for the rest of your Thanksgivings. That age-old family recipe? We’re not suggesting you do away with your Great Aunt’s secret, but we’re asking you to consider making room for this one at your table. What’s not to love about sausage and seasonal veggies mixed with bread?
I look forward to this every year, in fact, it’s so good that my husband asked why we don’t just have it for dinner from time to time!
I found this gem over on Food Network years ago when I was making my first Thanksgiving meal. Even if we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at home, I’ll make it at some point just to get my annual fix. Over the years I’ve made a few tweaks, but it’s still got all the original elements: Italian sausage, hearty kale, sweet butternut squash and bread. Breeeeaaaaddd, the thing that ties this all together and makes it so freaking more-ish!
This can be made a day ahead, giving you more time on the big day to sip a cocktail and dance around the kitchen! Happy cooking! Xoxo Kirsty
Ingredients for 8 servings (plus leftovers!)
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the dish
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
* if you can’t find Italian sausage, add the spices listed at the bottom of this page to ground pork
3 leeks (approx. 200g), white and light-green parts only, sliced
1/2 butternut squash (approx. 14oz./400g measured), peeled, seeded and diced (3/8” or 1cm)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch of kale (approx. 8 leaves), leaves trimmed and chopped
1 pound (450g) stale bread, cubed
2 cups (475ml) chicken broth
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup (100g) shredded parmesan plus 1/4 cup (25g) for the top
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Butter a 8x11” (20x28cm) casserole dish.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
Add the sliced leeks and squash, season with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; cook until the leeks are soft, 3 minutes.
Add the kale, toss and cover until the kale wilts, about 4 minutes. Add the cubed bread and the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Toss until the butter melts.
Whisk the egg, chicken broth, cream and mustard in a bowl until combined. Add the parmesan. Pour the mixture over the bread; cook until the liquid is absorbed by the bread, about 1 minute.
Transfer the entire mixture to the buttered casserole dish. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and bake until golden and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes before serving.
To make ahead, prepare the entire dish a day in advance, cover and refrigerate. Remove from the fridge and uncover 20 minutes before baking whilst the oven is preheating. Serve with our gravy and all the trimmings!
Spices to make Italian Sausage
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed (we use whole, but you can crush them if you'd like)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onions
Combine and add to ground pork.