This Caramelized Onion, Sausage & Pecan Croissant Stuffing is savory, herbaceous, slightly rich and completely delicious. With cubes of buttery croissants, crunchy, nutty pecans, salty sausage, and sweet caramelized onions this stuffing is guaranteed to please!!
This post was originally published in November 2015. I edited the photos and updated the post below to include more information about this epic Thanksgiving Stuffing. Plus, I added a recipe video to show you how easy stuffing (or dressing) is to make!
Happy Countdown to Turkey day! T minus 10 days!
How was everyone’s weekend? Were you finalizing the menu for the big day? Do you have every small detail, from the appetizers and the drinks down to the dessert, methodically planned out? Or are you like me… totally unprepared.
But, to be fair, I have cooked SO many holiday dishes for this blog I feel like I have already eaten Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner twice. #FoodBloggerProblems
In case you are still in the midst of planning, I have you covered with a seriously epic stuffing (or dressing) recipe today.
BUT, before we get to that, I have a confession to make. Well, technically it’s not my confession, it’s a confession on behalf of Boy. Although I didn’t get his permission to air this dirty little secret, but even he will tell you, I do what I want. 🙂 You know what they say – Happy wife, happy life!
So, Boy’s confession? He loathes stuffing. Jaw dropping, right?! And, if you are thinking he is certifiably crazy, I can’t say I blame you. After 9 years together, I still can’t accept his hatred of one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides.
But, this year I struck stuffing gold. I mean, you just know this is stuffing of epic proportions when even Boy can’t deny the pure deliciousness that is CROISSANT stuffing. <–Sorry for yelling, but really. Croissant in all caps is totally necessary.
**Before you email or comment, I am well aware that since this dish is served outside of the turkey it is technically called dressing. However, I grew up calling it stuffing and I feel weird referring to this side dish as the same thing I put on my salads.
Caramelized Onion, Sausage & Pecan Croissant Stuffing
When I swung the idea past Boy and told him the title, even his stuffing-scroog’ed-self smiled. I knew I was onto something good then, but it wasn’t until he took a bite and gave off an audible, “mmmmmm…” that I KNEW I hit gold. This stuff is like culinary crack ya’ll.
It is savory, herbaceous, rich and buttery with bits of crunchy, nutty pecans; chunk-tastic, thick crumbles of slightly salty, pork-a-licious sausage and loads of caramelized, slightly sweet onions.
This is the stuffing jam, my friends. And it needs to be on your Thanksgiving table.
Or, you can just make this stuffing and hoard it all to yourself when no one is looking. Not that I did that. 😉
Tips for the best stuffing or dressing:
- Make sure your bread, in this case the croissants, are completely dry. The recipe below calls for toasting the croissants, which ensures the stuffing will retain structure and texture, as opposed to becoming a soggy mess. Do not skip toasting the bread!
- Cook the sausage, onions and aromatics. The sausage, onions and aromatics will not cook all the way through when you are baking the stuffing, so it is imperative you follow the recipe and cook them prior to assembling and baking the stuffing!
- Refrain from actually stuffing the stuffing in the bird. While the turkey will flavor the stuffing if cooked inside the cavity, more often than not either the turkey ends up overcooked or the stuffing ends up undercooked. You do not want to consume undercooked stuffing as it is a food and health hazard.
Are dressing and stuffing the same?
Technically this Croissant Stuffing is a dressing.
By definition, a stuffing is ‘a mixture used to stuff another food’ in this case turkey, before cooking. While dressing is defined as being a mixture cooked in a pan, outside of the turkey cavity.
To me the whole debate of stuffing vs dressing is like the debate of to-may-toe and to-mah-toe. I grew up eating both ‘dressing’ and ‘stuffing’, but we always referred to both as stuffing. Hence the name of this non-stuffing Caramelized Onion, Sausage & Pecan Croissant Stuffing.
How much stuffing per person?
On average you will need about 4 ounces of stuffing per person for Thanksgiving. Obviously if you are feeding people with abnormally ravenous appetites, you will need more, but ¾ cup, or 4 ounces per person is a safe bet.
If you want to have leftovers, increase the amount to 1 cup of stuffing per person.
Can stuffing be made ahead of time?
Yes! Well, technically, the stuffing can partially be made in advance.
Both the sausage and the caramelized onion mixture can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
As well, you can toast the croissant cubes and store them in a zip-closure bag at room temperature.
How long will stuffing keep in the refrigerator?
Cooked stuffing can be safely kept, stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you want the stuffing to last longer, it can be frozen, for up to 3 months.
So, if you love stuffing, I urge you to switch things up this year. Put down the cornbread and opt for croissants with this deliciously decadent Caramelized Onion, Sausage & Pecan Croissant Stuffing. And if you are like Boy, a stuffing snob, I demand you try this, so you can change your ways and join in the Thanksgiving side fun immediately.
Either way, I know you are going to love this stuffing!
Until next time, friends, Cheers – to having your croissant and stuffing it too!
How to make Caramelized Onion, Sausage & Pecan Croissant Stuffing at home plus step-by-step recipe video👇
Caramelized Onion, Sausage & Pecan Croissant Stuffing
- 6 Croissants – split in half lengthwise
- 1 Pound Pork Sausage – crumbled
- 2 TBS Unsalted Butter
- 2 Yellow Onions – small dice
- 2 Stalks Celery – finely chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic – finely chopped
- 1 ¼ Cups Pecans – chopped
- 1 TBS Fresh Sage – chopped
- 1 heaping TBS Fresh Thyme – chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary - chopped
- ½ Cup White Wine
- 1 ¼ Cup Chicken Stock
- 2 large Eggs – beaten
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray a 2 ½ quart (or 8x11’’) baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Toast Croissants: Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Place croissant halves (cut side down) on prepared baking sheets and bake until slightly crisp, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside and let cool. Once cooled, roughly cut or tear croissants and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Cook the Sausage: Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes, breaking up into crumbles as you cook. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel lined plate and allow to drain and cool slightly. Transfer to mixing bowl with croissants.
- Caramelize the Onions: Pour off all but 1 tablespoon sausage fat, if necessary, and add butter. Once butter is melted, add the onions, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium low heat until onions are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
- Add in the celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add in the wine and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sage, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Assemble & Bake: Transfer onion mixture to the mixing bowl with sausage and croissants. Add the stock, eggs, pecans, ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Stir gently until combined. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated throughout. (If the top of the stuffing browns before the stuffing is cooked through, gently tent the dish with foil while baking).
- Let the stuffing sit for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- Sausage and Caramelized Onion Mixture Can Be Made a Day in Advance
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