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Are you in the mood for some classic, hearty sausage stuffing but not interested in preparing a large batch? This mini sausage stuffing is ideal for those times when you want the comfort of a homemade dish without any extra fuss. It’s a fantastic choice for a smaller Thanksgiving celebration or a cozy dinner, and it’s ready in just 30 minutes.

Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes for a fabulous Thanksgiving for one or two? Check out our Corn Casserole, Creamed Spinach, and Cranberry Sauce recipes. If you’re a fan of cornbread, you’ll love our small batch Cornbread Dressing recipe!

Don’t let those Thanksgiving leftovers go to waste – our Thanksgiving Sliders are the perfect way to enjoy them again!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: Bakes in just 30 minutes, this is your go-to for last-minute meals.
  • Depth of Flavor: The blend of sage, Italian sausage, and veggies is unmatched.
  • Multiple Uses: Serve it during Thanksgiving or elevate a simple weeknight dinner.
  • Ingredient Flexibility: With lots of substitution options, you can make this stuffing your own.

What Is Sausage Stuffing?

Sausage stuffing is a delightful concoction of bread, vegetables, and sausage, generally used to fill poultry but also delicious when cooked on its own. Unlike dressing, stuffing is traditionally cooked inside the bird. However, in modern times, many people bake it separately for convenience and food safety reasons.

Can “Stuffing” And “Dressing” Be Used Interchangeably?

Technically, the term “stuffing” is used when the mixture is cooked inside the bird, while “dressing” refers to the same type of dish but baked separately. Regional preferences also come into play, with “dressing” more commonly used in the South and “stuffing” in the North. Nevertheless, nowadays, the terms are often used interchangeably.

a plate filled with sage leaves, carrots, celery, and chopped onions.

Ingredients And Substitutions

  • Onions, carrot, celery: These vegetables add so much flavor to the stuffing. Add them to a food processor or very finely chop with a knife. Feel free to switch it up with shallots or leeks if you like.
  • Sage leaves: The aromatic heart of the dish. I prefer using fresh sage, but if you only have ground sage, use 1/8 of a teaspoon. Feel free to substitute with thyme or rosemary.
  • Italian sausage: Use mild, spicy, or sweet Italian sausage depending on the kind you prefer. Try to find loose Italian sausage, which is simply sausage without the casing. If you can’t find it, just buy regular Italian sausage and remove the casing. The best way to remove the sausage casings is by cutting straight through the casing with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife and then either peeling the casing off or squeezing the sausage out. If you have leftover sausage, consider using it in Tortellini Soup, a Pizza Bowl, or Zuppa Toscana.
  • Salt: Season to your own taste.
  • Nuts: Optional but adds a lovely crunch. My preference is to use pine nuts, but pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or even sunflower seeds work too.
  • Egg: We use one large egg in this recipe. The egg acts as a binder and will help keep the dressing moist.
  • Chicken Broth: Enhances moisture; vegetable broth is a good option too.
  • Heavy Cream: Adds richness. Half and half or whole milk will work too but the stuffing will not be as rich. Coconut cream is a very good dairy-free alternative.
  • Bread: Opt for a crusty bread that won’t go soggy.
  • Olive Oil: Ideal for sautéing; avocado oil is another healthy option.

Recipe Variations

Craving a twist on the classic? Here are some more creative ways to give your small batch sausage stuffing a new flavor profile:

  • Veggie Boost: Add some diced bell peppers or sun-dried tomatoes for an extra layer of flavor and a pop of color. These veggies blend well with the existing base of carrots, onions, and celery.
  • Spice It Up: For those who like it hot, consider adding some chopped jalapeños or a splash of hot sauce to the mix. It’ll give your dressing a spicy kick that’s hard to resist.
  • Gluten-Free Stuffing: Substitute the bread for gluten-free bread cubes and ensure your sausage is gluten-free as well. It’s an easy switch that makes this dish accessible for those with dietary restrictions.
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How To Make Sausage Stuffing (Dressing)

  1. Prepare the Veggie Base: Combine carrot, celery, onions, and fresh sage in a food processor. Pulse until you achieve a fine-textured pulp. Set this aside while you focus on cooking the sausage.
  2. Brown the Sausage: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the Italian sausage until it’s fully browned. Once done, remove the sausage from the pan and set it aside.
  3. Sauté the Veggies: In the same skillet, add your prepared vegetable pulp. Cook until all the moisture has evaporated. Aim for a caramelized, sweetened texture. Sprinkle a pinch of salt for seasoning.
  4. Prep the Bread Base: Place cubes of bread in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  5. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together an egg, heavy cream, and chicken broth.
  6. Combine All Elements: Add toasted nuts to your wet mixture. Then, gently fold in the browned sausage and sautéed vegetable pulp.
  7. Assemble and Bake: Transfer this mixture into a small 5×5 inch baking dish that’s been lightly greased with butter. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Pro Tip: To toast pine nuts, place a pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil, just enough to coat the pan’s bottom. Toss in the pine nuts and stir them around until they turn golden brown.

a bowl of sausage dressing with a fork in the corner scooping out a portion.

Expert Tips

  • Choose Quality Bread: Opt for a dense, crusty bread like sourdough, Italian, or French. The denser the bread, the less likely it will turn mushy during the cooking process and make sure your bread is dried out. Bread is the most important component of the stuffing so make sure the bread is a little stale or at the very least a day old. Fresh, soft bread will give you soggy dressing.
  • Check Moisture Level Before Baking: If the mixture seems too dry before popping it into the oven, feel free to add a bit more broth to reach your desired consistency.

What To Serve With Sausage Stuffing

Complement your scrumptious sausage stuffing with a range of side dishes and main courses that make for a memorable Thanksgiving dinner for one. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or any special occasion, here are our top picks for single serving sides, mains, and desserts:

Single Serving Traditional Sides:

Main Course Choices:

Delightful Single Serving Desserts:

With these single serving and small batch recommendations, you can craft an entire menu that complements your sausage stuffing, making your meal as exceptional as it is intimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size baking dish is best to use?

The ideal baking dish for this recipe is a 5-inch square dish that’s about 1 ¾-inches deep. This size typically holds approximately 1.5 cups and has a base area of 25 square inches.
If you don’t have a 5-inch square dish, a 4×6-inch dish is a good alternative. It has a slightly smaller area of 24 square inches but will still yield excellent results. For the best outcome, aim for a dish with a similar size and volume.

If you would like more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
Examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen can be found on our Store page.

Is sausage stuffing gluten-free?

No, but you can use gluten-free bread for a gluten-free version of this stuffing recipe.

Can I make a vegetarian sausage stuffing?

To make a vegetarian dressing, leave out the sausage and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Can stuffing be made ahead?

Yes. The sausage and the vegetables can be cooked a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the dressing.

Can I double this sausage stuffing recipe?

Yes, you can! To make enough for three or more servings, simply double all the ingredients. Instead of the original smaller dish, use either an 8-inch round baking dish that is 1.5 inches deep, a 9×5-inch rectangular dish, or a 6×8-inch baking dish.
Start by baking it for the initial 30 minutes. If it’s not fully cooked at that point, continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this small batch sausage dressing or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!

Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Sausage Stuffing

4.80 from 5 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Ever find yourself yearning for that classic, comforting sausage stuffing without the hassle of cooking for a crowd? You're in luck! This Small Batch Sausage Stuffing is the solution to all your culinary dreams. Perfect for Thanksgiving or even just a regular dinner, it comes together in a swift 30 minutes.


  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots (about 1 carrot)
  • ¼ cup chopped celery (about 1 celery stalk)
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces loose Italian sausage
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts , or use chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups cubed sourdough bread
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  • Heat the oven to 375° F (190° C) and butter a 5-inch baking dish.
  • In a food processor, puree the onion, carrot, celery, and sage.
  • Add the olive oil to a medium sized skillet and give the skillet a little swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage and place on a paper-towel lined plate
  • Return the skillet to the stove and add the vegetables. Sauté the vegetables until most of the moisture has evaporated. Season with salt.
  • Place the vegetable pulp, the sausage, and the toasted nuts in a mixing bowl. Stir in the bread.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, chicken broth and cream. Pour over the dressing mix and stir until bread is entirely moistened.
  • Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.


To Toast Pine Nuts:
Heat a pan on medium heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add the pine nuts and stir frequently until they are golden brown.
Expert Tips
  • Choose Quality Bread: Opt for a dense, crusty bread like sourdough, Italian, or French. The denser the bread, the less likely it will turn mushy during the cooking process and make sure your bread is dried out. Bread is the most important component of the stuffing so make sure the bread is a little stale or at the very least a day old. Fresh, soft bread will give you soggy dressing.
  • Check Moisture Level Before Baking: If the mixture seems too dry before popping it into the oven, feel free to add a bit more broth to reach your desired consistency.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 791kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 67g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g, Monounsaturated Fat: 25g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 191mg, Sodium: 1426mg, Potassium: 676mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 3312IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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  1. Victoria Blocker says:

    I am delighted I´ve found your site. I like cooking, however, I hate leftovers. We eat small amounts. Thank you for providing us with One Dish recipes. Blessings. Dr. Wayne S. ( an Ob/gyn), and Victoria Blocker (Gerontology), both retired.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so happy you found our site and hope you find many new recipes you love. Thank you.