Lionheart Wines
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Herbed Italian Bread and Mushroom-Sausage Stuffing

Yields about 19 cups (enough to fill a 12 to 14 pound turkey and 9X13” baking dish)

14 cups Italian bread, like ciabatta, cut into ½ to ¾” cubes (about 3 loaves)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage (or stuffed sausage, casing removed)
1 lb crimini mushrooms, halved
1 turkey liver, finely chopped (optional)
2 large yellow onions, cut into ¼” dice
5 large ribs celery, cut into ¼” dice
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 ½ tsp dried)
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 ½ tablespoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sweet Marsala wine
1 cup low-salt chicken broth


  • Pile the bread cubes into a very large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, half of the sausage, and the chopped turkey liver (if using).  Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon or spatula into ½ to 1” bits, until light brown, about 5 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bowl of cubed bread; repeat with the remaining sausage.
  • In the fat left in the pan, sauté the onions, celery, and garlic until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.  Move to separate bowl.
  • Stir in the thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, salt, and pepper, cook 1 minute, and then add the mixture to the cubed bread.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan.  Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute until mushrooms brown and liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.  Add to cubed bread mixture.
  • With the pan off the heat, carefully pour in the Marsala.  Keep your face away from the pan as the wine will sputter.  (it’s unlikely that Marsala will ignite, but if it does, just back off and let it burn for a few seconds until the alcohol has cooked off.)
  • Set the pan over medium heat and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring to scrape up any flavorful bits in the pan.  Boil for 2 minutes and then add the Marsala and chicken broth to the bread mixture; stir until well combined.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.  Remove plastic; cover stuffing with foil.  Bake 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake until top begins to brown, about 25 minutes longer.

Fine cooking, Volume 35 (Oct/Nov 1999), Page 30
Bon Appetit, December 2006, Page 150

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