Spice up your Thanksgiving dressing with Italian sausage

Nov 25, 2015

There’s still time to consider a new recipe for the dressing you’ll serve with your turkey tomorrow. Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski shows us a family favorite that includes Italian sausage.

For several years now, MSU Culinary Services corporate chef Kurt Kwiatkowski has shown us some new ways to use traditional Thanksgiving ingredients, and so if you’re inclined to try something new this year, he’s back.

Current State’s Scott Pohl met up again with the chef for a new spin on a Thanksgiving tradition. After finding new ways to use cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes in the past, Kwiatkowski turns his attention this year to what many of us consider to be a crucial part of the meal: the dressing.


1# of sour dough bread (one large loaf of bread)
12 .oz of sweet Italian sausage, ground
4 oz. bacon, sliced into ¼” thick strips
2T. + 3T. olive oil
2 c. red onion, diced
2 c. celery, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 eggs
¼ c. heavy cream
2½ c. chicken stock/broth
½ c. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. fresh thyme, chopped
1 T. fresh sage, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Cut and rip bread into small pieces and put them into a large mixing bowl. Toss the bread with 2 T. olive oil and place on a sheet tray, making sure not to over crowd, use 2 if you need to. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, shaking the tray once at the 20 minute mark. After done, put the bread back into the large mixing bowl.

In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon starts to crisp up. This will be about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon pieces, but leave the oil in the pan, and put into the large mixing bowl.

Cook the sausage in the pan, first pressing the sausage out into a thin large patty that will cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for 4 minutes and then flip, cook an additional 4-5 minutes and remove from the pan, leaving the oil in the pan. Let cool, and then rough cut up the sausage and put into the large mixing bowl.

Sauté the onions, celery, and jalapeno in the pan for 7 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute. Remove from heat, and scrape everything into the big mixing bowl.

Mix the eggs with the cream, and then put the stock into the liquid.

Mix bread, bacon, sausage, vegetables, liquid and fresh herbs together and season with salt and pepper.

Put into a pan and cook in an oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. The first 20 minutes covered, the second uncovered.