I Made Ina Garten’s Stuffing Recipe and It’s Exactly as Delicious as You Think It Will Be

I put this Ina Garten stuffing recipe to the test.

No one loves comfort food like Ina. And no one loves carbs of all kinds like I do. So as you can imagine, I had to test this Ina Garten stuffing recipe! Filled with sausage, apples, onions and cranberries, I knew this stuffing would hit all the right notes.

I followed this recipe (and use Ina’s tips) to make stuffing like the Barefoot Contessa herself.

Ina Garten’s Stuffing Recipe

Ina Garten Stuffing Recipe Risa Lichtman For Toh Getty Images 3.2Risa Lichtman for Taste of Home, Getty Images

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pound loaf white or sourdough bread, cut into 1″ bread cubes
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound sweet and spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions

Step 1: Toast breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Place the cubed bread in a single layer on a sheet tray and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and toss into a very large bowl. Turn the oven up to 350°.

Step 2: Saute vegetables

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onions, celery, apples, parsley, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and add to the bread cubes.

Step 3: Brown sausage

In the same pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, breaking it up with a fork while cooking. Allow it to brown on one side before turning. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables.

Step 4: Cook off stuffing

Add the chicken stock and cranberries to the mixture. Mix well and pour into a 12×9-in. baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. If you’re hungry for more, try our favorite Ina Garten’s beef tenderloin recipe.

Here’s What I Thought

This Ina Garten stuffing recipe hits all of my requirements—it’s got some sweet, some savory and some salty—and it all comes together for a perfectly well-rounded dish.

The only change I made was that the bread I used was fresh, so I had to toast it for twice as long to get toasty bread cubes. You could also get away with doubling the amount of stock from 1 cup to 2 cups if you like a more moist stuffing. Otherwise I thought it was perfect! The flavors went together really well, especially the apple and sausage.

Throw together her famous roast chicken and you’ve got a holiday meal!

Tips for Making Stuffing Like Ina Garten

Thankfully we have a few tips from the Queen herself to make the most delicious stuffing:

  • Toast your bread cubes! This step dries out the bread enough that while it cooks, all the delicious flavors get reabsorbed so you still have a little crunch along with all that flavor.
  • The sweet and spicy Italian sausage is her trick to the perfect flavor combo. I used a spicier Italian sausage and thought it was great, though.
  • Cook this stuffing on its own (not stuffed inside a turkey) for optimal flavor and texture. You’ll get a nice brown crust on top and the inside will be moist and delicious.

Risa Lichtman
Risa Lichtman is a chef and writer living in Portland, Oregon. In addition to writing and developing recipes for Taste of Home, she's the chef/owner of Lepage Food & Drinks, a small food company featuring Jewish seasonal fare, providing takeaway all around Portland and running a soup group—like a CSA but for soup! Risa weaves her passion for local, sustainable and ethically sourced food into her writing. She lives with her wife, Jamie, their dogs, Cannoli and Reuben, their cat, Sylvia, and four chickens.