Sausage Stuffing Muffins Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 45 min. Bake: 20 min.
Stuffing muffins make a fun, handheld twist on the classic Thanksgiving recipe (though we eat them holiday or not!).

Updated: Jun. 28, 2024

Did you know the edge piece vs. center piece debate doesn’t just apply to brownies? It applies to stuffing and dressing too. If your family is team crispy edges when it comes to Thanksgiving stuffings, then stuffing muffins are for you.

This individually portioned recipe is made with all of your favorite sausage and herb stuffing ingredients and prepped just like traditional holiday dressing. Where it differs is the preparation. Muffin stuffing bakes in a muffin pan as opposed to a large casserole dish. The result is adorable, portable, handheld stuffing muffins with golden crisp edges in every bite.

Like other Thanksgiving potluck ideas, these muffins make a good family-style side. Kids and adults alike will gobble them up. Plus, there will be no family squabbles over who gets the delectable crispy crust of the stuffing.

What are stuffing muffins?

Stuffing muffins are exactly what they sound like: stuffing baked in the form of a muffin. Most of our favorite stuffing and dressing recipes are either stuffed into a turkey or baked in a 13×9-inch baking pan. Stuffing muffins, however, are baked in a standard muffin tin until golden. Serve them as a Thanksgiving side dish in lieu of your favorite Parker House rolls. Or, serve them buffet-style in a chafing dish for an easy, preportioned stuffing recipe that keeps the line moving.

Ingredients for Stuffing Muffins

  • Pork sausage: Choose sweet, spicy or mild bulk pork sausage for stuffing muffins. The sausage imparts the muffins with tons of flavor and helps keep them moist in the center while baking.
  • Aromatics: An everyday combination of celery and onions richly flavor and perfume the stuffing with that iconic and intoxicating Thanksgiving taste and smell.
  • Butter: Sauteing the aromatics in butter infuses the stuffing muffins with flavor and helps them brown and crisp in the oven.
  • Cornbread stuffing: These stuffing muffins are made with cornbread dressing, but you could make them with traditional bread stuffing too. While a cubed boxed stuffing will work, I like using crushed stuffing since I find it to be easier to mold and shape into muffins.
  • Apples: Add subtle sweetness, tartness and moisture to the stuffing with apples. Granny Smith apples are my favorite type of apples for stuffing muffins, but you can use another type of apple suitable for baking too.
  • Dried cranberries: Bejewel the stuffing muffins with juicy, red rubies of flavor. Golden raisins may also be used if you don’t enjoy dried cranberries.
  • Pecans: Crushed pecans add subtle nutty crunch that complements the sweet and savory flavors happening in the stuffing muffins. You could also use chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.
  • Chicken broth: The broth moistens the stuffing mixture, so it’s scoopable and moldable. Try using homemade chicken broth for maximum flavor.
  • Eggs: As a binding agent, eggs help the muffins hold their shape so they don’t fall apart after baking.
  • Baking powder: The baking powder reacts with the beaten eggs, so they stay fluffy and soft once baked in the oven. You can omit it from the recipe, but your muffins may be tougher.
  • Salt and pepper: Since most cornbread stuffing comes seasoned, you don’t need anything more than a bit of salt and pepper here.

Directions

Step 1: Brown the sausage

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink (follow these tips for browning ground beef). Drain to remove excess fat and then transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.

Editor’s Tip: Make sure to drain the sausage well or your stuffing muffins may taste overly greasy or fatty.

Step 2: Combine ingredients

In the same skillet, saute the celery and onions in butter until tender. Transfer to the bowl of cooked sausage, then add the stuffing mix, apples, cranberries, pecans, salt and pepper.

To the mixture, stir in enough broth to reach the desired moistness. In a separate small glass measuring cup, whisk the eggs and baking powder, then add to the stuffing mixture.

Editor’s Tip: The amount of chicken broth needed for this recipe is flexible since some cornbread stuffing mixes may require more or less liquid to properly hydrate. Start with 2 cups and increase gradually from there until the mixture is moist and holds its shape when squeezed together.

Step 3: Bake

Spoon the stuffing into 18 greased muffin cups, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the muffin cups to loosen and remove. Serve warm.

Recipe Variations

  • Use bread stuffing: If you prefer a regular stuffing mix, you can swap the cornbread stuffing for your favorite variety.
  • Make them vegetarian: For a vegetarian stuffing muffin, omit the sausage and opt for vegetable stock. You can add sauteed mushroom or plant-based meat if desired.
  • Try nut-free stuffing muffins: Nut allergy? No problem. Simply omit the pecans from the recipe.
  • Use fresh cranberries: If you like the tartness of fresh cranberries, you can swap them for dried cranberries. For best results, reduce to just one medium apple and add 1/2 cup of whole fresh cranberries.

How to Store Stuffing Muffins

Stuffing muffins may be refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight food storage container. To reheat, bake in a 375°F oven on a sheet pan until heated through, about six to 10 minutes. You may also microwave stuffing muffins on a microwave-safe plate. However, they will lose some of their crispness if microwaved. Here are more tips for reheating Thanksgiving leftovers.

Can you freeze stuffing muffins?

Freeze cooled stuffing muffins in resealable plastic bags and store for up to three months. To use, partially thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, place the stuffing muffins on greased baking sheets, cover with foil and warm in a preheated 375° oven for six to 10 minutes or until heated through.

Can you make stuffing muffins ahead of time?

Yes! Stuffing muffins may be prepped up to one day in advance if left uncooked. To bake, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake as directed in Step 3 of the recipe directions. Baked stuffing muffins may be refrigerated or frozen and then reheated as directed above. Here are more make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes.

Stuffing Muffins Tips

How can you avoid dry stuffing muffins?

Watch the stuffing muffins closely in the oven and pull when they reach an internal temperature of 160°. Since stuffing muffins are small in size, they can be easy to overcook.

Can I make mini stuffing muffins?

Sure! Just know that the muffins will cook quickly since they’re smaller than standard muffins. Pull them out as soon as they reach an internal temperature of 160°; otherwise, you might end up with stuffing croutons rather than stuffing muffins. If that happens, use them in one of these delightful Thanksgiving salad recipes.

What should you serve with stuffing muffins?

The obvious time to serve stuffing muffins is around the holidays with your favorite glazed ham recipe or roast turkey recipe. However, their casual presentation and quick preparation make them a delicious side dish choice for any day of the year. Serve with baked pork chops, sheet pan chicken and vegetables, or dip into a bowl of creamy chicken and wild rice soup.

Stuffing for breakfast? Yes, please! Use a stuffing muffin instead of an English muffin with leftover turkey and a poached egg to make a holiday variation of Eggs Benedict. Yum!

Sausage Stuffing Muffins

Prep Time 45 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 1-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 package (14 ounces) crushed corn bread stuffing
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 package (5 ounces) dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 to 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In same skillet, saute celery and onions in butter until tender. Transfer to bowl; add stuffing, apples, cranberries, pecans, salt and pepper. Stir in enough broth to reach desired moistness. Whisk eggs and baking powder; add to stuffing mixture.
  3. Spoon into 18 greased muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of muffin cups to loosen. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

1 muffin: 258 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 625mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 3g fiber), 6g protein.

This recipe puts stuffing into a muffin form for a special presentation. I made these when I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner. You can also bake the stuffing in a greased baking dish.—Tricia Bibb, Hartselle, Alabama
Recipe Creator