Sweet Potato and Pecan Stuffing with sweet potatoes, pecans, raisins, celery, onions, and bread cubes makes a perfect Thanksgiving side dish.
Thanksgiving in most homes just wouldn't be complete without stuffing would it? I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say that the best part of Thanksgiving dinner is the sides!
Of course, our menu will always include Southern Cornbread Dressing which is an entirely different thing from stuffing, but I won't get into that today :-)
Even though dressing is our tradition, I'm quite interested in all the different stuffing recipes out there. A few years ago on the Lana’s Cooking Facebook page, I asked readers what they like in their stuffing. You should have seen all the responses I got!
That one question got more interaction than anything I've ever posted on Facebook. Apparently, people are really passionate about stuffing.
Since so many folks want a good stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, I decided to create something that uses southern ingredients. This Sweet Potato and Pecan Stuffing is what I came up with.
I included sweet potatoes because they're a part of most Thanksgiving menus and pecans because Georgia is a leading producer. I hope you enjoy this recipe. It was a lot of fun making it and taste testing it.
How to Make Sweet Potato and Pecan Stuffing
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you'll find the recipe card.
Before we get started, let me just say that you are going to need the largest pots and bowls in your kitchen or either work in batches for this recipe. It makes a lot of stuffing! The skillet that I used is my chicken fryer which is 12" across and 3" deep and it was full.
Cook the Sausage
Start by cooking the sausage in your largest skillet or a large pot over medium heat until no pink color remains. I like to break mine up with a potato masher while it's cooking so that I don't get little clumps of sausage.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. Discard the fat left in the pan and return the pan to the heat.
Cook the Vegetables
Add the butter to the skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the sweet potatoes, onions, celery, sage, half the salt, and half the pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft but don't let them brown.
Now add the orange juice and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat a bit and cook until the sweet potatoes are nearly tender.
Combine with the Bread Cubes
Pour the package of unseasoned bread cubes into a very large mixing bowl.
On top of the bread cubes, add the cooked, drained sausage, sauteed vegetable mixture, pecans, and raisins. Mix well.
(Hint: mixing the stuffing is easiest with your hands. Just take your rings off and get in there!)
Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Taste and add more seasoning if you think the mixture needs it.
Bake at 350 Degrees
When you're ready to bake the stuffing, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heavily butter a 15"x10" glass baking dish. (That's a really large casserole dish. If you don't have one that large, just use two or more smaller ones.)
Beat together the eggs and chicken broth in a small bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the stuffing mixture and toss to combine.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Bake until the top is lightly browned and crisp around the edges (about 50 minutes). Cool slightly before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can cook the sausage and saute the veggies up to two days ahead of time and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. A few hours before you're ready to bake the stuffing, remove them from the fridge and let them come to room temperature. Proceed with mixing and baking the stuffing.
I like to use a convenient purchased package of bread cubes, but you can always create your own. Use a bread with a neutral flavor and tight crumb like a good quality white bread or challah. Cut the bread into small cubes and bake a 350F until dried but not browned.
Eggs act as the binder that holds all the stuffing ingredients together. However, if you're allergic to eggs or avoiding eggs for any reason, you can use any acceptable egg substitute.
You May Also Like ...
- Stuffed Turkey Breast
- Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze
- Turkey Tetrazzini
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Broccoli Salad
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Sweet Potato and Pecan Stuffing
- 1 pound mild country sausage
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 medium onions diced into about ½-inch pieces
- 3 celery stalks diced into about ½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper or more to taste
- 1 ⅓ cups orange juice
- 12 ounces unseasoned bread cubes recommend brand: Pepperidge Farm
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup raisins golden or dark
- 3 eggs
- 1 ⅓ cups chicken broth
- Cook the sausage in a very large skillet or a large pot over medium heat until no pink color remains. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
- Add the butter to the skillet or pan over medium high heat. When the butter melts, add the sweet potatoes, onions, celery, sage, half the salt, and half the pepper to the pot. Sauté until the onions are soft but do not allow them to brown. Add the orange juice and bring it to a boil. Cook until the sweet potatoes are nearly tender.
- In a very large mixing bowl, combine the unseasoned cubed stuffing, sausage, sweet potato mixture, pecans, and raisins. Mix well. Season with the remaining salt and pepper adding more if you think the mixture needs it.
- When ready to bake the stuffing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heavily butter a 15x10 baking dish.
- Beat together the eggs and chicken broth in a small bowl. Pour over the stuffing mixture and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Bake until the top is lightly browned and crisp around the edges (about 50 minutes). Cool slightly before serving.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
-- This post was originally published November 15, 2013.