Fall Comfort Food. Yum!

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here? It is cold! Ridiculously, outrageously, unbelievably cold! Okay, so I just checked and its sixty-one degrees, but it FEELS a lot colder and that’s what counts. Those thermometers just can’t be trusted.

When it starts to get colder out, I start baking and cooking and preparing myself for the winter by packing on an extra five or thirty pounds. I have to stay safe from the cold! Fat is the best way to do that! I’m sure of it.

I made chili this week. I made (two batches of) cookies. I made vegetable soup. And I’ve been making lots of crockpot chicken tacos, my new most favorite meal in all the land. But, forget all those, I’ve also made my favorite fall dish. Sausage dressing.

Wait! Come back! I know it isn’t Thanksgiving yet and you think dressing is a Thanksgiving dish. Or maybe you think it only goes with a big ol’ turkey or roast chicken. Either way, you are WRONG. So very, very wrong. Sausage dressing is DELICIOUS, no matter what the main course is. In fact, I’v been known to eat the leftover dressing for breakfast. Make it with meat loaf, make it with grilled chicken, make it with crab cakes, just make it! (Okay, don’t really make it with crab cakes. That might not be the best idea.)

Now that I’ve convinced you that sausage dressing isn’t just for Thanksgiving, let’s make a shopping list. You’re going to need a loaf of white bread, sausage, celery, onion, cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) (or both!) soup, and sage. Mm, yummy!

First things first. Let’s tear up the bread into small bite-sized pieces and stick ’em in a 9×13 baking dish. I use about 3/4 of a loaf of bread.

I love bread. Carbs are my friend.

Pop your bread in a 400 degree oven while we work on the rest. We just want to toast it for a bit.

Chop up your onion and celery. I used one smallish onion and about 5 stalks of celery. You can use more or less. Whatever. I’m not picky. You shouldn’t be either.

Alright, let’s get busy. Enough of this fooling around. Start browning your sausage in a big skillet. When it’s about half way done dump in your onions and celery. Sniff it. It smells good, doesn’t it?

Alright, your sausage is cooked through, your celery and onions are soft, and your bread is toasty.

Mmm. Toasty.

(It’s a horrible picture. I know. Let’s just acknowledge the fact that sometimes food doesn’t want to be photographed [and also that I don’t know what I’m doing here] and move on. Thank you.)

Dump your sausage and veggies into a big bowl and add in your cream of chicken (or mushroom) (or both!) soup. Stir it all up into one big gloppy mess. I used one family size can of cream of chicken, but I always have an extra smaller can on hand for emergencies.

Dump your sausage-soup mixture on top of the bread and mix it all up. You want to be sure to coat every little piece of bread with the soupy goodness. Trust me on this. A piece of dry bread in this recipe would be, well, a tragedy. If you need to, go ahead and open up that smaller back up can of soup and drop a couple spoonfuls in.

Now run the back of your spoon along the top of the mixture to smooth it all out. I like to get it as smooth as I can, but that’s just because I think it’s fun to smooth it out. I suppose it would taste just as good if you were less enthusiastic about the smoothing process. You can take your chances if you like.

Oh, and don’t forget to sprinkle some dried ground sage on top. I probably used about a teaspoon. Use more if you love sage, use less if you don’t.

Cover your dish with foil and bake it for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the top gets nicely browned.

I know the smell is going to be tempting, but I advise letting this cool for a bit before shoving your entire face into the dish. Third degree burns are painful.

Mm, dinner. And lunch. And breakfast too.

Sausage Dressing

  • 3/4 Loaf of white bread
  • 1lb breakfast sausage
  • Celery
  • Small Onion
  • Family Size can (26oz) Cream of Chicken (or mushroom) (or both!) soup
  • Sage

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear bread into bite sized pieces, place in 9×13 dish and put bread in oven to toast.

2. Brown sausage, onions and celery until cooked through. Do not drain.

3. Transfer sausage and vegetables to a large bowl and add soup. Mix well.

4. Remove bread from oven and pour soup mixture on to bread. Mix together well, making sure to get all of the bread coated in the soup mixture.

5. Smooth mixture with the back of a spoon and sprinkle with sage.

6. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until browned.

7. Serve with turkey, chicken, or waffles. (Maybe not waffles.) Enjoy!