Pretzel and Sausage Stuffing

People are very, very loyal to their stuffings. I learned that the hard way once (insert story about me gravely offending an entire group of people as I obliviously bagged on icky, soggy stuffing for, like, 4 1/2 minutes). It’s pretty obvious that I don’t like soggy stuffing. Or soggy anything, really. It kind of creeps me out. I’m more in the camp of: soft and tender stuffing with some crunchy, croutony bits on top. I know that’s not necessarily a popular Thanksgiving opinion what with classic stuffing often being packed into the bird and all and baking up very, very, very soft. But the fabulous news about stuffing (especially homemade) is that the bones of a recipe is what makes it a winner. The spices and flavors and aromatics and vegetables and add-ins and bread. If you have that in place, it’s usually as simple as adding more or less liquid depending on how…I almost said icky and soggy but I’m trying to be mature here…soft you want it.

Pretzel and Sausage Stuffing

I decided shortly after last Thanksgiving that while I very much love this classic, delicious stuffing, I wanted to change it up a bit with pretzel rolls and sausage. Because yes, I’m the one already plotting next year’s dinner before the current Thanksgiving spread is all the way devoured.

This reinvented stuffing is fantastic and everything I hoped it would be after dreaming about it for 11 months. Those chewy little bites of pretzel rolls (storebought or homemade ) make me so very happy, especially the crunchy ones right on top. With the tender vegetables and yummy sausage, there’s just a lot to love here.

And just so you know, no matter how you like your stuffing, I still love you. There’s room in this world for all of us (even for those that don’t like stuffing at all, the horror). I’ll be continuing to share some favorite classic and a few unique Thanksgiving dishes over the next few weeks. Let the Thanksgiving dinner planning begin! (Or, in some cases, let’s pretend that the planning didn’t start last year.)

One Year Ago: Melting Roasted Potatoes
Two Years Ago: Apple Crumb Pie
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze

Pretzel and Sausage Stuffing

Yield: Makes 9X13-inch pan of stuffing

Pretzel and Sausage Stuffing

Storebought pretzel rolls work here (I've used the ones from Costco) but if you want to earn extra rock star points, these homemade soft pretzel rolls are utterly divine.

The broth amount listed in this recipe yields a firm stuffing that is not overly soft. If you like your stuffing, ahem, a little more soggy, up the chicken broth as needed (for every 3/4 cup of chicken broth, add another egg).

For make-ahead options, the bread cubes can be toasted a day or so in advance; let them cool completely and store at room temperature in a ziploc bag or other airtight container. The bread/vegetable/sausage mixture can also be prepped several hours (and quite possibly up to a day) in advance and placed in the prepared 9X13-inch baking pan (refrigerated until needed) so that before baking, all that needs to be done is pouring the egg/broth mixture over the top.


  • 10 cups soft pretzel roll cubes, about 8 average-sized pretzel rolls (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 stalks celery, small diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 medium carrots, small diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, small diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound chicken or other lean sausage
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note above)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pretzel cubes evenly in a large, rimmed baking sheet (use two if needed to get a single layer). Toast the pretzel roll pieces until just lightly golden (they shouldn't be rock hard), flipping once or twice, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  2. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the celery, carrots, onions, salt, pepper, garlic and poultry seasoning. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the fresh parsley, sage and thyme. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the pretzel cubes.
  3. Return the skillet to the heat and cook the sausage with a pinch of salt and pepper, crumbling it into bite-size pieces as it cooks. Once it has cooked all the way through, drain any excess grease and add the crumbled sausage to the bowl with the vegetables and pretzel pieces.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the eggs and broth until well-combined.
  5. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Give the pretzel/vegetable/sausage mixture a good stir and spread it evenly in the prepared baking pan. Pour the broth mixture evenly over the top. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, until the bread is soft and tender and lightly golden on the top.
  6. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: adapted from my favorite classic stuffing recipe

40 Responses to New Thanksgiving Favorite: Pretzel and Sausage Stuffing

  1. Paige says:

    This stuffing looks amazing! We have a recipe that we like, but I love the addition of pretzels and bacon in yours! We might have to try this one this year because… bacon makes everything better.


  2. Marci says:

    Your pretzel roll recipe just might be my favorite recipe on your entire blog! Do you have any idea how many rolls it took for this recipe?

    • Mel says:

      I’m glad you asked this, Marci – I thought I had included it in the recipe but I didn’t. I’ve made this with homemade and with the ones at Costco. I used about 8 rolls per recipe each time.

      • Marci says:

        Oh good, there’ll be leftover rolls! One more thing, do you typically use all white flour for the pretzel rolls?

        • Mel says:

          The most I’ve ever subbed in the pretzel roll recipe is 50% whole wheat with 50% white flour but for Thanksgiving, I’ll splurge and do 100% white flour, I think.

      • Marci says:

        Sorry, again, one more thing. Would it work if I made the rolls this week, cubed them up, froze them and then pulled them out next week to make the stuffing? I’ve never froze these rolls after baking them so I’m not sure if that will work or not.

  3. People and their stuffing are so funny. I love how everyone’s mom makes it differently.

    As someone relatively “new” to Thanksgiving meals (I was born and raised in New Zealand), I am always amused at my table when people have SUCH an opinion on classic dishes.

    Thanksgiving, and the food invokes so many memories of great family times – I love it!

  4. Sarah says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to find this recipe in my inbox this morning. I’ve definitely got Thanksgiving menu on the brain and stuffing is one of my favorite parts of the meal. Looks like a perfect make over of a classic Thanksgiving dish!

  5. heather bell says:

    I have never made homemade stuffing. I know, I know. But my dad is a die hard stuffing pro and I will have to share this with him.=)

  6. Melissa says:

    Your recipe looks amazing!! Thanks so much for being such a trusted source of awesome recipes. I’ve never put eggs in stuffing before and am nervous it’ll make the stuffing eggy? Can you taste the eggs?

  7. Carla says:

    I am not sure that I will have access to the fresh herbs used. Do have know what the equivalent measurements would be in dried or ground herbs?

  8. Peggy McGhehey says:

    1. You’re brave for taking on a Thanksgiving staple.

    2. If you’ve never seen the Mad About You classic Thanksgiving episode, set aside 22 minutes and laugh your head off. I watch it at least once a year and still laugh out loud.

  9. Ellen says:

    Oh. My!!!! I’m definitely in the same stuffing camp as you, soggy stuffing ought to be banned forever and ever! Plus, of given only one bread choice for the rest of my life, I would absolutely positively choose pretzle rolls. And my, I’m feeling dramatic tonight. That’s how excited I get on new recipes!

  10. Sheila says:

    You always make holidays so much more exciting. And so thankful for your site that greatly lifts the extra pressure and burden of holiday preparation. I’ve only made your delicious pretzel rolls and didn’t realize they could be purchased. I will not have the time to make them for stuffing. Thank you for stating there are places that have pre-made pretzel rolls. I have never found them in my small town (no Costco but have a Sam’s 45 minutes away) so will begin the search.

    • Nicole Miller says:

      I have found pretzel Hoagie rolls in the bakery of my grocery store too. You wouldn’t need as many as they are larger than dinner rolls. I think it’s becoming more available and popular. Good luck.

  11. I’m with you on soggy stuffing – I hate it, I like the crunchy bits the best. Although I always make mine half in the bird and half in the slow cooker and mix them. I love the pretzel bun idea, that would be so good. I’ll have to try it on a non-holiday turkey making day though – last time I tried a new stuffing recipe on Thanksgiving I had a LOT of unhappy people on my hands! Apparently you don’t mess with tradition! 🙂

  12. Rachel says:

    This looks so good. What do you think about leaving out the sausage. I have a small gathering this year and only half of us like sausage. It still looks like it may be wonderful without it :).

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rachel – you could leave out the sausage, I think. Of course the texture and flavor will be a bit different but I don’t think it would ruin the stuffing.

  13. Heather O says:

    I want to like stuffing, but I think most of my experiences with it have been the soggy variety. I just don’t get excited about soggy bread. But last year my mother-in-law made a really great cornbread stuffing that has me thinking stuffing could be ok. And this? This looks like something I could enjoy.

  14. Katee says:

    My favorite stuffing is my grandma’s. She had a secret recipe that she told me she’d share with me someday. Someday came and I was floored when she told me it was Stove Top. She, of course, added celery and onions but what I loved most were the water chestnuts that gave it crunch. I miss it!

  15. I made a pretzel roll stuffing last year and am officially won over! Love this version too.

  16. Candice says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Anything with pretzel rolls has to be a winner. One question…what kind of sausage do you mean? Do you mean to use the crumbly type sausage or the kind that comes packaged in a U shape?

    • Mel says:

      I used the kind that you cook and crumble – however sometimes it comes in casings so it’s packaged in links but it’s uncooked. I slice the casings open and press the sausage out into the pan to crumble as it cooks.

      • Candice says:

        Thank you. I cooked this tonight as a trial run to use for Thanksgiving. It turned out awesome and my teens who normally turn their nose at stuffing on Thanksgiving ate his with vigor and didn’t even realize it was stuffing! Thanks so much for the clarification of what you used for sausage. This recipe is a winner!

  17. Grace says:

    Hi Mel! I’ve only made stuffing without eggs before, but I am quite intrigued to try this recipe. What do they eggs do to the taste/texture? Also, I know this makes you cringe but I am in the soggy camp all the way! I looovvveee mushy stuffing 😉

    • Mel says:

      Haha, that’s ok! I still love you. Eggs help give it a tad bit more structure (and helps with the soggy issue – making a firm stuffing and not a soupy, soggy stuffing). You could leave them out and just use broth if you’d like, though.

  18. Deirdre says:

    This looks amazing! I don’t even know where I’ll be on Thanksgiving yet, but even if I’m not hosting, I am making this and bringing it with! 🙂 Would coconut oil work as a substitute for the butter in this recipe? Thanks in advance!

  19. Heidi says:

    Hi Mel,
    This looks delicious! Oven space is always at a premium during Turkey dinners in our house. Do you think it work in the crockpot? Thanks in advance!
    PS – I am addicted to your blog. It has become my go to for ALL recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Heidi – I think stuffing in the slow cooker is a unique idea and definitely worth a try although since I haven’t tried it myself I hate to give a 100% guarantee for the big day. Good luck if you try it!

  20. Marci says:

    I realize I’m killing you on the stuffing questions, but my family is hard core stove top, so I feel pressured to get this right. I made my pretzel rolls yesterday (they’re beautiful!). Do you think I could cube them up, let them sit out for a few days, then bag them up for next week? And then of course skip the toasting the bread step in number 1?

    • Mel says:

      No worries, Marci! Ask away. If I remember correctly where you live (northern Utah, right?) there isn’t a lot of humidity so that could probably work. I’d hesitate to recommend that in a climate where the rolls could turn soft. If you like stuffing on the softer side, I think it would work great but if you like it a little more sturdy, I’d still recommend toasting it. Good luck!

  21. Laura says:

    Could I make this ahead of time? Trying to figure out the logistics…make it tonight or add it to my to do list in the morning!

  22. Marci says:

    This was my absolute favorite stuffing ever! I did double the broth (don’t shun me!) and it was perfectly soft on bottom, and all kinds of pretzel roll crunchy on top. I don’t think I’ll ever try a different recipe again!

  23. Kas Miller says:

    This was delish! I subbed a honey crisp apple for the onion (my husband detests onions and I love apples in stuffing). I loved the pretzel bread! Now I want to make a breakfast casserole using pretzel bread!

  24. Danielle says:

    Our new favorite too! Thank you!

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