Chef Mark shares his dad’s Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe

Central Illinois Newsday

My Dad’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

By Certified Executive Chef Mark Shoopman, CEC, CFBE of Lutheran Hillside Village.

“Ever since I was a little boy I can remember the sounds and smells of my dad’s holiday kitchen adventures every Thanksgiving morning,” said Chef Mark. “This by far was his best and my all-time favorite!”


  • 1 pound Ground pork sausage (can use Italian also)
  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 cup Sliced mushrooms. Use your favorite.
  • 4 ounces Butter, melted
  • ¾ cup Yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¾ cup Carrot, finely diced
  • ¾ cup Celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Fresh sage, chopped, or dry-rubbed
  • 2 tablespoon Parsley, chopped
  • 24 ounces dried breadcrumbs, packaged or can use freshly dried
  • As needed Chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 eggs Lightly beaten, (optional). It will work fine without the eggs
  • To Taste Freshly ground pepper
  • To Taste Sea salt

Prepare the Stuffing

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until it shimmers, and cook the sausage over medium-high heat until it starts to brown. Next add the celery, onion, and carrots. Sauté until soft and they begin to soften, (about 2 minutes). Next add the garlic, mushrooms, and sage, and continue to sauté two minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Place the bread crumbs into a large bowl and cover with the sausage mixture and melted butter. Add the stock 1 cup at a time or until you reach the desired consistency. We want it to bind and be more moist than dry. Add the eggs and mix them in. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and place the mixture in a lightly greased casserole dish large enough to accommodate the stuffing.

3. Bake covered with foil in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue cooking until reaching an internal temperature of 140 degrees and toasty on top.

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