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Air Fryer Stuffing

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I can’t be the only one who thinks that excellent stuffing is the key to a delicious holiday dinner. Traditional recipes are made in the oven with bold herbs and plenty of onion, but this air fryer stuffing takes things to the next level with savory sausage, a splash of cream, and high temperatures that keep things crisp on the outside but beautifully soft on the inside.

Although the flavors are undeniably awesome, a major selling point of this recipe is the time factor. As it requires very little prep and cooks in under 30 minutes flat, you’ll have a delicious plate of stuffing ready to go in no time. Oh, and did I mention that cleanup is minimal? Talk about a win-win.

Whether you’re looking to spice up Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner this year or want to impress the entire family with a Traeger smoked tri-tip and chimichurri sauce or a delicious Traeger smoked turkey on your next Sunday get-together, this is a stuffing recipe that you’ll be revisiting on the reg. As a result, you’ll want to pin this recipe or bookmark it for later. But, seriously, you won’t want to lose track of this one.

Scooping stuffing out of a pan.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Adding sausage to the recipe gives it an unbeatable savory kick.
  • The addition of cream or half and half gives this air fryer stuffing an irresistible creaminess.
  • The celery ribs keep things earthy and grounded, pairing perfectly with the dried herbs.
  • Using bread cubes from a stuffing mix keeps things easy. But you can get creative and use any bread you like.
  • You can make this ahead of time for special occasions.

Ingredients

  • Ground sausage. This is technically optional, but sausage pairs perfectly with the herbs and adds an intense richness to your stuffing.
  • Onion. The all-important savory base of any stuffing. Brown onion is best as it’s mild and slightly sweet, but shallots or red onion will work fine. Chop it finely.
  • Celery ribs. Adds sweetness and brightness to the recipe.
  • Dried garlic powder.
  • Dried sage.
  • Dried thyme.
  • Salt and black pepper. Seasoning will enhance the flavor of your sausage meat.
  • Bread cubes. Bread with a tight crumb yields the best results.
  • Chicken broth. It keeps the stuffing moist but gives it way more flavor than water.
  • Cream or half and half. Lends the stuffing an ultra-rich flavor.
  • Butter. Adds rich texture and flavor while making the edges of your stuffing crisp!
  • Egg. Crucial for binding the dry ingredients and giving the stuffing a fluffy consistency.

How To Make It

This should give you a basic overview of what you need to do, but you should scroll down to the printable recipe card for the step-by-step instructions for this recipe.

  1. Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat and move to a mixing bowl.
  2. Cook the onions and celery until soft.
  3. Add the herbs, garlic, and seasoning before transferring to the mixing bowl filled with sausage.
  4. Add the bread cubes to the mixing bowl.
  5. Whisk the chicken broth, cream, melted butter, and eggs together.
  6. Pour over the bread mixture and fold together before letting the mixture soak.
  7. Grease a baking dish and evenly transfer the stuffing mix over.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 15 minutes in the air fryer.
  9. Remove the foil and continue baking until crisp.
  10. Let the stuffing cool before serving.

Cooking ground sausage in a skillet.

Cook the sausage until it browns.

Cooking onions, celery and herbs in a skillet.

Cook the onion and celery until it is soft then add the herbs and spices.

 

Tips For Success

  • It’s important to create an even shape with your stuffing for a great all-over cook.
  • If you need to make more than what’s listed here (this recipe serves between 3 and 4 people), feel free to double the recipe quantities and bake in a 13 x 9 dish instead.
  • If you don’t feel like using bread cubes from a boxed mix, fresh bread that’s been sliced and toasted works well too. Just make sure that the cubes have properly dried out to avoid a soggy result.
  • It’s worth adding the stock a bit at a time. This allows the bread to absorb any liquid readily and helps things crisp up.
  • You’ll want to grease the bottom of your air fryer tray with cooking spray. This prevents anything from sticking and will help you avoid a mushy base!
  • If you’re making this recipe for Christmas, don’t be afraid to throw in orange zest or dried cranberries for a festive kick.

Bread stuffing in an air fryer basket.

FAQ

What is traditional stuffing made of?

It’s usually made with a combination of bread, butter, onion, celery, and spices.

Why is it called stuffing?

It’s called stuffing as it is typically stuffed inside the open cavity of a bird before it’s roasted.

Can you reheat stuffing in an air fryer?

If you need to reheat this air fryer stuffing at any time, I recommend putting it back in the air fryer and cooking at 380°F for 5-10 minutes. Check the doneness halfway through to ensure it is heated through and crispy on the outside. This will make everything crispy and fresh.

How do I make stuffing crisp?

You’ll want to strike the perfect balance between broth, bread, cream, and butter. You should adequately dry out your bread, but you’ll also need to add plenty of broth and a dash of cream and butter to keep things rich and allow the sides of your stuffing to crisp up.

What temperature should stuffing be cooked at?

For this recipe, you’ll be cooking at 350°F until your stuffing is golden brown on top.

What kind of bread is used for stuffing?

The best air fryer stuffing is made with bread that has a neutral flavor, a tight crumb, and a slight sweetness. You can use any bread cubes, but classic white bread and brioche are particularly delicious if you don’t want to use store-bought alternatives. You can go crazy and use cornbread and for a sweet twist, try using poundcake.

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Wrap Up

Acting as the perfect accompaniment to any roast dinner (and equally delicious on its own!), it’s unsurprising that this air fryer stuffing remains a firm favorite in my recipe binder. As it adds depth to just about any meat-based meal, this simple stuffing promises to be love at first bite.

An air fryer pan with stuffing.

Tell Me What You Think!

Did you try out this recipe? Please leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it. Also, snap a picture and post it to your favorite social platform. Be sure to tag me at @alicensetogrill and let me know how you liked it!

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A spoon in a dish of stuffing.

Air Fryer Stuffing

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Air fryer stuffing gets brown and crisp on the outside while it stays moist and soft on the inside. 

The sausage is optional but adds a delicious savory flavor to the stuffing. Adding a splash of cream or half and half to the recipe gives the stuffing an ultra-rich flavor. 

We started with the bread cubes from a box of stuffing mix, but you can use fresh bread if you slice it into cubes and toast them. You can even use croutons or slice some cornbread into cubes. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground sausage (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread cubes from a box of stuffing mix
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage. Cook stirring to break the sausage up, until browned.
  2. Transfer the sausage to a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Place the skillet back on the stove and add the onions and celery. Cook until they are soft. Stir in the garlic, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt. Cook for 1 minute, then transfer the mixture to the bowl with the sausage. 
  4. Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss them with the sausage and veggies. 
  5. Whisk the chicken broth, cream, melted butter, and egg together in a large bowl. Pour it over the bread mixture and use a large spoon to fold the mixture together. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 30 minutes until the bread cubes soak up the liquid (fresher bread will soak up the liquid faster, and croutons will take longer).
  6. Grease a 7-inch baking dish. Transfer the stuffing to the baking dish. If there is any liquid left in the bowl, drizzle it over the top of the stuffing. 
  7. Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil (press it snuggly around the outside edges, so the foil stays on firmly). 
  8. Place the stuffing in the air fryer and cook at 350°F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes or until it is brown and crisp on top. 
  9. Let the stuffing cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Notes

  • This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings. You can double it and bake it in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish if you have an air fryer built into your large oven. 
  • You can mix the stuffing mixture in advance, cover it and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking it. 
  • Be sure to use a pan that fits your air fryer basket. There are pans in the recommended products below. Find one that fits your air fryer best.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 1414mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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