Viola Family Thanksgiving Dressing

 If memory serves me correctly, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving every year  since I graduated college in 2002 with the exception of the year we moved (and lived with constant construction everyday for 6 consecutive months – I felt my excuse justified).  In my family the dishes pretty much remain the same year after year.  Good ol’ tried and true favorites (some of these will be shared within the days before Thanksgiving).

My personal feelings towards any holiday dinner is the more the merrier.  I feel so blessed with what I have in my life, why wouldn’t I want to allow more people to be a part of that?  Plus, there is always WAY more food than our super tiny family will ever consume.  Last year, I had the pleasure of one of my dearest friends having joined us for dinner.  Her family had recently moved here from California on a job transfer.  Both she and her husband are excellent cooks, and this is the dressing they brought to our holiday gathering.  I have always enjoyed stuffing, but never found it to be crave worthy.  This is crave worthy.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention her husband has attended culinary school?  Yep, that’s right an actual chef (and, if hosting holiday gatherings aren’t pressure enough, I’m cooking for this guy?!?  No pressure…)!  So, thank you Mr. Ed Viola for utilizing both your culinary education and italian heritage in the creation of the best dressing ever!  (And, thanks Jen for coming over and creating it with me to help ensure every detail is relayed correctly.) 😉



  • 2 Boxes Stove Top Stuffing
  • 1 lb Ground Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1/4 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup Diced Onions (1 Medium Onion)
  • 2 Cups Diced Celery
  • 2 Cups Diced Carrots
  • 1 Cup Swansen’sLow Sodium Chicken  Broth
  • 1 3.5 Ounce Bag Almond Accents Roasted Almond Slices
  • 1 Cup Ocean Spray Craisens
  • 5 Chestnuts 



1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2. Mark X on chestnuts, scoring with knife.  Make sure score penetrates all the way through the shell.

3. Place chestnuts on baking sheet, and put in oven for approximately 30 minutes.

  • Watch for shell to seemingly flower open at scores.
  • Chestnuts should not be crunchy after roasting.  Texture is soft.  Chestnuts are not cooked if they possess a grain like texture.  Chestnuts will also crumble when opening when cooked thoroughly.

4. Place a pan over medium heat, cook sausage until done.  Remove from heat.

5. While sausage is cooking dice celery, onions, and carrots.  Pieces should be about pea size.

6. Place half a stick of butter in a pan, allow to melt slightly before adding onions.

7. Cook onions until nearly translucent, and add celery and carrots.  Sautee about 5 minutes – carrots should be tender.

8. Pull onion mixture from heat, add sausage and combine.

9. In large bowl add both boxes of stuffing, and pour sausage mixture on top.  Mix well.

10. Pour broth in, and mix until consistent.

11. Add craisens, sliced almonds, and coarsely chopped chestnuts.  Mix until combined, and place in baking pan.  Cover with foil or lid, and heat in oven at 350 for about 20 min. before serving. 

Thanks for joining me on the last leg of the Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner Blog Hop!

What?!?  You missed the other dishes served with this dinner?  Check out all the Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner Blog Hop recipes:  Day 1 @ Home Sweet Homemade, Day 2 @ Be Colorful, Day 3 @ White Spray Paint, and Day 4 was @ Frugal Luxuries.

(Seriously, these ladies are ALL VERY talented!  I am so ecstatic to be a part of this group, and a great big Thanks! to Diane @ Home Sweet Homemade for being the master mind behind it!)

 Bon appetit!


I’m sharing this bowl full of sensational stuffing @ these awesome parties this week:

 Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty ThingsMotivated Monday @ Be Colorful, Made By You Monday @ Skip to My Lou, Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie, Crafty Sasse Wednesday @ The Sasse Life, Whatever You Want Wednesday @ Free Pretty Things For You, Create and Share @ The Trendy Treehouse, Made By Me @ JAQS Studio, Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring, Chic and Crafty @ The Frugal Girls Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Hookin Up with HOH, Foodie Friday @ Designs by Gollum,

 Speaking of linky parties, I would be absolutely delighted if you would check out Spa{ahhh} Sundaze!  Brand new, theme with a twist, and I would just love it if you linked up!

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