Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Building a concentrated flavor base adds plenty of flavor to the exterior of the bread, while knotting the dough allows that flavor to seep deeper into nooks and crannies.
  • Letting the rolls rise until they're pressed together in a baking dish makes for extra-moist bread that's fun to pull apart when eating.

It's no question that stuffing is the best thing on the Thanksgiving table. It's also no question that these easy pull-apart pepperoni garlic knots are the most stupidly delicious easy recipe I've come up with so far this year.

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So what happens when you take the idea of a pull-apart garlic knot and mix it up with the flavors of stuffing?

A little bit of Thanksgiving magic. Tender, buttery, stuffing-flavor-packed magic. That's what.

Step 1: Make the Flavor Base

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Start by melting butter in a heavy skillet. Got an aversion to butter? This is not the recipe for you.

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Next, add your sausage. If you're in a market that sells sage sausages (they come out around this time of year on the East Coast), go with that. Otherwise, bulk breakfast sausage is the way to go, though you can easily get away with diced bacon, salami, or even no meat at all if you'd prefer.

I like to use the potato masher to break up my sausage. It makes short work of creating an even-textured crumble.

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Then add your basic aromatics. I use the same flavors that I do in my classic sage and sausage stuffing: celery, onions, and plenty of chopped sage and garlic.

Cook those down until the vegetables are softened but not browned, then finish with some fresh parsley. Remove the mixture and let it cool completely.

Step 2: Prepare Your Dough

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This recipe is based on my pepperoni garlic knot recipe, and if knotted pizza dough worked there, why not here?

I use a basic, lightly enriched dough, like my own New York–style pizza dough, though store-bought pizza dough actually works quite well. (I tested this with dough from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Safeway.) While store-bought dough is generally under-seasoned and a little bland, in this case, the other flavorings are so damn strong that it really doesn't matter.

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After letting a pound of dough proof for the first time, divide it in half, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a roughly four-inch-wide strip.

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Cut it into narrow strips with a bench scraper, then repeat with the other half of the dough. Tie each strip into a simple knot.

I tried incorporating the other ingredients directly into the dough, but it disrupts the dough's gluten network too much, causing it to collapse. Your rolls will end up dense and gummy that way. The knotting method creates plenty of nooks and crannies for the flavorings to fall into and cling to, while maintaining a nice, light texture.

Step 3: Toss and Proof

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Transfer the knots to a large bowl, and add your cooled flavor base. Using your whole hand, toss and flip the knots until they're evenly coated on all surfaces. You want to be gentle here, letting the knots cascade over your palms so that you don't end up sticking them together.

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Next, butter up a 9- by 13-inch baking dish (I told you we're not butter-shy here, right?) to help the bottoms and sides brown, and lay the knots inside the dish, keeping them evenly spaced. It's okay if they don't sit against each other snugly right now; that'll come with time.

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Cover up the dish tightly with plastic wrap, then set it aside and let the rolls rest until they've roughly doubled in volume. At room temperature, this should take three to four hours. In the fridge, it should take about 12 to 16 hours, which makes this a great make-ahead option.

Alternatively, you can freeze the casserole as is, with a layer of aluminum foil wrapped over it, for up to a week. Let it thaw completely in the fridge overnight, and allow it to rise at room temperature for an hour before baking.

When the rolls are ready to bake, they should look something like this:

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Step 4: Grease and Bake

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What's that? Too much butter, you say? Well, okay then. This time, I'll drizzle them with a little olive oil and brush it on nicely before placing them gently, so as not to deflate them, in a hot, hot oven to bake.

After 25 to 30 minutes, they should emerge, ready for one final brushing of butter to give them the glossy sheen of a Parker House roll.

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You'll notice that the sausage and other flavorings on the top will have browned quite a bit, delivering some really intense, concentrated flavor when you bite in. On the other hand, the sausage on the bottom will remain nice and juicy, giving you that pleasantly meaty texture.

Soft, tender, buttery, packed with real Thanksgiving-stuffing flavor, and oh-so-fun to pull apart, these rolls make the ideal vehicle for dipping into all that extra gravy you've made (you do make extra gravy, right?), perhaps with a little spoonful of cranberry sauce to tie it all together.

If you wanna get really creative, just split one open at the table and make yourself a little Thanksgiving sandwich on the spot. Your mouth, and whomever you pay handsomely to wash your silk napkins, will thank you.

Next task: Use these pull-apart stuffing rolls to make stuffing. IT'S STUFFINCEPTION TIME.

November 2014

Recipe Details

Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe

Active30 mins

Total5 hrs

Serves8to 10 servings


  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, divided

  • 8 ounces (225g) sage sausage or breakfast sausage, removed from casings (see notes)

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup (7g) minced fresh sage leaves

  • 1/4 cup (7g) minced fresh parsley leaves

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 1 pound (450g)homemadeor store-bought pizza dough (see notes)

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons (28g) butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and mash with a stiff whisk or potato masher to break up into fine pieces (the largest pieces should be no bigger than 1/4 inch). Cook, stirring frequently, until only a few bits of pink remain, about 8 minutes. Add onion, celery, garlic, and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer contents to a large bowl and set aside until completely cool.

    Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe (15)

  2. While filling cools, make knots. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 2 even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll or stretch into an oblong strip about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. With a bench scraper or knife, cut crosswise into 12 strips. Repeat with other half of dough.

    Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe (16)

  3. Tie each strip into a knot and transfer to bowl with sausage mixture. Toss and fold with your hands, very gently, until every knot is thoroughly coated in sausage mixture. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon (14g) butter. Transfer knots to baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, cover tightly with plastic, and set aside until doubled in size, about 4 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until doubled in size, 12 to 16 hours. Or cover in aluminum foil and freeze for up to a week, thaw completely in the refrigerator, and bring the rolls up to room temperature for an hour before baking.

    Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe (17)

  4. When ready to bake, adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Unwrap rolls. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

    Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe (18)

  5. When rolls are almost ready, melt remaining tablespoon butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Remove rolls from oven and immediately brush on butter. Serve with gravy and cranberry sauce on the side.

    Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe (19)

Special Equipment

9- by 13-inch baking dish, large cast iron skillet


Other cured meats cut into fine dice, like bacon, pancetta, or chorizo, can be used in place of the sausage. Because of how intensely flavored these rolls are, this is a case in which store-bought dough (which is often under-seasoned) works just as well as homemade. So feel free to take the easy road here and use premade pizza dough—you won't be sacrificing any flavor.

  • Sides
  • Thanksgiving Stuffings
  • Sausages
  • Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls Recipe (2024)


What is the best kind of bread to use for stuffing? ›

Breads such as sour dough, French bread or Italian loaves are for the best bread for stuffing. Their soft-but-sturdy interiors are the perfect texture for stuffing. The pieces retain their shape without crumbling.

How wet should stuffing be before baking? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture. If the mix is still dry and crumbly, add more liquid and toss gently until it starts to clump together.

Is it okay to make stuffing a day ahead of time? ›

The short answer to whether you can making stuffing ahead of time is yes.

Does bread have to be dry for stuffing? ›

This is the base; it's what gives the stuffing structure, and it plays a big role in determining the texture. While you can use almost any bread — cornbread, bagels, or even frozen waffles — to make stuffing, it needs to be dried or “staled” first.

Why put eggs in stuffing? ›

Broth: Chicken broth keeps the stuffing moist without making it soggy. Eggs: Two lightly beaten eggs help hold the dressing together and add moisture. Water: You can add a few tablespoons of water, if you'd like, to achieve your desired consistency.

Why is my stuffing gummy? ›

If the stuffing came out too wet and soggy (aka bread soup!) try not to over mix it, otherwise it'll turn into mush. Curtis Stone says to pour it on a large sheet tray and spread it out. Bake it on high heat to crisp it up, but make sure it doesn't burn.

How to tell when stuffing is done? ›

How do you safely cook stuffing? The stuffed meat, poultry, or stuffing in a casserole should be placed immediately after preparation in an oven set no lower than 325 °F. A food thermometer should be used to ensure that the stuffing reaches the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

Why can't you refrigerate uncooked stuffing? ›

USDA recommends that you never refrigerate uncooked stuffing. Why? Remember, stuffing can harbor bacteria, and though bacteria grow slower in the refrigerator they can cause problems because stuffing is a good medium for bacteria growth, therefore a higher risk food in terms of cooking safely.

How long does homemade uncooked stuffing last in fridge? ›

For stuffing in whole poultry or a whole, bone-in turkey breast, remove all stuffing from the cavity. Place it in a sealed container and store it in the refrigerator. Use or freeze the stuffing or stuffed poultry parts within 3 to 4 days.

Does stove top stuffing taste good? ›

The verdict: It's often said that we eat with our eyes first, and Stove Top's Traditional Sage stuffing was far and away the most visually appealing. Tasters appreciated that there was a a decent crunch in each bite, but we were most impressed by its seasoning.

How do you know when your rolls are done? ›

Most loaves and rolls will indeed be done when they register 190°F at their center. But some breads — baguettes, for instance — need to reach a higher internal temperature to be fully baked.

What's the difference between a bun and a roll? ›

Rolls are typically proofed and baked right next to each other which enables them to have a softer crust and to pull apart effortlessly. Buns can be either savory or sweet, and they can be filled with both savory and sweet ingredients. In terms of flavor, bread rolls are usually savory and unfilled.

Which flat bread is perfect for stuffing? ›

If your idea of pita bread is the small oval slices of cardboard bought from supermarkets, think again. Freshly made pita crisps and puffs up like a ball, perfect for stuffing with the filling of your choice: shawarma, falafel, muhamarra or any other Middle Eastern goodies.

What types of flatbread is used in a sandwich that can be rolled around the stuffing to make a pinwheel shaped ›

Lavash Small and rectangular, when softened in water, can be rolled around a stuffing to make a pinwheel shaped sandwich. 25. Wraps These are very thin, flat breads that are used for sandwich wraps, burritos and tacos.

What is the best bread for Thanksgiving sandwiches? ›

This is not the time for crusty, seedy bread

Many sandwiches later, I've found sliced white sourdough holds up best. Regular, bagged sandwich bread gets soggy under the weight of the filling.

What is stuffing bread made of? ›

There's onion powder, parsley, sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and plenty of butter. And so as not to forget the vegetables, you'll add a generous sprinkling of celery seed on top. Try this stuffing bread.

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