For over 25 years, FDR’s Richard Keys has prepared the same Thanksgiving Day menu for his family. It includes at least ten items and is followed by a family-wide dessert contest.

The rest of the FDR team is a little jealous we are not invited. However, we are delighted that Richard has finally shared a recipe for his Spicy Italian Sausage and White Cheddar Cheese Stuffing.

But first, the full Thanksgiving Day menu.

Apple Cider Brined Turkey

Spicy Italian Sausage and White Cheddar Cheese Stuffing

Buttermilk, Chive Mashed Potatoes

Orange Cranberry Relish


Ginger Snap Cookie, Sweet Potato, Canadian Maple Syrup Casserole

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Caprese

Turkey Giblet Gravy

Smoked Bacon, Leek Green Bean Casserole

Parker House Rolls

Family Dessert Contest Entries!

Yields 8-10 servings

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  • 1 lb. Italian loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds Spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 medium onions, large dice
  • 1 bulb, fennel, large dice
  • 4 large celery ribs, large dice
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Sage, minced
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Thyme, minced
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup Turkey stock or Chicken stock
  • 1 cup White Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cup Fried Onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter baking dish.
  2. Put bread on sheet pan and bake, turning pan occasionally through baking process, until just dried out, about 10 min.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat, cook sausage, breaking it into large chunks, until golden brown. Transfer sausage to a large mixing bowl and reserve.
  4. Pour off fat from pan and add butter over medium heat until melted, add and cook onions, fennel, celery, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden, approximately 15 min. Add vegetables and bread to sausage.
  5. Whisk together eggs, cream, turkey stock, cheese, and parsley, then stir into stuffing, mix and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  6. Place mixture in baking dish, cover with foil and place in 350°F oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and top with onions and bake an additional 15 minutes until bread is golden and crisp.


Equipment: 4-qt shallow ceramic or glass baking dish