Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 4-5 minutes; set aside and let cool.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add leek, celery, carrots, sage and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat.
Remove from heat. Stir in cranberries, pecan halves, chicken stock, butter and bread cubes until well combined.
Place bread mixture into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.