Apple Sausage Stuffing with mushrooms, sage, and other fresh herbs and vegetables is a delicious variation of traditional stuffing.
Stuffing is not a traditional Southern Thanksgiving dish. We always have Southern Cornbread Dressing with Giblet Gravy, but every now and then I like to throw this Apple Sausage Stuffing out there as well.
I've tweaked this recipe over the years as I've learned more about cooking. Now I use sourdough bread which I toast to help keep it from getting soggy in the broth. I also toast the pecans, which gives them a richer, nuttier flavor.
Note: This stuffing recipe is not intended to be cooked inside the turkey. See Stuffing Your Turkey: Just Don't Do It!
This Apple Sausage Stuffing recipe is one of those recipes in which it's important to practice mise en place, a French term meaning to have all ingredients ready prior to commencing cooking.
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Cook's Tips: There are some things you can do for economy of time when making this Apple Sausage Stuffing recipe. While the bread is toasting, chop the mushrooms if you didn't buy pre-sliced. While the pecans are roasting, don't do anything—otherwise you might forget about the pecans and have to start over. Don't ask me how I know.
- Sourdough bread
- Fresh parsley
- White onion
- Sweet Italian sausage
- Chicken stock
- Rubbed sage - just a pinch
- Dried thyme
- Fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Large roasting pan - this recipe makes more than one 9x13-inch dish
- Baking sheets - you'll use these for everything!
- Large skillet - I rarely use a non-stick skillet but it's nice to have at least one
How to Make Apple Sausage Stuffing
Step 1. Butter a large baking dish, 15x10x2 if you have it and if not then use 2 smaller ones, and set aside.
Step 2. Next, spread the bread on one or two cookie sheets and toast for about 15 minutes, until slightly browned and dry. Then spread the chopped pecans on a cookie sheet (you can reuse the same cookie sheets for everything) and toast for 5-8 minutes until they smell like the roasted nuts you get at the fair.
Step 3. In a large mixing bowl, put the toasted bread, dried thyme, rubbed sage, and a little salt and pepper, and gently stir. Add the pecans and mix them in.
Step 4. Add butter to a large skillet and sauté the onions, celery, and mushrooms. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Step 5. Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add fresh parsley, thyme, sage, and rosemary.
Cook's Tip: Don't cheat and use only dried herbs. Your Apple Sausage Stuffing will not taste as good! Fresh herbs are the best, with a little dried mixed in!
Step 6. Remove vegetables from skillet and add to the bowl with the bread.
Step 7. Cook sausage in the same large skillet until done.
Step 8. Remove sausage with slotted spoon and add to bread mixture. Stir gently.
Step 9. Stir in chicken stock, mixing well. Add more if needed. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Step 10. Chop apples and add to bread mixture. Stir and spoon into prepared dish.
Step 11. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes.
Make Ahead and Freezing Tips
Yes, you can! Just don't bake it! You can have everything ready the day before and bake your Apple Sausage Stuffing before serving.
Alternatively, you can do the whole thing, bake it, then place in the freezer for about a month. Thaw completely then reheat in the oven and garnish with fresh parsley.
Your kitchen is going to smell like the best of fall...the earthy herbs mixed with fruity apples and sausage...it's heavenly!
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Apple Sausage Stuffing
- 8 cups sourdough bread, cubed
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups white onion, chopped
- 1 ½ cups celery, chopped (about 3 stalks)
- 1 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- 2 large Gala apples, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven 375 and butter a large baking dish (15x10x2).
- Toast bread on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, then remove. Toast pecans in oven for about 7 minutes.
- In large mixing bowl, combine bread, dried thyme, rubbed sage, and salt and pepper. Add pecans and mix gently.
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat and add onions, celery, and mushrooms. Sauté until slightly tender. Add fresh parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary and cook for another minute.
- Remove vegetables from skillet and place in bowl with bread. Stir gently to mix.
- Add sausage to skillet and cook until browned. Remove sausage with slotted spoon and stir into bread mixture.
- Pour in chicken stock, one cup at a time, stirring until mixture is fairly wet. Start with 2 cups and add more if needed. Should be slightly wet but not soggy.
- Chop apples and stir into bread mixture.
- Spread stuffing in prepared baking dish.
- Bake uncovered about 45 minutes, or until browned and toasty.
Update Notes: This post was originally published November 2, 2011, and on November 27, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.
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