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Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing

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This crowd pleasing Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing is one even your stuffing hating friends are going to love! It is a festive, popular, absolutely delicious Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. 

 

Main image of recipe, in casserole dish before baking in oven.

 

This crowd pleasing Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry stuffing is one even your stuffing hating friends are going to love! It is a festive, popular, absolutely the best Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. 

Thanksgiving stuffing is made with savory sausage, sweet apples, tart cranberries, and the perfect mix of spices. They blend together forming a beautiful, melt in your mouth symphony of flavors. You will be so very happy you tried this recipe. Trust me.

I love that this stuffing recipe is made with simple ingredients but produces stellar flavor. It’s a very forgiving recipe that can be adapted to your needs.

It’s the ideal mix of crunchy on the outside, perfectly moist on the inside and your entire family is going to love it.

 

Sausage & onion cooked together in a skillet

 

What is in Thanksgiving Stuffing?

  • Bread: This sausage, apple, cranberry stuffing calls for both wheat and white bread. The combination of the two breads gives this a two tone sort of flavor. These will be baked separate before cooking the rest, giving them a delectable crunch. 
  • Sausage: Turkey sausage seems to be the ideal flavor here. Especially if you are cooking it inside a bird! However, you may choose to use beef, pork, turkey, or chicken, depending on your personal needs and desires. You can even omit it and use vegetable stock to make this vegetarian.
  • Onion: Yellow onion seems to be my favorite in recipes like this where you want a strong, complex flavor. If you want to use another color though, go for it.
  • Celery: This gives a slight crunch to your recipe but will be cooked so don’t expect it to be like biting into a stick of celery in the middle of your Thanksgiving stuffing.
  • Sage: Ok here’s the thing about the sage. This gives it that ultimate, Thanksgiving smell. When this starts cooking, it smells exactly like Thanksgiving from your childhood.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary smells SO good when you smell the fresh herb. Did you know it’s actually a part of the mint family? It doesn’t smell like mint though.
  • Thyme: Thyme is also a member of the mint family. I guess I don’t do enough gardening to know all these things. I do know though that these flavors blend perfectly in this sausage, apple, and cranberry stuffing.
  • Apple: I love granny smith apples for Thanksgiving stuffing but if you want to try another apple, that’s perfectly okay. It’s not going to change the recipe that much.
  • Cranberries: Dried cranberries add the perfect tartness to this Thanksgiving recipe. If you want to you can substitute for other dried fruits.
  • Parsley: Parsley has a peppery, sort of earthy taste. Just imagine the deliciousness of that taste in your sausage, apple, and cranberry stuffing.
  • Turkey Stock: Turkey stock goes perfectly with this recipe due to the turkey sausage and possibly cooking this recipe inside the turkey. Turkey, turkey, turkey. Yum! But if you want to substitute for another type of stock including beef, chicken, or vegetarian this stuffing recipe is perfect for personalizing.
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter in this recipe. Though you may use salted too if you so desire. Normally stock has salt in it already so maybe opt for a lower sodium salt if you are using salted butter.
  • Egg: The binder of this stuffing recipe is the egg. I suppose if you REALLY wanted to, you could leave out the egg, but your stuffing may be a lot more crumbly than you anticipated.

 

celery, sage, rosemary & thyme added to cooked sausage.

 

Pro Tip: Use fresh herbs! Fresh herbs make such a HUGE difference in all things and it’s no exception with this. You can certainly use the dried stuff, but I promise you won’t regret going fresh!

 

beaten egg added to sausage mix.

 

How to Make Stuffing for Thanksgiving

  1. Preheat your oven and spread bread cubes on a large baking sheet, making sure not to overlap. Cook them until evenly toasted and then place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onion until cooked through.
  3. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Place sausage mixture into the bread bowl and mix in your raw egg.
  5. Add chopped apples, dried cranberries, and parsley to the sausage bowl.
  6. Add stock and melted butter, mixing lightly.
  7. Pour into your prepared casserole dish and bake. Alternatively now is the time to add it to the turkey to bake.
  8. Stir once, about halfway through.
  9. Remove and serve nice and warm!

Pro Tip: Add more or less stock. The amount of stock you add determines the amount of moisture in your recipe. For a more moist dish, add more stock. For a more dry dish, add less.

 

sausage mix put in a bowl. Apples, dried cranberries, and parsley added to sausage in bowl.

 

Can I Prepare Stuffing the Night Before Thanksgiving?

You can! You can either prepare it, bake it, and then reheat it the next day. Or you can prepare it, let it sit overnight, and then bake it the next day.

If you choose to let it sit overnight, your toasted bread crumbs will probably become much more wet and a bit mushy. 

If you want to prepare the day ahead of time and cook in your turkey then the stuffing will be more wet anyway so it may not bother you. If you want it crunchy, either bake the day before and reheat or bake the day of Thanksgiving.

Once cooked, the food will stay good in your fridge for up to 4 days and in your freezer for 1 month.

 

stuffing all mixed together and placed in casserole dish ready to bake

 

What is the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

Is it stuffing? Is it dressing? Well it’s both. Stuffing and dressing are made from the same yummy ingredients. 

Some people like to cook these ingredients inside their turkey, at the exact same time their turkey is cooking. This is what we call stuffing, as we literally stuff the ingredients inside.

Other people like to cook these ingredients in the oven, separate from the turkey. This is what we call dressing.

You may choose to cook this recipe whichever way you choose! If you decide to cook sausage, apple, and cranberry stuffing in the turkey, you should place it inside the turkey right before you place the turkey in the oven.

Using a thermometer make sure the stuffing is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

It is also worth noting that cooking the stuffing inside your turkey may cause your turkey to take longer to cook. It will also cause your stuffing to be more moist.

If you like a moist stuffing, you may opt to take this route. However, if you like it more crunchy, cook it separately and you’ll enjoy it that way too.

No matter which way you choose to make this sausage, apple and cranberry stuffing, you are going to love it. It is an absolutely scrumptious, savory, tart, crisp, and perfect Thanksgiving dish. Let me know what you love about it!

 

stuffing cooked and in casserole dish fresh from oven.

 

More Sausage Recipes:

 

Cooked stuffing, in bowl with a scoop of it on a spoon.

 

More Cranberry Recipes:

 

Yield: 10 Servings

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing

stuffing all mixed together and placed in casserole dish ready to bake

This crowd pleasing Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing is one even your stuffing hating friends are going to love! It is a festive, popular, absolutely delicious Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread *see notes for dried bread cube option.
  • 3 3/4 cups cubed white bread *see notes for dried bread cube option.
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dried sage 
  • 1 teaspoons dried rosemary 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped , you can peel or leave skin on.
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet, making sure to not overlap.
  3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until evenly toasted.
  4. Place bread crumbs into a large bowl and set aside.
  5. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, until cooked through.
  6. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Cook together for 2 more minutes.
  7. Place sausage mixture into bread bowl.
  8. Add lightly beaten, raw egg, to the bread and sausage bowl.
  9. Add chopped apples, dried cranberries, and parsley to sausage bowl.
  10. Add Chicken broth and melted butter, and mix lightly.
  11. Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes {If stuffing turkey, add this to the Turkey and bake.}
  12. Remove from oven, stir and return to oven for 30 more minutes of baking.
  13. Remove and serve immediately.

Notes

If you don't want to make your own dried bread cubes, you can purchase some. You'll need 5 1/4 cups of dried unseasoned bread cubes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 496mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g
Recipe adapted from: All Recipes

Originally Posted: November 11, 2014

Photos & Text Updated: November 20, 2020

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Merlyne

Friday 6th of December 2019

Do you think this could be made ahead and frozen until Xmas day?

Janelle

Monday 23rd of December 2019

Hi Merlyne! Yes I think it could! I've never frozen it before but I can't see why it wouldn't work! If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

havee

Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Nice recipe. Thank you

Janelle

Friday 1st of March 2019

Glad you enjoyed it!

Nicole

Friday 21st of December 2018

Could this be prepped the night before and then put into the oven to cook the day of?

Janelle

Saturday 22nd of December 2018

Hi Nicole! Yes it can. Just be prepared to add a little extra moisture to it before baking it. A guess would be 1/2 cup of chicken broth or you can also use water.

Laura

Sunday 29th of November 2015

Did you mean lightly scramble or lightly beat the egg? I was a little confused that you would put a scrambled (cooked) egg in the dressing.

Janelle

Tuesday 1st of December 2015

Laura, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I can see where you could be confused. I've updated the recipe to make it more clear. Growing up, we always said scramble instead of beat egg and a little bit of my past tends to come out every once in a while! However most people refer to scramble as cooked. Sorry about that! Hope this helps!

Kirsten

Friday 26th of December 2014

Great recipe. It was the best bit of Christmas dinner!

Janelle

Friday 26th of December 2014

Thank you so much Kristen for coming back and leaving your review! You have just made my Christmas! I'm so glad everyone enjoyed the stuffing! I hope you enjoy out other recipes too!

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