Nov 15, 2019

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing is a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing recipe in our home. Full of fresh ingredients to maximize flavor, this Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is sure to become your favorite holiday side dish! Bonus - this stuffing recipe is super easy to make and can be made ahead too!
Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing recipe in a silver serving dish ready to eat

SAUSAGE APPLE CRANBERRY STUFFING

This sausage apple cranberry stuffing has become pretty sacred in our home. The sausage, apples, and cranberries work in perfect harmony to create spoonful after spoonful of sweet, savory, and delicious magic!

It's our traditional stuffing recipe, and I don't seem to make this stuffing recipe any other time of year. I guess that's what makes it so special. We all look forward to it every November! I guess you could say we are serious about our Thanksgiving stuffing!

I love family traditions! Do you have any family traditions for Thanksgiving? A special Thanksgiving recipe you only make once a year? Share your favorite Thanksgiving food traditions with me in the comments below. I'm always looking for new and tasty ideas!

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STUFFING AND DRESSING?

Technically, stuffing is cooked in the turkey and dressing is cooked in a pan. Which means, my Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is really a dressing recipe, but I grew up calling it stuffing whether it was cooked in the turkey or in a pan, so stuffing it is to me.

My stuffing recipe can be cooked in the turkey or in a pan. However, I always cook this stuffing in a pan, because in order to cook stuffing safely in the turkey cavity you pretty much have to overcook the turkey. I'm not a fan of dry, overcooked turkey, so I always recommend cooking your Thanksgiving stuffing in a pan.

My technical explanation is part of a great debate as many will tell you the difference between stuffing and dressing depends on where you're from. If you're from the south you call it dressing whether it's cooked in the turkey or not, and northerners tend to call it stuffing even if it's cooked in a pan. This is probably why I call it stuffing. Even though I grew up in Florida (mostly), my mom is from Philly. It's always been Thanksgiving stuffing in our home.


WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING STUFFING?

A traditional Thanksgiving stuffing recipe consists of the following basic ingredients:
  • Dried bread cubes
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sage, Parsley, and thyme are herbs often added to traditional stuffing
  • Turkey Stock
  • Butter
For a sweet and savory flavor, I add in sausage, apples and cranberries to my Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. There are so many different stuffing variations, but this one is our family favorite.

Sausage apple cranberry stuffing in a silver serving dish with a serving spool

CAN STUFFING BE MADE THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING?

Absolutely! Typically, I'll make my Thanksgiving stuffing recipe the day ahead or early in the day on Thanksgiving. Once the turkey comes out of the oven to rest, I use that time to reheat the stuffing in the oven.


HOW TO USE UP LEFTOVER STUFFING

Our absolute favorite use for leftover stuffing is my Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole. As a matter-of-fact, I'll double my stuffing recipe just to make sure we have enough leftover to make my leftovers casserole. 

We quickly whip up several leftover casseroles when we're cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. That way everyone can go home with a casserole to enjoy over the weekend and remember the wonderful meal we shared together.




Top view looking down on Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing recipe

SAUSAGE APPLE AND CRANBERRY STUFFING RECIPE TIPS

  • Make the stuffing ahead of time. I usually make it early in the day on Thanksgiving, but you can make it a day or two ahead. It reheats nicely in the oven while the turkey is resting.
  • I prefer to use 6 cups of bread cubes. I usually purchase a baguette a day or two before when I do my Thanksgiving shopping and then cube it up the morning of Thanksgiving when I'm making the stuffing. However, I have been known to cheat from time to time (shhhhh - don't rat me out haha) and buy a 14 ounce bag of stuffing bread. Either way, this stuffing is delicious, so if you are feeling overwhelmed and just can't imagine doing one more thing, skip the cubing and toasting of the bread to save yourself some stress and buy a bag of stuffing bread.
  • Sear the sausage by placing the slab in the hot skillet all in one piece (watch the recipe video below). This will get a good sear on one side before breaking it up into small pieces. Searing the meat adds loads of flavor.
  • Don't salt the sausage...yet! Sausage, typically, is highly seasoned so I wait until the sausage and veggies are cooked and give it a taste. I add salt if needed, but it rarely is.
  • Add in as much or as little broth as you like. Everyone is different when it comes to stuffing. Some like it dry and others like it pretty mushy. I typically use 3-4 cups, but I recommend starting with 2 cups and adding in 1/2 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like. Add more as needed when you go to heat it up for serving.


HOW TO MAKE SAUSAGE APPLE CRANBERRY STUFFING - STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS

Sear the sausage in a screaming hot pan. I like to use cast iron for best results.
Searing sausage in a cast iron skillet for sausage apple cranberry stuffing
Add the vegetables and seasonings and break up the sausage. Cook until vegetables are softened and sausage is cooked through.
added vegetables and seasonings to sausage in cast iron skillet for sausage apple cranberry stuffing
In a separate bowl, combine the bread cubes, apples, cranberries, and parsley and mix well.
Combined bread cubes, chopped apples, dried cranberries, and parsley in a bowl
Add the sausage mixture to the bread mixture and stir to incorporate. Pour in turkey stock and melted butter. Give it a taste and season as needed. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
adding turkey stock to sausage apple cranberry stuffing mixture






WATCH VIDEO OF HOW TO MAKE OUR THANKSGIVING STUFFING RECIPE








Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
side dish, holiday recipe
American
Yield: 10
Author:

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing is a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing recipe full of fresh ingredients to maximize flavor. This Thanksgiving stuffing is super easy to make and can be made ahead too!
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 45 M

ingredients:

  • 6 cups cubed bread, I use a baguette
  • 1 lb ground turkey sausage
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and diced
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley
  • 3-4 cups turkey stock
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick)
  • salt and pepper to taste

instructions:

How to cook Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread 6 cups cubed bread in a single layer. Bake in preheated oven until evenly toasted - about 5-7 minutes. Toss the toasted bread cubes into an oven safe bowl.
  3. In a large skillet over mid-high heat, sear 1 lb sausage for about 3-4 minutes until the one side is nicely seared. Turn over and add 1 cup diced onions, 3/4 cup diced celery, 2.5 teaspoons dried sage, and a 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme. Stir to break up sausage and combine with vegetables and seasonings and continue to cook until sausage is cooked all the way through and no longer pink. About 5-10 more minutes.
  4. While the sausage is cooking, into bowl with the bread cubes add 3/4 cup dried cranberries, diced apple pieces, and 1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley.
  5. When the sausage is cooked through, add the sausage mixture to the bowl with the bread cubes and stir to combine all the ingredients. Pour in 2 cups turkey stock and 4 Tbsp melted butter. Stir to combine. Add more turkey stock if you like. I recommend adding 1/2 cup at a time until you reach the consistency you like. Stir each time after adding stock. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to heat and serve. 
  7. To reheat: Cover with foil and cook in 350°F. preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes until heated through to your liking. Serve and enjoy!

NOTES:

Make the stuffing ahead. I usually make it early in the day on Thanksgiving, but you can make it a day or two ahead. It reheats nicely in the oven while the turkey is resting.
Instead of cubed bread you can use a 14 ounce bag of stuffing bread and skip the cubing and toasting of the bread to save time.
When adding the broth, I typically use 3-4 cups, but I recommend starting with 2 cups and adding in 1/2 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like. Add more broth as needed when you go to heat it up for serving.
Calories
371.22
Fat (grams)
12.18
Sat. Fat (grams)
4.54
Carbs (grams)
46.78
Fiber (grams)
3.00
Net carbs
43.78
Sugar (grams)
15.93
Protein (grams)
19.11
Sodium (milligrams)
776.67
Cholesterol (grams)
56.46
Nutrition label disclaimer: Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Nora!! Have a very happy Thanksgiving ~Marion

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  2. Wonderful tips to making a splendid stuffing, Marion...Thinking I could use vegan sausages. Love the idea of using baguettes, too. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure the vegan sausage would be perfect! I'm so glad you like it, Kim. Thanks! Have a super week ~Marion

      Delete
  3. There are so many recipes for stuffing, but this looks like a perfect one full of great Thanksgiving flavors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Abbe! So nice of you to say. It's always a hit at our house. My family has been talking about this for over a month now!! They can't wait to get to enjoy it again :) Have a wonderful holiday ~Marion

      Delete

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