This Thanksgiving, serve this epic Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing! Cubed sourdough and whole grain bread is tossed with browned turkey sausage, crisp apples and dried cranberries is the just the start for this delicious stuffing with lots of flavor. Serves 8+ in about an hour.
Recently Malloree asked if I had favorite Thanksgiving food. I pondered this for .02 seconds because uh-duh, it’s stuffing!
All. The. Stuffing.
A double scoop of stuffing pleaseandthankyou. And any stuffing will do, I’m not picky. My mom’s homemade version where she uses bread, herbs and incorporates the gizzards will always be at the top because I grew up with it at every Thanksgiving. And Stove Top stuffing is delicious too. However a stuffing that combines dried fruit, apples and sausage with 2 different breads might just be my new favorite.
Reason 465 as to why I love this stuffing?
The underneath layer soaks up the buttery broth while the top layer gets crispy in the oven. It’s the perfect textural combination.
To Make This Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing You Will Need:
- loaf of both sourdough bread and whole grain bread
- bulk turkey sausage
- honeycrisp apple
- granny smith apple
- dried cranberries (reduced sugar)
- fresh parsley
- yellow onion
- kosher salt
- rubbed sage
- crushed rosemary
- dried thyme
- turkey stock
- melted salted butter
Start by preheating your oven to 350℉ (or 180℃) and spray a deep-sided half sheet cake pan with olive oil. I found this pan at Target. Arrange the bread cubes out evenly before baking for 10 minutes on the middle rack of your preheated oven. Doing this will dry the bread out a smidge without browning it.
Meanwhile, lightly spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil and cook 1 pound of turkey sausage until fully cooked and golden brown in spots. Because turkey sausage is so lean, there won’t be much fat in the pan, so no need to drain. win-win.
So go on and just add the browned sausage directly to the pan with the toasted bread.
Lightly spray the same skillet that you just cooked the sausage with olive oil and add in 1 diced yellow onion and 3/4 cup sliced celery (about 3 short stalks) with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir and cook until the celery is soft and the onions are soft and translucent.
About 8 to 10 minutes.
In the last minute or so, measure and add in 1 tablespoon of rubbed sage, 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Stir and cook for the final minute.
To the pan with the bread and sausage, add in 1 diced honeycrisp apple and 1 diced granny smith, 3/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup minced fresh and the sautéed onions and celery.
With your spatula, toss well to combine.
Lastly, pour 2 to 3 cups turkey stock (0r more if needed) and 1/4 cup melted salted butter over top. Season with a few pinches kosher salt, toss to combine and spread out evenly.
Bake uncovered on the middle rack of your 350° oven for 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. If using to stuff a turkey, allow the stuffing to cool completely beforehand.
I prefer my stuffing baked outside of the bird, because the top layer gets crispy and while underneath is tender and moist. But again, I’m not picky.
Transfer the stuffing to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with a little fresh minced parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
This stuffing has it all. Sweetness from the apples, while the cranberries add a burst of tartness and the bread and sausage give it balance.
For more stuffing recipes click here.
Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing
- olive oil spray
- 10 ounces sourdough, diced into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
- 10 ounces whole grain bread, diced into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
- 1 pound turkey sausage
- 1 medium honeycrisp apple, cored and diced
- 1 medium granny smith apple, cored and diced
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries, reduced sugar
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced, plus more for serving
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3/4 cup celery, sliced
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
- 1½ teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups turkey stock, or more as needed
- 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ (or 180℃) and spray a deep sided roasting pan with olive oil spray.
- In a single layer (or closest to one as possible) arrange the cubed bread. Bake for 10 minutes. Bread should not be browned but mimic stale bread in texture.
- Meanwhile, spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil and cook the turkey sausage until fully cooked, no longer pink and deeply golden in spots. Once cooked add it all to the roasting pan with the bread.
- Spray the skillet (used for the sausage) again with olive oil. Since the turkey sausage is leaner than pork sausage, there won't be much (if any) fat in the pan afterwards. Sauté the onions and celery with a pinch of kosher salt until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Once tender, add in the rubbed sage, rosemary and thyme. Stir and cook for a mintues.
- To the pan with the bread and sausage add the diced apples, cranberries and parsley. Add the onion mixture to the pan and toss well to combine.
- Pour the stock (adding more if desired or needed) and butter over the stuffing. Toss one final time before, spreading evenly in the pan and baking uncovered in your 350° oven for 40 minutes. Rotating the pan half way through.
- Transfer the stuffing to a large serving bowl and top with fresh minced parsley and ground black pepper.
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