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Apple Sausage Stuffing

Apple Sausage Stuffing

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Created by the executive chef and pitmaster of Blue Smoke, Kenny Callaghan, this stuffing recipe is a nice combination of savory and sweet.


  • 1 Cup apple cider
  • 1/2 Cup raisins
  • 2 Pounds sweet fennel sausage
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 Pounds Macoun apples, or another local variety, medium dice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1 large loaf sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 Pound butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Calories Per Serving817

Folate equivalent (total)158µg40%

Riboflavin (B2)0.6mg34.7%

Sausage & Apple Stuffing

This recipe takes ordinary sausage stuffing to the next level and then some!  We’ve used 2 kinds of apples and 2 types of stuffing to give this stuffing a delicious, complex flavor. Chicken broth provides the savory base flavor, Red Delicious apple adds subtle sweetness while Granny Smith apple provides a juicy, slightly tart flavor.  Use half bread and half cornbread stuffing for delicious cornbread flavor but with a lighter texture.  The best part?  It’s ready in less than 30 minutes!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 (16 ounce) packages Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups diced onions
  • ¾ cup diced or coarsely grated carrots
  • 1 ½ cups diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) package herbed dry bread cubes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

In a large saucepan or stockpot, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Add mushrooms, onion, carrots, celery and garlic cook 10-12 minutes or until onion is translucent, stirring frequently. Transfer mixture to a large bowl add remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour into a buttered 4-quart casserole.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

This recipe takes inspiration from the plethora of dried fruit, apple, and pork stuffing combinations out there. We decided to save ourselves a step by using bread that already includes dried fruit. The resulting stuffing is rich, hearty, and easy to put together for your holiday dinner.


  • 1 pound (454g) fruited sourdough bread, or your favorite stuffing bread
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound (454g) pork sausage meat
  • 1 1/2 cup (213g) finely diced onion
  • 2 cups (213g, 4 large stalks) chopped celery
  • 2 cups (227g) peeled, cored, chopped (1/2" pieces) Granny Smith apples (or other tart baking apples about 2 small apples)
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (227g) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or up to 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole pan or 9" x 13" pan.

Place the bread cubes into a large bowl, and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

Brown the sausage meat, breaking it up with a spoon until it's completely cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked sausage to the bowl with the bread cubes, leaving the hot fat in the pan. Toss the bread with the sausage until the two are evenly incorporated.

Return the pan to the heat and add the onion, celery, and apple. Cook until the onions are translucent and everything has softened.

Transfer the vegetable mixture to the bread cubes/sausage, stirring to incorporate.

Stir in the butter, stock, salt, pepper, and parsley, mixing thoroughly.

Stir in the beaten eggs. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared pan.

Bake the stuffing for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top is crunchy and sizzling.

Remove the stuffing from the oven. Allow it to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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In regards to the secondary ingredient listing of herbs, it says "add remaining ingredients" i the last paragraph. I don't note anyone saying it was too much after making it, though I've never made this before. I'm currently making this. I purchased bulk sage sausage and am trying to figure out how much of the herbs to add in the FIRST phase given that there is salt and spices already in the sausage.

Can anyone clarify this for me: The ingredients list sage and thyme twice, in different quantities. I see when to add the herbs to the sausge mix, but no where do the preparation steps mention adding the sage and thyme near the bottom of the ingredients list. Are they added to the apple mixture, or would this be too much?

Question - When you used purchased sausage, did you purchase it bulk or links? If it was links, did you chop or remove from casings? Thanks.

I see the folks who used the substitution and loved this recipe, but let me just say this: while I imagine the recipe is wonderful still wonderful without it, for me the homemade sausage was the best part of it!

I made this to stuff into our Thanksgiving turkey and got rave reviews. It was excellent. I used ready made chicken and apple suasage instead of the pork tenderloin/fat and as another reviewer suggested, I used half cornbread and added a small amount of chopped prunes. Everything else I followed as written. It was delicous.

I didn't rate this recipe because I used lean ground pork and added 1.5 cups of chicken broth based on other reviews. With those changes, it was relatively easy and delicious! It would've been dry without the broth addition. Definitely a keeper!

This stuffing recipe is a winner and a new tradition, not a turkey! (Sorry, couldn't resist!) When my son vetoed the classic onion stuffing this year, I challenged him to find an alternate. This is what my brilliant son found! Because we decided on this Wednesday night, we had to substitute Italian sweet sausage, boule (crust on), and Maker's Mark bourbon, but the stuffing was still delish! The sausage smelled heavenly as we were browning it, and it is somewhat of a miracle that any was left for the stuffing, since we all found the need to taste it, and taste it several times as a quality check. (That's our story, and we're sticking to it!) We halved the recipe for a 12-lb turkey about half went into the bird, and the rest in a covered baking dish drizzled with 1 cup chicken stock. Next year, we will use chicken-apple sausage other than that, we'll run the same gameplan as this year.

Have made this many times now. I use lean ground pork instead of pork tenderloin and fat. Same thing to me. I add more sage, pepper and salt but basically make as is. If you bake outside the turkey you need to add a bit of broth. I usually bake some in and out and then mix the two together. I have made it with 1/2 corn bread which definitely gives more flavour and texture but not a must.

1/3 of my bread was cornbread to add a bit more texture (used "Buttery Cornbread" recipe. Added prunes cut up in 1/4s, @ 1 1/2 c toasted walnuts, bourbon, and added chicken stock to moisten per others excellent suggestions. I did use the Jimmy Dean shortcut but wasn't pleased with the product overall (corn syrup and msg). Will try the pork according to recipe next time.

I have being making this stuffing since 1982.

I have my Great Grandfather's recipe for his stuffing that is very similar. We just use breakfast sausage instead of making our own and we also add walnuts and cut up prunes. This is so good. We normally only have it for Thanksgiving but I like to brown boneless pork tenderloins and arrange them in a pan standing up alternating this stuffing inbetween the tenderloins and then baking it.

Great stuffing. I actually would add a little more apple, but whole family enjoyed tremendously. Not too mushy, not too dry. as in 3 bears lingo appeared "just right" to guests!

The flavor of this combination of ingredients was fabulous. However, I cooked this outsidet he turkey and it was very dry. I even added the cup of stock that someone recommended. I would make this again, but if I was baking it seperately in a casserole, I would add more liquid to the mixture.

This recipe will ensure that you are discussed in reverent, hushed tones every Thanksgiving for years to come. Perfect.

This was a delicious stuffing for Thanksgiving, but I made a few changes: I used a pkg of Jimmy Dean's sage sausage instead of the pork and pork fat. Used a bourbon rather than the Cognac and it was terrific. I also added some chopped prunes, which I think added a lot. Also, I like my dressing really moist, so I added a cup of chicken broth and it turned out perfect. I think this may just be the end of Grandma's old recipe that we have made forever. This one is just so much better!

I used sausage instead of pork tenderloin and pork fat. This was delicious. Cooked it outside of the turkey and poured turkey drippings over it about 3/4 way done. This recipe makes a lot of stuffing. I used 3/4 recipe. Next year, will use 1/2.

I used lean ground pork instead of grinding pork tenderloin and fat. I didn't have enough time to let it marinate overnight, but it was still delicious. Even our pickiest guests raved about it! It was the best stuffing I've ever had. Definitely worth the effort.

Making the sausage instead of buying it took no more than a few minutes using a meat grinder. The sausage however was somewhat bland when cooked, so I added Madeira and more thyme,sage and pepper to enhance the flavor of the sausage. Making sausage instead of buying it was far superior both in quality and texture. A huge family favorite.

This is the only stuffing I make and have been making it for 20 years. It is lovely. Some modifications I do 1) Like ssaltorelli, I use sage sausage instead of tenderloin, it costs less and tastes great. 2) I strain the juices from cooking the vegetables, apples, and sausage and use it for gravy (I prefer a moist vs. soggy stuffing). 3) I use tequila instead of cognac. I add the tequila prior to cooking in oven. Tequila enhances all the flavors without tasting like, well tequila. 4) I do add an egg with the mixture at the same time I add tequila. Anyway, this is a very flexible recipe and can be modified many ways. I have added pine nuts, used single malt scotch (that was great, but does give a stronger taste), and many other things.

This is a great recipe, however, you can save lots of time and effort by using a good prepackaged sage pork sausage instead of the pork tenderloin and all of the other herbs. It will turn out very moist and delicious. I've used this recipe for years to rave reviews.

My daughter is making her first big Thanksgiving this year. She asked me for my recipes.. low and behold I go in epicurious and find the wonderful recipe I have used since 1982 out of Bon Appetit magazine. You can't go wrong with this one always been a hit on my Thanksgiving table.

Classic and wonderful. If you enjoy the cooking prep , it's not too bad. For most, this could be ALOT of work. The outcome is terrific though.

You'll Need

1 tsp olive oil
2 links turkey sausage, preferably apple, casings removed
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, and diced
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups cubed bread from a sturdy loaf or baguette, preferably whole wheat (Slightly stale bread works best. If the bread is fresh, place in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes before using.)
10–12 leaves fresh sage, chopped
1 1⁄2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 egg, beaten
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp cold butter, diced

Ingredients for this Apple Sausage Stuffing Recipe

  • Prepared stuffing cubes or 1 to 2 day old French bread cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Unsalted butter
  • Apple chicken sausage
  • Yellow onion
  • Button mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Fresh parsley
  • Dried sage
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt & pepper
  • Walnut pieces
  • Eggs

I really this toasting the walnuts takes this recipe to a whole other level of yumminess. Simply spread out the walnut pieces on a baking sheet and toast at 250 degrees F for about 7 minutes until they’re golden.

If you’re in a pinch and didn’t have a chance to let your French bread dry out, cut up the bread into bite-sized pieces and then bake it on a baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees F to dry it out.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 250°F. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet. Bake until dry to touch, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.

Step 2

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary and generous amount of pepper and cook until mushrooms soften, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add celery and apple and stir 1½ minutes. Mix in parsley, sage and thyme. Add to bread and toss to blend.

Step 3

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sausage to same skillet and cook until beginning to brown, breaking up with fork. Add to bread, using slotted spoon. Add stock to stuffing and mix to blend. Season with salt. Cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Recipe Summary

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 ounces bulk pork sausage
  • 10 cups dry bread cubes*
  • 2 tart cooking apples, cored and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • ⅓ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Line a 3-1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Lightly coat liner with cooking spray set cooker aside. In a large skillet cook sausage until meat is brown. Drain off fat. In a very large bowl combine sausage, bread cubes, apples, and green onions.

Drizzle melted butter over bread mixture. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Drizzle enough of the chicken broth over bread mixture to moisten, tossing gently. Transfer to prepared cooker.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4-1/2 to 5 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours. Makes 10 servings.

To make dry bread for stuffing, cut fresh bread into 1/2-inch cubes. (You'll need 15 to 18 slices of bread to make 10 cups of dry cubes.) Spread cubes in a large shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 300 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until bread cubes are dry, stirring twice cool. (Bread will continue to dry and crisp as it cools.)

Recipe Summary

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 4 ounces white country bread (3 cups cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped onion
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • ¾ teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 Granny Smith apple (small peeled and finely chopped)
  • 4 eggs (large beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease two 12-cup mini-muffin pans with cooking spray.

On a baking sheet, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the oil season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until toasted. Transfer the croutons to a bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and celery and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, garlic and sage and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until no trace of pink remains, 5 minutes. Mix the sausage, apple, eggs and broth into the croutons season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pack the stuffing into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Loosen the muffins with a sharp paring knife and lift them out. Serve warm.