This Sausage, Apple and Herb Stuffing combines sourdough bread with a delicious mixture of sweet apples and savory sausage, onion, celery and fennel along with fresh herbs for the perfect Thanksgiving side dish your whole family will love!
Oh how I love a good Thanksgiving side dish and this stuffing recipe has been a favorite on our table for years. Toasted sourdough bread mixed with Italian sausage, sautéed onion, celery, fennel and chopped apples along with fresh herbs makes this so much better than stuffing out of a box! This is always a family favorite and the sweet and savory combo makes this stuffing absolutely delicious. Don’t get me wrong, I love some mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, but this stuffing is always the star of the show!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Delicious homemade stuffing made with fresh baked bread and fresh ingredients!
- This stuffing is way better than the boxed stuff from the store.
- Savory flavors mixed with sweet apples makes the perfect combo.
- Can easily be made ahead of time for easy Thanksgiving prep!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- crusty bread – I really like to use a crusty bread for this stuffing so I used a whole wheat sourdough bread I purchased from my local bakery. You could also use artisan or french bread, just make sure to avoid soft sandwich bread in this stuffing.
- sausage – I used lean turkey breakfast sausage, but any type of sausage will work in this recipe or you can leave it out completely for a meatless dish. I have made this before using apple sausage and it was delicious!
- onion – you’ll need one white or yellow onion for this.
- celery – I truly don’t think you can have stuffing without celery! Pairs so well with the onion and fennel.
- fennel bulb – I really think this adds a unique flavor to this stuff, but if you are not a fan of fennel, feel free to substitute extra chopped celery.
- apples – I suggest using crisp apples like honeycrisp, gala or granny smith apples as they tend to hold up well in this stuffing without getting mushy, but any type of apple will work or you could even use chopped pears.
- garlic – you can use fresh chopped cloves garlic or minced garlic from the jar.
- butter – we aren’t using as much butter as most stuffing recipes use, but I find it really makes a difference! You could also use olive oil or even sauté the veggies in the leftover drippings from the sausage.
- fresh herbs – I added a mixture of fresh sage and parsley to this stuffing, but you could also add in some fresh thyme and rosemary. Fresh is definitely best in this recipe!
- chicken broth – feel free to use chicken broth, vegetable broth or any stocks you have on hand.
- apple cider – we are using apple cider, NOT apple cider vinegar! This adds additional sweetness to the stuffing, but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to substitute extra chicken broth.
- egg – helps to bind everything together.
- salt + black pepper
How to Make Apple Sausage Stuffing
- Toast the bread cubes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cut your loaf of bread into 1/2 inch cubes, spreading them out onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes to toast them up which is going to help prevent the bread from getting too soggy when baking.
- Brown the sausage. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until brown and cooked through. Transfer the cooked sausage using a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the extra grease.
- Sauté the veggies. In the same pan you cooked the sausage, drain the excess grease and add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (or olive oil) to the pan. Add in the onion, fennel and celery and sauté everything for about 7 minutes until vegetables are crisp and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped apple and garlic, sautéing for and additional 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Add the sage and cook for one more minute then turn off the heat and mix in the fresh parsley.
- Assemble the stuffing. In a large bowl, mix together the toasted bread cubes, cooked sausage, and sautéed veggies. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, apple cider, egg, a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper and pour the over top of the bread mixture, gently tossing together until everything is evenly moistened. Feel free to add more chicken broth, as needed, if the stuffing seems too dry.
- Bake the stuffing. Spoon the stuffing into an 13 x 9-inch casserole dish coated with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees F covered for about 35 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking an additional 10 minutes until top is golden and stuffing is set. Serve and enjoy!
Prepping and Storage
To Make Ahead: This recipe can easily be made ahead of time to help when prepping of Thanksgiving dinner. Prepare the recipe as directed the day before (without baking), cover tightly with foil and store in the fridge. When ready to bake, remove it from the oven and let it sit while the oven pre-heats then bake, adding an additional 10 minutes or so since it had been stored in the fridge.
To Store: Cool the stuffing completely and store in a sealed, airtight container (or wrap tightly with foil) in the fridge for up to 5 days. Feel free to add a little more chicken broth if the stuffing has dried out and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
To Freeze: This sausage and apple stuffing can be frozen for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw out completely in the fridge before reheating.
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Hope you all enjoy this Sausage, Apple and Herb Stuffing and if you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave me a five-star rating below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
- 8 cups whole wheat sourdough bread, 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 lb turkey breakfast sausage (or sausage you like best)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 3 cups chopped, peeled Honeycrisp apple (about 2 apples)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup apple cider (not apple cider vinegar)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet for about 20 minutes until golden. Cool and place bread cubes in a large bowl.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until brown and cooked through. Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the extra grease.
- In the same pan you cooked the sausage, drain the excess grease and add 2 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil) to the pan. Add in the onion, fennel and celery and sauté everything for about 7 minutes until veggies are crisp and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped apple and garlic, sautéing for and additional 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Add the sage and cook for one more minute, turn off the heat and mix in the fresh parsley.
- In a large bowl, mix together the toasted bread cubes, cooked sausage, and sautéed veggies. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, apple cider, egg, salt and pepper and gently combine the egg mixture with the bread mixture. Feel free to add more chicken broth, as needed, if the stuffing seems too dry.
- Spoon the stuffing into an 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees F covered for about 35 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking an additional 10 minutes until top is golden and stuffing is set. Serve and enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1/10th of recipe
- Calories: 267
- Sugar: 7.2 g
- Sodium: 587.7 mg
- Fat: 11.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.4 g
- Fiber: 5.3 g
- Protein: 13.8 g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.