This Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Apples is a proven favorite with family and friends!
I recently polled two people sitting next to and across from me at our kitchen table…(sorry, I have polls on the brain), and asked, “If I were to share my quintessential Thanksgiving recipe with the blog-o-sphere, what would it be?” And without hesitation, at the same time, in tune even, they said, “stuffing”.
So, because you can’t argue with the polls – I bring you our family’s favorite holiday side dish (just don’t tell the sweet potato casserole I said that.)
Here’s the deal – I happened (notice the past tense reference) happened to be a huge fan of a very popular boxed stuffing mix. I won’t name names but you probably know which stuffing I’m referring to. I’m certain I would have been a very happy camper forever eating that particular brand of stuffing until the day my whole world changed.
All bets were off when homemade stuffing with sausage and apples came into my life.
You’d think I had never had stuffing before. It was all I could do to keep from going back for seconds or thirds even, but I was with a large group and thought it best to share.
It was on that fateful day, many moons ago, that my world was turned upside down in the best way possible. I mean, to think there could be a better stuffing out there was, to my relatively young tastebuds, a surprise they didn’t know they needed. So I took to the books and found a recipe that has been tweaked many times but still maintains the solid bones it started with…maple-y sausage and sweet apples in a mix of country white bread, onion, celery, nutmeg, parsley, sage and thyme. I mean – if these aren’t the flavors of Thanksgiving, I don’t know what is!
So, here’s my recommendation – prepare the dish on Wednesday. Take your time, don’t rush, pay attention that the apples are cut perfectly and the bread pieces are one inch cubes and the tender thyme leaves are carefully removed one at a time…
Does that even sound like me? You knew I was kidding, didn’t you? I would never do that to you!
I think the thing I love (almost) as much as its flavor is that it’s a “rustic” dish – you know what that means – perfectly imperfect! So, once it’s ready – throw it in the refrigerator and forget about it until Thursday when there’s room in the oven and you have about an hour to bake it, perhaps while the turkey is resting.
Now, I have a little surprise… I know it’s not Christmas (oh, I love this time of year), but I have a gift for you.
And this is a gift that keeps on giving…
A group of talented blogger friends and I have been planning for weeks to share an entire Thanksgiving meal, from soup to nuts, with you, and today’s the day!
Whether you’re looking to tweak what you already have, are preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, or want to add something new to your repertoire – you’ve come to the right place!
Check out our Virtual Thanksgiving Day Dinner:
Appetizer: Jalapeño Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball from MaryAnn at The Beach House Kitchen
Rolls: Garlic Butter Dinner Rolls from Kathleen at Hapa Nom Nom
Soup: Apple & Cheddar Hard Cider Soup (with Crispy Prosciutto & Pumpkin Seeds) from Cheyanne at No Spoon Necessary
Salad: Brussels Sprout Salad with Pear and Pomegranate from Karen at Seasonal Cravings
Turkey: Garlic and Herb Roast Turkey with Cider Pan Gravy from Cathy at What Should I Make For
Dessert: The Queen of Pumpkin Cakes from Cindy at The Sweet Nerd
So, there you have it. I love that I had the chance to join forces with some spectacular ladies on this Holiday post(!) but what I wouldn’t do to meet up and share this meal with them in person.
But until that day, I’ll have to settle for the second best thing which is to make their gorgeous dishes from the comforts of my home.
I can do that! I hope you will, too!
- 24 oz. breakfast link sausage, removed from casing
- 3 lbs. Empire apples, peeled and diced
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 lb. loaf country white bread, chopped in ½-inch cubes and dried
- 2 (heaping) cups chopped sweet Vidalia or sweet yellow onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ⅓ - 1 cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, break up the sausage as it cooks until no longer pink, about 8 - 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- Pour off all but 3 Tbsp. of the fat and return skillet to the stove.
- Add and cook apples with 4 tablespoons butter and nutmeg, stirring frequently, until tender. Remove apples from heat and set aside.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Place bread on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown.
- Remove from oven, place in a large bowl and set aside.
- In the meantime, heat 1 stick of butter (8 Tbsp.) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the foam subsides.
- Add and cook until tender the onion and celery. Continuously stir for about 5 minutes.
- Remove skillet from stove and and stir in fresh parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Stir onion mixture, sausage and apples into the bread cubes and toss until well combined.
- Depending on how much butter you started with and how firm you want the stuffing, stir in ⅓ - 1 cup chicken stock until the stuffing is lightly moist but not packed together.
- Turn stuffing into a large shallow buttered baking dish.
- Bake in a 350 F oven until the top has formed a crust and stuffing is heated through, 25 to 40 minutes.