If you’re ready to ditch the boxed stuffing and make stuffing from scratch, don’t be afraid! Apple Sausage Stuffing is so simple and tastes sooo much better! Sourdough croutons with pork sausage crumbles and tender apples makes for the best homemade stuffing recipe around!
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TIPS FOR MAKING APPLE SAUSAGE STUFFING FROM SCRATCH
If you’ve never made stuffing before or have always stuck to the stuff in a box or bag, fear not. Taking a little extra time, doing really simple steps will make a huge difference. Hopefully these helpful little gems below will give you the edge up this Thanksgiving.
TIP #1: WHICH BREAD SHOULD YOU USE FOR STUFFING?
Easy – any bread you like the flavor of. If you’re gluten free, use your favorite loaf, if you like rye or pumpernickel, go crazy. I personally grew up with sourdough stuffing and will forever be emotionally and physically dependent on sourdough stuffing.
TIP #2: WHAT TYPE OF SAUSAGE GOES BEST IN STUFFING?
This will, again, come down to personal preference, but if you’re a total sausage newbie (cool it with the sausage jokes, guys, it’s low hanging fruit), here are my suggestions:
You can probably pull off turkey or chicken, but you’ll need more butter or oil, so it kinda defeats the purpose of choosing a leaner meat. I would stick with pork and one that doesn’t have a ton of flavor for this recipe. I went with a mild pork sausage or you could even do a breakfast sausage if you prefer a sweeter flavor.
- Butternut Squash Mac N’ Cheese
- Creamy Garlic Sage Whipped Parsnips
- Green Beans with Bacon and Mushrooms
TIP #3: CAN YOU MAKE APPLE SAUSAGE STUFFING AHEAD?
Yes! In my experience, it’s actually better. When you get everything ready the night before, all the flavors just blend together and you end up with a much less dry mixture. Plus you eliminate a stressor when you’re the one cooking the big menu!
There are specific instructions for how to make it ahead in the recipe card below.
TIP #4: IS STUFFING AS GOOD WITH THE READY MADE BREAD CUBES?
In my opinion, the stuffing with the pre-made cubes is not quite as good. However, I’m all about saving time and the money is roughly the same, so you do you. Just skip the first couple of instructions and get straight to cooking the sausage. I will say, making the bread cubes takes an extra 15 minutes and it goes a long way in impressing people…just saying.
Apple Sausage Stuffing
What You Need
- 16 oz Loaf of Sourdough bread (cut into 1-inch cubes1)
- 1 pound pork sausage2
- 1/4 cup salted butter (plus more for greasing pan)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 stalks celery (with leaves, chopped)
- 2 sweet apples (peeled and chopped3)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 eggs (beaten)
How to Make It
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Use a paper towel to rub a light coat of butter in a 3 quart casserole dish.
- Spread the bread cubes evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the cubes begin to turn golden and crisp (if your bread is fresher, you may need to add a bit of time). Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and set aside. (If cooking same day, do not turn off the oven)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and break into pieces with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook until fully cooked and browned (being careful not to overcook!)
- Melt the butter in same skillet, add the onion, celery, apples and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cook until the vegetables soften, 5 minutes. Add stock, sage and thyme and bring to a simmer.
- Turn off the heat and pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Fold in the broth mixture until the bread cubes are evenly moistened. Fold in the eggs until evenly distributed.
- Pour the finished mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until the top is crispy and lightly browned.
- Once the bread mixture is in the prepared dish, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Allow to come to room temperature before cooking or add 5-10 minutes of cooking time.
- To save time – buy ready made bread cubes from the store, I just have a hard time finding sourdough, so I make my own. If you want to go gluten free – use a loaf of your favorite gluten free bread to make the cubes.
- I like a more mild flavor like plain or even breakfast sausage, but Italian sausage will work too
- Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Granny Smith will yield the most apple flavor, but you can use any medium sized apples you want.
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