Sausage & Apple Stuffing is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, with fragrant herbs, Italian sausage, and tender baked apples. You’ll love it for Thanksgiving or any time of year!
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While you can’t go wrong with cornbread dressing or sausage stuffing, there are those of us who like their stuffing with more… stuff. And if that describes you, then this Sausage & Apple Stuffing is going to be your new favorite Thanksgiving side dish.
In addition to the usual bread cubes, celery, onions, and herbs, this stuffing is loaded with meaty Italian sausage and chunks of baked apples. (You could probably even make a meal out of the stuffing alone, but then you’d miss out on the mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, and green bean casserole!)
Stuffing tends to be a Thanksgiving afterthought, but this Sausage & Apple Stuffing might just be the star of the table!
Easy Sausage & Apple Stuffing Recipe
Now, you know I’m all about easy. We take shortcuts when we can, and do things from scratch when we need to for the best results. You can consider this Sausage & Apple Stuffing recipe a little bit of both!
The base of the recipe is a boxed stuffing mix, which means you don’t have to worry about cubing and drying out a whole bunch of bread. To this, we add sausage, herbs, veggies, and those all-important apples. They add just the right amount of sweetness to complement the sausage. It’s so good!
You can switch things up with some additional mix-ins if you want even more stuff in your stuffing, but I think you’ll love the recipe just as it is too!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Canola oil – Or another neutral cooking oil.
- Mild Italian sausage – You can use a sausage with more heat if you’d like, but mild ensures that everyone at the table will enjoy it.
- Unsalted butter – Salted will work if that’s what you have on hand; just add less salt later in the recipe.
- Granny Smith apples – Or another sweet-tart apple that holds up well to baking like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Braeburn.
- Dried sage
- Dried rosemary
- Chicken stock
- Egg – Here’s the best way to crack an egg!
- Stuffing mix – Your favorite brand and variety.
- Kosher salt & black pepper
Here are some additional ingredients you can add to this Sausage & Apple Stuffing:
- Make it cheesy by adding shaved Parmesan or cubes of gruyere or sharp cheddar.
- Add some crunch with walnuts or pecans.
- Up the fruit by adding a handful of currants or dried cranberries.
How to Make Sausage & Apple Stuffing
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 375ºF and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- Cook the sausage: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- Add the next several ingredients: Once the sausage begins to brown, stir the butter, celery, onion, apple, sage, and rosemary into the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the sausage is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the broth and beaten egg. Add the stuffing mix and stir to combine, then transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Bake: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until cooked through and golden brown on top.
How to Store Sausage & Apple Stuffing
Leftover stuffing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the oven, covered, until warmed through.
You can also freeze cooked stuffing for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat as directed above.
Yes, one beaten egg helps to bind the stuffing together, giving it a more cohesive texture.
Yes, you can assemble the stuffing up to a day in advance and store it, covered, in the fridge before baking and serving.
Yes, you can use fresh bread for this stuffing if you prefer. Just be sure to dry it out completely before using it in the recipe. You can do this by leaving it out on a baking sheet overnight, or by drying it in a low oven (200ºF) for an hour or so.
Adding a little chicken broth to this recipe is what keeps the stuffing moist. We also keep it from drying out by covering it for the first 15 minutes of cooking time.
Sausage & Apple Stuffing
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage, casing removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 cups packaged stuffing mix
- Kosher salt & black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot and add the sausage, using a spoon to crumble the sausage as it cooks.
- Once the sausage begins to brown, add the butter, celery, onion, apple, sage, and rosemary. Stir to combine and continue to cook until vegetables are soft and sausage is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the broth and beaten egg. Add the packaged stuffing mix and stir to combine.
- Pour the stuffing into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake covered for 15 minutes, remove the foil, and back for an additional 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown on top.