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This Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing is the Thanksgiving side dish – or any time of year – side dish of your dreams. (Well at least of my dreams.) It starts with fresh sourdough bread, and finishes off with fresh herbs cooked in butter and shallots. The result is a stuffing that is so aromatic and flavorful, it may just be the star of your Thanksgiving dinner.
To make this Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing – allow a little prep time to dry out the bread in the oven – it only takes a couple minutes for the bread, but then you need to cook the sausage and other ingredients down before combining with the bread and giving it a good bake in the oven.
I like to prep this stuffing on the morning of Thanksgiving, then just bake it off right before our meal, once the turkey has come out. The smell alone will win over your Thanksgiving guests!
Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing
- 1 loaf crusty artisan bread, cubed
- 16 oz. ground Italian sausage
- 1 c. dried cranberries
- 1/2 c. chopped pecans
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1/4 yellow onion, diced
- 1 c. fresh parsley, diced
- 1/4 c. fresh sage, diced
- 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, diced
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, diced
- 2 c. chicken stock
- 8 tbsp. butter, unsalted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange cubed bread a single layer on a large baking sheet (or if you don't have an oversized baking sheet, you may need 2). Bake for 20-30 minutes until really well dried. The bread should be very hard and not soft at all.
Once bread is baked and dried out, place bread into a large, oversized bowl with dried cranberries and apples, and set aside.
Spray a large baking dish (about 9×13) with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large saucepan or skillet, cook sausage on medium high heat until lightly brown. Once cooked, remove sausage from pan into the large bowl with the bread cubes.
Add butter to the same saucepan. Add diced shallots and onions. cover and cook until translucent. Once translucent, add diced herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add pecans and cook 2 more minutes. Then pour mixture into large bowl with bread cubes.
Then add chicken stock to the same pan. Scrape any bits off the pan and bring to a boil, then turn off heat and pour mixture over all the ingredients in the bowl with the bread cubes.
Toss with large spoons to combine. and then pour into the prepared baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Then remove foil and continue baking for 10-15 minutes until top is golden brown.
If you’ve never made an adult, upleveled stuffing before, this stuffing is the perfect thing for your Holidays this year. This is also a wonderful dish to bring if you’re having Thanksgiving with family or friends and you only need to bring a dish or two. It’s sophisticated and delicious but also mild enough that our kids love it. I hope you’ll love it too!