Apple Sausage Stuffing

Last Updated on August 17, 2022 by Kayla Berman

Apple Sausage Stuffing is made with a fresh brioche loaf, sweet Italian sausage, apple and celery, aromatics, and lots of delicious herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme! This simple oven baked stuffing is savory and sweet, fluffy and crispy, and truly everything a classic holiday side should be. It is the perfect turkey pairing for this Thanksgiving!

Apple Sausage Stuffing

Sweet, Savory, & Scrumptious Side Dish

I think we all know that Thanksgiving isn’t really about the turkey. It is about the sides! The carb-loaded delicious side options are truly endless when it comes to the Holiday meal.

But one of the most classic dishes, perhaps the queen of the sides, is stuffing. It is one of my personal favorites too! So I knew I needed to create my own version this year.

Apple Sausage Stuffing is the perfect stuffing recipe. It’s delicious, flavorful, and takes your traditional, and somewhat boring, stuffing a step up without straying too far from its classic roots.

It is a true must make addition to any holiday dinner!

Ingredients

Fresh brioche bread, savory sausage, sweet apple, and lots of flavorful herbs make this stuffing some of the best I’ve ever had! Plus more delicious ingredients of course.

Ingredient Notes

  • Brioche bread: The base of this thanksgiving stuffing recipe is a fresh brioche loaf. You’ll dry out the bread until its nice and crunchy and then it is perfect for stuffing. It creates a fluffy yet crispy texture, and most importantly does not get too soggy! You’ll need 1 lb.
  • Italian Sausage: I think sausage in a stuffing is truly key. It provides an unbeatable savory flavor and juicy texture. Add 1 lb of sweet Italian sausage removed from the casings. You could also use sage sausage!
  • Chicken stock: Chicken stock is used as the main liquid in this recipe! It also adds tons of flavor. 1 1/2 cups is the perfect amount. I think chicken broth or vegetable broth could also be used if needed.
  • Eggs: Eggs also provide some moisture here and of course binding. Add 2 large eggs!
  • Onion & Celery: You will need 1 diced onion and 1 cup of chopped celery for this Apple Sausage Stuffing.
  • Apple: I love adding fresh apples to this recipe! It adds a perfect balance of sweet and savory and compliments the other delicious flavors going on. You’ll need 1 apple chopped into small pieces, I recommend Honeycrisp!
  • Butter: Butter is used in this recipe to sauté up the veggies. It also of course adds that rich flavor we all know and love!
  • Herbs & Spices: This holiday side dish is loaded with herbs and bursting with flavor! You’ll need 1 1/2 tsp ground sage, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp rosemary, and 1 tsp of garlic powder.
  • Salt & pepper: Add salt and black pepper to taste to this sausage stuffing.
  • Fresh thyme: Fresh thyme is an optional, but tasty and beautiful addition.
Italian Sausage Stuffing

How To Prepare Bread Cubes

To make stuffing you need to use stale or dried out bread. Otherwise there will just be too much moisture and your stuffing will be soggy. Which is of course a big no-no when it comes to stuffing!

You’ll want to achieve the feel of those bread cubes that come in the boxed stove top stuffing. Except, trust me, when it is s fresh bread that is used the results are 100 times better!

You have two options. The first is to leave your bread out uncovered until stale and hardened. The second option is to dry out in the oven. Which I think is much easier and what I did!

How To Dry In Oven

  1. Set the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Cut the brioche loaf into about 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Spread evenly in one layer on a baking tray or cookie sheet. You may need to use two trays to fit all the cubes!
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until crunchy and dry like croutons.
Homemade Sausage Stuffing

How To Make This Recipe

Oven baked sausage and apple stuffing is super simple to make! No actual turkey stuffing needed. Just a casserole dish!

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Set the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Then prepare the rest of your ingredients.  Dice the onion and chop the celery and apple.

Step 3: Next add the onion, celery, and butter to a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat.  Sauté for 8-10 minutes or until soft and fragrant.

Step 4: Add in the apple and sauté for another 5 minutes. Then remove the vegetable mixture from the pan and set aside.

Step 5: In the same pan, brown the Italian sausage with the casings removed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Step 6: While the veggies and sausage are cooking, combine the chicken stock, eggs, and salt & pepper.  Whisk until combined evenly.

Step 7: Remove from the cooked sausage from the heat and add to a large bowl.  Add the veggies, dried toasted bread cubes (see above for details), sage, thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder.  Toss to combine.

Step 8: Pour liquid mixture over the bread cubes, veggie, and sausage mixture. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  The bread cubes should all be coated in the liquid.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 9: Transfer the stuffing mixture to a prepared baking dish and spread evenly.  Bake at 350 minutes for 30 minutes covered and then uncovered for 15 minutes.

Step 10: Serve and enjoy!

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Expert Tips

Bake the bread cubes ahead of time and store at room temperature! This will save tons of time on the day you will actually be making your stuffing.

Prepare and chop the other ingredients ahead of time – onion, celery, apple. Again a total time saver!

Use fresh herbs to add the best flavor to this side dish.

Add a bit more chicken stock if you prefer a more moist stuffing. This one is not dry by any means, but it is not the moistest I’ve ever had!

Season to taste! Salt and pepper generously.

Holiday Side Dish

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?

The technical difference between stuffing and dressing is that stuffing is a mixture cooked inside of another food. Typically a sort of poultry!

Dressing is cooked outside of a poultry, in a pan.

However, I believe that the two can be used quite interchangeably to describe a dish. Some of the best thanksgiving stuffings I have ever had, including this one, are technically “dressing” recipes by this definition.

But I have always grown up calling all of the above, inside or outside the turkey, stuffing. So I will probably continue to do so!

Which bread is the best for stuffing?

I used a fresh brioche loaf in this stuffing recipe and it was perfect!

It has a delicious rich and buttery flavor, is great at absorbing the liquids, and does not get soggy when baked. I highly recommend that you use it for this recipe.

However, other good stuffing breads are your classic white sandwich bread, sourdough bread, or challah!

What type of apple should I use in apple stuffing?

My favorite type of apple for any purpose is Honeycrisp! It is my favorite to eat on it’s own, use in baking, and is my choice in this stuffing too.

It is just the perfect apple … not too sweet or tart, adding the best flavor to this delicious recipe.

Gala would be another good option too!

Why kind of sausage should I use in sausage stuffing?

I used sweet Italian pork sausage in this recipe. It was the perfect choice and added an unbeatable flavor. It’s juicy, savory, and just downright delicious!

You could also use sage sausage. Or even chicken sausage if you’re looking for a lighter option!

Is this stuffing recipe made inside the turkey?

No, this stuffing recipe is not made inside the turkey! To be honest, when I was younger I never like the idea of stuffing actually being stuffed inside the turkey so I chose to bake this recipe in a casserole dish.

It comes out even more delicious than the traditional method in my opinion! The texture is soft and fluffy on the inside, but golden brown and crispy on the top. It’s the best of both worlds!

Plus baking in a dish is less messy, easier, and reduces the cooking time needed.

Can I make prepare this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can most definitely prepare this side dish recipe ahead of time! I would say 1-2 days at most.

You have two options.

First: You can follow the instructions and prepare this recipe up through Step 7 and stopping at Step 8, where you pour the chicken stock and egg mixture over the rest of the ingredients. Then cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator. The day you will be serving it, remove from the fridge and continue at Step 8. Pour the liquid mixture, combine, and bake.

Second: You could follow the instructions all the way through Step 8, completing it. Then all you do is cover with aluminum foil, place in the refrigerator, remove the next day, and bake. If you do this option, I suggest adding a bit more chicken stock to moisten it up right before baking.

How to best store and re-heat this recipe?

You can store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for about 1 – 1 1/2 weeks!

To re-heat simply pop in the microwave for 30-60 seconds depending on the serving size. You could also add a splash of chicken broth or stock to moisten and liven things back up.

Apple Sausage Stuffing

Love this recipe? Check out some other delicious recipes perfect for Thanksgiving…

Connect with me!

If you make this stuffing recipe or any of my other recipes I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram, so I can see and share your recreations!!

Homemade Stuffing Recipe
Sausage Stuffing

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Apple Sausage Stuffing

Apple Sausage Stuffing is made with a fresh brioche loaf, sweet Italian sausage, apple and celery, aromatics, and lots of delicious herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme! This simple oven baked stuffing is savory and sweet, fluffy and crispy, and truly everything a classic holiday side should be. It is the perfect turkey pairing for this Thanksgiving!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven Baked

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup butter, salted
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, chopped
  • 1 lb brioche bread, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh Thyme

Instructions

  1. Prepare the bread cubes: Set the oven to 250 degrees.  Then cut the brioche loaf into about 1/2 inch cubes.  Spread evenly in one layer on a baking tray.  You may need to use two trays in order to fit all the cubes.  Bake for about 45 minutes.  They will be done when they are crunchy and dry, sort of like croutons.  You can also do this ahead of time!
  2. Then set the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the rest of your ingredients.  Dice the onion and chop the celery and apple.
  3. Next add the onion, celery, and butter to a large pan on the stove over medium heat.  Sauté for 8-10 minutes or until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add in the apple and sauté for another 5 minutes. Then remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, cook the Italian sausage with the casings removed.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. While the veggies and sausage are cooking, combine the chicken stock, eggs, and salt and pepper.  Whisk until combined evenly.
  7. Once the sausage is browned, remove from the heat and add to a large bowl.  Add the veggies, dried bread cubes, sage, thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder.  Toss to combine.
  8. Then add the liquid mixture on top and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  The bread cubes should all be coated in the liquid.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish and spread evenly.  Bake at 350 minutes for 30 minutes covered and then uncovered for 15 minutes.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: Apple Sausage Stuffing, Sausage Stuffing, Italian Sausage Stuffing, Homemade Sausage Stuffing, Thanksgiving Stuffing

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