5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

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Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing – Plus 10 Tips for Making Stuffing for Thanksgiving

There’s an interesting story about my original recipe for 5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing and you can read more about it here on the blog. For today, I will share the abridged version. However, this post is “new and improved” as it has been enhanced to include ten (10) very important helpful tips to include food safety precautions.

“Nothing against chopped apricots…”

After I got married, my younger sister gave me three Thanksgiving recipes: a roasted turkey recipe, a turkey giblet stock recipe and a stuffing recipe. I believe she found them in the late 1980s and they were either from Bon Appétit or Gourmet magazine. The turkey recipe was for Tangerine-Glazed Turkey and the stuffing recipe was for Sausage and Apple Stuffing. What was interesting is that the stuffing recipe called for chopped apricots. (If I were a betting woman, I would wager that the recipe was authored by Betty Rosbottom as there is a recipe for a cornbread stuffing with chopped apricots in her book, Betty Rosbottom’s Cooking School Cookbook. Plus, nearly every recipe I adored from Bon Appétit magazine was authored by her. But, more on that in a future post!) Nothing against chopped apricots, mind you, but they just don’t have the same kick with tartness or color punch that sweetened dried cranberries do. Nowadays in our family, we consider dried cranberries essential for turkey stuffing.

“…I decided that we were going to give it a whirl”

As I reviewed the recipe for New England Sausage, Apple and Dried Cranberry Stuffing in my November 1994 issue of Bon Appétit, I decided that we were going to give it a whirl. And we were going to pair it with the Roast Turkey with Maple Herb Butter and Gravy from the same issue for a true New England Thanksgiving experience. The turkey was outstanding. It delivered everything promised in the way of flavor and tenderness of the meat. But, for us, nothing beats a citrus flavored turkey. No matter what roasted turkey recipe we follow and try, we keep going back to our favorite Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey!

However, and not to sound arrogant, we really liked my stuffing much better. Honestly, we did not care for the eggs in the recipe because we like our stuffing chunky and loose. Also, we didn’t care for the dried poultry seasoning as we found it too strong by using the 4 teaspoons called for. Besides, fresh sage and thyme would have been better choices. For all the bread called for in the recipe (12 cups), we thought only using 4 teaspoons of fresh rosemary was not nearly enough. We also like chopping our apples coarsely and purposely leave the skin intact both for color and texture.

In our recipe, we also incorporate grated carrots and a dry white wine in a 1:1 ratio with the Golden Tangerine Turkey Giblet Stock which just enhances the flavor of the stuffing’s bread cubes—whether gluten free or not! The idea for adding wine came from an Allrecipes.com recipe reviewer. This was a terrific idea that really elevated our recipe to a new level with regard to flavor dimension.

Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing“When I submitted my recipe to Allrecipes.com…”

When I submitted my recipe to Allrecipes.com (actually, it was ThanksgivingRecipes.com before they consolidated their specialty recipe sites) in 1998, I called for turkey sausage because, back in the 1990s, low fat dieting was all the rage and turkey sausage was viewed as being a more healthful choice over pork sausage. For those who do not eat pork, this is a sensible substitution.

Also, I called for dried herbs with the exception of fresh parsley. Why? Well, when you are writing a recipe you tend to think in aggregate terms as to what people have on hand. In fact, the recipe in the November 1994 issue of Bon Appétit for New England Sausage, Apple and Dried Cranberry Stuffing called for both dried and fresh herbs as well. Plus, I thought knowledgeable cooks would simply exchange the proper amount of fresh herbs by multiplying the dried herbs called for by 3 as is standard practice.

Finally, I decided on scaling the recipe to fill a 10-pound bird so that the recipe could easily be adapted for higher weights. For instance, for a 14- to 16-pound bird, you would simply prepare one recipe and a half. For an 18- to 20-pound bird, you would double the recipe. For a 10- to 12-pound bird, you would simply follow the recipe as is. Easy-peasy. All bases covered.

“…the recipe went viral”

Over the next couple years, the recipe went viral via the Internet. Soon newspaper food editors, grocery store chains and turkey farms alike were sharing the recipe with their readers as well. The recipe can also be found in a few of the earlier AllRecipes printed cookbooks. Of course, they were kind and sent me courtesy copies of each book, as they did for each contributor, for which I was grateful.

As of this writing, the Allrecipes.com site shows a 5-star rating with over 2,000 reviews for my original recipe (posted here). Not too shabby! In all honesty, it has been sheer joy knowing that my recipe swept across the country and has become a Thanksgiving Day holiday favorite and tradition for so many families. To everyone who thanked me in their reviews, you are very welcome. It was my pleasure to share the recipe with you.

10 Tips for Making Stuffing or Dressing for Thanksgiving

Stuffing or dressing? No matter which term your family uses, we Americans love it—especially on Thanksgiving Day. The crispy exterior, the soft interior, the subtle crunch from the veggies, fruit such as apples or nuts and savory flavor notes from herbs and spices as well as meat, such as pork sausage, make it the quintessential holiday comfort food.

In addition to our recipe for 5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing, please review the following general tips for making homemade turkey stuffing or dressing successfully. We hope you find them helpful!

  1. To play it especially safe, should you have food safety concerns, skip stuffing the turkey altogether and cook your “dressing” by baking it in a buttered casserole dish or using a crockpot or slow cooker (as the moist heat and even cooking simulates the inside of a turkey) if oven space is limited. When I do make stuffing or dressing outside the bird, I like to add more wet ingredients (butter and stock) to ensure moisture. I also bake it covered in the oven to further ensure a moist and soft interior. Then, during the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking, I drizzle melted butter on top then continue baking uncovered to create a nicely browned and crisp top.
  2. To create more flavor depth if baking your dressing outside the bird, drizzle some of the pan juices from the roasted turkey over the top before serving. It makes an incredible difference everyone will enjoy.
  3. If your turkey was not purchased fresh but was frozen, make sure it is fully thawed before stuffing. Thawing will require 3 to 5 days, depending on the size of your bird, so plan ahead. (The general rule is that it takes 1 day per every 4 pounds to thaw.) Safely thaw in the refrigerator breast side up in unopened package on a large tray. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.
  4. If stuffing your turkey, make sure your vegetables are cooked until tender and meats are cooked thoroughly (because the inside of a turkey does not get hot enough to cook them) and that the stuffing has cooled to room temperature first before stuffing the turkey.
  5. To prevent mushy or soggy stuffing, always use bread that is dried out or toasted (in the oven or countertop toaster) and made into croutons. Also, mix the dry and wet ingredients just before stuffing your turkey. Until then, keep the prepared dry and wet ingredients separate. If you prefer stuffing that is more compact and cake-like, and not loose, consider adding a lightly beaten egg or two. If you have concerns about using eggs and cooking the stuffing inside the bird, use an egg substitute.
  6. Always stuff your turkey just before roasting it to prevent bacterial contamination. For this important food safety reason, never stuff your turkey several hours in advance.
  7. Always stuff the body and neck cavities of your turkey loosely with stuffing. Never firmly pack or overstuff it as the stuffing will expand as it bakes and while the turkey roasts. Also, if the stuffing is packed too tightly, it will not cook through properly.
  8. Cook your stuffing until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F. on a meat thermometer. Should your turkey finish roasting before the stuffing is done (meaning the stuffing has not yet reached 165 degrees F.), while the turkey is resting remove the stuffing and transfer it to a buttered casserole dish then finish baking in the oven. Always remove all the stuffing before carving the turkey. Never leave stuffing inside a roasted turkey when storing in the refrigerator.
  9. Prepare ¾ to 1 cup of stuffing per 1 pound of turkey for ample servings. After stuffing your turkey, bake remaining stuffing in a buttered casserole dish. I like to mingle both the stuffing cooked in the bird and the stuffing cooked outside the bird into one large serving dish for the table. This way, the super-moist stuffing from the bird is enhanced with the crisp stuffing baked on the side.
  10. Finally, one more important food safety message: Never leave a roasted turkey and stuffing stand at room temperature longer than 2 hours. Always wrap leftovers securely and refrigerate. Turkey (if removed from the bone) and stuffing leftovers will keep refrigerated up to 2 to 3 days.

Meanwhile, be adventuresome. Play around with the ingredients for your stuffing or dressing. Change things up from year to year with different breads, herbs, spices, fruit, dried fruit, vegetables, nuts, potatoes, rice, seafood such as oysters and shrimp, sausages, other meats such as bacon or ham, and spirits like liqueurs or wine to reflect regional or world cuisines such as French or Italian. If you have concerns, consider a dry run and taste test well in advance of the holiday by preparing a portion of the recipe and cooking it inside a roasting chicken. Keep playing around with ingredients until you find your new favorite!

What makes our 5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing wicked good?

Quite simply, the fresh savory and tart-sweet flavors, as well as the beautiful festive colors, are so appealing and ideal for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. No other stuffing recipe we have tasted compares! And, if you prefer sweet cornbread in your stuffing, just try our recipe variation below for Sausage Apple and Cranberry with Sweet Cornbread Stuffing. It will rock your ever-loving turkey stuffing world.

Let me tell you…when that Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey starts roasting, with the stuffing inside, an amazing and very fragrant aroma will float throughout your house! It is just not Thanksgiving for us if we don’t make a tangerine-glazed bird with our 5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing. After the bird has roasted and rested just a tad bit, we remove the very moist stuffing baked inside the cavity and then mix it into the batch that we baked in a covered casserole. For a crunchy top, we remove the casserole lid and bake it an additional 10 minutes or so.  You can also drizzle on a little melted butter before baking it uncovered for some added crunch and buttery flavor.

Thanksgiving Day or the Christmas holiday just doesn’t get better than this.

To learn more about making turkey stuffing or dressing, please see our Turkey Stuffing 101 tutorial complete with step-by-step photos and instructions.

More Fabulous Thanksgiving Recipes

Meanwhile, below are links to all of my Thanksgiving recipes to date here on the blog (to include component recipes) for Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey.

Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey
Includes article and links to all of my Thanksgiving recipes here on the blog as well as including the recipe for Golden Thanksgiving Pan Gravy. In addition, a list of roasting times based on the weight of the bird, and whether you will be roasting your turkey stuffed or unstuffed, is included.

Also, you will find oodles of tips for each component recipe listed below that can be found all in one handy place—in the Notes section of the recipe for Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey .

Each recipe contributes phenomenal depth of flavor for an exceptional roasted holiday turkey.

Cider and Citrus Turkey Brine with Herbs & Spices
Includes the article, General Brining Tips for a Tender & Juicy Bird. This recipe is one of the most popular here on Wicked Good Kitchen! Everyone loves it as it produces a flavorful, tender and juicy holiday turkey.

Golden Tangerine Turkey Giblet Stock
Includes the article 10 Tips for Making Turkey Giblet Stock and a recipe for Day-After Turkey Stock. This is one special turkey stock you will not want to miss. It’s a favorite at our house and it just isn’t Thanksgiving without it!

Gingered Butternut Squash and Carrot Bisque
Switch up your autumn soup game and treat yourself, family and friends to this extraordinary twist on classic Butternut Squash Soup. The bright flavor notes of carrot, citrus and ginger, with a whisper of warm coriander, shine through for a new favorite Thanksgiving soup course or even a special everyday warming winter soup.

Brandied Apple and Orange Cranberry Sauce
There is nothing quite like homemade Cranberry Sauce made with whole spices, an apple cider reduction, chopped tart apple, fresh navel orange juice and zest, and sweetened just right, with a splash of Grand Marnier® orange brandy liqueur. Cranberry Sauce on Thanksgiving Day doesn’t get better than this!

Grandma’s Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread
Truly, this is one special recipe for Homemade Sweet Cornbread as it is made with an all-natural Homemade Cornbread Mix to avoid food additives found in commercially made cornbread mixes. The recipe itself, for Grandmas’ Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread, was adapted from my own grandmother’s recipe and includes a gluten-free option. Everyone loves this recipe as well as the variations for Buttery Sweet Cornbread Cake and Buttery Sweet Jalapeño Cornbread Cake—inspired by the world famous cornbread at Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana.

Cranberry Spice Jam
Inspired by our family’s Spiced Orange-Cranberry Sauce recipe, this jam is ruby-red gorgeous. The perfect amount of fresh orange juice or apple cider is added for adequate acidity and tartness while balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. And, all it needs is a tiny whisper of spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, to enhance the citrus flavor notes and make it taste just like Christmas.

Best wishes for a wonderful and meaningful Thanksgiving holiday with your families!

Bon appétit!

xo,

stacysig

 

 

 

Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!

Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

 

5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: Makes enough stuffing to stuff a 16 to 18 pound turkey (which serves 10 to 12) plus plenty extra.

5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

What makes our 5-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing wicked good? Quite simply, the fresh savory and tart-sweet flavors, as well as the beautiful festive colors, are so appealing and ideal for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. No other stuffing recipe we have tasted compares! And, if you prefer sweet cornbread in your stuffing, just try our recipe variation below for Sausage Apple and Cranberry with Sweet Cornbread Stuffing. It will rock your ever-loving turkey stuffing world.

Ingredients

  • 5½ cups cubed white European style or sourdough bread, see Notes for Gluten Free Options
  • 2½ cups cubed whole grain wheat bread, see Notes for Gluten Free Options
  • 1½ pounds ground pork sausage
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1½ cups grated carrot (2 to 3 large carrots)
  • 1¼ cups chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored & coarsely chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored & coarsely chopped
  • 1¼ cups dried cranberries
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup Golden Tangerine Turkey Giblet Stock
  • ¾ cup fine-quality Chardonnay or dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Bake the white or sourdough and whole wheat bread cubes in one layer on prepared baking sheets until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a bowl and let them cool.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the carrots, celery and herbs; cook for 2 minutes while stirring to blend flavors. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Stir in chopped apples cranberries and parsley. Drizzle the stock, wine and melted butter over stuffing mixture; toss well. Allow stuffing to cool completely before stuffing turkey. Spoon loosely into turkey cavities to fill.

To bake stuffing separately outside the bird, bake in a generously buttered casserole dish in a preheated 350ºF oven for 30 to 40 minutes, covered. Remove the casserole from the oven and remove the lid. Drizzle desired amount of butter over the top. (Two tablespoons will do.) Return to oven and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes for a crisp, golden brown top.

Recipe Notes

Tips:

If you will be ordering the bread from your local bakery, order the loaves unsliced. This way, you can slice the bread into thick slices for the ideal 1-inch cubes. For traditional bread (not gluten free), we prefer sourdough bread over other white breads (French, etc.) and prefer 7-Grain or Whole Grain Wheat bread from the bakery.

If desired, you can “plump” or rehydrate the dried cranberries by pouring boiling water over them, in a heatproof Pyrex® bowl or measuring cup, and allow them to stand for 10 to 15 minutes just like you would raisins. You can also “plump” them by using apple cider, apple juice, orange juice, brandy or wine, etc. (After “plumping”, drain well before using in recipes.) We just skip this step for the stuffing and like the texture as is when baked inside the bird, but everyone is different.

Advance Prep Tips:

Stuffing can be assembled, but not baked, one (1) day ahead. Once cool, keep covered and chilled in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature (about 1 hour) before stuffing turkey or baking in a separate casserole dish. See below for Slow-Cooker Directions.

Slow-Cooker Directions: Once stuffing reaches room temperature, spoon into buttered slow-cooker and cover. On low setting, cook stuffing for 3 to 4 hours until heated through and apples are softened and fork-tender. Transfer to serving dish for the holiday table.

Safety Tip:

IMPORTANT: If baking stuffing inside the turkey, after roasting make certain that the temperature of the stuffing reads at least 165ºF.

Recipe Variation & Gluten Free Options:

Variation: For Sausage Apple and Cranberry with Sweet Cornbread Stuffing, use 4 cups white European style or sourdough bread, cubed, and 4 cups of your favorite sweet cornbread, cubed.

For the Homemade Gluten Free Crouton Options: Consider the following homemade gluten free bread recipe options below to make gluten free croutons for stuffing:

Brioche or Challah Batter Bread {Gluten Free}
Golden Flax Seed Bread with Rosemary Sage & Thyme
Light & Airy Millet Sandwich Bread {Gluten Free}
White Cheddar & Herb Beer Bread {Gluten Free}

Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/five-star-sausage-apple-and-cranberry-stuffing/

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Stacy,
    WOW. Again. You put a ton of work into this one and the proof is in the pudding, errr, stuffing. Your photos, background stories, and instructions are completely mouth-watering. Thanks for this primer, it will be useful for ages to come!!

    • Thank you, Dan! Although this is a repeat performance from Wicked Good Kitchen, I felt that the recipe needed to be enhanced by providing some excellent tips to include food safety. Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by, my friend!

  2. Girl, this looks like a amazing stuffing! 5 stars, I say 6 stars! Gorgeous!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Fresh Mexican Corn SaladMy Profile

  3. Stuffing is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. This looks like a recipe I would definitely try.
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg recently posted…Squash Fritters A New Thanksgiving SideMy Profile

  4. Oh my goodness Stacy, this stuffing looks AMAZING! It’s a fantastic idea to add sausage and apple to this –you certainly don’t see that all the time. Love this recipe and pinned! 🙂 Have a great week my friend.
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted…Oxtail Congee (Porridge)My Profile

    • Thank you, Anne! I appreciate your compliments and hope you have a wonderful week as well. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, my friend!

  5. 5 star stuffing indeed! I’d be happy just eating this on Thanksgiving and I don’t think I’d miss the turkey ;). I especially love all the fresh herbs and the cran-apple combo!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…pecan pie barsMy Profile

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Laura! I’m with you…I could eat just stuffing like this on Thanksgiving Day, too. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  6. Oh wow, what a gorgeous stuffing. I’m spending Thanksgiving at my in-laws this year and haven’t decided on the side dish or stuffing yet. I think we have a winner here. 😉 Thanks for sharing. My mouth is watered looking at your pictures.
    Amy Tong recently posted…Roasted Shrimp Cocktail–Easy Entertaining Recipe and a GiveawayMy Profile

    • Thank you, Amy! If you do decide to make this stuffing recipe, let me know how it goes. Thank you for the compliments and for stopping by!

  7. What an amazing story, girl! And I can see why this stuffing is so loved. It looks amazing!!!
    ashley – baker by nature recently posted…Whole Wheat Pear, Ginger, and Thyme BuckleMy Profile

  8. Ooooh this sounds like a 5 star recipe indeed!!!

  9. This stuffing looks phenomenal Stacy! My favorite part of the holiday meal is the stuffing and this is totally 5+ stars! I love how many wonderful ingredients and flavors are packed in here. It sounds so amazing! Great recipe – pinned for our Christmas meal since our Thanksgiving was last month. Hope you have a wonderful week girl 🙂

    • Aww…thank you, Kelly! You are so kind. Thank you for the compliments and for pinning. You always make me smile, girl! Thank you for stopping by and enjoy! xo

  10. Maria | Pink Patisserie says:

    What a gorgeous recipe Stacy! I just love all that beautiful fruit! I can completely understand why people would love this recipe!! It’s a keeper for sure!!

  11. I can see why this is such a popular recipe Stacy – thanks for all the tips for Thanksgiving stuffing!
    Jeanette | Jeanette’s Healthy Living recently posted…Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Herbed Thanksgiving StuffingMy Profile

  12. This is one Fabulous stuffing Stacy!
    Cheers,
    J
    Judit @WineDineDaily recently posted…Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011My Profile

  13. Not only does this stuffing sound amazing Stacy, but your pictures are GORGEOUS! Yum!

  14. I can practically smell this from looking at those pictures. Stuffing is my favorite part of a Thanksgiving feast, this recipe is superb!

  15. Oh Stacy, you’re really tugging on my heartstrings with this one! I have a similar recipe for sausage-apple stuffing but I need to add cranberries and more fresh herbs next time! It is my and my husband’s ABSOLUTE favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. Forget the turkey, heh! Thanks for sharing this recipe… it truly does look five-star!
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking recently posted…Baked Honey-Sriracha Chicken WingsMy Profile

    • Aww…thank you for the kind words and compliments, Georgia! I am with you…could eat this stuffing alone on Thanksgiving Day! I hope you will try this recipe with the dried cranberries and fresh herbs as well as the wine along with melted butter and stock. These changes truly make any sausage-apple stuffing phenomenally tasty. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  16. Stacy, you continue to amaze me – what an absolutely amazing story about the history of this stuffing recipe and how it went viral on AllRecipes and have been printed in cookbooks! You go girl! And you submitted this recipe to AllRecipes in 1998? This shows me right here that your love of food and your meticulous approach to recipes is something you’ve been passionate about for quite a while! Needless to say that this stuffing looks amazingly delicious – I’ve been looking for a good stuffing recipe and finally found one!
    Also, thank you for your super sweet comment about me on Lori’s Recipe Girl blog! You have such a big heart and the ability to express yourself so well – which is why you are obviously so loved by so many in the food blogosphere! 🙂
    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com recently posted…Pumpkin pancakes with caramel pecan sauceMy Profile

    • Julia, you are the sweetest! Thank you for stopping by, my friend. You always make my day with your kind words, compliments and encouragement. And, it was my pleasure to speak so highly of you and your photography work on Lori’s Recipe Girl blog. You are one very talented lady! 🙂

  17. Oh my gosh, this looks SO good! I honestly want to put this on my Thanksgiving day table, now. This reminds me of those apple sausages you can get. I loved them and always put them on bread..so this stuffing kind of reminds me of an alternative to that, just in a larger form. I adore this!!! Pinning to my group boards <3
    Julie @ Table for Two recently posted…20+ Thanksgiving Side Dish and Dessert IdeasMy Profile

    • Thank you, Julie! And, thanks so very much for pinning to your group boards. I appreciate it immensely. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day, girl!

  18. Kumar's Kitchen says:

    delicious stuffing….and such well explained and beautiful step by step tutorial…loved it….glorious recipe,stunning pictures and a wonderful blog…thanks for sharing our friend…HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! 🙂
    Kumar’s Kitchen recently posted…Simply Delicious Matar Pulav…Green Pea Pilaf With Whole SpicesMy Profile

  19. Gorgeous stuffing – and I love all of the tips! My stuffing never comes out as perfectly as I want, so I’m pinning this for next year! We’re having a mostly from frozen Thanksgiving this year with our new little one 🙂
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted…Biscoff Cheesecake Pudding PopsMy Profile

  20. Ooooh!!! I’m getting so excited for next Thursday!!!!! This sounds so darn good!
    steph@stephsbitebybite recently posted…SnapshotsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Steph! You deserve a feast on Thanksgiving Day after all that hard work during your challenge. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Thank you Thank you for this recipe!! I love stuffing and that is all I eat on that day and days after with cranberry sauce lol. This recipe looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it this year. I am so glad to hear your recipe is so well received all over the internet. Congrats girl!! Your tips are amazing.
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker recently posted…Brown Butter Pumpkin Sage BreadMy Profile

    • Aww…thank you, Z! I hope you enjoy both preparing and feasting on this recipe for stuffing. It is truly out-of-this-world scrumptious. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving weekend!

  22. Stacy – Your stuffing could convince me to eat stuffing! This is gorgeous – the step by step instructions and photos show how much thought and love you put into this! All who dine at your table are so blessed t have food served with so much though and love!
    shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted…Almond Butter & Jelly MuffinsMy Profile

  23. This stuffing definitely looks 5 star! I always make sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving but I haven’t really found one that I love. I need to give this one a try because it has everything I love, sausage, apple, and cranberries!
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor recently posted…Banana Chocolate Chip MuffinsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Ashley! Let me know what you think if you do try my recipe. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week ahead and Thanksgiving holiday!

  24. I love how indulgent, and flavorful this seems without being bad for you! Yummy!
    Nichole C recently posted…Last minute shopping, bourbon, and turkey {weekend recap}My Profile

  25. this stuffing looks fantastic! thanks!
    Sarah & Arkadi recently posted…Grilled Pineapple with Brown Sugar Cinnamon GlazeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Sarah and Arkadi! I hope you enjoy the stuffing. Meanwhile, best wishes to you and yours for a meaningful and very happy Thanksgiving!

  26. Wow!! What a great combo of flavors!! Apples and sausage go so well together! Thanks for sharing!!
    Cailee recently posted…Prevent the Holiday Weight Gain!My Profile

  27. This looks like an explosion of flavors Stacy! I have to tell this is timely as I was actively browsing for something new to try this year for Thanksgiving. You got me at 5 star… You are the best! xoxo ~dina

    • Thank you, sweet Dina! As always, I greatly appreciate your support and pinning this recipe at Pinterest—even with a stellar description! Thank you so much, my friend. 🙂 You do such a swell job with cropping images of food that it is always pure joy re-pinning from you! Oh, girl…you simply must give this recipe a try for your Thanksgiving Day feast. You can always conduct a test run with a fraction of the recipe and roast it inside a chicken or bake it on the side for a taste test. This way, any adjustments you need to make for personal preference can be done—such as adding mushrooms or omitting an ingredient. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I will see you over at Pinterest soon! xoxo

  28. Hi Stacy

    What is a type of white european style bread, also when using the recipe for sausage with cornbread stuffing do I also toast the cornbread too.

    • Thanks for the excellent question, Jackie! When I state “European style” bread, it is a term that I use when writing recipes to mean either French or Italian bread, or similar. At our house, we truly enjoy a blend of breads to make croutons to deepen the flavors of the stuffing or dressing so it isn’t so “one-note”. I hope you will try this recipe this Thanksgiving. Everyone seems to love it. 🙂 Enjoy!

      • Hi Stacy

        I need you to answer the 2nd part of the question. Thanks

        • Whoops! My sincere apologies, Jackie. I missed that part. To answer your question about toasting the cornbread for this stuffing recipe, I definitely toast mine. That’s how we like it at our house. If you do not want to toast your cornbread cubes, alternatively you could leave the bread cubes out overnight to dry before making your stuffing. I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Thanks again for writing with such good questions. 🙂

  29. Hi Stacy

    I was wondering if I could use the shady brook farms italian turkey sausages in this recipe.

    • Hi Jackie! You can definitely substitute turkey sausage for the pork sausage in this recipe. In fact, when I first made this stuffing recipe, back in the 1990s when low-fat recipes were gaining in popularity, I made it that way. However, please know that Italian seasoning in Italian turkey sausage can range from mild to hot and those flavors will be present in the stuffing. Most people prefer a breakfast type of pork sausage flavored with sage. It’s one thing if you like hot Italian sausage in stuffing, but others may not and you might want to go with mild. I hope this helps with your decision. Thanks again for writing and have a great week!

  30. HI Stacy,
    Going forth with this stuffing and so excited. Wondering how far in advance I can prep it?
    Thanks,
    becky

    • Hi Becky! I’m so glad you will be making this extraordinary stuffing. Everyone will love it. 🙂 Thank you for writing with such a good question. In fact, I have updated the Notes section of the recipe with this “Advance Prep Tip”. To answer your question, this stuffing recipe, Five-Star Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing, as well as most other turkey stuffing recipes, can be assembled, but not baked, one (1) day ahead. Once cool, keep covered and chilled in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature (about 1 hour) before stuffing turkey or baking in a separate casserole dish. I hope this information is helpful to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  31. Hi Stacy,
    I’m making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time next week, for about 18 people. I’m excited & a little nervous! This stuffing sounds amazing & I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering though, in your beginning tips you briefly mentioned making it in a slow- cooker. This would make my life A LOT easier. Would you cook it on high or low, & for how long? Thank you!!

    • Hi there, Lisa! Thank you for writing with such a great question and for bringing this omission of mine to my attention. 🙂 Preparing stuffing the day before the holiday is a real time-saver and eliminates stress in the kitchen on the day of. Simply prepare your stuffing as indicated in the recipe and allow it to cool completely before covering and refrigerating overnight. In the morning, remove the stuffing from the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature while covered on the counter. (This way the condensation will remain on the outside of the container.) Then, spoon the stuffing into a well-buttered slow-cooker dish. Cover and cook on low setting until heated through and apples are fork-tender, about 3 to 4 hours. It’s that simple! Please note that the recipe has been updated to include directions in the Notes section (under Advance Prep Tips), for cooking the stuffing in a slow-cooker, as well as new images in the post. Thanks again for writing and I hope that I have answered your questions thoroughly and completely. Please know that I will be checking the blog periodically for any emergency questions on Thanksgiving Day. So, if you need help with anything or have any questions, just reach out! Meanwhile, good luck in the kitchen and have a fun, meaningful and happy Thanksgiving Day!

  32. This recipe looks amazing! How would you adjust dry to liquid ratio for making in the crockpot? How long do you think it would need to cook that way?

    • Hi there, Katie! Thank you for writing with such great questions and for the compliment. Please accept my sincere apologies for not replying sooner. I have been away from the blog due to illness and just returned but hope you get this information on time today for preparing your stuffing. To answer your question, you do not need to make any adjustments to the recipe if you will be cooking the stuffing in a crockpot or slow cooker. There is plenty of moisture in the recipe ingredients and the moist heat of the crockpot will simulate the interior of the turkey – just as I mentioned in Tip #1 in the body of the article. To cook the stuffing in a crockpot or slow cooker, simply spoon the stuffing (do not pack it) into a well-buttered crockpot dish. Cover and cook on low setting until heated through and apples are fork-tender, about 3 to 4 hours. Easy peasy. 🙂 Please note that the recipe has been updated to include directions in the Notes section (under Advance Prep Tips), for cooking the stuffing in a slow-cooker, as well as new added images in the post. Thanks again for writing and I hope that I have answered your questions thoroughly and completely. Please know that I will be checking the blog periodically for any emergency questions on Thanksgiving Day. So, if you need help with anything or have any questions, just reach out. Meanwhile, good luck in the kitchen and have a fun, meaningful and happy Thanksgiving Day!

  33. Megan Kniffen says:

    I want to make this today for tomorrow. I see you can assemble ahead of time- it won’t be soggy? Can’t wait it looks awesome!
    thanks!

    • Hi there, Megan! Thank you for writing with such a good question. Surprisingly, assembling the stuffing the day before does not cause the stuffing to become soggy upon standing – either when cooling or when placed in the fridge overnight. (The recipe calls for just the right amount of liquids to fat and the oven does its job to crisp the stuffing and prevent sogginess.) During refrigeration, the melted butter actually hardens and keeps the rest of the liquids in a sort of suspension. However, to prevent sogginess, when you take the chilled stuffing out of the fridge in the morning, be sure to keep the cover on the container so that any condensation during thawing, about 1 hour, will remain on the container. Once at room temperature, either heat the stuffing conventionally in the oven in a casserole dish, stuff your fresh turkey according to directions or cook in a crock-pot according to the recipe directions. Be sure to read the Notes section for helpful tips as well. Thanks again for writing. I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Meanwhile, have fun in the kitchen and have a fabulous and meaningful Thanksgiving Day!

      • Megan Kniffen says:

        Thank you so much for your quick response, Stacy! So happy to be able to have one thing off my plate for tomorrow! I will let you know how it turns out!

        • My pleasure! Definitely let me know how your stuffing turns out. I just know that you will be successful and your holiday dinner guests will love it!

  34. Megan Kniffen says:

    Thank you, Stacy! Awesome recipe! Just because I was making so many dishes I used King’s Hawaiian stuffing cubes and cornbread stuffing mix but otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

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