Apple-Sausage Stuffing

Apple-sausage stuffing.

I’ve never given out my family’s stuffing recipe, and I’d put it up against your grandma’s any day of the week. We make this a day ahead and heat it up to serve, mostly so my sister and I have an extra 24 hours to sneak bites.

Make It Yours If you’re inviting adventurous types to your Thanksgiving table, switch out the sage or hot sausage for chorizo, which adds a fabulous spicy flavor to the stuffing. Cranberries are also a great mix-in for a little tartness and color.

Apple-Sausage Stuffing

Serves | 10 to 12 |

  • 2 lbs soft Italian bread (2 to 3 large loaves)
  • 1 lb sage sausage or hot sausage
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for buttering baking dish
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups diced celery stalks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, ½-inch dice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp chile flakes
  • 3 to 4 cups unsalted chicken stock

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 300°F.

Slice or tear bread into ¾-inch pieces, and spread in a single layer onto lipped sheet pans (2 to 3, or work in batches). Bake for 10 minutes until dried and crisp, rotating pans halfway through. Remove, and allow to cool. Once cool, press lightly with rolling pin to break up and vary texture. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.

Prepare a paper towel-lined plate. Remove sausage from casings if needed, and cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with wooden spoon as it cooks, until cooked through. Transfer to prepared plate to drain.

Liberally butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt 10 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, apples and sage; cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley, salt, pepper and chile flakes; add cooked sausage, and stir until incorporated. Add stock, place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add bread chunks and stir to combine until everything is evenly distributed. Check seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed, and then transfer to prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes; uncover, and continue baking for 30 minutes until golden and crispy on top. Garnish with parsley leaves, and serve.