I’m back again with another fun Thanksgiving make-ahead recipe. Today’s recipe is an apple, sausage, and sage sourdough stuffing that tastes just as good as it sounds. This recipe is easy to prepare and can be made-ahead and placed in your freezer for the big day, which means one less thing for you to worry about on the day of your big feast!
Have you ever made your own stuffing? It is one of the easiest and most rewarding dishes to create for the holiday season. My grandma made a mean dressing when I was growing up, but stuffing was definitely something that came out of a box. I remember in sixth grade when we had to do a Thanksgiving play and I was supposed to pretend to make stuffing and had no idea what the teacher was talking about when he handed me a loaf of bread and celery.
What the heck was that for?
Being the true foodie I am, I still don’t think the boxed stuff is that bad, and you can’t beat the ease of preparation. It doesn’t hurt to gourmet things up a bit once in awhile though, especially when you can put this in your freezer and save it for the big day!
The biggest challenge with stuffing is all of the dicing and chopping to get the ingredients prepared. A handy food chopper can be your best friend when chopping up ingredients like onions or herbs. Once the ingredients are chopped though, it is just a simple matter of mixing them up and then placing the stuffing in the pan for baking.
I really love the ingredients in this recipe because they are the perfect balance of sweet and savory. I used turkey sausage in this recipe, but you could certainly substitute with chicken sausage instead. I love Granny Smith apples for baking because they maintain their texture and firmness in this dish. Leave the skins on for a little added color to your stuffing (not to mention, a little fiber too!)
I baked up a little dish for you to show you what this looks like when it is all done. The top is crunchy and the inside is delicious and fluffy. The apples add tartness while the onions, celery, and turkey sausage add a little savoriness to the stuffing. When these ingredients are all baked together, it is like a little symphony in your mouth! Reserve a few sprigs of sage to garnish the top of your dish!
- 1 loaf sourdough bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 11 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ pound fresh mild turkey or chicken sausage
- 4 Granny Smith Apples
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh sage leaves
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Reserved sage leaves (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread bread cubes out on two large rimmed baking sheets and bake until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from the casings, and add it to the skillet to cook, breaking up chunks with a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes.
- Add apples, celery, onion and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until apple and vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes more. Add to toasted bread. Stir in broth, poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper.
- Add stuffing to a freezer-safe greased 9×13 foil pan. Place in the freezer (for up to four weeks). 1-3 days before, remove the stuffing from the freezer. Drizzle a ½ cup additional chicken stock over the top to moisten the stuffing. Heat oven to 350°F and bake until lightly browned and crisp on top, 50 to 60 minutes. This stuffing can also be stuffed in your turkey, just be sure that the stuffing has cooled before proceeding.
- Garnish with fresh sage leaves.