Apple Walnut Sausage Stuffing
Make your stuffing ahead of time! It’s easy, quick, and flavorful with crumbled sausage, fresh herbs, and apples! SO GOOD!!!
There’s a ton of stuffing recipes out there. I have seen a lot of them using chorizo, some using buffalo cheddar bear bread and even a pumpkin puree one.
But to me, stuffing is a classic.
So let’s just keep it simple. I used fresh herbs, a combination of my favorite breads – sourdough, multigrain, whole wheat and pumpernickel – crumbled sausage, and tart apples.
It’s a blend of savory and sweet, moist on the inside with just enough crunch and crispness on the top.
You can also stuff it in the bird, or bake it separately.
Just note that you can make this 1 day ahead of time! Also, calories don’t count during Thanksgiving. That’s why we use almost a whole stick of butter here.
Apple Walnut Sausage Stuffing
- 10 cups 1-inch bread cubes*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound mild ground pork sausage
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups sliced celery
- 2 Braeburn apples, chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
- Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-12 minutes; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; set aside.
- Melt butter in the skillet. Add garlic, onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in apples, sage and thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- In a large bowl, combine bread, sausage, apple mixture, walnuts and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock until absorbed and well combined.*
- Spread bread mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place into oven and bake until top is browned, about 45 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?
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Mine turned out an unattractive gray color… don’t know how to avoid that, but it tasted good.
I never make good stuffing. I thought I would try one last year to make it from scratch. I’m so glad I did. I’ve never made a bad recipe of yours so I thought this one had to be good. It’s going to be my go to for thanksgiving every year. Thank you so much for such a great site!
This is a very good recipe. A lot of people I know don’t like sage, thyme, or poultry seasoning in their dressing. I made a similar version of this recipe but I used a spice blend called Italian Seasoning. It is more of an everyday flavor than the traditional seasonings and people prefer it over the old fashioned version.
I also make a double recipe. Then I portion out about three cup servings and freeze them so I have this dressing all year. Best to cook it in the oven in a nonstick frying pan so it browns nicely because freezing makes the dressing a little wetter.
One other tip is that I use an electric knife to cut my bread into cubes. It doesn’t crush the bread like a knife does.
I’m so happy I found your site. I love all of your recipes so much. Everything always turns out so good. I will be making this stuffing this year. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from Northwest Arkansas.
Can you make this in the crock pot?
What is a good substitute for the braeburn apples?
You can really use any apple that is on the tart side. I’d say Honeycrisp is probably your best bet but as always, please use your best judgment when making substitutions and modifications.
Can this recipe be made with a StoveTop breadcrumbs?
This sounds so good! All I have on hand is gala apples. Will those be alright in the dressing? Thanks!
Dear Chungah, thank you for a damn delicious stuffing! My sister and I shared Thanksgiving cooking duties and this smelled so good even before we baked it, it was all we could do to stop ourselves from chowing down. We followed your recipe exactly and used 8 cups sourdough and two cups of pumpernickel. It made a great flavor combination. We have tossed all of our other stuffing recipes and will never even explore another one… why mess with perfection! Thanks again for helping make our holiday special.
Aw thank you, Susan! We love hearing that!
This was such a quick and yummy dish for our Thanksgiving dinner! I’m going to use a different ground meat next time as the Italian sausage was a little overpowering. I’ll use the regular recipe as a separate meal in the future!
This was really good! We made this for our Thanksgiving, and stuffed the turkey but also had some left over that we baked in a dish. I love the flavors and the fresh herbs. We used chicken sausage and some homemade wheat bread that was starting to dry out.
If I’m making a version without the sausage for my vegetarian friends, what do I adjust to make sure it stays damn delicious? Thanks! Love your recipes and spirit!!
Have you thought about using vegetarian sausage?
No! What a great idea and only one batch to make. Thanks and happy thanksgiving!
I was also thinking how to make this more vegetarian friendly, maybe subbing the sausage with assorted mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, cremini). Thoughts??
If I make the day before, do I fully cook it and then let it stand and chill overnight? How and how long do I need to reheat it?
Yes, you can reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Trader Joe’s sells cooked apple sausage, do you think you could use that instead of uncooked sausage?
when would you stuff this in the turkey if cooking in the bird? would it be at the end instead of baking in oven
If you make this 1 day ahead, can you heat in the microwave and serve?
Can this be baked in the turkey like regular stuffing? Sounds delicious, thank you. we’ve used many of your recipes.
Donna, the only difference between a stuffing and a dressing is that the stuffing is cooked inside the meat (in this case, turkey) while a dressing is the same thing cooked separately. In virtually all cases they can be used interchangeably…So, since this is cooked outside the turkey, technically, it is a dressing and not a stuffing. 🙂
That really didn’t need clarification.
Can I use turkey sausage. We are not a fan of pork. BTW, love, love your recipes!
Are regular pork breakfast sausages ok to use in this recipe?
love it, walnuts too, and glad that you call for them to be finely chopped, otherwise its a texture thing, love the sausage and all of the traditional ingredients too, thank you!