Thursday, November 5, 2020

Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Recipe + Video

This stuffing recipe is a winner for your turkey dinner! It’s a sourdough stuffing with apples, cranberries, and juicy sausage.

Title text (pictured in a casserole dish with a spoonful held up): Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Recipe
A holiday meal isn’t complete without a few classic side dishes.

The perfect Thanksgiving meal simply must have a golden roasted turkey.

To serve with it, a good bread dressing, and the Best Ever Mashed Potatoes! They’re creamy, buttery, and made with just a handful of ingredients.

Try this Cheesy Bacon Green Bean Casserole for a twist on the more traditional version, or make Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic for something a little lighter.

And don’t forget the Texas Roadhouse Rolls! They’re fluffy, addictive, and so easy to make yourself.

bread cut and put on sheet pan

Tips For Making This Stuffing Recipe

  • How to save oven space for the turkey

Free up space in your oven by making the baked stuffing casserole up to 3 days ahead of time. On the day you’ll be serving it, transfer it to a slow cooker.

Use the “warm” setting to keep the dish hot until dinner is ready. If it starts to look dry, simply add a little chicken stock to keep it moist.
  • Use baking apples
cooked sausage

Choose a firmer variety that won’t fall apart when baked, as well as one with a balance of tart and sweet flavors. Here are some popular choices:
  • Honeycrisp
  • Pink Lady
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Jonagold
  • Braeburn
onions and garlic in a pan

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
  • Sausage - Feel free to use your favorite bulk sausage or links with the casing removed. Sweet Italian sausage is a great choice for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Dried Cranberries - If you’re not a fan of cranberries, try replacing them with golden raisins instead. Or, use a mix of both for a variety of flavors.
  • Wine - For those who are sensitive to alcohol, you can use white grape juice or more chicken stock in place of the wine.
  • Fresh Herbs - You can substitute dried herbs if fresh are hard to find. Use 1 teaspoon dried herbs for each tablespoon called for. Also, pour the dried herbs into the palm of your hand and crush them before adding to the bowl. This will release the oils and increase the flavor potency.
  • Pecans - Replace these with chopped walnuts or slivered almonds if you’d prefer. Or omit entirely for nut allergies.
herbs, pecans and onions

Supplies you’ll need
  • 9x13 Baking Dish - This set is one of my favorites! The 9x13 is perfect for casseroles and the smaller size is awesome for making half a casserole recipe.
  • Large Skillet - A wide skillet works best, ideally one that’s more than 12 inches in diameter.
  • Quality Knives - If you only make one kitchen investment, it should be good quality knives. They cut down on prep time and are important for safety as well. 

combine aromatics, bread and sausage

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Can I make this the day before and reheat before serving?

Absolutely! Assemble and bake as directed, then cover and refrigerate once it has cooled. Reheat in the oven the next day, removing the foil at the end to get the top nice and crispy.

You can also toast the bread cubes a few days ahead of time. Just let them cool, then keep them in a storage bag on the counter until you’re ready to make the stuffing.

pouring in chicken stock

What’s the best way to reheat stuffing?

If you prep this stuffing recipe ahead of time, you will need to store it in your fridge.

About 30 minutes before baking, remove the pan from the refrigerator. Bringing it to room temperature will ensure that it cooks evenly.

Before baking the casserole, cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake it at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Add some chicken stock if it starts to look dry.

The best way to reheat leftovers is in a pan on the stove top. Reheating it this way helps the bread cubes to become crisp again.

stirring sausage

Can I freeze homemade stuffing?

To freeze, allow the dish to cool completely before transferring to a large storage bag or freezer-safe container.

Use within 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

stuffing in a bowl


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Recipe in casserole dish

Baked Stuffing Casserole Video

To learn how to make homemade stuffing from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this post.

Yield: 8
Author: Donna Elick
Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Recipe

Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Recipe

This stuffing recipe is a winner for your turkey dinner! It’s a sourdough stuffing with crunchy apples, cranberries, and juicy sausage.
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 55 MinTotal time: 1 H & 40 M


  • 1 loaf sour dough bread, cubed (about 10 cups)
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 24 ounces pork sausage rolls
  • 1/2 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped and divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup chardonnay wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 largeeggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cubed sourdough on 2 baking sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes, stirring bread occasionally until toasted, but not browned. Place toasted bread cubes into an extra-large bowl, add cranberries and apples. Set aside.
  2. Butter 9x13-inch casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage using a spatula to break it up as it cooks.
  4. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons sage. Cook through, but do not brown. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon and add it to bowl with bread cubes. Leave 2 tablespoons of sausage drippings in the pan (drain any extra) and add shallots. Cook until translucent; add pecans, herbs and remaining sage to skillet. Cook 2 minutes stirring frequently. Pour shallot herb mixture into the bowl with bread cubes.
  5. Add wine to the skillet and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan as it cooks. Add butter and chicken stock. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, remove from heat and pour over bread cubes in the bowl. Add eggs. Toss gently until combined and pour into prepared baking dishes.
  6. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more.
  1. For those sensitive to alcohol, you can use chicken or stock in place of the wine.
  2. You can substitute dried herbs if you are unable to get fresh. Use 1 teaspoon dried herbs for each tablespoon called for. When you are adding the dried herbs, pour them into your hand and crush them in your palm before adding them to the bowl, this will release the oils and increase the potency.
  3. You can scoop the stuffing into a slow cooker to keep it warm while you wait for dinner to be served. Add a little chicken stock if it starts to look dry.


photo collage with text: Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing

Originally published November 2014, updated and republished November2020

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  1. I love your comment about licking the screen. That was hilarious but oh sooo true. This stuffing looks amazing and I can't wait to make it!

  2. WOW! This sounds so, soooo good!! I'm off to check out all their recipes. I LOVE stuffing!

  3. This sounds so fantastic! Pinned for later. And I totally agree...stuffing is the best part of thanksgiving :)

  4. This looks like an absolute Thanksgiving winner! Love this!

  5. This looks awesome! Totally my kind of comfort food!

  6. So yummy. I am from the little town where Jones dairy farm is located and my mom works there!

  7. This reminds me of home, as our traditional stuffing has many of the same flavors. LOVE it (and I adore Jones products!!)

  8. Not a wine lover. What if I leave out this ingredient?

    1. You can sub out white grape juice or just replace with more chicken stock. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

    2. We do not drink wine but I have found it does something amazing to many dishes. I typically use 1/4 of what is called for because I don't want to taste the wine; I just want the magic that happens when it is added. You might give that a try. I am going to make this using 2 T, taste, then add 2 more T if it isn't "perfect" to my tastes. (Hint: I put 2T in my turkey gravy also.)

  9. Definitely going to try this year. Making it ahead of time and reheating it (I so need a double oven).

    1. How did it turn out when you made it ahead of time? I might have to do the same thing.

    2. How did it turn out? I'm planning to make it the day before.

    3. I would also like to know about making ahead because of limited oven space if anyone has an answer please share

    4. I'd love to know this too. Anyone try making it ahead yet? :)

    5. I made this stuffing recipe 2 years ago. It was delicious!! I like my stuffing a little wetter; so, this year I will add a bit more chicken broth. Loved the splash of chardonnay.

    6. I always make my stuffing a day ahead to save time, just don’t mix in the liquids until the morning of when you stuff the bird. Cook the remainder of the stuffing in a casserole dish. 😋

  10. I loved my mom's dressing but have no idea how she made it. It was nothing like this though. I love trying different foods and find that I like them prepared with a variety of ingredients making each one delicious in their own way. I do love the ingredients used here. Pinning it!!

  11. Can I substitute turkey sausage and fresh cranberries?

  12. This looks delicious! Do you think it can be made the day before?

  13. This looks delicious! Do you think it would work if it was made the day before then baked the day of?

    1. I always make the day before and almost this same recipe but I add water chestnuts also..

  14. Can I make this ahead of time? Should I freeze or just refrigerate?

  15. Can the Jones Dairy products be purchased in Texas?

    1. Here is their product locator.

      Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  16. Can this stuffing be stuffed in a turkey or is it best baked by itself? I definitely want to try this.

    1. Jorge,

      I am sure it could be baked inside the turkey, but I love the texture that baking it in a pan gives it. Let us know how it goes. Enjoy!

    2. Please bake your stuffing in a separate dish. The texture will be much better and from a food safety standpoint; by the time you get your stuffing inside the turkey up to a safe temperature (it is "contaminated" with raw turkey juice!) your turkey is going to be waaaaay over cooked.

    3. My son deep fries and I do this dressing in my large country kettle and it is wonderful.

  17. Hi Donna,

    Love your site and all your yummy recipes. I made this stuffing last year and it was truly the best stuffing I ever made - this is without a doubt the most amazing recipe out there! I will be making it again this year - everyone loved it! Thank you, thank you, thank you! And yes, you do want to lick the screen - it looks that good! :)

    1. I am so happy to hear you loved it. Thank you for reading our site. I can't imagine Thanksgiving without this stuffing.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  18. I made this last year and it was amazing! This year I am going to plan it a lot better, so I don't have to run to my neighbors house and beg to use her oven in a dire attempt to toast some bread.

    1. That is awesome Kimberly! I will be prepping the ingredients ahead of time as well. The less stress the better. :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  19. Hi Donna,
    I am planning on making this delicious stuffing for thanksgiving this year and I can't wait to try it!! I'm wondering if I can make it the night before and reheat in the oven before serving? And also if you have any suggestions on substitutes for the chicken stock and eggs I would appreciate it! (My fiance is allergic to poultry) Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. You absolutely can make it ahead and reheat it. If it gets a little dry add more moisture.

      As far as the eggs and chicken stock... I would substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock and you can use an egg replacement. You could leave the egg out completely, but the stuffing will not hold together. Here are some suggestions for egg replacement found on this site: Enjoy and let us know how it goes. Happy Thanksgiving!

      3-1/2 tablespoons gelatin blend (mix 1 cup boiling water and 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, and then use 3-1/2 tablespoons of that mixture per egg)
      1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water; let stand 1 minute before using
      Commercial egg replacement products

  20. Thanks for sharing! Happy Thanksgivin!

  21. I want to try this next time. I love the idea of cooking and serving from the crockpot. Is there a way to get that 'crispy' top with making this in a crockpot?

  22. it is not a stuffing but a dressing

  23. can I substitute stuffing bread in the bag instead of loaf brea

  24. Can I used the stuffing in the bag

    1. You can use the unseasoned ones. Just make sure that you have the same amount of bread cubes. I believe the recipe calls for 10 cups. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  25. Happy Thanksgiving Donna! This will be year 3 of this glorious stuffing/dressing! Nom nom nom...Keep all your wonderful recipes coming! Love them!

    1. Thank you Becky! You made my day. I am so happy that we have become a part of your holiday traditions. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  26. Happy Thanksgiving!!!This will be my 2nd year doing this delish recipe. Last year it was the highlight of our the meal. Unfortunately this year one of our guest has a nut allergy. Are the pecans an essential part of this dish? I'm thinking of omitting the pecans. Will the taste be drastically sacrificed?

    1. That is so thoughtful of you, Jackie! Absolutely, you can leave them out. It does add a lovely nuttiness and a great crunch, but the omission of the nuts will not sacrifice the dish. I am so happy that you love this stuffing.

      Have a fabulous Thanksgiving and let me know how it went.

  27. I have made this stuffing beofre and it was DELICIOUS! The fresh herbs make all the difference; I probably added a little nore than the recipe called for. I also substituted in dried cherries for the cranberries and add chopped pecans. I put mine in the center or a crown roast and baked it tha way. This year I plan to use it with my turkey for Thanksgiving. :-)

  28. nut allegies so wondering what seeds would make a good substitute. sunflower or maybe pumpkin?

  29. I just made this for thanksgiving. it was my first time making stuffing. it was really good. I left out the pecans. I couldn't find a 24oz pack of sausage so I used two 16oz packs. My loaf of sourdough made a lot of bread chunks, I couldn't fit them all into my pan, I had to leave some out. I loved the cranberries. Maybe 2 apples would be better.

  30. Can you bake this stuffing and then put it in a crock pot to keep it warm until you're ready to eat it?

  31. This is the best stuffing. I made it last year for Thanksgiving and I’m making it this year for Christmas. My mother in law talked about how good it was all year. And she does not give out compliments often.


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