Sausage Apple Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing + Video

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Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing – it’s a bit of a mouthful, but that’s because it’s FULL of holiday flavors that we can’t leave out!! This tasty sourdough stuffing is soaked to the center with sweet and sour fruit scrumptious sausage! The video doesn’t do it justice – it looks, smells, and tastes better than you could ever imagine!

apple sausage stuffing recipe.

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Sometimes I look forward to the Thanksgiving sides even more than the turkey!

And how could I not with this absolutely phenomenal sausage apple cranberry stuffing on the table?? 

As you can tell by the name, it has the best mix of savory and tart in a mouthwateringly moist, rich sourdough stuffing. 

I could eat it on its own – of course, there’s no need to with all of these 5 star Thanksgiving sides to choose from!

cubed sourdough bread for stuffing.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Sourdough Bread Cubes – Sourdough is substantial and holds up to moisture really well, making it perfect for cranberry apple stuffing!
  • Dried Cranberries – These don’t need to be rehydrated before use – just throw them in right with the apples! If you’d like to use fresh, go right ahead.

    You’ll just need to use more.
  • Ground Pork Sausage – Really, any sausage will do!

    Regardless of your choice, you really do want to leave all of that grease and fat in the pan to fry up the shallots and seasonings – it adds so much depth and flavor!
  • Chopped Pecans – Walnuts are the closest alternatives, and almonds can easily take their place for a more mild flavor and texture.

    You can also leave them out entirely if desired.
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme – It can be hard to find fresh herbs toward the end of the year. In this case, you can use dried.

    Just use 1 teaspoon of dried per 1 tablespoon of fresh in the recipe. 
  • Chardonnay Wine – My apple sausage stuffing recipe can be made without alcohol. Simply replace the wine with either chicken or vegetable stock!
cooked ground sausage.

Apple Sausage Stuffing Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Keep It Warm – I’m a big fan of keeping my holiday sides in slow cookers to keep them warm and for easy serving at dinnertime!

    Just transfer to the crockpot and cover. If it gets a bit dry, just add some extra stock!
  • More Popular Stuffing Add-Ins – Other dried fruits like blueberries, currants, or raisins are very popular in stuffing as well.

    Bell peppers (or hot peppers for the brave!) are great to use, too. And bacon or cheddar cheese (or both!) can add a lovely smoky and savory flavor!
  • Using Dried Herbs? Crush them in your palm or with a mortar and pestle before adding to the pan.

    This helps the herbs to release their oils and give off a stronger aroma and flavor. 
making sausage cranberry apple stuffing.

Prep Ahead Instructions: Make & Bake Later

Save a bit of time by doing all of the prep work the day before the big meal!

It’s as easy as following this apple sausage stuffing recipe all the way until it’s time to bake – rather than popping your dish into the oven, you’ll slide it into the fridge.

I wouldn’t prepare sourdough sausage stuffing more than a day in advance to maintain the fresh taste of the fruit, herbs, and sausage. 

Once you’re ready to bake, go ahead and pop it into the oven! Give yourself a couple of extra minutes to make up for the cooled temperature of the ingredients.

adding chicken stock to bowl of stuffing ingredients.

Make Ahead Instructions: Bake & Reheat Later

You can also make sausage apple cranberry stuffing the day before and reheat the next day. Everything can be prepared and baked as instructed in the recipe.

Allow it to cool, then cover once more with tinfoil.

Reheat in the oven at the same temperature until warmed through! Remove the tinfoil so the top of the sourdough bread crisps right back up.

Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing FAQ

What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?

It’s right in the name! 

Stuffing is something that you stuff into your Thanksgiving turkey or chicken before baking. Dressing, on the other hand, is baked on its own and served on the side. But most people just call it all stuffing.

How do you dry sourdough for stuffing?

If you’re working a couple of days in advance, then cube the bread and leave it out to dry on its own! But if you’re short on time or have household pets that would never leave that bread alone, you can also dry it in the oven. 

Go ahead and cube or tear the bread and lay it all out on a baking sheet. Use parchment paper to prevent burning. Bake at 225°F — no higher — for 30-45 minutes. 

What are the best apples to use for dressing?

Of all of the varieties of apples out there, there are a few that are best suited for apple stuffing. They’re usually not too sweet nor too sour, and can handle the heat in the oven. 


Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, Braeburn, and Jonagold are some of your sweeter options! The always crisp and delicious Granny Smith works as well if you like something more tart.

apple sausage stuffing recipe in bowl

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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cranberry apple stuffing in casserole dish.

sourdough stuffing closeup.

Sausage Apple Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing + Video

Donna Elick
This stuffing recipe is a winner for your turkey dinner! It’s a sourdough stuffing with crunchy apples, cranberries, and juicy sausage.
5 stars from 4 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 8

Ingredients
 

  • 10 cups sourdough bread cubes, (1 large loaf)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 24 ounces ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chardonnay wine, See Notes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable broth
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×13-inch casserole dish; set aside.
  • Place sourdough cubes in single layers across 2 baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring bread occasionally, until toasted, but not browned.
  • Transfer toasted bread cubes into an extra-large bowl. Add cranberries and apples; set aside.
  • Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, using a spatula to break up the meat as it cooks. Add 1 ½ tablespoons sage, and cook for another minute.
  • Use a large slotted spoon to transfer sausage from skillet to bowl with bread cubes. Leave 2 tablespoons of sausage drippings in the pan (drain any extra).
  • Add shallots to the pan. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add pecans, herbs and remaining sage, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour shallot herb mixture into the bowl with bread cubes.
  • Add wine to the skillet and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add butter and chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and pour over bread cubes in the bowl.
  • Add beaten eggs to the bowl. Toss gently to combine, then transfer sourdough stuffing into the prepared baking dish.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Video

Donna’s Notes

Substitute for wine: For those sensitive to alcohol, you can use chicken or vegetable stock in place of the wine.
Substituting dry herbs for fresh: 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.
To keep stuffing warm: 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 493cal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 650mg | Sugar: 16g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
sausage apple cranberry stuffing recipe.

Originally published November 2014, updated and republished November 2022

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63 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. I’ve made this for the past four years for Friendsgiving. It never fails, every year when we send out invitations, the first question is, “Will Christina be making her stuffing??” I bake them in muffin tins, so everyone gets their personal “muffin” with the nice crunchy topping! It’s definitely a favorite!

    1. Hi Christina,
      What a great idea! We are so happy you all enjoy it! It is a family favorite here. Have a great day!
      TSRI Team Member,
      Holli

  7. 5 stars
    this will be year 5 making this amazing dressing! i always brag about the fact that there is no salt added. It’s just all of the amazing spices and ingredients that make this amazing!

  8. This is the best stuffing recipe! A coworker shared it with me a few years ago and I’ve been making it ever since. Just wanted to say Thank you. 🙂

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