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Homemade Stuffing with Apples and Sausage + Menu

If you’re looking for the most mouthwatering homemade stuffing recipe, you’ll be greatly rewarded for making this sausage and apple stuffing. Friends and family will devour this one. 

Homemade Stuffing with Sausage and Apples in White Dish
Homemade stuffing with savory sausage and sweet apples

Homemade Stuffing with Apples and Sausage

Truth is, I was never a stuffing fan until I tried this homemade stuffing, teeming with savory sausage and sweet apples.  As a kid, our huge extended family usually paired our festive turkey dinners with asian sticky rice, which we still adore.

So one year in my adult life, I got to serious work, exploring homemade stuffing recipes. The first bite of this fabulous homemade stuffing ended the search for stuffing perfection. 

Apparently, it’s everyone else’s too.  This sausage and apple stuffing got rave reviews from both kids and grandparents alike, and even pickiest teens doubled down on this homemade stuffing.  Personally, it’s the only stuffing I’ve ever wanted to pile high on my holiday dinner plate, right next to those cheesy scalloped potatoes.

Homemade Stuffing with Sausage and Apples in Skliet
Delicious stuffing, without being soggy

homemade stuffing Key Ingredients

There’s only so much room on one’s dinner plate during a holiday dinner, and who wants to take up limited plate space unless it’s fully worth it?

This sausage and apple stuffing is worth every single flavorful bite. It’s filled with the aroma of wonderful herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme. Fresh herbs are a must, as they taste dramatically better than dried herbs in this dish. The aromatics of herbs, onion, and garlic really shine in this stuffing recipe.

The apples and cranberries give it a toothsome texture. My favorite apple to use here are honeycrisp apples, as they keep shape well and have the perfect balance of sweet vs. tart. However, feel free to use your favorite variety of apples.

The browned sausage lends great flavor to the dish.  I usually opt for Italian seasoned sausage, as its flavor profile fits with this stuffing recipe perfectly. Feel free to use your favorite flavor of sausage or omit it for a meatless option.

Goodbye, Soggy Stuffing

The top and sides of this homemade stuffing emerge beautifully browned and slightly crispy.  The center of the stuffing is deliciously moist and tender, without being overly soggy.

Part of the reason for this is that we use slightly less broth in this recipe, allowing the cubed bread to soak up just the right amount of liquid to keep the dressing ultra-tender, yet still allow the top and sides to brown nicely. Whether it’s browned edges or soft center, there’s something for everyone.

Adjust liquid, if needed

That said, some of you may prefer a texture similar to what you’d get if you cooked the stuffing inside the turkey. If that’s you, simply adjust and add a bit more broth prior to baking. Note that a little liquid can go a long way, so adjust for desired texture gradually.

Homemade Stuffing with Sausage and Apples in White Dish Square

Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner Menu (make-ahead Recipes)

Main Dish: How to Brine and Roast Turkey with Homemade Gravy (brine and prep ahead of time, so turkey day is an easy day.) It’s truly more flavorful and moist than any other turkey we’ve had, and that’s coming from major turkey fanatics.

Side Dish (other than stuffing): Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (5 Ingredients) is super quick and easy, while tasting fluffy-delicious. You can also use stovetop method, instructions included. This Sweet Honey Cornbread is every cornbread lover’s dream, especially with a pat of melting butter on top. Each of these can be prepped ahead of time.

Vegetables or Salad: Best Broccoli Apple Salad or Kale Brussel Sprouts Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing both stay extra-crispy even when prepared ahead of time! That means you don’t have to worry about mixing the salad too early; in fact, both these crunchy salads taste better with a bit of time.

Dessert: The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe (Surprise Ingredient) is based off America’s Taste Kitchen’s version, which is so darned good. And this Best Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe rivals Cheesecake Factory’s version, at a fraction of the cost…it’s so popular, it makes an appearance at our table every Thanksgiving gathering.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Homemade Stuffing with Sausage and Apples in White Dish Square

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

4.93 from 27 ratings
This sausage and apple stuffing is the winner, out of all the ones we’ve tested. It is highly aromatic and flavorful. Slightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside. It just might be everyone’s favorite side dish this year!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Dong


  • ½ lb seasoned ground sausage, no casings
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 tsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 3 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 6 cups bread, hearty, such as French or Italian loaf, cut into cubes
  • 1 apple, firm, peeled and chopped (granny smith, fuji, or honeycrisp work well)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • cup parsley, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock, regular strength
  • 4 TB butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish, or one of similar size. Set aside.
  • In a skillet, brown the sausage and onions together over medium heat. Stir and break up lumps evenly, until fully cooked through. Add sage, rosemary, and thyme, and stir another 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  • Combine bread cubes and place in single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake about 6 minutes, or until cubes are evenly toasted.
  • In a large bowl, combine and toss together the toasted bread cubes, cooked sausage mixture, and all remaining ingredients except for chicken stock; toss so melted butter evenly coats bread cubes.
    Gradually add 1 cup of chicken stock and toss to coat. Depending on desired level of moisture, add up to another 1/2 cup and toss again so all bread cubes are lightly soaked.
  • Place stuffing mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake 30 minutes, covered. Stir once during the middle of baking and add up to another 1/2 cup broth if stuffing is dry. Uncover, and bake another 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.


Stuffing can be assembled the night before, up to the point of adding broth. Add the broth only when ready to bake.
You can use entirely wheat or white bread, if preferred. If opting for all-white bread only, choose a loaf with more robust texture. 
For a meatless version, simply omit the sausage or use vegan ground “meat”.  You can opt for vegetable broth in lieu of chicken broth. 
If you prefer a texture more similar to stuffing that’s been cooked in a turkey, add a bit more broth until it’s to your liking. (See note in original article.)
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.5g | Protein: 6.7g | Fat: 5.9g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 13.1mg | Sodium: 115.9mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 13.1g
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Method: Bake

Spotlight on Holiday sides

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Recipe Rating


    • Alexis
    • 5 stars

    This dish was a huge hit at a recent gathering. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, so happy to hear that, Alexis!

    • April
    • 5 stars

    This looks so yummy! Definitely going to try this soon!

    • Zoe Garden
    • 5 stars

    Oh my goodness I need this right now!

    • Ntensibe Edgar
    • 5 stars

    Yyyaaaayyyyyy…this dish is a go for me! I am a sucker for apples and sausage!

    • Thena Franssen

    Wow! This looks like a super simple recipe! I can’t wait to make this for the Thanksgiving table!

    • Elise Ho
    • 5 stars

    Tis the stuffing season. I am not a big stuffing person but my son and his God-mom love it.

    • ashley t
    • 5 stars

    This looks and sounds so delicious. Ive never had stuffing with apples but would love to try one day.

    • Dominique
    • 5 stars

    I gave this a trial run, and will definitely be using at Thanksgiving! SO yummy!

    • Alita Pacio
    • 5 stars

    Apples and sausages are great combinations! I cant wait to make this again

    • Beth Pierce
    • 5 stars

    I love your recipe. I’ve been looking for something new to add to my list

    • Talya Stone
    • 5 stars

    I have to admit I have never attempted home made stuffing but this looks so good I think I’ll have to give it a try!

    • Eileen M Loya
    • 5 stars

    I am also not a big fan of stuffing but your recipe is a game changer! This is what I will make for Thanksgiving this year. Thanks for sharing!

    • Cristina S Petrini
    • 5 stars

    A fantastic combination in the sense that it degreases the mouth a lot with the apple!

    • Joycelyn

    Interesting recipe, although my large extended family would refer to this as dressing not stuffing because it’s not cooked in the turkey and that is has a crispy exterior which is only appealing to a certain few.
    Also more than confused about the call for “Italian” sausage when this is supposedly a Thanksgiving or Christmas stuffing where regular pork sausage is used if sausage is used at all.

    Not all all knocking your recipe as I do agree, each to his or her own especially in these days of anything goes in eating and recipe creating as long as it’s still palatable, but still had to add it is a bit odd to the many of us who stick with making family favourites aka the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes we learned to make via our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers, especially nowadays where comfort and memories of holiday gatherings with family that are now forbidden have become more important than ever.

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks for coming over and sharing your thoughts, Joycelyn! I’ve emphasized the options in recipe card, as well as in article. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Paul

    Hi, for the sausage, do recommend hot or sweet? Is just a matter of personal preference?

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Paul! I like mild Italian ground sausage. Feel free to use your favorite 🙂 Happy cooking!

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