When it comes to the holidays, there is nothing I like better than the sides. Yes, turkey and ham are great, but the sides make the meal. Sweet potato casserole, green beans, fried okra, sausage stuffing with cranberries and apples – you get the idea.
This stuffing is as classic as it gets with seasoned sausage, tart apples and dried cranberries, all baked together to make one delicious side dish for the holidays. It’s just good simple ingredients with mouthwatering results.
So what exactly is stuffing?
Stuffing is one of those dishes you can always count on showing up for any holiday meal.
It’s a mixture of bread, seasonings, fruit – in this case, cranberry and apples – and butter. It’s typically stuffed inside the turkey and cooked, but I’m not fond of anything stuffed inside my bird; so instead, I like to eat it as a side dish.
Homemade stuffing is simple to make and delicious to eat. It’s moist, rich and savory in every bite. This recipe is as close as it gets to grandma’s stuffing.
8 cups dry bread, loosely measured, cubed
1 pound ground sausage
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 large Granny Smith apples (Gala, Golden Delicious or
Honey Crisp will also work) cored and diced; do not peel.
3/4 cups dried cranberries
2-1/4 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
How to Prepare and Bake the Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cubed bread on a large baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes, or let it sit on the counter for several hours/overnight until dried out. Set aside.
In a large skillet, brown sausage until cooked thoroughly. Remove sausage from the skillet, drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain grease, leaving about a tablespoon in the skillet.
To the skillet, add onion and celery and cook over medium heat until onion becomes translucent. Add poultry seasoning, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for another 3 minutes.
In a large bowl, add bread cubes, cooked sausage, onion and celery mixture, apples, cranberries, stock, melted butter and eggs. Stir to ensure all ingredients are mixed.
Pour into a greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
After 45 minutes, remove stuffing from the oven and uncover.
Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
The stuffing should be lightly golden on top.
What kind of bread is the best for this stuffing?
You want to use bread that will hold up to the liquid in this recipe and not get soggy. I used a loaf of Italian bread for this recipe, but French Bread will also work nicely. Make sure the bread is dry and toasted before mixing with the other ingredients. The trick to an excellent classic stuffing is to make sure the bread is dry before adding the stock.
~Gina Abernathy is the author and recipe creator behind the blog Home at Cedar Springs Farm. For more delicious recipes, or to follow Gina, check out her blog at homeatcedarspringsfarm.com.