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Holiday Cooking | November 9, 2017

Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing

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Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing
 Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing has been a family recipe for as long as I can remember. This was always the highlight of Thanksgiving for me as a child, and 55 years later, it  is still a staple on our Thanksgiving table!
Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing

If I had to pick only one food item to eat for Thanksgiving dinner, it would be stuffing. Stuffing and dressing are the same thing.  Traditionally stuffing is placed inside of the turkey to cook and dressing is cooked outside of the turkey in a dish. Also, depending on where you come from, and what era you were raised, you either call it dressing or stuffing. Or stuffin’.

I’m not sure, but I am willing to bet  this recipe originated from either the box of dried bread cubes my mom purchased to make her Thanksgiving stuffing, or it possibly  came from of her old red plaid Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, published in the 1950’s! I make Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing a little different than my mom used to,   using a bit more sage and I usually dry my own bread. The basic recipe is my mom’s and I’m sure there would be nothing short of a riot in our kitchen if I announced I was not making my mom’s Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing for Thanksgiving!

Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing

Think stuffing is too difficult to make? It is one of the easiest dishes I make every year at holiday time! I was appalled when I first heard people say they “made” STOVE TOP stuffing for Thanksgiving. THAT, my friends, is a crime. Seriously. Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing is the best recipe hands down for basic home cooked dressing you will ever taste. Simple steps: brown sausage, chop and cook veggies, throw in dried bread, broth, butter, seasonings and toss it all together. Repeat after me. This is easy. This is easy.
So grateful for recipes that bring generations together. Thanks Mom! I love you.



5 from 16 votes

Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing

This homemade stuffing will take your Thanksgiving to the next level! It's so easy and has just the right balance of savory and a little sweet from the apples.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword sausage stuffing, stuffing, thanksgiving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Author abountifulkitchen


  • 1 lb sausage (Jimmy Dean Regular or Spicy) I use half of each
  • 1 medium yellow, white or sweet onion chopped about 2 cups
  • 2-3 stalks celery chopped about 1 1/2 -2 cups
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh sage or 2-3 tablespoons dry sage about 5 large leaves chopped or about 3-4 tablespoons 
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 8-10 cups dried bread cubes homemade or store bought without seasoning
  • ½ 14 oz bag "Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing" (Pepperidge Farm) OPTIONAL, If not using this ingredient, add additional 2 cups of dried bread cubes or crumbled dry bread*
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 apple cored, chopped (I usually use a Gala) peel left on
  • 2-3 cans chicken broth MSG free about 4-5 cups 


  1. Cook the sausage, breaking up into pieces as the sausage is cooking. Drain the fat from sausage. 

  2. Add chopped onion and celery to the pan. Cook until softened over medium heat. 

  3. Season with salt, pepper and one clove of fresh minced garlic, sage (fresh or dry) and poultry seasoning. Remove from heat. 

  4. In a large bowl or container, pour in bread cubes, Pepperidge farm mix (if using) cooked sausage and vegetable mixture.

  5. Drizzle melted butter over bread and vegetable mixture. As you pour, make sure the butter is drizzled over most of the bread, not only in one spot. 

  6. Add chopped apples to mixture and toss all ingredients together. 
  7. Pour chicken broth, about a cup at a time until moistened but not soggy over mixture in bowl. Making sure to evenly distribute and not pour in one spot.

  8. Toss again. The broth will take a minute to be absorbed into the bread. At this point, the stuffing should be slightly wet or damp, and all of the broth absorbed by the bread. If the mixture appears to be dry, add more broth, about 1/2 cup at a time and toss. 

  9. Place stuffing into a large greased baking pan (or two 9×13 pans).
  10. Cover with foil that has been greased on one side (side facing stuffing).
  11. Bake at 350 for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. When finished baking, if stuffing seems dry, add a little more chicken broth by drizzling over the top of the casserole dish. Replace foil top until ready to serve. 

Recipe Notes

  • I buy Artisan bread or white bread, thick slice for this recipe. Cube and set  out to dry on large jelly roll pans,  Or dry in the oven a week or more before Thanksgiving. Two loaves of bread are enough for one to two recipes. Spread the cut up bread out on cookie sheets for about 1-1 1/2 hours on 250-300 degrees. Let cool, bag, and save until assembly of stuffing.  You may also add olive oil, salt and pepper for flavor before drying the bread.  Recipe for drying bread cubes here or you can purchase bread cubes at any grocery store.
  • If purchasing bread cubes, I like unseasoned best, because I like to control the amount and what type of seasoning used!
  • If you can’t find, or forgot to purchase the Peppridge Farm dry stuffing, no problem. This was the way my mom made this stuffing, but it is not a key ingredient. You may substitute as directed in recipe. I have found that I don’t like the texture of substituting with dry bread crumbs (the type sold in cans) in stores. 
  • Add broth just until bread is moistened and barely clinging to other pieces when shaped with hands.
  • I generously season the stuffing, especially with sage. Fresh is best, but dried works well too.
  • If the dressing is too moist, you may add more dry bread cubes or bake in an oven uncovered for a few minutes at 375. Toss once and let mixture dry in oven a bit!
  • I usually double this recipe for a group of 25. With several other sides for Thanksgiving, double is plenty for 25. 
  • You may also make this 3-4 days before serving and store in refrigerator in Ziplock bags and then pour into a greased baking pan to cook. Allow about 15 extra minutes for cooking if taking directly out of fridge. This is also perfect for cooking in a slow cooker on low. 

51 thoughts on “Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing

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Recipe Rating

  1. I want to try this recipe for Thanksgiving this year, but just wanted to clarify: does the recipe call for 1 ½ bags cubed stuffing AND about 8 cups bread cubes or 1 ½ bags cubed stuffing OR about 8 cups bread cubes?

  2. Can this be made gluten free? I know I could buy gluten free bread but I’m not sure about the seasoned stuffing crumbs. Please help!

  3. 5 stars
    Hello! Where do you find the Pepperidge farm seasoned stuffing? And is there a possible substitute if I can’t find it. Thank you! I look forward to making this for Thanksgiving.

    1. Regan,
      In the Salt Lake area, I can find Pepperidge Farm seasoned stuffing at Smith’s and Harmons.
      I love the sweet/savory combination in this recipe! Check out my updated “How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner” with new recipes and a simple timeline to follow, starting 6 days before Thanksgiving. Hope that helps make your holiday less stressful and more delicious.
      Thanks for reading ABK!

  4. Do you think this could be cooked in a slow cooker instead of the oven? We just are running out of oven space! Thanks, this recipe looks amazing!

    1. Yes, After cooking the sausage and vegetables and tossing all ingredients with butter and broth, place in a slow cooker and cook for about 2-3 hours on low. make sure to spray the inside of the slow cooker with spray so it won’t stick!
      happy holidays,

  5. 5 stars
    I just tried this recipe. From your instructions I couldn’t tell when to add the sage, poultry seasoning, and pepperidge farm stuffing. I just guessed and added it when I was stirring all the ingredients, about the time when I added the apples. Maybe the sage would be better added when I’m cooking the celery and onion? Could I also make the recipe the night before? Assemble it all and bake it the next day? If I did this, would I add the broth the night before, or right before I bake it the next day? Thanks for your blog and recipes. They are great and I refer to them and make your meals often.

    1. Katie,
      Add the sage when you’re adding the garlic and salt and pepper. Yes, stuffing is perfect to make the night before. Combine all ingredients (including the broth), cover with foil, refrigerate and bake the next day. Yum!
      Thanks for reading ABK!

  6. Have you ever made the recipe ahead of time? I only have one oven and am trying to figure out how to bake everything!!

    1. Hi Brianna,
      Yes I often make this ahead of time! You can cook the veggies and meat and assemble the day of Thanksgiving, or assemble it and refrigerate and bake on Thanksgiving day. Hope this helps!

  7. Hi Si!

    I dried out my bread and am excited to try this recipe soon! I am a little confused because the instructions say “pour in dry bread crumbs and or cubes of bread”. The or throws me off. If I dried out my bread would I still use the Peppridge farm crumbly stuffing mix? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Marissa, sorry for the confusion and yes, you use both the dry bread cubes and the stuffing mix. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!

  8. 5 stars
    Truly the best stuffing I’ve had in my entire life. And the fact that you can prep it the night before is a game changer. I will never make another stuffing recipe in my life!

  9. Hi Si,
    Your apple sausage stuffing is very similar to our thanksgiving family recipe. Because I only make this once a year I’m going to follow your recipe (and am excited to do so it looks great). I stale my own bread and then moistened the slices under water quickly. This year I’m staling plain bread already cubed. I was just wondering if I could add water instead of chicken broth? One year we all tried chicken broth and thought it wasn’t as good as just moistening our bread with the water. What are your thoughts?
    Thank you, Kelly

    1. Hi Kelly, I would use either chicken broth or vegetable broth. It gives the bread a nice texture and flavor, just make sure you add enough bread cubes so it doesn’t get too soggy. I don’t usually use water to moisten the bread because it’s less dense. Hope this helps and thanks for reading ABK!

  10. 5 stars
    This year I hosted my first Thanksgiving Dinner and I made this stuffing, along with your Southern Sweet Potato recipe and Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes. All were delicious!! Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes. I love that you include step by step instructions. Thank you, thank you!!

    1. You’re very welcome, Lainie, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipes and found the step by step instructions helpful. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK!

  11. What about putting the stuffing inside the turkey? Should I use less broth since it’ll absor the juices from the turkey?

    1. Hi Kristin, you can stuff this inside of the turkey and yes, definitely use less broth. Thanks for reading ABK!

  12. If make the stuffing ahead of time, should we wait to add the chopped apples? Or is okay if they brown bc it’s going to be baked anyway?

  13. I made this for a group who all professed to love stovetop stuffing—and it was a big hit! One of my favorite things on the table! I did half spicy sausage, and it was really nice to have a flavor different from all the other thanksgiving flavors.

  14. 5 stars
    Usually I just get a box of stove top, but when I saw this on Instagram I had to try it. We LOVED it, so this may have just become a tradition. It has so much flavor and great textures, this didn’t last too long. It is worth it to keep making it for holidays!!

    1. Cherylann,
      Thank you for trying this recipe – I love the sweet and savory of the fruit and sausage. I appreciate your positive review and thank you for reading ABK!

  15. 5 stars
    This was dryer bar stuffing I have ver had, and I liked my recipe I had before this one! Game changer for Thanksgiving!

  16. 5 stars
    Here we are in MAY, and I’m still thinking about this amazing stuffing I made for Thanksgiving! Do I have to wait until Thanksgiving to make it again?? Haha
    I hadn’t ever made stuffing from scratch before and this turned out great. I used your tips for making my own bread cubes and the stuffing came together easy least and was so much better than stovetop! Thank you for a great recipe!!

  17. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing every year for the past 6+ years and it’s always a hit! It’s my husbands #1 request for the holiday dinners. It’s simply not a complete holiday meal without it! We all love this stuffing!

  18. 5 stars
    It’s not Thanksgiving without Si’s Apple, Sausage & Herb Stuffing. I always make the homemade breadcrumbs for this. The box or bagged stuffing mixes don’t even come close to this recipe! YUM!

  19. 5 stars
    My family loves this stuffing recipe. We make it throughout the year—-not just for Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  20. 5 stars
    This is now my go to recipe for Thanksgiving dressing. I will always choose this over any other recipe. It is well written, easy to follow and so delicious. My husband was skeptical of the addition of the apple the first time I made it but now loves it!!

  21. 5 stars
    Took a risk trying a stuffing recipe that wasn’t a family tradition recipe. It knocked everyone’s socks off and I was so proud to show it off.

  22. 5 stars
    My go to stuffing for thanksgiving or anytime.
    Followed to the T except I used sourdough bread.
    Crisp on top and moist in the middle.
    Also made a portion of this vegan and turned out great! Thank you , I’m a stuffing snob 😉

  23. I made this stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving a couple years ago and it was delicious. I loved that apples are apart of this particular recipe! Next time I’ll have to try making it in the crockpot via the instructions listed below in the comments.

  24. 5 stars
    I am embarrassed that I haven’t given this recipe a review yet! I have made this recipe every year since you posted it in 2017, and it is now a family staple! My husband dreams of it in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, and always requests that I double the recipe.

    If you’re on the fence, make this stuffing! You will not regret it.

    Before this stuffing, I had only ever had boxed stuffing, which I loved! But wow, I will never go back. My favorite way to make it is to dry out Grandma Sycamore’s white bread per your stuffing cubes recipe. I was initially skeptical of the sausage (thinking, “Do we really need sausage stuffing with turkey and ham?”) but it truly gives the stuffing SO much flavor. I love the recommendation to do 1/2 original and 1/2 hot. I also omit the Pepperidge Farms cubes— I don’t think it needs it— and use the bread I dry instead. The sage is lovely in this and overall this recipe is an absolute keeper! My family and I thank you for this fantastic stuffing dish, which will undoubtedly be made for years and years to come!

  25. This amazing stuffing is not just for Thanksgiving. We eat it year round with chicken breast, pork chops or a pork chop. It is so moist and flavorful. The apple really is a great addition. Try this and you can never use store bought again.

  26. 5 stars
    The stuffing was the favorite of this years Thanksgiving! The “foodies” in the family commented on the sausage adding a rich flavor. I did substitute the apples with mushrooms.

    Thanks Si – you’re sure helping me gain confidence in the kitchen.

    1. Hi Jann!
      Switching the apples for mushrooms is a great idea. So happy it turned out great!
      Happy Holidays!