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Sage sausage, cornbread, and challah stuffing - our family's Thanksgiving tradition: with dried fruit, nuts, apples and lots and lots of love.

Sage Sausage Stuffing

This stuffing/dressing is layered with flavor starting with the homemade stuffing cubes which are enhanced with sage sausage, dried cherries and apricots, fresh seared apples, and toasted pecans. A mouthful of Thanksgiving flavor in every single bite.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword DIY Stuffing Cubes, sage sausage, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 14
Calories 367 kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 cups bread cubes
  • 1 ½ pounds breakfast sausage with sage either Jimmy Dean's which will sell out close to Thanksgiving or get your butcher to make it
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 ½ cups pecans coarsely chopped and toasted
  • 2 onions chopped, about 2.5 cups
  • 3 tart apples chopped and not peeled
  • 4 tablespoons butter 1/2 stick
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons dried thyme or about double if fresh
  • 1 -2 teaspoons dried sage or about double if fresh
  • ½ cup Italian parsley chopped
  • 1 - 2 cups turkey stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Have a giant bowl ready for mixing it all up and to put the ingredients in as you saute them. I keep the sausage separate in case I have to make a small pan of stuffing without sausage in it.
  2. Also prep your stuffing pans - probably not necessary but a little greasing couldn't hurt.
  3. Brown sausage and drain. I leave a bit of drippings in the pans for flavor to kickstart the onions in the next step. (unless you are making a pan of stuffing vegetarian)
  4. Saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of the butter - low and slow - I like to add some salt and pepper and thyme here to again layer the flavors. You want the onions translucent but not brown. They'll take a while - you can prep other stuff while they are working - just stir occasionally and make sure they are not browning.
  5. Remove the onions from the pan and add the other 2 tablespoons of butter for sautéing the apple. Turn heat up to high or at least medium high. You want to sear the outside of the apples without turning them to mush. I add a pinch of thyme and sage to the apples.
  6. Remove the apples to your bowl and now, totally optional, saute the dried fruit in the remains of the apple pan just to soften them up and use the flavor in the pan.
  7. Mix everything together in the large bowl including adding the chopped parsley, sage, thyme, and salt and pepper. After thoroughly mixed, add about 1.5 cups of broth and mix again.
  8. Put the stuffing in your stuffing pans, cover with foil and refrigerate. I always do this the day before. I usually bake them after the turkey has come out - at 375 for about 30 minutes. Check once for moistness. Can always add some stock. Also, if you like crisp edges, take foil off near the end and let it finish cooking "topless".

Recipe Notes

A loaf of Semifreddo's challah purchased at Trader Joe's will yield about 10 cups of bread cubes. 6 slices of store-bought sourdough bread will yield about 4 cups of bread cubes. One 8X8 pan of cornbread will yield 9 - 12 cups of bread cubes.