Easy Apple and Sausage Stuffing made with sage and celery is the classic dressing recipe you grew up eating.
Easy Apple Sausage Stuffing
There really is nothing more “holiday” than stuffing. Okay fine, turkey probably is, but Apple Sausage Stuffing with sage is a close second. With a crispy top layer and fluffy savory texture under the surface, this stuffing (or dressing) is pretty much your turkey’s best friend this Thanksgiving.
The recipe is similar to the one in my Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dinner (for 2!) and it is cooked OUTSIDE the bird for a couple of reasons.
Is it safe to cook stuffing inside the turkey:
According to the United States Department of Agriculture
For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook stuffing separately. However, if stuffing a turkey, it’s essential to use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
Personally, I do NOT cook dressing or stuffing in the turkey, ever. I find that by the time my thermometer registers the 165 degrees the turkey meat is more cooked than I would prefer. In addition to that the texture suffers because it doesn’t have any ability to crisp up (my favorite part).
How long do you cook Sausage Stuffing:
- Outside the turkey: At 375 degrees in a 9×13 pan the stuffing cooks for 45 minutes until crispy on top but still moist in the center.
- Inside the turkey: Depending on the size of the turkey you should cook the turkey until the thigh reads at 175 degrees. The danger in cooking stuffing inside the turkey is the stuffing must reach a temperature of 165 degrees.
- In the Slow Cooker: Combine all the ingredients and cook on high for an hour then on low for three more hours.
Thanksgiving Stuffing flavor ideas:
- Swap out the pork sausage for turkey or apple sausage. I like to brown the leaner sausage in butter to give it a good brown crust.
- Add in dried cranberries, chopped up dried apricots, or chopped pears.
- Add in chopped pecans or hazelnuts.
I’m a huge fan of the classic apple/sausage/sage flavors, I think in the skillet, browning them you get the smell of the holidays.
Looking for more side dishes?
- Ultimate Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Mushroom Rice
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Roasted Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- How To Cook Spaghetti Squash (The Ultimate Guide)
Want More Thanksgiving Options?
- Crispy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- Crispy Slow Cooker Turkey
- Slow Cooker Turkey with Gravy, Candied Sweet Potatoes & Green Peas
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Carrots
- Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Pie
Tools Used in the making of this Apple Sausage Stuffing:
Cast Iron Skillet: If you don’t have a slow cooker with a stovetop friendly insert, this is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Beef Base: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
- 6 cups cubed french bread left out for 2 days to dry
- 1 pound pork breakfast sausage links
- 1 yellow onion
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 2 fuji or granny smith apples chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- If you haven't let the bread dry out, cook the bread cubes on cookie sheets for 10-12 minutes.
- In a skillet cook the breakfast sausage until browned then remove from the pan.
- Let cool and slice into ½ inch slices.
- Add in the onion, celery and apples and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- In a large bowl add all the bread, sausage, apple, onions, celery, apples, sage, thyme and parsley.
- In a large measuring cup add the broth, egg and butter and whisk together before adding to the bowl and tossing
- Put into 9x13 pan, press down slightly and bake for 40-45 minutes or until crispy on top.
Usually I don’t leave a comment after my rating but I have to this time. My first turkey dinner, I cooked and it was a hit.
Can this stuffing be made ahead? If so how long?
Hello, I am wonder if you used ground thyme or the leaves? TIA Linda
Looking forward to making this recipe again for the 4th year. It’s our all-time favorite stuffing. Thank you!!!!
Awesome! Thanks! Happy thanksgiving 🙂
Hi! I want to try this fir the first time this year . I’m so excited. Is the apple essential? If not , do I just leave it out or do I need to substitute it with something else ? Thank you
For step #5, do you add the onion, celery and apples to the cut up sausage and then cook them together for 3-4 minutes? Or, do you put the onion, celery and apples in the pan that the sausage was cooked in, and then cook that for 3-4 minutes?
You’ll be browning the sausage by itself and then the onion, celery and apples. I use the same pan to get all the flavors but brown them separately. Hope this helps clear things up. Enjoy!
This is definitely not the stuffing I grew up eating – that came from a red box. This is the BEST STUFFING I have ever had! I had to make it on the stovetop and crockpot because my oven is broken. It came out a little wet because of that, but it was still wonderful. This is the first time I have ever posted a recipe review. Thanks for my new go-to stuffing recipe!
Wow, thank you for this amazing review Debbie! I appreciate you taking the time to come back and let me know you enjoyed it! Happy Thanksgiving!
I rarely post reviews, however I made this for our family’s Christmas dinner yesterday
and it was gobbled up! Everyone absolutely loved this recipe and it will be my “go to” from now on. Thanks for sharing!
Yay!! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know how much you all enjoyed it, Stephanie.
Just made this and it looks and smells amazing! I did use fresh sage and thyme and added walnuts. I also used Aidells chicken apple sausage. I can’t wait to eat it tomorrow. Too bad I have to wait! Any tips on reheating?
It sounds amazing! You can easily reheat this in the oven. Enjoy!
If I don’t have the french bread cubes, would it be possible to use normal stuffing from a box and mix in the other ingredients from this recipe?
I wouldn’t recommend stuffing from quick cooking box mixes, larger bread cubes hold up better. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.
I use pre-packaged Pepperidge Farm Stuffing CUBES – not the “fine stuffing mix” and it always turns out great.
I also don’t use breakfast sausage (personal preference), but a mild pork sausage that I get from my butcher.
I use fresh herbs instead of dried.
Can I cook this at 325 along with my turkey, if so how long?
I don’t recommend cooking this in a turkey. I find that by the time it reaches a safe internal temperature to eat, the turkey meat is more cooked than I would prefer. Plus, I love my stuffing a bit crispy and you just can’t get that in a bird.
The original post was asking if it could be baked WITH the turkey, not IN the turkey. It would save a lot of time so I’m wondering the same thing.
Because of food safety classes I’ve taken I just wouldn’t. It is very risky and while it would save time you run the risk of overcooking turkey to ensure stuffing is 165 degrees in the middle or ending up with a turkey cooked perfectly but the stuffing is not hot enough to kill the salmonella. If you want there is a slow cooker stuffing on the site so you could make that without taking up oven space while turkey is cooking? https://dinnerthendessert.com/slow-cooker-stuffing/
I don’t know what went wrong! I’ve never made stuffing and was really hopeful. I followed the recipe exactly and it is just way too moist. It’s been in the oven for DOUBLE the recommended time and is still wet and soggy! Is 6 cups bread correct???
Oh no! Was your bread too fresh maybe? Feel free to email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com and we can troubleshoot more if you think that wasn’t the issue.
I’ve had that happen with recipes. Sounds like your oven is probably to blame. Sorry!
Hi, does this recipe need any salt or pepper? Thanks, Ally in NJ
You can season to taste if you’d like. 🙂
Should the apples be peeled?
Yes, peel the apples. Enjoy!
How do you measure the Better than Bullion if you dont use boxes of stock?
You’ll follow the instructions of the better than boullion pacakge to make 2 cups worth of stock. 🙂
I believe it’s one teaspoon for every 8 oz of water. Hope this helps!
Hello. Can i make this a day in advance and not cook until Thanksgiving day?
I’m so sorry you’re question was caught in my spam filter.
I’ve never tried making it ahead but I would be afraid that it would dry out.
Can I create this dressing without an egg?
I haven’t tested it so I’m not sure. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
I rarely leave comments but I just wanted to say that I tried this out for thanksgiving and it was a hit!
So glad to hear it! Thank you Margaret!!
I made this recipe the other night–it was delicious. This was my first attempt at making stuffing, so I was a little intimidated. It was easy, and turned out great. This recipe is a definite keeper.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It makes me happy to know you didn’t let it intimidate you and you just went for it. Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving! A must try!
Definitely a holiday must have!
I can’t seem to get up the print version of the Slow Cooker Turkey Apple Dressing. I would like to print it out in large print, but it’s not working for me. Can you fix it, to where I can? Thank you!
I’m so sorry you’re having issues with printing. If you save it as a PDF, you should be able to choose you’re printing options. I hope this helps!
This stuffing looks delicious! Thank you for sharing!
I am loving this combination! Looks like I have a new recipe to try for Thanksgiving this year! Thanks!
Stuffing is my favorite side dish for the holidays! Loving the addition of apple here!
I love stuffing and your version looks amazing!
What is it about stuffing that makes it so darn good!? I love this recipe!
Fantastic holiday side dish!!!
Ummm… I don’t see the recipe? Help!
So sorry, it must have been a glitch 🙁 I just fixed it. Thanks for letting me know.