Easy Apple Sausage Stuffing

12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Easy Apple Sausage Stuffing is a classic holiday dinner side. Homemade stuffing recipe with Italian sausage, apples, herbs and crusty bread.

Easy Apple and Sausage Stuffing made with sage and celery is the classic dressing recipe you grew up eating.

Easy Apple Sausage Stuffing is crispy on the top and tender in the center. The perfect Thanksgiving side dish.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).

Classic Sausage and Apple Stuffing made in the oven.

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.

Apple Sausage Stuffing with sage and onions is an easy and delicious Thanksgiving favorite.

Looking for more side dishes?

Want More Thanksgiving Options?

Sausage Dressing made in the oven with apples and sage. The perfect classic recipe.

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.

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Easy Apple and Sausage Stuffing

Easy Apple Sausage Stuffing is a classic holiday dinner side. Homemade stuffing recipe with Italian sausage, apples, herbs and crusty bread.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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.


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 305IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Easy Apple and Sausage Stuffing made with sage and celery is the classic dressing recipe you grew up eating. #thanksgiving #christmas #holiday #recipe #stuffing #sausagestuffing dinnerthendessert.com
Easy Apple and Sausage Stuffing made with sage and celery is the classic dressing recipe you grew up eating. #thanksgiving #christmas #holiday #recipe #stuffing #sausagestuffing dinnerthendessert.com
Easy Apple and Sausage Stuffing made with sage and celery is the classic dressing recipe you grew up eating. #thanksgiving #christmas #holiday #recipe #stuffing #sausagestuffing dinnerthendessert.com

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Hi!

    I made this recipe for our Christmas dinner. It was fantastic! A Hit! I wrote you and asked about making it a day ahead, but I didn’t. I decided on making it in the morning of Christmas. It came out great! Was so easy to prepare, and simple.
    I only made 1/2 the recipe since there were only 4 of us for dinner. I had my unstuffed turkey going in the oven, and I baked this casserole in my toaster oven.
    It smelled so good! It got nice and crispy and tasted delicious! We are all for “browned” recipes. The only thing, I should have just added a bit more broth. It was on the loose side, but the bread had the flavors! Next time, I will add more chicken broth! It’s a keeper in this family! So different than the traditional bread stuffing that I’ve been making for ages! (Mom and Grandmother’s recipe)
    Very good! Anyone who tries it, will enjoy it I’m sure!

  2. Just wondering if this can be made a day ahead. Also, how long to bake it along side the Turkey in the oven. Can you microwave it to cook, then in the oven to brown?
    This sounds so good, I’d like to try it for Christmas dinner!
    Thank you for awesome recioes!
    Merry Christmas to you and your hard working staff!

    1. 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. Looking forward to hearing how your Stuffing turned out! Happy Holidays!

  3. Can this stuffing be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator?
    I usually make all my stuffings the day before as to the flavors to blend!
    Thank you, and planning to make this with a Turkey for Christmas-baking along side the Turkey! Any suggestions as to having it baked along side the Turkey-for how long? Thanks!!
    Merry Christmas to you all!

    1. Yes you can make it a day ahead. I’ve written quite a bit about the differences in baking the stuffing with/inside the turkey versus in a pan. Let us know what you decided to do and how it turned out!

  4. This turned out really great but for some reason I couldn’t taste the apples at all. I used Granny Smith because the are usually great to cook with.

  5. 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.

    1. I’m terrible about taking the time to write a review. I’ve used your recipe for the last 2 years for all of our family holiday dinners and will do so again this year. It’s absolutely fantastic and my family look forward to it each time! Thanks so much for sharing!

      1. Thank you Stephanie! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
        Your 5 star “vote of confidence” means a lot 🙂

  6. Looking forward to making this recipe again for the 4th year. It’s our all-time favorite stuffing. Thank you!!!!

  7. 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

  8. 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?

    1. 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!

  9. 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!

    1. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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?

  12. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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/

  13. 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???

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  14. 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.

    1. 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!

  15. 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!

    1. 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!