With savory sausage, fresh sage, cranberries, and apples, this Thanksgiving Stuffing is a special side dish I’ve been making for 15 years! You’ll love the addition of crusty sourdough bread. Options to make this stuffing gluten-free!
Thanksgiving is a BIG DEAL in my family. A holiday that revolves around being grateful for our many blessings, and eating a fabulous meal to celebrate, is exactly everything I love in life. Food is my love language. Acts of service is also how I show others I love them. Nothing makes me happier than making an amazing meal for my family!!!
And I spare no detail. I love a fancy table scape, music to set the tone, and a steady flow of food all day long.
But if you ask me for my absolute favorites? Always the side dishes. While I absolutely LOVE my Green Bean Casserole with White Wine Cheddar Sauce, and my Butternut Squash Au Gratin, the only side dish that has stood the test of time over my 17 years of marriage is this stuffing. And I am finally ready to share this recipe with you!
As a nutritionist, I always look for ways to make my classic favorites a little healthier. This is why I created my Roasted Cauliflower Rice Sausage Stuffing. But if I am being completely honest, it doesn’t compare to this stuffing that I load up with REAL sourdough bread cubes. If we’re going to do bread, there is nothing tastier and more nutrient dense than sourdough bread. With fermentation, sourdough offers prebiotics to maintain a healthy gut, but also has more vitamins and minerals than traditional baked bread.
What makes this Sausage and Sage Stuffing so delicious?
Let me count the ways! The fresh sourdough bread that is toasted to perfection is just one reason. But also, the savory sausage, sweet apples, crunchy celery, tart and sweet cranberries, and tons of fresh sage are just a few reasons!
This sausage stuffing is made with simple ingredients that pack in flavor and texture! Such a perfect pairing with a delicious Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey.
How to make sausage and sage stuffing
- Cut your sourdough loaf into 1 inch cubes and toast in the oven for about 12-15 minutes
- Cook the sausage and set aside
- Saute the onion, apple, and celery together. Add in chicken broth or turkey stock.
- Pour the veggie mixture and sausage into a casserole dish with the bread cubes.
- Stir in the dried cranberries, fresh sage, and whisked eggs
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour!
Can you make this stuffing gluten free?
Absolutely! Find a gluten-free bread you love (sourdough is great, but you can also use something different). You can also use store bought Gluten-Free Stuffing Cubes!
Make ahead, storing, and reheating
- Make ahead: there are a few shortcuts you can take to make this recipe ahead. Toast the bread cubes a day in advance and store in an air tight container. Also make the sausage ahead and store seperately. On the big day, add the sausage to the cubes, then make the veggie mixture. If you are really pressed for time, you can make the entire dish the day before! I prefer the day of, but you can make ahead and just follow the directions below for re-heating.
- Storing: store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months (thaw in the fridge overnight).
- Reheat: Cover with foil and bake at 350 until heated through (about 20-25 minutes).
If you make this stuffing, I would love to have your feedback and get a rating below on the recipe! Also, don’t forget to tag me @wholesomelicious on Instagram so I can see your creations!
Sausage and Sage Stuffing
Sausage and Sage Stuffing is sure to become a Thanksgiving side dish staple! You'll love the toasty sourdough bread cubes, and addition of apples and cranberries. Gluten-Free options!
- 1 loaf sourdough bread* (about 1 1/4 lb, or 12 cups bread cubes)
- 1 lb sage sausage or mild Italian sausage
- 2 tbsp avocado oil, olive oil, or butter
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 4 stalks celery (diced)
- 2 medium cooking apples** (peeled, cored, and diced)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (+ more to taste)
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- 1.5 cups dried cranberries
- 2 large eggs (whisked)
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage***
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the sourdough loaf into 1 inch cubes, and spread out over a large baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and toast for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
In a medium sized sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp oil or butter in the pan over medium heat. Cook the sausage, using a wooden spoon to consistently break up, until no longer pink (5-7 minutes). Remove the sausage to the side, leave any oil/fat leftover from the sausage in the pan and keep the pan hot.
Over medium high heat, cook the onion, celery, and apples. Add in an additional tbsp of oil or butter if needed. Saute until mixture is softened (another 5-7 minutes). Pour 3 cups chicken broth and gently bring to a low boil.
Spread the bread cubes and sausage into a lightly greased casserole dish or a very large bowl. Pour in the chicken broth/vegetable mixture and toss to coat all of the bread cubes. If mixture is too dry, you may need additional chicken broth. Toss in the cranberries, whisked eggs, and fresh sage.
Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Feel free to add in turkey drippings or butter to the top for the last 10 minutes!
*Use a GF loaf of bread to make this recipe gluten-free. You can also use any artisan bread of choice, or bread cubes (stuffing cubes) I prefer the sourdough!
**The best type of apples for this recipe is a pink lady, honeycrisp, or rome.
***3 tbsp of fresh sage is a little conservative. I probably use closer to 1/4 cup and even more! I love the taste, but feel free to use the minimal amount of 3 tbsp.