New England Stuffing with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries

We had a “Friendsgiving” last night with some great new friends, and I can’t wait to share everything with you!  Here is a little taste of our meal…

Today I’m going to share about our stuffing, it was amazing!  Tomorrow is “How to Roast a Turkey” and this gorgeous Orange Turkey Recipe.  Then I’ll share with you a Sweet Potato Casserole that will change your mind about sweet potatoes.  It is like candy to me, and I cannot get enough of it!

But, first, lets start with stuffing…

I have to admit, I’m not usually a big fan of stuffing.  It’s creepy having it cooked inside the turkey for me.  Somehow that just seems wrong.  But when its cooked on the outside, it gets dry and flavorless.  Plus, there’s just no way to make it taste good for leftovers.

But this stuffing changed my mind.  I made it for our first Thanksgiving being married.  We had about 20 people over to our TINY attic apartment in Ballard.  It was a mix of family, friends, and international students.  I cooked for about a week ahead of time, and had a thousand lists.  I was in heaven!  And we did all of it in our kitchen that was smaller than our bathroom.

Back to the stuffing… Or should I call it dressing?  I never know.

It is packed full of flavor, with some savory sausage, sweet cranberries, fresh herbs, and bright veggies.  It is gorgeous with the greens and reds.  The freshly made bread crumbs actually help mitigate the dryness.  I even enjoy it for leftovers.

New England Stuffing

adapted from

  • 14 ounces bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1/2 of a loaf))
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1-2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 pound tart green apples, peeled, cored, chopped (about 2 large)
  • 2 cups chopped celery with leaves
  • 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (about 4 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bread cubes until slightly dry, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Sauté sausages in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl. Pour off any drippings from skillet.

Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, apples, and celery; sauté until leeks soften, about 8 minutes. Add poultry seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste, saute another 2 minutes.  Mix in dried cranberries and rosemary. Add mixture to sausage, then mix in bread and parsley. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Mix eggs into stuffing.

TO bake stuffing in turkey:
Fill main turkey cavity with stuffing. Mix enough chicken broth into remaining stuffing to moisten (about 3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth, depending on amount of remaining stuffing). Spoon remaining stuffing into buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered aluminum foil. Bake stuffing in dish alongside turkey until heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover stuffing and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

To bake all stuffing in pan:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 15x10x2-inch baking dish. Mix broth into stuffing. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake until heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

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