Inside the bird, it’s called stuffing, outside it’s called dressing. Sometimes families or regions will call one the other. It doesn’t matter here. This recipe is for a savory Thanksgiving Apple, Cranberry, Sage Dressing that contains sweet apple, tangy dried cranberry, and crunchy almonds. The original recipe called for sausage, but I use sausage in the cornbread dressing I serve. If you’d like to use sausage, use 1/2 pound of pork or turkey sausage. Brown it and use the drippings instead of the first 2 TBSPs of butter to saute the onions and celery.
This recipe yields 10 servings and can easily be doubled.
- 2 3/4 cups cubed whole wheat bread (A total of 5.5 cups of bread cubes the exact ratio of white to wheat isn’t that important)
- 2 3/4 cups cubed white bread
- 1 onion, diced (approximately one cup if you diced everything ahead of time)
- 2 – 3 celery ribs, chopped (including the leaves)
- 4 – 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped (dried works well, too)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary (fresh works better, use slightly more)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds – toasted
- 1 cup turkey stock (if using homemade, you’ll need 1 tsp salt)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided) + extra to grease the baking dish / roasting pan
How To Make Thanksgiving Dressing
Spread the cubed bread on a large baking sheet and toast at 350. This takes in the neighborhood of 5 – 7 minutes. Watch it carefully the last few minutes. Dump the toasted cubes into a large bowl and set aside.
Butter a 9 /13 baking dish. (This a holiday feast, try not to reach for the baking spray, think of the children)
If you haven’t already, toast the almond slivers, either on a baking sheet in the 350F oven for just a few minutes 3 – 5 or in a dry skillet. Watch them carefully, it’s very easy to cross from toasted to burnt, err on the side of caution.
In a large skillet heat 2 TBSPs of butter over medium heat. Just when it starts to foam, add the onions and celery, turn the heat to low. Stir frequently, cook just until the onions are soft, then add the apple, sage, rosemary, and thyme (I’m about to break into song here, are you going to Scarborough Fair?) Cook just until it smells divine, maybe another minute, stirring frequently.
Turn off the heat, add the cranberries, almonds, and butter. Stir until everything is coated. Pour the contents of the skillet into a large bowl with the toasted bread cubes. (If you’re using the sausage add it now, too). Mix everything thoroughly. The butter has picked up a lot of flavor from the herbs and it’s important that this is well mixed.
If you are using homemade stock to which no salt has been added, stir a tsp of salt into the stock).
Pour 2/3 of the stock over the bowl and mix again. Spread the mixture into the baking dish, drizzle with the remaining turkey stock, and cover with foil.
If you are making this ahead of time, place this in the refrigerator (you can make this up to 24 hours ahead). Allow it to come close to room temperature before baking.
If it’s going directly into the oven bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and broil or continue baking until lightly browned.
There are a lot more tips and recipes for Thanksgiving on this site!