Healthy Chicken Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Today, I’m excited to participate in the Collectively Creative link up – Thankful Edition, organized by the lovely Kelly from Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons.  I’m so happy to be sharing with you what I’m thankful for and a healthy recipe for your Thanksgiving celebration.  Please check out the links at the bottom for all the other blog’s creative “Thankful” posts!

My absolute favorite dish on Thanksgiving is stuffing…hands down.  This Thanksgiving, I wanted to create a healthy version that still had the same level of comfort and flavor as the original.  This stuffing is filled with sweet apples, chicken sausage, and savory herbs – thyme and sage.  It starts with some day old or toasted french bread.  I baked some bread over the weekend, and let it get dry so it would soak up all these delicious flavors.  You can also use regular french bread and toast it in a 300 F oven for 10-15 minutes, until nice and dry.

Then, saute some onions and celery in butter until softened, adding some minced garlic at the end so it doesn’t burn.  Transfer to a separate bowl.  Is there anything better than the smell of onions and celery cooking in butter?  Well, I guess you can think of lots of other things, but call me crazy, I like the smell of butter and onions 🙂  In the same skillet, cook up your chicken sausage and apples.  I used this apple chicken sausage and it was delicious!

Transfer to the bowl.  Add in your bread cubes.  Then, stir in your herbs – sage, and thyme.  I forgot how much I love thyme!  It ranks right up there with basil and cilantro as one of my favorite herbs.  

Stir in your egg, salt and pepper.  Then add chicken broth until all the bread pieces are moistened.  Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes covered, then uncovered for another 30 minutes.  The smells coming out of the kitchen just made me think of the holidays 🙂  A normal stuffing recipe usually contains a stick of butter, this recipe uses only 2 T, but you won’t miss it at all!  It’s so hearty and satisfying, and I loved the sweet apple pieces to contrast the salty chicken sausage.  We had a mini-Thanksgiving at my parent’s house this past weekend, and everyone enjoyed it!

Healthy Chicken Sausage and Apple Stuffing

16 oz French bread, cubed and dried

2 T butter

1 large onion, diced

2 cups (5 stalks), diced celery

1 garlic clove, minced

6 oz chicken sausage (preferably apple), diced

1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 T fresh thyme, chopped

1 T fresh sage, chopped

1 egg

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 9×13 pan.

Saute onion, celery and garlic in butter, until just softened.  Transfer to a bowl.  Then, add the chopped chicken sausage and apple to pan and sauté until just browned.  Add to the bowl.  Stir in your bread, egg, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.  Add in broth until everything is moistened.  Transfer stuffing to your pan and bake for 30 minutes covered with foil, then uncovered for another 30 minutes.

As Thanksgiving gets closer, I’m starting to reflect on all the things I’m thankful for.  Several things happened recently that have caused me to slow down and reflect on what is really important in life.  A friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer…she is my age and has a young child (she just had surgery and is recovering).  My dad has been suffering from headaches in the same spot for several months (he had an MRI recently, which came back normal!)  We pass a car accident on the freeway, or follow the footage of natural disasters, and it all reminds me of how fragile life is.  More than that, it reminds me to let my friends and family know how much I love and care for them, and how thankful I am to have them in my life!  It reminds me to make that phone call, write that letter, give that hug and a kiss, say that prayer, or just a simple “I love you”.  

What are you thankful for this year?

Please check out the links below for some creative posts on thankfulness!

Our Family’s Thankful Journal (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)

Mrs. Hetherington’s Thanksgiving Pageant (Pillows A-La-Mode)

Creating a Thankfulness Photo Album (Organizing Living Essentials)

Vegan Creamed Corn Cornbread (The Pancake Princess)
Thanksgiving Requests (Ponytail Kind of Day)

49 thoughts on “Healthy Chicken Sausage and Apple Stuffing

  1. This recipe sounds amazing! I love that you only used 2 tablespoons of butter! Great notes about being thankful as well – really makes you stop and appreciate all the blessings in your life!

    • Thanks for inviting me to this link up, Leah! SO fun 🙂 Yes, only 2T of butter, but it still tastes rich and comforting.

      I love those moments when you realize what’s really important in life, makes all the little daily annoyances just fade away, you know?

      • Yay, I’m so glad you wanted to participate – You are a great addition!

        I completely agree!

        On a completely different note, I was watching Man v. Food last night and they were visiting Hawaii and I thought of you! Adam went to a place called Helena’s for some pepe (sp?) short ribs and then to another restaurant to do a food challenge for 4lbs of blueberry pancakes (he failed)!

      • We love Helena’s!! They have the best pipikaula. My dad was a long time friend of the owner (who passed away a few years ago), and so we would always go there to eat!! That’s awesome that they had it on Man v Food.

        Were the pancakes from Mac 24/7? Their food is good, but no one should eat 4 lbs of pancakes, no matter how good they are! Sometimes I feel bad for him, that job can’t be easy 😉

        You should come to Hawaii, Leah! 🙂

      • Ahhh, what a coincidence! That’s awesome!

        I honestly can’t remember the name of the pancake place but that sounds vaguely familiar. I completely agree – 4lbs of anything is TOO much… especially carbs that expand!

        I would LOVE to visit Hawaii. Jon and I were talking about that while watching Man v. Food but airfare would be so expensive. Guess we’ll have to start saving now. 🙂

      • Hawaiian Airlines just started flying non-stop from NYC to Hawaii!! They have really good deals, I think there was one recently for less than $500 round trip from NY. If you sign up for their emails, you’ll get notified 🙂

  2. Looks tasty! We have so much to be thankful for. Lately it’s really been on my heart to be thankful for everything, to not sweat the small stuff, and to stop complaining (that’s a tough one!).

    • Yes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day (for me)…I have been having a lot of wake up calls lately to be truly grateful for the people in our lives and not sweat the small stuff, like you said!

  3. I think I could really like this recipe Maura. Beautiful words on thankfulness. It’s nice to hear your Dad’s MRI came back normal and hope the headaches pass (prayers).

    • Thank you so much, Carol, that means so much to me. He is going to see a neurologist, so hopefully that will shed some light on the reason behind the headaches. What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

    • Thank YOU for organizing all of us, what a great idea!

      And thank you for your thoughts, that really means a lot to me…my friend is recovering well after having a complication post-surgery and my dad is to see a neurologist soon in order to figure out more about his headaches. So much to be thankful for 🙂

    • A fellow stuffing lover, hooray 🙂 I grew up on Stove Top, and this was actually my first time making stuffing from scratch…don’t know if I can go back, haha! Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  4. Wow this looks good! I love stuffing too, although I’m partial to mashed potatoes as my favorite Thanksgiving side. I’m so thankful right now for so many things – my family, my freedoms – and for God’s grace.

    • Ooh, yes mashed potatoes are a close second for me!

      There is so much to be thankful for, isn’t there? Lately, I’ve been having prayer times where I just thank God for all his grace and mercies! Thankful for you too, Stephanie…your posts always put my heart and mind in the right place 🙂

  5. Looks awesome! Stuffing has slowly become my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving (as a kid it was always mashed potatoes) and I always make it with some combo of apples and thyme. I love the addition of chicken sausage!

  6. This looks lovely, although I’ve never had stuffing as a separate dish, only stuffed inside a chicken! I wonder if this will work with the sausages we get here, which are a much courser grain and will probably crumble apart. I’ll have a look around for ones similar to yours, because I think the big chunks of sausage will be brilliant.

    • Yes, you could totally use the type of sausage that crumbles! I like having the stuffing cooked on the side because then there are more crispy bits..I was always the one fighting over the crispy parts that were sticking out of the turkey 🙂

  7. Yum, this looks great! I also like to put green apple in my Thanksgiving stuffing, but I never thought of adding chicken sausage before… I bet it’s delicious! 🙂

  8. I’m totally a stuffing girl too. This looks awesome! It’s been a good year and I’m thankful that I got to go to my best friend’s baby shower. I hate being so far from her and I was soooo pleased to be able to be there for it. Thanks for encouraging us to think thankful!

  9. Pingback: Temptation Tuesdays « Doctorate Housewife

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