Lightened Up Holiday Stuffing with Fennel, Apple & Turkey Sausage

By • November 14, 2012 • 4 Comments

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Author Notes: I've always been more excited about the side dishes at Thanksgiving dinner than the actual turkey. When I was growing up, making the stuffing was always my job and that meant using the kind that comes in a box. Then one day I tried making homemade stuffing and since then, I've never gone back to the boxed variety. For my lightened up stuffing, I cook the vegetables in heart healthy olive oil instead of butter. Instead of white bread, I use a delicious loaf of whole wheat ciabatta from the bakery section of my grocery store. And by substituting turkey sausage for pork, I cut plenty of calories and fat. So this year, add this side dish to your Thanksgiving menu and you won't feel guilty for overindulging! Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

Serves 12

  • 1 loaf (1 lb.) day old or stale whole wheat ciabatta, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 12 cups)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces sweet turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped (reserve some fronds for garnish)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If the bread is not dry/stale, place the cubes in a single layer on two baking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake 15 minutes until it is toasted, stirring halfway through. Place the bread in a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat ½ tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown it, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks. Place the cooked sausage in the bowl with the bread. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet. Add the onion and fennel and cook 7-8 minutes until partially softened. Add the garlic, apple, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Add the mixture to the bowl with the bread and sausage.
  3. Whisk the chicken broth and eggs together in a measuring cup. Pour the mixture into the bowl and stir to combine all ingredients well. Pour the stuffing into a 13x9-inch baking tray sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the tray with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and cook another 20 minutes until top is golden. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.
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almost 2 years ago japanesecurry

Hi Sonali! Making this for Thanksgiving, but was asked to leave out the sausage :( In that case, would I simply add a little more oil? Or would that be unnecessary?

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almost 2 years ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

I think you could use a little more oil to make up for the lack of drippings from the sausage. You may also need to adjust the amount of salt to taste. I hope you like it. Happy Thanksgiving!

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almost 2 years ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

That would be "cloves," not cups! I just edited it, thanks for letting me know!

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almost 2 years ago hashslinger

4 cups of garlic?