Sausage, Apple, and Dried Cranberry Dressing ⁑

I don’t usually eat stuffing or dressing at Thanksgiving dinners because they are generally so carb-and-fat-intense. When I can make my own, I have the opportunity to make the recipe a little more friendly to my lower-G.I., lower-fat, lower-salt regimen. It takes some doing, as low-carb bread has to be made. But still, overall, the net carb content is less than 20 g per serving.

  • 2 loaves low-carb bread, cut in ¾” cubes
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed (mild or hot—your choice)
  • 1 oz <butter>
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb tart apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 tsp poulty seasoning
  • ½ cup unsugared dried cranberries (craisins)
  • 4 tsp rosemary, fresh, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, fresh, choppped
  • 3 eggs or X, beaten lightly
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Cube the bread and dry in a 350° F oven for 15 minutes.

Sauté the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl lined with paper towels to blot any liquid fat.

Add the <butter> to the leftover fat in the skillet, if needed, or remove excess fat, if deemed too much, and then add the onion, apples, celery, and poultry seasoning. Sauté the mixture until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Mix in the craisins and rosemary.

Add the skillet mixture and the bread and parsley to the sausage bowl. Mix the ingredients until uniform in consistency. Season to taste. Add the eggs or X, and mix well into the stuffing. Add just enough chicken broth to moisten lightly.

Spoon the dressing into a well <buttered> baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° F for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 45 minutes until browned.

Serves 14.

blue cornbread, sausage, and walnut stuffing

This is the stuffing served at the memorable Southwestern Thanksgiving’s Day feast of 1988.

  • 1½ lb breakfast sausage meat
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 8 cups blue cornbread, crumbled (or use commercial cornbread stuffing mix)
  • 8 oz walnut pieces
  • 1½ tbsp fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1½ tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 tsp powdered poultry seasoning
  • 1 tbsp pasilla chile powder
  • 2 tsp <salt>
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup <butter>, melted

Sauté sausage slowly in a heavy skillet, breaking up pieces with a spatula or fork, until browned and thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes. Transfer into a large bowl lined with paper towels using a slotted spoon.

Drain all but 1 tbsp of the drippings from the skillet, add onions, garlic, and celery and stir-fry over moderate heat until golden. Add the sausage back into the skillet, add the remaining ingredients, and toss to blend. Set aside.

When ready to serve, reheat while folding the mixture over to distribute the heat evenly.