My favorite dish at Thanksgiving is stuffing. I could truly eat a whole batch myself. I love the seasoned bread cubes with little surprises of added goodness. I learned something this Thanksgiving season. What is the difference between stuffing and dressing? Stuffing is the bread mixture you stuff the bird with. Dressing is the breading that is not stuffed in the bird, but is baked in the oven. Same recipe, two different names because of two different ways of cooking it. Now that we got that out-of-the-way, today I have for you Classic Sausage and Herb Dressing with a Twist.
I am so loving this dressing that I have for you today. It is moist, savory and a pinch sweetness. It has all the things that love about stuffing, I mean dressing. So what is the twist you wonder? I added a little bit of fennel and apple juice. I love apples in my dressing, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I thought why not add a bit to the recipe? The combination of the flavors, really combine beautifully. You get just a pinch of sweetness from the apple juice and the fresh herbs add so much flavor. You just can’t over use rosemary and sage since they are such a strong herb.
The dressing is easy to make to. I just sautéed the vegetables in a little bit of butter and added that to my bread cubes. Cooked the sausage in the same skillet of the vegetables and added it to bread cubes. For the pork sausage I used Jimmy Dean all natural pork sausage. Jimmy Dean carries different flavors, and I was going to use sage, but decided to add my own sage to the recipe instead. For the bread crumbs I used Pepperidge Farm Unseasoned Cube Stuffing. Here is a picture of it on my Instagram. I usually make homemade, but I wanted a short-cut this year.
The key to this recipe is using fresh herbs. I buy little pots of herbs from Trader Joe’s for $1.99 and keep them on my window sill, and when I need a herb, I just take a bit from my plant. It saves you so much time and money and the fresh foliage looks beautiful in the kitchen or in any room. Plus bonus, it gives so much more flavor to a recipe. For an example; the Classic Sausage and Herb Dressing smelled amazing in the house. It smelled like Thanksgiving.
- 7 cups (12 oz. pkg.) Pepperidge Farm Unseasoned Cubed Stuffing or 7 cups of small dried bread cubes
- 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 1 cup celery, diced small
- 1 cup onion, diced small
- ½ cup fennel, chopped small
- 2 tbsp. parsley, fresh, chopped small
- 1 tbsp sage, fresh, chopped small
- ½ tbsp. rosemary, fresh, chopped small
- 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 tsp. ground pepper, divided
- 8 oz Jimmy Dean All Natural Pork Sausage
- ½ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup apple juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter; set aside.
- In a large bowl, add bread crumbs; set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add butter, celery, onion, fennel, parsley, sage, rosemary, ½ teaspoon of salt and a ½ teaspoon of pepper. Constantly stirring, cook until transparent in color, about 7 minutes. Pour mixture over bread cubes; mix until combined.
- In the same skillet that you cooked the vegetables, add the pork sausage. Cook over low heat, until no longer pink, stirring constantly; about 8 minutes. (Note: I added a couple more leaves of chopped sage to the pork). Add pork to bread cubes; mix until well combined. Add remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper; mix until combined.
- Add cranberries, chicken broth and apple juice to the bread cubes. Mix until everything is combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until just golden on top, cover and bake for 15 more minutes, or until warm in the middle.
- Serve warm.
I have to apologize, the photos do not do this dressing any favors. It’s raining out and very dark skies, plus a light bulb is out in the kitchen. It just makes for horrible lighting. Just give this recipe a try, and I am sure you will love it as much as I do. Think I’ll grab a spoonful now. I’ll even eat it cold! 🙂
Have a great week!