Fennel, Sausage and Apple Stuffing

I know what you’re thinking…

Stuffing recipe, really? Thanksgiving’s gone and we’re all ‘stuffed’ out…

I’m writing today’s post for me for I know I will lose the recipe if I don’t write about it.

After the fabulous meal at my sister’s house on Thanksgiving, I decided to make a turkey breast over the weekend for we so love the smell of a roasting turkey in the oven. After “stuffing” my face on Thursday, I wanted to make a condensed lighter version of a Thanksgiving dinner….

Brined turkey breast with a light ‘au jus’ gravy with roasted acorn squash, brussel sprouts and…


I gave Hubs a choice between mashed potatoes and stuffing.

He picked mashed potatoes…

we had stuffing.

Last month’s issue of Cooking Light had an interesting recipe using apples, fennel and sausage and it was only 180 calories per serving (2/3 cup).

No guilt.  Stuffing. Flavor. (Never the three words in one sentence!)

I just had to add a few of my own touches.

Get yourself a good loaf of artisan bread. Don’t be buying those pre-packaged stuffing cubes.

Seriously…you want it to taste good, right?

Cut 12 ounces of the bread into 1/2″ cubes and and in a 400 degree oven for 16 minutes stirring after 8 minutes.

In the meantime, brown sweet Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat. I have to admit, I do invest in a good quality sausage from a local butcher.

Flavor is everything, right?

Saute the veggies.

Caramelize the apples.

Toss everything together and bake.

Here’s the recipe!

Fennel, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
A Kitchen Muse: A Kitchen Muse
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 12
A low fat, full of flavor side dish! Adapted from Cooking Light.
  • 12 oz. artisan bread
  • cooking spray
  • 9 ounces quality sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 1¼ cups sliced fennel bulb
  • 1¼ cups chopped carrot
  • 2 tbs. chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tsp. crushed fennel seeds
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped apple (I used Melrose and it was delish!)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1½ cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degress
  2. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 16 minutes, stirring after 8 minutes.
  3. Place in a large bowl.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Remove sausage from casings. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan and cook around 8 minutes until browned, stirring to crumble.
  5. Once cooked, add sausage to toasted bread crumbs.
  6. Return pan to stove over medium high heat.
  7. Add 3 tsp. oil to pan and swirl to coat.
  8. Add onion and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic). Add fresh ground pepper and saute until vegetables are tender (about 8 minutes).
  9. Add sauteed vegetables to bread mixture.
  10. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. oil and swirl to coat. Add chopped apples and sugar and saute until apples caramelize, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add apples to bread mixture.
  12. Combine broth and eggs stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture along with a ¼ tsp. pepper to sausage mixture tossing well to combine.
  13. Spoon stuffing into a 9 x 13″ sprayed pan.
  14. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  15. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes until browned and crisp.

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