October 26, 2011

Baked Apples with Savory Stuffing

baked apples wth savory stuffing

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my mom shouting at my brother, “That’s NOT FULLY COOKED, you’re gonna get sick!” while he’s hunched over the refrigerator door, grabbing a spoonful of uncooked stuffing. I can’t really blame him for wanting to eat it uncooked; our mom really does make the most incredible sausage & chestnut stuffing.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

These baked apples taste just like Thanksgiving except my mom isn’t in the background shouting at me for getting into them. The filling of sausage, celery, herbs & onions remind me of her stuffing, but the apples add a nice sweet/tang to round out the flavor. I love how the tops of each apple overflow with crispy golden bread and browned sausage thanks to the teamwork of small dabs of butter and a hot oven. It’s like I just faked a Thanksgiving dinner on an average October weeknight. You gotta love that.

And we’re off!

Get your ingredients together.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Put the celery & onions in a hot pan with melted butter & olive oil.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Put the sausage in the pan & cook it. Chop it into little bits with your spoon.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Now add in the breadcrumbs, sage & thyme. Instant filling!

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Cut the top third off of each apple.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Now scoop out the filling with a small ice cream scooper.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Fill each apple with the stuffing.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Dot the top of each apple with some butter.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Line them up in a baking dish and off to the oven they go.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Hello browned goodness!

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Now dig in.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Casey ate 4 last night. Shh…. Don’t tell anyone!

Baked Apples with Savory Stuffing

Serves 4-5

(recipe adapted from the Canal House Cookbook Vol. No. 2)

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (about 4 total)
  • 6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • leaves from 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 8 to 10 apples (I used Fuji)
  • fresh parsley for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Take the Italian sausage out of its casing and cook, breaking the meat up with the back of a spoon until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Sir in the herbs and generously season with salt and pepper.  Add the breadcrumbs and toss to combine.

Cut off the top third of each apple. Using a small spoon, scoop out the center, removing the core, seeds, and just enough of the flesh to make a nice hollow for the stuffing. Divide the stuffing evenly between the apples, packing it into each hollow. Transfer the stuffed apples to a large baking dish. Dot each apple with a small knob of the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Bake the apples until the flesh is tender and the stuffing is golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve each apple with a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.

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  • Simone

    What a great idea! I love the ingredients photo. Can’t wait for the Joy The Baker podcast 😉

  • Katrina

    Drooool! This sounds freaking delicious!

  • cindy

    How did you know I needed these in my life? You’re like a mind reader or something…

  • PerBer

    These look amazing!!! Can’t wait to make them!

  • Sarah-Jane

    This is the perfect autumn meal! Do you think it would taste good if I used spanish chorizo?

  • Shawna Greenway

    Any veg ideas in place of the sausage? I was thinking chopped up mushrooms but I think those would give out too much liquid

    • Tracy

      mushrooms would be great, add a little more bread if you do so. It will soak it up! You can always use a vegetarian sausage too. Add sage & fennel to make it more meaty. Nuts too!

  • Tort[e]s

    That looks so good! I’m thinking the stuffing would also be amazing inside some squash!

  • Lisa

    Love this! CLEVER! For meatless I am going to try mushrooms and lentils as a sub for sausage and then maybe add some zucchini or carrots too. YUM! I’m going to try this for dinner tonight!


    • Tracy

      very good idea! I’d add a few nuts in there as well and maybe some sage & fennel :)

      • Lisa

        Fyi – I made them! YUMMY! I couldn’t stand the thought of not using sausage so I used Italian Chicken sausage and am so glad I did! No leftovers! I also finally ordered Canal House Cookbook. Happy happy! Thank you for the great post.

  • Lauren

    Gurrrl. These look awesome. On my list for next week. Made you italian fries on Sunday and they were a hit with the hub.

  • Jenna

    These look delicious and I think would be perfect for when I go home for Thanksgiving break. I think they would be a beautiful prelude meal to the Thanksgiving feast. A warmup if you will! (haha)

  • Julia

    This sounds delicious! We just went apple picking, so we have lots of apples sitting around and frnakly we are a little tired of all the apple sweets. I am going to try this becasue it sounds like the perfect way to get ready for Thanksgiving!

  • Kasey

    This totally made me laugh out loud. I can just imagine Thanksgiving at your mom’s house. This sounds soooo good.

  • The Waspy Redhead

    Such a lovely presentation! I think everyone is partial to their family recipe for dressing, but I think I may try our cornbread sage dressing in this fashion. Thanks for the idea!

  • Kelsey

    Yes! Morningstar veggie patties are soo good. I might have to try them in this, apple + sausage sounds awesome. Let’s just skip Halloween and get right to Thanksgiving!

  • Nicole @ The Dirty Oven

    Sounds lovely. I am on such an apple kick lately. Oh and I love love love Canal House. It is a great idea for a Christmas gift for a food lover.

    • Tracy

      Aren’t they lovely??? I gifted myself the whole collection over the summer for my birthday. I love what they do.

  • Ronni

    Tracy your recipes are taking over my kitchen! Over the summer, I was obsessed with the scalloped corn. Then I started making the freezer burritos and now we’re never without at least two in the freezer. And as of Saturday night, the Dark and Stormy is now my drink of choice.
    As soon as I saw these apples, I immediately knew they would be lunch on Saturday.
    Did you serve them with anything else? I’m thinking a salad with dried cranberries and pecans.

    • Tracy

      WOW!!! Look at you go! A salad with dried cranberries & pecans would be delightful! What about a little goat cheese in the salad? Yum?

      I was thinking of making brussels sprouts alongside, but we just ate them on their own! Or you could serve a baked apple on top of a bed of salad. That would be good too.

  • Mags

    I’ve never had sausage stuffing before but these look amazing, especially with the apples

  • Kate M.

    Looks amazing! Yummy, yummy. :)

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  • Stephanie

    Made these tonight and they were great! Served them with roasted acorn squash and a salad (with pomegranate, apple, pecans, and a blue cheese vinaigrette!). Your recipes are wonderful, always!

  • Emily

    made these last night and they were a total hit! used half Italian sausage and half bacon bratwurst…so yummy! thanks for the recipe

  • Sarah Ruth

    I made these as soon as I saw this recipe. They were REALLY incredible!!

  • Olivia

    yum! I want to make these ASAP. question: how do they hold for the next day?

  • Amy @ Crazy Random Happenstances

    Those look absolutely fantastic! Definitely going to have to try that soon!

  • Meli (Blush + Jelly)

    I can see why Casey ate 4 of these! Looks totally delish!

  • HeatherJean

    Oh boy – I made these last night and they turned out EXCELLENT – for next time though I think I am going to cut them in half and lay them flat – that way you can mound the filling more … I am all about filling 😉 Great recipe!

  • Vicki

    Oh. My. Goodness. I’ve spent the past hour on your site, and I think I want to be your best friend. Despite the fact that I live in Canada. Where do you get all these recipes? How do you find the time? Kudos to you for being a mom and an awesome cook! I’m totally making these this weekend, and the breakfast pizza, and maybe the fig and fennel salad. AMAZING! Thank you!

  • Vicki

    I just made these and they were AWESOME!!! just wanted to share my experience… I set my timer for 45mins in the oven, and when I checked on them they had fallen apart. Equally delicious, but for presentation sake maybe check at 30mins. Also, I sprinkled cheese on top about 3 mins before they were done and it was awesome! My boyfriend, who hates fruit and was not super keen on this recipe LOVED them. Thanks Tracy Shutterbean!

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  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    Holy Crappers! This looks and sounds so good and I love that there is not much bread! I love this!!! I’m bookmarking this recipe, I think this is going to be my stuffing for Thanksgiving!

  • Renee

    I love, love, LOVE this recipe! One of my go-to comfort food dinners!

  • Dana

    They were kind of dry – I did use hamburger instead bc we had a ton of it-so I made a reduction with the tops of some of the apples and an orange, viola!!!! SOOO DELICIOUS!!!

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