Stovetop Stuffing with Sausage, Apple, and Onion

November 14, 2021 | | |
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5 from 16 votes

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This semi-homemade side made with a sweet and savory blend of browned sausage, apples, onion, and fresh thyme and Stovetop Stuffing Mix is an easy and wildly delicious addition to any holiday table!

Overhead shot of stovetop stuffing in an oval baking dish on top of a colorful linen with a green apple and parsley in the corner.


If you’re still here…you are my people.

My family has been doctoring Stovetop Stuffing Mix for Thanksgiving my entire life, and it is one of my all-time favorite food traditions/holiday hacks.

Honestly, the Stovetop mix is pretty excellent prepared as directed, but folding in browned sausage, a little fresh thyme, and sautéed apples and onion gives it unbeatable sweet and savory flair. One could stop there, but more is more, so be sure to dot the stuffing with butter and bake until the top is browned and crispy. The result is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and likely the first thing to go on any holiday table. (I have years of data to back this claim…)

Side view of Stovetop Stuffing with Sausage, Apple and Onion in an oval baking dish with a serving spoon to the left and some parsley and apple peeking into the frame.

If you’re skeptical of boxed stuffing mix, I get it, but there is a certain delicious je ne sais quoi about the perfect Stovetop blend that simply cannot be matched. I’ve made countless homemade stuffing (or “dressing,” dependent on your regionality/preferred terminology) recipes—of my own creation and others’—and every time, I’m just disappointed that I spent so much time and effort on something that doesn’t taste as good as the doctored box.

So, if you’re in need of a wildly simple, flavor-packed stuffing this holiday season, I’m hoping you’ll take my beloved Stovetop version for a spin. The recipe can be halved if you’re cooking for 1-4 and just as easily multiplied for large groups!

This “recipe” will run you about 45 minutes from start to finish, but only about 25 minutes of that is hands-on prep time. I recommend making the stuffing the day you’re serving it (it dries out a bit if kept overnight), but feel free to make the sausage/apple/onion mixture up to 2 days in advance. And you can absolutely prep through Step 4 in the morning and bake in the evening if you’d like.

*I know some of you are loyal to Pepperidge Farm, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s stuffing mixes, amongst others. Feel free to use those in place of Stovetop, just be sure you’re substituting the correct amount of mix. (This recipe calls for 12 ounces.)

Stovetop Stuffing with Sausage, Apple, and Onion

Author – Serena Wolf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 8 -10 people (depending on how much you love stuffing)


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ pound sweet Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed (You can absolutely use pork or beef sausage if you like.)
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into a small dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or more to taste (optional)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 6-ounce boxes Stovetop Stuffing (Turkey, Herb, Chicken, or your flavor of choice!)
  • Freshly choppped parsley or extra thyme for serving (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a large ovenproof braiser, cast iron skillet, or sauté pan over medium heat. (If you don’t have an ovenproof pan, don’t panic—you can transfer your sausage to a casserole dish later on.) When the butter is melted and bubbling, add the sausage to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces with a spatula, until lightly browned.
  • Stir in 3 more tablespoons of the butter. Once melted, stir in the apple, onion, and thyme (if using). Pour in ½ cup of the chicken broth to deglaze, and use your spatula to scrape up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the onion is translucent and the apple is soft.
  • Add the remaining 2½ cups of broth to the pan and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and fold in the Stovetop stuffing mix. Cover the pan with a lid and let it sit for 5 minutes, then fluff the stuffing with a fork. (If you’re transferring the stuffing to a baking dish, do that now.)
  • Dot the remaining butter on top of the stuffing and bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned and crisped on top to your liking. Serve warm topped with fresh parsley if you feel fancy.

More Easy and Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dishes:

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  1. TC on December 22, 2023 at 11:39 am

    I’m confused.
    1. preheat oven – but no instructions as to when to put it in the oven.
    It’s a stove top stuffing recipe.
    Am I missing something?

    • Serena Wolf on December 22, 2023 at 4:56 pm

      Hi! You’re going to transfer it to the oven in step 5 when it says to bake for 20-25 minutes. I’ll update the language in the recipe to make that transfer clear. The “Stovetop” in the title of the recipe is just a reference to the brand of boxed stuffing mix that is used–the box instructions do call for just cooking it on the stovetop, but this version with apples, onions and sausage finished in the oven is how my family likes to make it.

  2. Valerie on October 21, 2023 at 2:51 am

    5 stars
    I made this recipe for thanksgiving last year, and it was a hit! I’m starting to plan for this year and returned to your recipe, as I will be making it again. Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  3. tdchinges on February 10, 2023 at 9:43 am

    5 stars
    I am sure to love this recipe as it has my favorite yellow onions in it, thanks for the recipe!

  4. Allison Irwin on March 23, 2022 at 5:15 am

    5 stars
    This was a favorite for Thanksgiving and we made it again soon after!

  5. Casey Roeling on March 22, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    I made this on Thanksgiving morning. It was SO easy and quick. It was the first dish I have actually made for a big group of people on a holiday (not a cheeseboard), and I got RAVE reviews from my family members. — safe to say I’m going to be the stuffing gal from now on! Oh, for the skeptics about the apple (I sure was), you do not taste mushy, sweet apple in the stuffing.

  6. Natalie on March 22, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    5 stars
    My family LOVED this for thanksgiving! I’m not a big cook, but I do love to bring something for the holiday. As someone who’s insecure about what they make, I’m always concerned people won’t like it. I don’t think that could be possible with this recipe. Everyone raved about it and I’ve been told I’m making this year after year. Even my highly critical mother liked it (while hating on my Brussel sprouts…).

  7. Jami on November 26, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    5 stars
    I severed this for Thanksgiving, it was a huge hit! Even a non-stuffing lover said it was really good. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Chanda on November 26, 2021 at 1:17 am

    5 stars
    I made this today and it was absolutely delicious! I prepped the sausage/apple/onion mixture last night and then finished putting it together this morning. Definitely a recipe I will make again. I mean who doesn’t love fancy stovetop stuffing?

  9. Ashley on November 23, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Could you prep this the night before and bake in the morning?

5 from 16 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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