Apple and Sausage Stuffing… Slow Cooker Style!

Stuffing is quite possible my favorite dish at Thanksgiving.  There’s just something about the combination of sausage, apple, bread, and spices that I find absolutely irresistible!  Last year I volunteered to make this classic side dish for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner but there was one problem… we had no oven space! Between the very large turkey, candied yams, green bean casserole, and cornbread there was not an inch of oven space to spare.  Therefore, I decided to make my stuffing in a slow cooker and it turned out great!

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Before I get to the stuffing recipe I want to share a link to another recipe from last year’s Thanksgiving feast that’s been getting a lot of Pinterest love lately… my Candied Yams.  Although these sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows will take up space in your oven for about 25 minutes they are super easy to make and those soft browned marshmallows are so delicious!!  Here’s the recipe.

Candied Yams!

Slow-Cooker Apple and Sausage Stuffing (recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking)

You will need…
12 cups of crusty bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8-12 oz. Italian Sausage, crumbled and browned
3 tablespoons Butter, melted
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and chopped
2 Yellow Onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups Celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Sage
1 bunch Parsley, leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon Salt plus more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
3/4 cup Chicken Broth, divided

Some of the stuffing ingredients (there was a lot more bread than pictured!)

Some of the stuffing ingredients (there was a lot more bread than pictured!)

Directions:
Spread the cubed bread onto a few large cookie sheets and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  If desired, do this a day in advance and store the bread cubes in an airtight container overnight.

3-4 hours before you are going to eat, stir the bread cubes, sausage, and melted butter together in a large slow cooker.  My slow cooker was too small so I borrowed my mom’s and split the ingredients into two batches.  Add in the apples, vegetables and seasonings and stir until well mixed.  Pour in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and stir again.  Cover and cook on high for approx. 3 hours or until the bread is browned and the vegetables are tender.  If the stuffing is too dry, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth before serving.  Enjoy!

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!!  🙂

299 Turkey 2012

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Candied Yams

Happy Thanksgiving!  Matt and I ate our Thanksgiving meals separately at our parents’ houses but we still got to do some cooking together before the big meal.  For the second year in a row we were responsible for making my mom’s traditional side dish of candied yams and, for the second year in a row, they were a hit!  We joke that this is a “healthy” vegetable side full of brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows but, like so many of the delicious foods that we eat during the holidays, the extra calories are totally worth it!  The brown sugar caramelizes between the layers of soft, moist sweet potato and the melted marshmallows form a crunchy, sugaring topping.  Yum!  Matt’s sister made a similar dish at his family’s dinner and he tells me that she added toasted slivered almonds to her marshmallow topping with delicious results… maybe we’ll have to try that next year!

Candied Yams!

Candied Yams (aka Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Marshmallows)

You will need…
7-9 Sweet Potatoes (Yams), washed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Butter
Approx. 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Approx. 1 1/2 cups Miniature Marshmallows

Directions:
Place the potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 25-30 minutes until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.  Carefully remove the potatoes from the water and place in a colander.  (You can drain the entire pot into the colander but I used tongs to transfer the potatoes individually since the pot was so big.)  Allow the potatoes to cool before moving onto the next step.  If you are doing this step a day ahead of time like we did, transfer the cooling potatoes into large ziplock bags and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Layered Sweet Potatoes, Butter, and Brown Suger

Peel the cooked potatoes by cutting off 1/2 inch on each end and scoring each potato lengthwise.  The skin should peel off easily with your hands.  Slice each potato into 3/8 inch thick disks.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole pan with butter and layer the potatoes in the pan.  Place a small amount of butter between and on top of every few potato slices and sprinkle the brown sugar over the potatoes as you go.

Candied Yams with Marshmallows before baking

Sprinkle the marshmallows on top of the layered potatoes and bake for 24 minutes in a preheated 390° oven.  Enjoy as part of a delicious holiday meal!

Baking with our other Thanksgiving sides