Fennel and Apple Stuffing

“This is a recipe that is close to my heart. I have been perfecting it since my first thanksgiving in culinary school. I returned home during the holiday and decided to cook a large feast for my family and I came up with this recipe for the occasion. I really love the sweet, sour, and savory flavors that are in this stuffing. I remember making it and thinking it was very good, but something could always be tweaked to make it perfect. It has being altered each year I make it. But I think this recipe is the closest to perfection. I am happy to pass it onto all of y’all so you can make it your own. (And perhaps even better than I have?)

Lessons from the kitchen from that first Thanksgiving:

  • Always taking the innards out of the turkey before cooking. (Oopsies!)
  • Never make to many casseroles that you can’t even fit in the oven. (Thanks to the neighbors for letting us use the oven space.)
  • My sister really, really loves cranberry compote (recipe forthcoming).” – Andi


  • 1 onion small – diced
  • 1 celery small – diced
  • 2 garlic cloves – sliced
  • 1 fennel small – diced
  • 1 apple (I prefer Granny Smith) – small diced
  • 1 lb of mild Italian sausage (I prefer the ground sausage, as opposed to that in a casing.)
  • 1 package 12 oz dried stuffing mix
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Begin by heating a large skillet over high heat.
  2. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan.
  3. Add in the ground Italian sausage. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir until the sausage is fully cooked and broken apart.
  5. Strain the sausage on plate with paper towels.
  6. Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the hot pan.
  7. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until translucent (or about five minutes).
  8. Add the celery and fennel and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for about ten minutes.
  9. Add in the apple. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes.
  10. Add the chicken stock, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar.
  11. Add the 12 ounce box of stuffing mix and stir until the bread absorbs the liquid.  Season with salt and pepper and taste.
  12. Now is the opportunity to adjust the seasoning.
    • If you like a tarter stuffing mix, add a dash of apple cider vinegar.
    • If you want more sweetness, add a dash of apple cider.
  13. Once seasoning is adjusted, pour the stuffing into a casserole dish.
  14. Pop the stuffing into a 350 degree oven for fifteen minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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