These gluten free stuffing muffins are filled with sweet Italian sausage, apples, cranberries, sage and pine nuts for a fun alternative to traditional stuffing!
Stuffing or dressing? Please tell me you say the former. Dressing is something you put on salad, not the Thanksgiving table. It’s almost as bad as when people call pasta sauce “gravy” (cringe).
Stuffing is hands down the best part of Thanksgiving to me. Nothing else comes even remotely close. If it was acceptable to just pile my mom’s stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce on my plate without any other sides or even the turkey, I’d be a happy camper.
I have no idea where her recipe comes from, whether it’s been handed down or just something she made up but regardless, it’s epic. The bread takes a backseat and instead the sweet Italian sausage, cranberries, pine nuts, apples and herbs shine. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory, super moist (dry stuffings are THE WORST) and the one thing that there’s usually no leftovers of when dinner is over (although if there are, these stuffing frittata bites are a hit the next day).
I wanted to take a lot of the elements from my mom’s recipe and shove them into muffin molds to create these perfectly portioned stuffing muffins. Instead of buying those pre-made stuffing croutons, I made my own using Udi’s white sandwich bread, cutting slices into cubes and toasting them in the oven. I’ve never been a fan of seasoned croutons (or breadcrumbs for that matter) and would much rather add my own seasonings and spices.
So if you’re like me and could easily gorge yourself on stuffing alone, these sausage cranberry apple stuffing muffins might just be the answer to your overflowing Thanksgiving plate.
Or, you can just say heck with it, it’s Thanksgiving after all and eat half the muffin tin yourself. No shame in that game either.
Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Muffins
These gluten free stuffing muffins are filled with sweet Italian sausage, apples, cranberries, and sage for a fun alternative to traditional stuffing!
- 5 slices Udi's white sandwich bread, cubed
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1 small)
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 cup finely chopped apple (something on the tart side like Granny Smith works well)
- 2 tablespoons chopped sage
- 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place cubed bread on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes until crispy and starting to brown on edges. Remove and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the butter and remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.
- Once butter is melted, add the celery and onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the sausage, apple, sage and garlic and continue cooking until sausage is browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks with a spatula.
- Add the cranberries to the pan, toss to combine, cook another 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl.
- Add the toasted bread cubes and sausage mixture to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss well until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon stuffing mixture into the muffin tins, packing the mixture in tightly in each mold.
- Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before using a sharp knife to loosen the edges and remove from the tins.
- Serve warm.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.