Skip to Content

Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Muffins

These gluten free stuffing muffins are filled with sweet Italian sausage, apples, cranberries, sage and pine nuts for a fun alternative to traditional stuffing in the perfect portion size.

Top view of stuffing muffins on a white and blue plate.

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.

In fact, I created this cornbread chestnut stuffing to mimic her recipe and I’d be just as happy with that on my plate too.

Gluten free stuffing muffins resting in the pan.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Stuffing Muffin Recipe

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).

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.

Plus, then you leave some room for other delicious sides like green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese – another family favorite.

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.

Mixing the ingredients for sausage stuffing muffins in a glass mixing bowl.

Ingredients Needed to Make Stuffing Muffins

  • white sandwich bread – I used Udi’s
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • butter
  • celery
  • onion
  • sweet Italian sausage
  • apple – use a variety that is somewhat tart like Granny Smith
  • sage
  • minced garlic
  • cranberries
  • pine nuts
  • eggs
  • milk – any variety will work, just be sure it’s not sweetened
  • salt and pepper

Using Homemade Croutons for the Stuffing

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. If you’re used to buying pre-made croutons for stuffing, I highly recommend making your own this year, it makes a world of difference!

Three cranberry apple sausage muffins sitting on a wood board next to a spoon.

How to Make Cranberry Apple Sausage Stuffing in a Muffin Tin

Preheat the oven and toast the bread cubes on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the celery and onion and cook until they are soft.

Stir in the sausage, apple, sage, and minced garlic. Cook until the sausage has browned. Sprinkle in the cranberries and pine nuts. Cook for another 2 minutes then remove from the heat.

Beat the milk and eggs in a bowl.

Add the toasted bread and sausage mixture to the bowl with the eggs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside for 5 minutes.

Grease a muffin tin, then pack the stuffing into each cavity.

Bake until golden brown and top and allow it for cool for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping out and serving.

Side view of easy sausage stuffing muffins on a plate next to a spoon.

Tips for Making and Storing

  • Using another type of sausage or ground meat may lack seasoning, so just adjust based on your liking.
  • You can also add diced mushrooms if you’d like.
  • Using a vegetable chopper will help to save preparation time.
  • To make ahead of time: Toast the bread, let cool completely then store in a plastic bag. You can also prep all of the your veggies ahead of time so all you have to do it mix it up and bake.
  • Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze, wrap the individual stuffing muffins in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then bring them to room temperature. Warm in the oven at 350°F .
  • Want to make mini stuffing muffins? Use a mini-muffin tin and follow the same directions, except reduce the cooking time so they don’t get over done.

What We Serve Stuffing Muffins With

While this is a total holiday and fall favorite, it’s doesn’t have to be reserved just for turkey day! Here are some of our favorite serving suggestions:

Sausage cranberry apple stuffing muffins on a plate next to an apple.

Love this Gluten-Free Stuffing Muffin recipe? Try these too:

Gluten Free Chocolate Strawberry Bread Pudding

Gluten Free Peach Blueberry Buckle

Cranberry Mascarpone English Muffin Casserole.

Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Muffins

Sausage Cranberry Apple Stuffing Muffins

Yield: 10 muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These gluten free stuffing muffins are filled with sweet Italian sausage, apples, cranberries, and sage for a fun alternative to traditional stuffing!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the butter and remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.
  5. Once butter is melted, add the celery and onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
  6. 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.
  7. Add the cranberries and pine nuts to the pan, toss to combine, cook another 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  8. Beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl.
  9. 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.
  10. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon stuffing mixture into the muffin tins, packing the mixture in tightly in each mold.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown on top.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before using a sharp knife to loosen the edges and remove from the tins.
  13. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

Susan Ryan

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Can you think of a way to make these ahead of time? Bake and then freeze? Or or stop and freeze and bake off later? I just don't wanna make these on Thanksgiving Day. Thank you

Susan Ryan

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

@Gina Matsoukas, Thank you for the quick reply.

Gina Matsoukas

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Hi Susan - Good question, I think you'd be ok to prep these ahead by prepping up until the point where the stuffing is in the muffin tin then wrap tightly, refrigerate and bake off later. I'd probably try this approach before baking and freezing. That said, I wouldn't do this too far in advance, maybe just a day or two at most.

maryanne

Sunday 14th of November 2021

The perfect stuffing muffins! Everyone is going to love these at our holiday gathering!

Lucy

Sunday 14th of November 2021

Gluten free stuffing can be so hard to find. I love that these are made in muffin tins, what a great idea, I can't believe I've never thought of that before! Delicious and the perfect accompaniment to roast dinners and for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.

Kate

Sunday 14th of November 2021

Oh wow, perfect holiday muffins packed with so many festive flavours - just gorgeous!

Claudia Lamascolo

Sunday 14th of November 2021

Perfect timing was just scrolling through the net for an excellant recipe and I found you! thanks

Skip to Recipe