Sausage-Cranberry Stuffing

Some convenience foods — like Pepperidge Farm stuffing — are so much better than the inconvenient originals that you should use them without guilt. Add cranberries and sausage to the mix for a delicious Thanksgiving side dish.

Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Ready In: 3 hours
Yield: about 19 cups

Ingredients

    2 cups dried cranberries
    3/4 cup cider, divided
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
    2 large yellow onions, chopped
    1 1/2 pounds Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing crumbs (not cubes)
    1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
    12 ounces bulk pork breakfast sausage
    2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
    3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Soak cranberries in 1/2 cup of cider for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. In a large skillet over high heat, melt 1 stick of the butter. Add onions and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Put onions and stuffing crumbs into an extra large bowl; stir until well combined.
  2. Cook all the sausage in a skillet, stirring frequently and crumbling the meat with a spoon, until it is well browned and no longer pink. Add sausage to the stuffing bowl and stir everything together. Add apples, cranberries with their liquid, and thyme. Mix thoroughly. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining stick of butter. Add 3 cups water and the remaining 1/4 cup cider, and stir. Pour this liquid into the stuffing mixture and combine thoroughly.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to two days before cooking, or freeze up to a month in advance. I don't like to stuff my turkey. I bake the stuffing at 350, in a covered 10-by-15-inch pan, for 40 minutes. If you like your stuffing browned, cook it uncovered.

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