Sausage and Rice Stuffing with Almonds and Apples
Shake up your holiday sides games with this Sausage and Rice Stuffing with Almonds and Apples. It’s loaded with a balance of textures and flavors – spicy sausage, crunchy almonds and sweet apples – plus a ton of fall herbs. With just a few minutes of prep and a handful of simple ingredients, this naturally gluten-free side dish makes for a nice additional to the holiday roast.
This Sausage and Rice Stuffing, fondly known as “the rice”, has appeared on our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember. Right there next to the regular bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, turkey, multiple cranberry sauces, etc.
I believe my Mom started making this sausage and rice stuffing to try to change things up a little at Thanksgiving dinner, but it was so good that for years after it became a huge family favorite and a complete necessity at Thanksgiving.
In our family, we stuff the bird. Always have, always will. My parents insist that there’s no other way. And I agree.
So the classic bread stuffing goes into the main cavity of the bird and this sausage and rice stuffing goes in the smaller end. And the rest of each get put into a baking dish to cook up next to the bird.
How to Make Sausage and Rice Stuffing:
This sausage and rice stuffing is super easy to mix up with just a couple pre-cooking needs.
1. You’ll need to pre-cook some rice. I love using brown rice, but my mom insists on using white. This is to say that the recipe works wonderfully with either!
2. Brown up the sausage and soften the veggies.
3. Then mix it all up with the spices, apples and almonds. Bake and voila! Sausage and Rice Stuffing!
If you are in search of gluten-free recipes for your Thanksgiving table, here you have it! This Sausage and Rice Stuffing is naturally gluten-free and can easily be made vegan by removing the sausage (or swapping in tempeh, maybe?!) and using veggie broth. I promise it will be just as tasty and satisfying!
Need some other Thanksgiving recipes?! Try these:
Whole Smoked Turkey
Classic Stuffing with Sage and Onions
Tart Whiskey Cranberry Sauce
Quick Fool-Proof Herbed Gravy
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Chipotle Butternut Squash and Bacon
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Sage and Spicy Sausage
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
- 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup almond slivers
- 1/2 granny smith apple, diced
Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with olive oil spray.
In a medium saute pan, crumble the sausage and brown it, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate with a paper towel. Toss the diced celery and onion into the hot pan for 3-4 minutes to softened.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, browned sausage, cooked celery, onion and garlic, chicken broth, salt, sage, black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, almond slivers and diced apple. Mix well.
Pour the stuffing into the prepared pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.