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A Healthier and Still Yummy Holiday Stuffing

FOOD_Sausage-Apple-Cranberry-Stuffing33When asked what is your favourite part of holiday dinners, most people say the stuffing! The flavour, the texture, the crunch are all things we crave. Unfortunately, stuffing is fattening because of the butter, bread and meat. Here are some ways of keeping your family’s secret stuffing recipe while updating with healthier ingredients.

  1. If your stuffing calls for sausage meat, use turkey sausage instead. This is 85%-90% leaner than pork with 100% of the flavour.
  2. Instead of adding butter to your mix, keep the fat after frying the turkey sausage and add some olive oil – it will reduce fat and add a delicious juice to the breading.
  3. Don’t use white bread. Toast and crumble-up healthier multi-grain bread.  This won’t lower in calories, but increase nutritional value.
  4. For rice stuffing, replace white rice with a mixture of organic brown rice or brown basmati and quinoa. Adding quinoa to stuffing will turn it into a power food.  Quinoa is one of the healthiest foods.
  5. Nuts are a great addition to any stuffing. Sliced almonds are an ideal way to make your stuffing healthier.  Although they do have a lot of calories, nuts are high in protein and unsaturated fat. The trick to nuts in stuffing is to add them towards the end so they don’t get too soggy.
  6. Fruit is another way of adding nutrients to your holiday side dish. Apples and cranberries are favourites to many.

Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing


  • 5 cups cubed multi-grain bread
  • 1 pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 2½ teaspoons dried sage
  • 1½ teaspoons dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup turkey stock
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavours.
  3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries and parsley. Drizzle with turkey stock and olive oil and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.