Looking for a not-so-classic stuffing side dish for your Thanksgiving menu this year? This simple recipe of wild rice, apple, and sausage is a unique and healthier take on the bread laden traditional style stuffing.
What this stuffing lacks in simple carbs, it makes up for in flavor and super healthy whole grains. I actually made this for the first time last year for our annual Friendsgiving dinner as something different to try out and sharing it with you just in time for Thanksgiving this year! Stuffing is one of my most favorite items on a Thanksgiving table and I really do love classic cornbread dressing, but it’s nice to branch out every few years. Even better is that this dish is a total make-ahead for your menu. You can totally do everything up to baking it in advance, store it in the fridge covered, and then bake it off on Turkey Day. It may need longer to bake in that case.
This calls for lean Turkey sausage, but you could substitute that for pork or chicken if you prefer. Just be sure to get a sausage that has not been pre-smoked; one you can easily remove the casing from and crumble up as it cooks.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 cups chicken stock, low sodium
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound fresh turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Combine the wild rice, chicken stock, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and just bursting, about 30 minutes or according to package instructions. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apple, celery, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook until it loses most of its rosy color, but not so much that it's dry, about 5 minutes more. Stir the cooked wild rice, pecans, and parsley into the vegetable mixture.
Bake in a buttered casserole dish for 30 minutes.
Enjoy! <3 K&R