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Midwestern Kielbasa and Apple Rye Bread Stuffing

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Midwestern Kielbasa and Apple Rye Bread Stuffing

Midwestern Kielbasa and Apple Rye Bread Stuffing
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
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total prep
This stuffing captures the bold flavors of the heartland. Dark, caramelized rye bread stands up to the richness of kielbasa, with spicy mustard and tart apples lending balance.


  • 1 1/2 pounds rye bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 18 cups)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds kielbasa (pork and beef), quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large red onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 Grany Smith apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Preheat oven to 350F with racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and butter a 4-quart baking dish (15 by 10 inches).
  • Bake bread pieces in 2 large shallow baking pans in oven, switching positions of pans halfway through baking, until dry and pale golden 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a very large bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then lightly brown kielbasa in 3 batches, stirring, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer kielbasa as browned with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
  • Cook onions and celery in remaining butter in skillet over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and core apples, then coarsely chop. Add apples, salt, and pepper to onion mixture and cook, covered, until apples are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Whisk together mustard and 1 cup stock in a small bowl, then add to apple mixture with remaining stock and bring to a boil. Toss apple mixture with bread, kielbasa, parsley and salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to baking dish.
  • Bake stuffing, covered tightly with buttered foil, in upper third of oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake stuffing until top is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  • NOTE:
    These stuffings are intended to be baked independently from the Thanksgiving turkey. If you decide to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, please make sure it comes to 165F to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Make ahead: Stuffing can be assembled, but not baked, 2 days ahead and chilled (covered once cooled).