Apple Walnut Stuffing

I’m all about making things from scratch. When it makes sense. If you’re cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner by yourself, I think it makes sense to take a few shortcuts. One shortcut I like is zhuzhing up a boxed stuffing mix with a few fresh ingredients. Because I really don’t have time to cube and dry a whole loaf of bread (AND clean up all those crumbs) if I’m making all the other dishes, too. That’s why this Apple Walnut Stuffing is my go-to Thanksgiving side dish.

I’ll save the from-scratch stuffing for my potluck style Thanksgiving dinners and Friendsgiving dinners, when I’m only responsible for one dish. 😜

Originally posted 11-19-09, updated 10-31-19.

Stove Top Apple Walnut Stuffing

A casserole dish full of Apple Walnut Stuffing with a wooden spoon on the side

See this recipe in my Easy Thanksgiving Dinner for Beginners meal plan.

What Kind of Boxed Stuffing Should I Use?

For this recipe you’ll want to use two standard 6 oz. boxes of stuffing mix (dried bread crumbs + seasoning/bouillon powder). I used chicken flavored stuffing mix, but you can use any flavor you prefer. You can even use a cornbread stuffing mix. If you want to make this stuffing vegetarian, make sure to use a vegetable flavored stuffing mix and double check the ingredients for any meat derived ingredients.

Can I Make This Apple Walnut Stuffing Ahead?

Yes! This Apple Walnut Stuffing is a great candidate for a make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish. I will say that the texture changes just slightly as it refrigerates over night (it’s not quite as “fluffy” the next day), but the flavor is on point.

How to Reheat Apple Walnut Stuffing

If you do make this stuffing the day before Thanksgiving, you can reheat it in the oven, covered with foil, at 350ºF, for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature rises above 165ºF. The total time to reheat will depend on the size, shape, and type of dish you’re using, and how crowded the oven is. I suggest using an instant read thermometer to make sure.

Other Add-Ins

Stuffing is great because there are so many different directions you can take it. If you like meat in your stuffing, you can also brown some sausage or bacon and stir that into the stuffing. I garnished my stuffing with chopped parsley for color, but that is entirely optional and not required to flavor the dish.

Close up side view of Apple Walnut Stuffing in the casserole dish, being scooped out with a wooden spoon.

 
Close up overhead shot of Apple Walnut Stuffing in the casserole dish with a wooden spoon in the corner
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Apple Walnut Stuffing

Take a Thanksgiving dinner short cut by upgrading a boxed stuffing mix with fresh ingredients for more flavor, texture, and visual appeal.
Keyword: Dressing Recipe, Stove Top Stuffing Recipe, Thanksgiving Side Dish
Total Cost: $3.74 recipe / $0.47 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8 1 cup each

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter ($0.52)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.37)
  • 2 apples ($0.50)
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage ($0.05)
  • 3 cups water ($0.00)
  • 2 6 oz. boxes stuffing mix ($1.38)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts ($0.60)

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion and celery. Add the butter, onion, and celery to a large pot and sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • While the onion and celery are sautéing, core and finely dice the apples. Add the apples and dried sage to the pot with the onion and celery, and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or just until the apples soften slightly.
  • Add the water to the pot, place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add both boxes of stuffing mix, stir briefly to combine, turn the heat off, replace the lid, and let the stuffing rest for 5 minutes.
  • While the stuffing mix is absorbing the hot water, chop the walnuts. After letting the stuffing rest for 5 minutes, remove the lid, add the walnuts, and gently fold them into the stuffing (vigorous stirring will make the stuffing gummy).
  • Serve immediately, or bake uncovered at 350ºF for about 15 minutes to achieve a crispy top layer.
Tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead shot of Apple Walnut Stuffing in the casserole dish with a wooden spoon in the corner

 

How to Make Apple Walnut Stuffing – Step By Step Photos

Diced onion, celery, and butter in a pot

Finely dice one yellow onion and three ribs of celery. Add the onion and celery to a large pot along with 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add diced apples and sage to pot

While the celery and onion are sautéing, core and finely dice two apples. Add the diced apples and 1/2 tsp dried sage to the pot with the onion and celery. Sauté for one to two minutes more, or just until the apples begin to soften.

Water being poured into the pot.

Pour 3 cups water into the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil.

Stuffing mix being added to boiling water

Once the water is boiling, remove the lid, pour two 6 oz. boxes of stuffing mix into the pot, and give it a brief stir to combine. Turn the heat off, replace the lid, and let the stuffing rest for about 5 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid.

Chopped walnuts on a cutting board

While the stuffing is resting, chop 1/2 cup walnuts.

Chopped walnuts added to the pot with stuffing

After letting the stuffing rest for 5 minutes, add the chopped walnuts and gently fold to combine. Don’t stir too much, as this will make the stuffing gummy. Serve the stuffing immediately, or bake for about 15 minutes at 350ºF to make the top crispy.

A casserole dish full of the finished Apple Walnut Stuffing, garnished with chopped parsley

Or you can cover and refrigerate the stuffing for the next day. To reheat the stuffing, cover the dish with foil and bake at 350ºF for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (use an instant read thermometer). The total reheating time will vary depending on your baking dish and oven.

Thanksgiving side dishes on a dining table, from above

What are your go-to Thanksgiving side dishes?