My all-time favorite stuffing contains a not-so-secret ingredient: applesauce. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the otherwise buttery, savory dish.

Simple applesauce stuffing recipe, made with seasoned bread cubes and applesauce.

Stuffing is one of those foods that everybody makes differently, which makes it so fun.

I’ve seen stuffing made with pork sausage, chorizo sausage, bacon, and even oysters. I’ve seen stuffing made with gluten-free bread, cornbread, and challah bread. I’ve seen the addition of pomegranate seeds, pecans, fennel, and various other ingredients.

There are thousands of great stuffing recipes out there.

Today, I would like to share with you my take on Thanksgiving stuffing.

I have been making it this way for years. Since high school, in fact. I worked as a waitress in the local diner, and the cook there added applesauce to her stuffing. It was fabulous. The best stuffing I have ever eaten.

Applesauce stuffing.

What Does Applesauce Stuffing Taste Like?

Applesauce stuffing is a delightfully sweet/savory stuffing that has subtle apple favor thanks to the addition of applesauce.

The apple flavor is not overwhelming. Rather, it adds a hint of sweetness and apple-ness that blends so beautifully with the butter, sage, and parsley.

It’s subtle enough to please picky eaters – but special enough to make it the star of your Thanksgiving dinner table.

How to make applesauce stuffing: Click through for directions.

I have made some tweaks along the way, but I always add applesauce to my stuffing. It adds just the right amount of sweetness, blending beautifully with the other savory ingredients.

This stuffing recipe can’t be beat. It’s easy to make, budget-friendly, and crowd-pleasing. Give it a try.

Can I Make This Stuffing Gluten-Free?

Yes, applesauce stuffing can be made with gluten-free stuffing mix. Simply follow the recipe, below, and use gluten-free stuffing mix instead of standard. Trader Joe’s makes a good gluten-free stuffing.

Should I Use Sweetened Or Unsweetened Applesauce?

You can use either sweetened or unsweetened applesauce. Both are delicious. If you’re accustomed to sweeter savory dishes, try sweetened applesauce. If you typically don’t like sweeter foods, stick to unsweetened. (Hint: You can taste as you go!)

Learn How To Upgrade Boxed Stuffing

Adding applesauce to boxed stuffing is one way to upgrade it. Adding different ingredients, spices, fruits, and veggies can turn basic stuffing into something interesting and delicious.

Check out these simple ways up upgrade boxed stuffing.

How to doctor up boxed stuffing: A few simple tweaks can take boxed stuffing from boring to extraordinary!

More Thanksgiving Recipes & Inspiration

Looking for some affordable Thanksgiving (and other special occasion) recipes? Here are some of my favorites:

Applesauce stuffing.

Applesauce Stuffing Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Feel free to double the recipe if you're feeding a crowd for Thanksgiving. Leftovers heat up well.


  • 5 to 6 cups seasoned bread stuffing cubes
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce (I used sweetened applesauce, but feel free to use unsweetened)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Sage or poultry seasoning (optional)
  • Chopped apples and/or coconut (optional)
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. In a large frying pan, combine butter, onion, and celery and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are soft. Add applesauce and chicken broth. Remove from heat.
  2. Add butter mixture to dry bread crumbs and combine. Add additional chicken broth if stuffing is dry. Add seasoning, if desired. Mix in apples and/or coconut, if desired.
  3. Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

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