Pear, Pecan and Sausage Stuffing

Regular stuffing recipes can be packed with excess amounts of unhealthy fats and calories. With this healthier recipe, add in pears and pecans to add extra flavor without adding to your waistline.

Since pears are considered one of the highest-fiber fruits, with an average of approximately six grams per fruit, they’re an excellent sweet addition that helps bring a fresh twist to the dish.

Here are some other healthy dishes to try incorporating in your holiday meals:

Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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  • 6 cups whole wheat bread (1 loaf or 20 oz.) cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage casings removed, chicken or pork
  • 2 pears peeled, cored, diced into 1/2-inch cubes, Bosc or Anjou
  • 1 yellow onion diced into 1/2-inch cubes, about 2/3 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sage, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp.  black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. milk, milk substitute or cream

Pear, Pecan and Sausage Stuffing

1. Heat oven to 275°F. Distribute bread cubes in one layer over 2 baking sheets. Bake for 25-35 minutes (stirring after 15 minutes), or until lightly browned and crunchy. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sausage, breaking apart with a spoon. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned. Reduce heat to medium.
3. Stir in onions and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add pears and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release brown bits. Mix in pecans, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Turn off heat and stir in cream.
4. Pour mixture into a bowl with bread, stir until well combined. Transfer to an 11 x 7 x 2-inch casserole dish, pressing down a bit with a spatula. Place dish on a large sheet pan. Cover dish with aluminum foil and transfer sheet pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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