Sausage & Prune Dressing

By Yankee Magazine

Oct 02 2016


Prune & Sausage Dressing

Photo Credit : Heath Robbins

This dish was inspired by an old Yankee stuffing recipe from the 1940s. The original was paired with roast goose, but it goes equally well with turkey. A dash of cinnamon brings it all together.


10 servings


10 ounces pitted prunes, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan
1-1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1-1/2 large onions, any type, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 fresh sage leaves
4 cups chopped Swiss chard (from 1 bunch), large stems removed
1 pound two- or three-day-old crusty white bread, cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks (see “Note,” above)
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
1 large egg


Preheat your oven to 350° and set a rack to the middle position. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Put the prunes into a heatproof bowl. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil; then pour it over the prunes. Let them soften 15 minutes; then remove them with a slotted spoon, retaining the water. Set both aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12- to 14-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, using a spoon to break it up, until the fat is rendered and the meat is browned at the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon, reserving the fat in the skillet. Add the onions, celery, garlic, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and sage to the skillet and cook until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook until tender, about 8 minutes more.

Meanwhile, put the bread cubes into a very large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the stock, 1-1/2 cups of the reserved prune water, and the egg. Pour the liquid over the bread and toss to coat. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more prune water. Add the chard/sausage mixture and prunes and toss again. Pour the dressing into the prepared pan and bake until browned and crisp on top, 45 minutes.