Chesapeake Memories Sausage and Oyster Dressing with Red Quinoa and Crisp Apples Recipe

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65 votes | 17003 views

This recipe takes me back to my Maryland Thanksgiving memories. Growing up on the Chesapeake, oysters were a big part of our celebration. This dish combines my family's traditional oyster dressing with spicy pork sausage and healthy red pearl quinoa, which gives the dressing a nutty texture--and beautiful color. Red apples provide color and a sweet, crisp finish. Omit the oysters, if you prefer, for a delicious sausage stuffing.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8-12


Cost per serving $1.64 view details
  • 1 bulk roll (16 oz) spicy pork sausage
  • 6 T. butter
  • 1 1/2 T. fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary, de-stemmed, finely chopped
  • 1/3 c. red pearl quinoa, rinsed and drained (white is fine if red is not available—quinoa is a barley-type seed found in larger supermarkets )
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, ribbed and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 3/4 c. to 2 1/2 c. chicken stock, or to suit desired moistness
  • 1 8-oz container fresh oysters, including their liquor (found in the seafood department)
  • 2 t. fresh lemon juice plus 1/2 t. grated zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 English muffins
  • 1/2 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes (dry packaged is best)
  • 1 large crisp sweet red apple, such as Cortland or Empire, unpeeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1/3 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped


  1. In a large oven-proof chicken-fryer, saucepan or deep skillet with lid over medium-high heat, brown the sausage, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage from pan and set aside; reserve 1 T. fat and drippings. Reduce heat to medium; add 2 T. butter and scrape drippings loose from pan. Add herbs, pearl quinoa, onion, celery and bay leaf; sauté until quinoa starts to crackle and onion and celery begin to sweat, about 3 minutes. Return sausage to pan; add 1 3/4 c. chicken stock. Drain oyster liquor from oysters into pan with sausage mixture, and chop oysters into 1/2” pieces; add oysters to pan. Add lemon juice and zest; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender but firm. Remove bay leaf; check cooking liquid for seasoning.
  2. Meanwhile, toast English muffins until golden, then butter each half with equal portions remaining 4 T. butter, and cut muffins into 1/2” cubes; add muffins to liquid. Add sun-dried tomatoes. Stir mixture to moisten, adding more warm stock if needed; replace lid, turn heat to lowest setting and allow to warm for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove lid from dressing, add additional warm stock to moisten, if desired, and toss with diced apple and parsley. Check seasoning. Serve immediately or cover and place in a warm oven until ready to use.
  4. If stuffing a bird with dressing, proceed according to bird roasting instructions, placing leftover dressing in a greased casserole dish to pass. Bake casserole, covered, for at least 30 minutes at 350 degrees if raw poultry was in contact with dressing.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 151g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 227  
Calories from Fat 49 22%
Total Fat 5.63g 7%
Saturated Fat 2.3g 9%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 403mg 17%
Potassium 315mg 9%
Total Carbs 37.48g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g 11%
Sugars 3.4g 2%
Protein 7.11g 11%




  • Teresa Rodgers
    October 28, 2008
    Looks yummy! I'm coming for dinner :-)
    • Susan Donovan
      October 27, 2008
      Sounds like a true Chesapeake dish...only better!
      • Doug DeMille
        October 27, 2008
        Wow, looks like the best of everything. Some of my favorite flavors, too.

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