How fun is this? Savory stuffed baked apples! These little guys, filled with a delicious combo of chicken, onions, cranberries, pecans, bread bits, cheddar (or Gruyere), and lots of herbs, make a fun and festive fall dinner! We’ve used both sharp cheddar and Gruyere cheese at different times and loved them both. They are both classic flavors that go so well with apples, raw or cooked.
We like to use a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the apple pulp, they are just the perfect size with serrated edges, but you can totally make this work with a regular spoon or knife, too. Just make sure you don’t poke through the sides of the apple when you hollow them out. You wouldn’t want your stuffing spilling out!
These apples can also be stuffed with ground sausage meat, too, or even without meat, simply by eliminating the chicken. We love the chicken in this combination, but you can always add rice or quinoa in its place for a beautiful vegetarian dish.
Chicken & Cheddar Stuffed, Baked Apples
- Serrated knife or grapefruit spoons
- 8 Honeycrisp or Envy apples (or your favorite baking apple)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 lb. ground chicken or chicken sausage
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tsp. fresh)
- 1/2 tsp. sage (or 1 tsp. fresh)
- 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/2 cup diced apple (from the tops you cut off)
- 1 cup day-old bread pieces (1/2-inch or so)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup white cheddar or Gruyere cheese, grated and split (1/2 for inside and 1/2 for on top of the apples)
- Cut the tops off the apples and reserve. Hollow out the inside of the apple using a grapefruit spoon or knife so the sides of the apples are about 1/4-inch thick.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Remove the stem from the apple tops and coarsely chop the apple tops. (Can leave skins on.)
- Heat oil in a skillet and cook onions over medium heat until translucent. Add celery, diced apple tops, cranberries, and herbs. Cook for another 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add ground chicken or chicken sausage and cook with the onions and apple mixture until cooked through.
- Remove from heat and cool completely. Once cooled, add beaten egg, bread pieces, 1/2 cup of grated cheese, and chopped pecans. Mix thoroughly.
- Fill apple cavities with the stuffing mixture. Distribute remaining grated cheese on top of each apple.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until filling is hot, cheese is beginning to brown and the apples are fork tender. Serve hot!
Can you eliminate the bread- gluten sensitivities!
For sure, Kim! You can totally eliminate the bread component, or you can substitute with a gluten-free bread torn into small pieces, or rice or nothing at all in its place! Let us know if you try this and thanks for your comment!