Apple Pecan Rice Dressing Recipe - USA

Apple Pecan Rice Dressing

Apple Pecan Rice Dressing Recipe - USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4-6


Apple Pecan Rice Dressing
Apple Pecan Rice Dressing

The Apple Pecan Rice Dressing is a delightful and savory dish that combines the sweetness of apples with the nutty flavor of pecans, all mixed into a hearty rice base. This recipe is perfect for those who appreciate a touch of sweetness in their savory dishes. It's an excellent side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses, making it a versatile addition to any meal.


The Apple Pecan Rice Dressing is a dish that has its roots in Southern cuisine, where rice dishes are a staple. The combination of apples and pecans with rice is a nod to the agricultural products of the region. This recipe has evolved over time, incorporating ingredients like pork sausage to add depth and flavor. It's a modern take on traditional rice dressings, showcasing the fusion of different culinary influences.


How to prepare

  1. Cook the sausage, celery, and onion over medium heat in a large skillet until the sausage is cooked, stirring to crumble the meat. Drain the fat.
  2. Combine the cooked sausage mixture with rice, apple, pecans, sage, salt, pepper, and broth in a buttered 2.5 qt (473 ml) baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 25 to 30 minutes.


  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the pork sausage with a plant-based sausage or add more vegetables like bell peppers and zucchini. To make it gluten-free, ensure the chicken broth and sausage are gluten-free.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture, use a tart apple variety such as Granny Smith. These apples hold up well during baking and provide a nice contrast to the savory elements. For the rice, opt for a long-grain variety to prevent the dish from becoming too mushy. Toasting the pecans before adding them to the mix can enhance their nutty flavor.

Serving Suggestions

This dish is best served hot as a side to roasted meats such as chicken, turkey, or pork. It can also be a standalone vegetarian dish if the sausage is omitted or replaced with a plant-based alternative.

Cooking Techniques

Baking is the primary cooking technique used in this recipe, which helps to meld the flavors together. Sautéing the sausage, celery, and onion before baking enhances the depth of flavor in the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If pork sausage isn't to your liking, you can substitute it with chicken or turkey sausage. For a nut-free version, roasted sunflower seeds can replace pecans.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Simply reheat in the oven before serving. The flavors often meld and deepen when allowed to sit overnight.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Apple Pecan Rice Dressing in a beautiful, oven-to-table dish. Garnish with fresh sage leaves or parsley for a pop of color and added flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs beautifully with white wines such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, which complement the savory and sweet flavors of the dressing.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until thoroughly warmed.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Apple Pecan Rice Dressing contains approximately 250 calories. This makes it a relatively moderate-calorie side dish that can fit into a balanced diet.


This dish is relatively moderate in carbohydrates, with the primary source being the cooked rice. A serving of this dish contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates. The apples also contribute a small amount of natural sugars, adding to the carb content.


The fats in this recipe come from several sources: the pork sausage, pecans, and to a lesser extent, the chicken broth. A serving of Apple Pecan Rice Dressing contains about 15 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats. Using lean pork sausage can help reduce the saturated fat content.


Protein in this dish is primarily provided by the pork sausage, with a single serving containing approximately 10 grams of protein. This makes the Apple Pecan Rice Dressing a good source of protein, contributing to a balanced diet.

Vitamins and minerals

The ingredients in this dish offer a variety of vitamins and minerals. Apples are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. Pecans are rich in magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E. The inclusion of celery and onions also adds to the nutritional profile, providing additional vitamins and minerals.


This recipe contains common allergens: nuts (pecans) and pork. Those with nut allergies or dietary restrictions regarding pork should avoid this dish or consider suitable substitutions.


Overall, the Apple Pecan Rice Dressing is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a flavorful option that brings a unique twist to the dinner table.


The Apple Pecan Rice Dressing is a versatile and flavorful dish that combines the best of sweet and savory elements. With its rich nutritional profile and the ability to pair with a variety of main courses, it's a wonderful addition to any meal. Whether you're looking for a new side dish for your holiday table or a hearty vegetarian option, this recipe is sure to please.

How did I get this recipe?

I recall the feeling of curiosity that overcame me when I found this recipe for Apple Pecan Rice Dressing. It was a warm summer day, and I was going through an old recipe book that had been passed down to me from my own grandmother. As I flipped through the pages, I came across a faded, handwritten recipe card tucked between the pages. The title read "Apple Pecan Rice Dressing," and my mouth watered at the thought of trying something new and delicious.

I had always loved cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, and this recipe seemed like the perfect challenge for me. The combination of sweet apples, crunchy pecans, and fluffy rice intrigued me, and I knew I had to give it a try. I could almost taste the warm, comforting flavors just by reading the ingredients list.

As I read through the recipe, I realized that it was a bit different from anything I had ever made before. The ingredients were simple enough - apples, pecans, rice, onions, and a few spices - but the method of preparation was unique. It called for sautéing the apples and onions in butter until they were caramelized, then mixing them with cooked rice and toasted pecans. The whole dish was then baked in the oven until it was golden and crispy on top.

I could almost smell the delicious aromas that would waft through my kitchen as the dish baked. I could picture myself serving it alongside a roast chicken or turkey, or even as a side dish for a holiday meal. The possibilities seemed endless, and I couldn't wait to get started.

I gathered all the ingredients I needed and set to work in the kitchen. I diced the apples and onions, toasted the pecans, and cooked the rice until it was fluffy and tender. The scent of butter and spices filled the air as I sautéed the apples and onions, and I knew that this dish was going to be something special.

As I mixed everything together and transferred it to a baking dish, I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. The dish looked beautiful - the apples and pecans glistened in the light, and the rice was studded with bits of caramelized onion. I sprinkled a little more butter on top for good measure, and then popped it into the oven to bake.

As the dish baked, the smells that filled my kitchen were even more tantalizing than I had imagined. The sweet scent of apples and cinnamon mingled with the nutty aroma of pecans, creating a mouthwatering fragrance that made my stomach growl in anticipation. I couldn't wait to taste the finished dish and see if it lived up to my expectations.

When the timer finally dinged, I pulled the dish out of the oven and marveled at how perfect it looked. The top was golden and crispy, the apples were soft and caramelized, and the pecans added a delightful crunch to every bite. I couldn't wait to dig in and savor the flavors that I had worked so hard to create.

I scooped a generous spoonful onto my plate and took a bite. The flavors exploded in my mouth - the sweet apples paired perfectly with the savory onions, while the crunchy pecans added a delightful texture to the dish. The rice was perfectly cooked and absorbed all the delicious flavors, creating a dish that was truly a feast for the senses.

As I savored each bite, I couldn't help but think about the journey I had taken to discover this recipe. It was a reminder of the joy and fulfillment that cooking brought me, and the way that food could connect us to our past and our loved ones. I knew that this recipe would become a treasured part of my own culinary repertoire, and that I would make it again and again for years to come.

And so, as I finished my meal and cleaned up the kitchen, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the serendipitous discovery of the Apple Pecan Rice Dressing recipe. It was a reminder of the magic that could happen when we let our curiosity guide us in the kitchen, and a testament to the power of food to bring us joy and connection. I knew that this recipe would always hold a special place in my heart, and that it would continue to bring delight to all who tasted it. And so, with a full belly and a happy heart, I put away my recipe book and looked forward to the many more culinary adventures that awaited me in the future.


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