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Stuffing is a side dish I love. It’s hard to beat the old staple Stove Top, but every once in a while I find a good rival. This recipe is simple, doesn’t take a lot of work, and can be prepped ahead of time.

Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Stuffing

(Adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips)

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6 cups (1-12oz bag) of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Stuffing

4 oz. (about 5 slices) bacon

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 large sweet onion, chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 medium apples, peeled and chopped into about 1/4 inch cubes

1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 egg, beaten

1 c (about 4 oz.) sharp cheddar cheese, cut into about 1/4 inch cubes

1/2 c (about 2 oz.) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 400° and coat a 2-quart baking dish with oil or cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy.

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Remove from the pan to cool and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

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Leave about 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease in the pan, add the butter.

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Once the butter has melted, add the onion, salt, and pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften, scraping up any of the bits that may remain from cooking the bacon.

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Add the apples, and cook for another minute or two.

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Stir in the sage, turn off the heat, and set aside (can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator).

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Empty the bag of Rudi’s Gluten-Free stuffing mix to a large mixing bowl, and add the onion-apple mixture. Crumble in the reserved bacon. Stir to incorporate.

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Add the chicken or vegetable stock, then stir in the egg.

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Gently stir in the cubed cheddar cheese, and transfer the stuffing to the baking dish, pressing it down.

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Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the stuffing.

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Cover with a lid or tented aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until heated through, and the stuffing and cheese has browned.

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