Thanksgiving Panzanella

Recipe by


  • 34
    cup high quality butter (such as Kerrygold or Plugra)
  • 1
    large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 -4
    medium apples, Granny Smith or 3 -4 medium apples, Honeycrisp, cored and diced
  • 1
    lb sage sausage (casings removed if necessary) or 1 lb black pepper breakfast sausage (casings removed if necessary)
  • 3
    cups crumbled moist cornbread (can be purchased or thrown together with Jiffy)
  • 3
    cups cubed French bread
  • 3
    cups cubed whole grain boule
  • 2
    teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1
    teaspoon fresh sage leaf, powder
  • grey sea salt
  • freshly ground telicherry black pepper
  • 2
    cups lightly crushed pecan halves, toasted
  • 1
    bunch fresh sage leaf, picked through for quality
  • good quality olive oil, to taste, as needed
  • 1
    cup good quality chicken stock, can be added to aid in moisture as needed
  • brown-butter-fried sage leaf, for garnish (optional)


  • Melt butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add onions and cook over low-medium heat, about 30 minutes, or until the onions go nearly perfectly transparent. Do not get color on the onions. Remove from pan and save.
  • Add 1-2 T of the butter from the onions to the skillet and cook the apples over medium heat until they have taken on a light golden color and have become fork-tender. Remove and add to the onions.
  • Cook the sausage over medium until browned, using the back of a wood spoon to break the sausage up as it cooks. Remove cooked sausage and any fat which rendered out and add to the onions/apples.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the french loaf and whole grain cubed breads. Using your hands, loosely crumble the moist cornbread and mix all three to incorporate.
  • Add the onions, apples, sausage, butter, and reserved fat. Mix bowl contents to evenly moisten all components.
  • Season with fresh thyme, sage leaf powder, grey sea salt, fresh black pepper, olive oil, and mix. If the panzanella is still too dry, slowly incorporate up to 1 C of good chicken stock. This will vary greatly depending on how dried the bread cubes are. Work a little at a time!
  • Finally, mix in toasted, lightly crushed pecan halves, and garnish top with brown-butter fried sage leaves.
  • Serve warm (or cold the next day; who doesn’t love Thanksgiving leftovers?!) and enjoy!