Cornbread and sausage stuffing (or dressing) is a very personal thing, and hands down, the best version I’ve ever had was the one my mother-in-law makes. Her classic southern recipe is the perfect savory sidekick to a well-cooked turkey.
What I love about her recipe is that the Italian sausage’s flavors really come through and whether you double this recipe and use some of it to stuff the turkey or serve it on the side as a side, you’ll want to eat a few servings for sure.
Making this classic recipe is super simple, just watch how easy it comes together.
My biggest tip to cut a little prep time on the big day is to make the cornbread a day ahead (or two!). It will not only save you time, but it will toast faster. This dish can also be made ahead of time and only need to be baked or warmed up on Thanksgiving day.
What I love about this recipe is that you can make it entirely from scratch or semi-homemade. Whether you make your cornbread with the recipe below, buy the cornbread box mix, or buy it already made, it comes out perfectly moist and crumbly every time.
This recipe is that it can easily be made gluten-free by using an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free baking flour (my favorite one is made by Bob’s Red Mill); however, be careful that not all gluten-free flours work the same so check out the notes in the recipes below for more information.
If you are wondering why some people call this recipe “dressing” and others “stuffing” is because while some people use this side dish to “dress” the meal, others use the dressing to stuff the turkey and in that case, it’s called stuffing. Many of us do a combination of both. In both cases, you can use the same recipe just used differently.
In this version, I didn’t add any dried fruits or nuts, although some people add 1 cup of chopped chestnuts and even 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. If you choose to do that, you would add them in the bowl, combine them well into the mix and then transfer to the baking dish.
This dressing isn’t soggy at all, and unlike stuffing made with dry bread chunks, the consistency of this dressing is uniform throughout. The salty pieces of cooked sausage provide enough flavor to every bite so that it’s a feast for the palate.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
- 4 cups coarsely crumbled and toasted cornbread*
- 1lb pork sausage
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning*
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Coarsely crumble the cooled cornbread and place crumbles on a baking sheet. Bake cornbread crumbles for 8-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes until crumbles are toasted evenly. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325F and grease or spray a casserole baking dish.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, celery, and chopped onion for 8-10 minutes, until the sausage is thoroughly cooked, making sure to break up the meat into small pieces throughout. Spoon cooked sausage into a large bowl, leaving any oil behind.
- To the large bowl, add crumbled cornbread, finely chopped parsley and seasoning. Toss to combine. Add the chicken broth and beaten egg and combine.
- Next, spoon cornbread and sausage mixture into the casserole dish and cover.
- Bake in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes. In the final 10 minutes, remove the cover to brown the top.
Don’t have poultry seasoning? Add ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon ground thyme, ¼ teaspoon sage, ¼ teaspoon marjoram (substitute cumin if not available).
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ cups milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and butter. Pour the liquid mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.