Making Cornbread Dressing (or stuffing) with Sausage is hands down, the best version, and my mother-in-law’s classic southern recipe is the perfect savory sidekick to a well-cooked turkey.
The salty pieces of cooked sausage and the buttery flavor of cornbread provide ample flavor to every bite so that it’s a feast for the palate. The hearty texture is uniform throughout compared to stuffing made with bread.
Table of contents
Sausage Dressing Recipe
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, you’ll want to eat a few servings for sure.
This dish can also be made ahead of time and only need to be baked or warmed up on Thanksgiving day.
This Cornbread Stuffing will be a hit for Thanksgiving and if you’re looking for more help with planning a menu my Giving Thanks, a holiday menu, is just what you need. It has 23 fall-inspired, mouthwatering recipes to choose from with a daily prep guide and an hourly recipe queue for Thanksgiving day so everything gets baked, roasted, assembled, and cooked before the guests show up.
And you still get a chance to freshen up, slip into your outfit, and greet those guests knowing dinner is ready to serve.
Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Plan & Guide
Inside this eBook, you’ll find 23 Thanksgiving recipes for easy entertaining. PLUS, done-for-you daily holiday prep, helpful kitchen notes, and hour-by-hour timing instructions for Thanksgiving day.
This digital download is like hiring a kitchen assistant to plan out an incredibly delicious menu for your family.
Cornbread Dressing Ingredients
What I love about this recipe is that you can make it entirely from scratch or semi-homemade. Whether you make your cornbread at home, buy the cornbread box mix, or buy it already made, it comes out perfectly moist and crumbly every time.
Here’s what you need:
- Cornbread: you can make it at home from scratch with the recipe I share below, use a cornbread box mix, or buy cornbread already made.
- Italian sausage: casings removed.
- Aromatics: chopped celery and onion to add crunchiness and tons of flavor.
- Parsley: a classic herb for cornbread dressing.
- Poultry seasoning: or you can add a mix of garlic powder, ground thyme, sage, and marjoram (or cumin) instead. More on this on the recipe card below.
- Chicken broth: for moisture. Use store-bought or homemade chicken broth or stock.
- Egg: adds a fluffy texture and helps to bind the ingredients.
If you scroll to the recipe card at the end of this post, you’ll find all of the ingredient measurements.
How to Make Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
My biggest tip to cut a little prep time on the big day is to make the cornbread a day ahead. It will save you time, and toast faster, you want the cornbread to be lightly browned and dry so it will soak up more of the broth and flavors.
With that being said, let’s make this sausage and cornbread stuffing:
- Make the cornbread
Prepare the cornbread. Regardless if you use a homemade recipe or boxed, you’ll need 4 cups crumbled.
While the cornbread cools, preheat the oven to 400F and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Coarsely crumble the baked cornbread and spread it in an even layer onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Brown the sausage
In a large skillet, brown the sausage, celery, and onion for 10 minutes until the sausage is cooked through. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan.
To the sausage, add cornbread, parsley, and seasonings. Toss to combine before adding the chicken broth and beaten egg. Stir thoroughly.
Spoon the cornbread mixture into the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. In the final 10 minutes, remove the foil and finishing baking until the top has a golden-brown crust.
Making this classic recipe is super simple, just watch how easy it comes together.
Gluten-Free Cornbread Dressing
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 recipe below for more information.
Dressing vs Stuffing
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 this version, I didn’t add any dried fruits or nuts, although some people add 1 cup of chopped chestnuts and even ½ cup of dried cranberries. If you choose to do that, you would add them to the bowl along with the crumbled cornbread and combine them with the rest of the ingredients.
More Thanksgiving Sides
Wow your guests with a Thanksgiving menu full of delicious dishes, like my unforgettable Southern Mashed Potatoes and my Sweet Potato Casserole. More incredible sides? This Orange Juice Cranberry Sauce and this Cranberry Quinoa Salad will delight everyone!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
For the Cornbread
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish
For the Dressing
- 4 cups cornbread*, coarsely crumbled and toasted
- 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning*
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
For the Cornbread
- 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 cornbread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.
For the Dressing
- Preheat oven to 400F and butter or grease a 9×13 baking dish or, a 3-quart dish of any shape.
- 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.